This is an essay I wrote in March, let me know what you guys think!
I remember 1993 like it was just yesterday. I could walk out of my home and ride my bicycle to one of three baseball card stores in my area. Each one had their own clientele, different selections, and products. If you wanted new wax, the high-end store was the place to go. If you were searching for singles, the one nearest my home was the place to find that rare gem for your player collection. The last store specialized in rookies, autographs and memorabilia. It truly was a great time to be a collector.
Today, that high-end store is now a Wendy’s, the shop near my home sells bicycles, and the autograph/memorabilia shop that once sold Mickey Mantle and Nolan Ryan autographs? It’s now a comic book shop. Inside, you can find a small display case in the very far corner of the store with a few products of baseball (some old wax, some worthless singles). Try asking a question about a product and you might disturb a Magic: The Gathering tournament going on or worse, the “Comic Book Guy” will roll his eyes and tell you he doesn’t know what a Topps Finest Refractor is numbered to this year.
Fortunately, there is hope for new and old collectors in the form of baseball card blogs. From long-time writers like Chris Harris of Stale Gum, to the originator of the “blog” about baseball cards, Ben Henry —there is more information out there than you will know what to do with. Try going to your nearest hobby shop that deals in baseball cards and ask him to write you a review on the latest Upper Deck product, and while he’s at it, have him open up a box and show you the cards inside. Odds are, once he is done laughing at you, he’ll probably ask you to leave and never return again. Thankfully, blogs like Waxheaven.com does video box breaks and product reviews on over 25 different releases per year.
The baseball card shop atmosphere is dead in many areas all across the U.S but more than likely there is a blog out there that will suit your needs. From player collectors, set builders, comedy/satire, hobby news, and everything in between—there is someone out there writing articles day after day just for you. There is no monthly release, fees, or anything of the sort. It’s a world full of collectors pouring their knowledge and love for the hobby into each and everyone one of their works. If you want to be lazy you can find the same at an online forum, but the comradery you find in the Baseball Card Blogsphere is unique and unprecedented. It is the pulse of the hobby, a place dripping in opinion, creativity, and that feeling you used to get after spending six hours at the baseball card shop arguing or discussing baseball cards with the owner and his clients. No other place but Beckett Media would embrace the underground movement of baseball card blogs. Kudos, Beckett!