In defense of Ben Henry?

28 05 2008

That title sounds a little strange especially coming from me but that’s what I am here to do. I will just come out and admit it. I got back into collecting because of Ben Henry’s Baseball Card Blog. One night while working the night shift I got on my old laptop and looked up baseball cards on Google out of curiosity. It had been ten long years since my last pack and I was starting to get that old itch in me. That night, I discovered Ben’s blog and spent the entire night going through his archives like a baseball card hound goes through the dollar bin at the card shop. I was an instant fan and for 3-4 months visited his blog every single day.

That being said, Ben has left quite a bad taste in my mouth. You see, for months I supported his site and left comments and such and one day I finally decided to start my own blog. Out of respect for Ben, I chose to blog about something that would never compete against his site and began “Canseco Completist”, a journey into my 18-year Jose Canseco obsession. The night it was created I sent Ben the only e-mail I ever wrote him asking for consideration to add my blog to his links section. A week later and still nothing. Not even a response. Needless to say, after a couple of weeks my blog was getting 5-7 hits per day. I was drowning and before giving up I decided to swallow my pride and ask once more. Again, no response to this very day.

Finally, I decided to change the direction of the site to all baseball card coverage and renamed the blog Wax Heaven. The first guy to link to me was Chris Harris of Stale Gum, you know…the true Godfather of Sports Cards journalism. In no time, visitors and new readers began to follow Wax Heaven. Meanwhile, in the last 8 months of my blog’s existence, Ben Henry seems to have lost a step or two. I think it’s clear to anyone who keeps up with his site. He reminds me of a kid that I once collected with. In my pre-teen days I had a clique of collectors who would trade cards every weekend. We had the player fans (myself, “Lisa”), the high-class collectors (only Upper Deck & Leaf for them), we had the clueless collectors (didn’t know a thing about baseball but bought more than anyone else), and then we had that one bookworm collector no one really liked who’s name slips my mind at the moment. He was an avid baseball fan and had the most impressive rookie collection in the neighborhood. Of course, the reason was because he was investing in cards, not enjoying them. You wanna take a peek at his three ’89 Griffey Jr. Upper Deck cards? Ha! Good luck.

Come to think of it, his name was Ben.

Nice dress, Ben!


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19 responses

28 05 2008
Gellman

Mario, here is the thing. I really hate it when people think that the world of sports cards is all fun and giggles. Personally, I think right now is the dark ages of the industry, where making money is all that matters and collectors are thought of as scum that can be washed away. There are a lot of people responsible for this in my opinion and I hate it when people refuse to lift the wool that has been pulled over their eyes. This is all despite having the information and the know how to make sure their eyes never get covered in the first place. Ben Henry is one of those guys, the kind of person that doesnt see the forest for the trees. It makes me so angry when he writes stuff like he does for the massive amount of people that go to his site because he is the voice of reason for those people. Im sorry I personally savaged him for what he did, but it was wholeheartedly deserved in my mind.

28 05 2008
Mike

You honor every “link to me” request you receive? There are a ton of basbeball card blogs out there, you jump on board, get 5-7 hits a day and it’s Ben’s fault? Now your readers are supposed to believe you are more concerned with the hobby than the politics, not likely. Where on Ben’s site does he display his visitor stats? Clearly not his prime objective. Kind of reminds me of the kid that got picked last on the playground and went crying to the teacher, instead of holding their own.

28 05 2008
Mario A.

Yes, I do honor every single “link to me” request.
I also answer every single email I receive.
Looking at my Gmail account right now, I have 3,265 emails and only half of that is from my wife.🙂
The rest of those emails are Wax Heaven-related.

Thanks for your comment, though.

28 05 2008
Mario A.

Mike, also don’t see what stats have anything to do with it. I am addicted to stats. Maybe that’s why I always looked at the back of my baseball cards first when I was a child.

My prime objective was to show the bad and the great about this hobby of ours. I would say I have succeeded in bringing quite a few people back to the hobby. I get feedback all the time about just that.

Besides, if you know where to look you will find Ben’s site has 288,401 unique visitors.

28 05 2008
tastelikedirt

Hey Mario you never put a link to my set builder site and that was when you had less than 100 links in the Sports Card Directory. Dosen’t matter it more of a community project. http://setbuildercentral.blogspot.com/
I’m a big fan of Wax Heaven and just like you I came across Ben’s site when it seemed like there was almost no baseball card blogs.
Can’t we all just get along?
ha…I don’t know what I’m talking about.

