Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Monday, April 11, 2011

I won! Twice! And some serious discussion.

There are too many bloggers named Ryan. But I was the only Ryan to answer on The Mojo Beard's first contest (second link takes you to winners page) and I just picked up some awesome stuff! I love trivia and thought/research-based contests, so this was a blast to work through! I'll post more about it when I get my goodies. (By the way, this is the first contest I entered where I actually won!)

And on the heels of that first victory, I worked pretty hard at hiflew's contest at Cards from the Quarry to pull through on the fourth day! When he said it was a set made by Topps but not named Topps, the 1980s store-specific releases like Woolworth and K-Mart came to mind. The fourth clue did it for me - Omega = Pete Rose! It took me a second, before "I am the alpha and the omega" came to mind - which means "I am the beginning and the end." Ahh! The end of the set is Pete Rose! Just a bit of research brought me to the K-Mart set from '82.  Anyway, thanks, hiflew! And if you aren't following his blog, he doesn't just talk about Rockies. There's all kinds of great stuff going on over there, and if he didn't mention that he's been at this for only a few months, you'd think he's been around for years.

Okay, now, some discussion. I already mentioned The Mojo Beard's website above, and today a post was made about the negativity towards the video cards being released by both Upper Deck and Panini. This is kind of a response to that:

I have to agree with Kevin's comments about the hobby. I don't know if I get negative or not at times, but I try not to. And something like this, if it carries over to baseball, would be right up my alley (assuming I could afford it). Heck, all the "failures" of 1990s Topps' and others attempts at innovation are some of my favorite sets, looking back (D3, Embossed, Laser, UD's CD-ROMs, Pinnacle's cans, pins, tins, metal cards, you name it). I believe so many investors have become tired of putting their money in what they consider to be a new gimmick only to end up losing in the long run - but those aren't collectors. If it's not about money, you always come out on top.

As hiflew said in the comments, it's easier to complain and find fault with things than it is to determine what is going right. I heard an economist talking about the ups and downs of economies, and how most of it is all based on perception. If we think it's good, it is. If we think things aren't going well, they aren't. There has been so much downswing in people's lives, that even if you aren't affected, you're feeling the effects. And people become quite negative about everything.

In fact, it's easy to complain about what I think is the hobby getting better. Were any of you buying cards off eBay in 2004-2005? With the insane number of sets (I believe 2005 saw 80 different releases overall) containing high numbers of relics and autographs per pack, the market was flooded with "hits" and these cards were easy to find at low prices. Now, with only about two baseball releases per month - twenty-six last year including minor leagues, eTopps and Upper Deck - collectors focus more on each individual set and autographs and relics are harder to come by, so prices have risen. I've seen some people complaining about higher prices. But isn't that what we want?

Now, back to the video cards. They may work out, they may not. They may be for you, they may not. I'm going to have nothing to do with them for at least a while - they need to come to baseball and be affordable before I become interested. But the card companies are trying. What else is left with innovation? They've already put every possible type of relic in cards, autographs, hair. Cards have been made from metal, wood, plastic (I said that already). They've been cut into circles, die cut into shapes, laser cut into patterns, and embossed into 3D shapes. It's quite difficult to do much more with pieces of cardboard. A&G is making plantable cards. But how many people are going to put an Albert Pujols card in their backyard? Maybe if it grew a jersey? That'd be an innovation. When was the last real innovation in cards, anyway? Relics have been around since 1997, and certified autographs since 1990 (or sooner, I'm sure). I guess we're due for something great - maybe the video card is it. And like relics, it started with a jersey, and now we have such a great variety of game used stuff. These first attempts can evolve into the next big thing.

Oh, and by the way - I've explored the topic of video/CD-ROM cards before.

So, as Kevin says, take a deep breath and relax. I think things are much better now in the hobby than five years ago, and new great things only come around once in a generation.


  1. "...and if he didn't mention that he's been at this for only a few months, you'd think he's been around for years"

    I think that is one of the nicest things I have ever seen written about me and my blog. Thank you very much and congratulations on your wins.

  2. Congrats on the win and thanks for the shout out.