A few months ago I went on a temporary hiatus. I was starting a new job in an industry I was unfamiliar with and needed to focus more than ever on non-card ventures. While away from writing about baseball cards for the first time since 2007, something unexpected happened. The negativity and toxic atmosphere fueled by collectors on Twitter finally pushed me away, possibly for good. There’s just too much going on in this world for me to focus on Topps’ awful quality control, Panini America’s shameful disregard of their customers, or Leaf’s pathetic attempts to stay relevant.
I quietly put away my soon to be 33-year old Jose Canseco collection in storage and uninstalled the Twitter app from my smart phone. I still checked in once in a while through my phone’s browser to see what was happening and went on eBay every few days to check out what new Jose Canseco cards were being pumped out by Topps but for the most part, I was 100% out of the hobby and the community. It felt good and for once, I was at peace. I didn’t make some big, dramatic announcement, like the folks on Twitter did when Elon Musk purchased the social media network, I just silently bowed out.
During my sabbatical, one particular card caught my attention, Jose’s 2022 Topps Archives. It features a dare I say, beloved, early-90s Topps design and a brand new Jose Canseco photograph, never before used for cardboard. Aside from the obvious nostalgia this Topps design harkens, in today’s billion dollar sports cards industry, finding new images of Jose Canseco appears to be next to impossible. Image recycling is one of the main reasons I gave up purchasing new Canseco cards in the first place. It was great to see a worthwhile baseball card but nothing could make me return to collecting baseball cards again, or so I thought.
To my surprise, the card showed up in my mail box thanks to friend and one of the last readers of the site, Joshua Blumenthal. It was one of the most kind and generous things I have seen in the hobby in a long time and truthfully, it probably happens a lot more than I notice. Unfortunately, it’s usually the negativity that makes the spotlight.
Josh, thank you for thinking of this pathetic, forgotten blogger and sending out this awesome Topps card of my all-time favorite, pathetic, forgotten slugger. I guess in the end, my love for Jose Canseco and baseball cards will never die and if it comes close, there will always be someone to throw in a lifeline.