28 05 2008
Mario A.

T, you simply slipped through the cracks.

Check the links again.🙂

-M.

28 05 2008
Gellman

Hey Mike, I believe that Mario has created more with his blog directory than Ben ever did when he wrote 50 posts about the best cards of 1976. Mario is one of the biggest advocates when it comes to welcoming new people on to the blogosphere, and to let you know, I had the same experience with Ben. The guy thinks he is the cat’s meow, but he doesnt understand that a lot of people think of him as a horse’s, well you know.

Next time Ben comes over to your house to play “lets trade 60’s singles,” make sure you give him a piece of what we are talking about here.

28 05 2008
Dave

I happen to like The Baseball Card Blog and Wax Heaven. I figure the more high quality blogs about cards, the better! Now, I have to say, that if there was a blog out there that I just didn’t like, or if I didn’t like the writer of the blog for whatever reason, there is a certain action that I would take. Here it is … drum roll … I simply wouldn’t visit that blog! I don’t think that I’d blog about disliking that blog or attack the writer. But that’s just me…

By the way, this is directed more at the comments that Gellman has made (which have been much more negative), not Mario.

28 05 2008
Mario A.

Thanks for the comment, Dave.

It’s a Civil War of blogs!🙂

28 05 2008
Gellman

Listen Dave,

It’d be one thing if it was just another blog, but it isnt. Its one of the most well known in the hobby. Now, I have my own blog in which I chose to show people how asinine that junk he posted was, and actually, its kind of angering that more people are going to take what he has said as gospel rather than listening to the people who SHOULD be speaking loudly (not just myself).

Basically it comes down to this. I have no problems savaging people on my blog if they deserve it. If you want to savage me, fine, go ahead, but realize that I also have a forum to voice my opinion on what you write. Thats what blogs are for. Dont give me this hippie BS about some blogger code that says I cant trash someone for saying a plethora of dumb things.

Now, I have a lot of readers who agree with me, and five comments I couldnt even allow because they were so incredibly bad from 4 different people. Thats saying a lot coming from my blog.

So if you got a problem with me, fine, go ahead, but why are you coming to Mario’s blog to yack about it instead of mine? I would be happy to justify anything I have said on my blog, where I know the only people that would be involved are people associated with me. Mario’s blog is a place to discuss Mario’s posts.

Also, my email is posted on my site, feel free to contact me that way too.

28 05 2008
PAB

So Ben Henry might walk away from the baseball card blog at the end of the year. I guess the civil war could be over by Jan. 2009. Way to go Gen. Grant.

28 05 2008
Mario A.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want him to shut the site down but if you have been a reader long enough you will know he’s made this threat before.

That being said, doing this is extremely time consuming but I am in it for the long haul.

29 05 2008
Tim

I would have never found Wax Heaven, if it weren’t for the link on Ben’s blog.

29 05 2008
L.O.

As a baseball card/sports card blog fan, I thought it was a simple misunderstanding of Ben Henry not getting to his e-mails for whatever reason and new links not being added. Once he finally saw them, the link to Mario’s site and others were updated and everything was good.

I guess there is something more behind the scenes and this is like the WWE.

29 05 2008
Nickl

Gellman and Wax Heaven you guys are acting like a couple of babies. The reason so many people read A Baseball Card Blog is because it celebrates what’s fun about collecting. It’s a different aesthetic from you relic-chasing, company slaves. Blogs like yours are about to lose a lot of readership (mine included) because you can’t recognize the landscape. Grow up.

29 05 2008
29 05 2008
Charlie

Well, at least we know Ben has 1 loyal reader. Thanks for helping to make Gellman’s point Nick.

29 05 2008
Gellman

I love that he calls me a company slave. Its the most fitting title I have ever received!

Nick, can we hang out one day? I need to show you all the great swag that my buddies at UD, Topps, and DLP have given me. You know that shirt that David Lee is wearing in the new Beckett video? I have 5. That playoff hat? 20. Ill send you one if you want. Let me know.

27 07 2008
jv

h-o-l-y shit…I had read this post before but obviously never the comments…

why in the hell is everybody so angry at my recent post about the donation button when you guys are mopping the floor with Ben Henry? man, just doesn’t seem fair…

Mike, if I could find the teacher I’d go cry to her right now…

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