No matter what the holiday, it seems there’s usually some sort of collecting memory or angle associated with it. We all remember hobby-related gifts we get in December but I also recall buying packs of football and basketball cards as a kid on New Year’s Eve so I’d have something to do while the adults enjoyed their New Year’s Eve revelry.
Twenty-five years ago tonight, I married the woman who is still my wife (for those of you with great memories, it was the night of the famous ‘Fog Bowl’ playoff game in Chicago between the Bears and Eagles.
It’s famous enough to have its own Wikipedia entry). That was during the Starting Lineup craze and while I was never really into them, my 67-year-old father had somewhat inexplicably gotten hooked. In the hours leading up to the late Saturday afternoon wedding, he and I stopped at a local discount department store and he loaded up a few for his growing collection.
Now, though, as the editor of this website, it’s become a time to reflect on the year that enters our rear view mirror.
I’m not going to do a rundown of the ‘top stories of 2013’. Those lists are kind of subjective. There were arrests, disputes and headline making guilty pleas in various federal, state and local cases. There were record-setting sales of rare pieces of sports history. There were stories about long-lost collectibles and cards that were found and made their way into the hobby. There were wonderful acts of charity by collectors and hobby companies. All of it is in our archive, which now has nearly 9,000 stories in it, something that boggles my mind.
We don’t report rumors. We don’t use our pages for spite. We don’t automatically assume the worst in people. We don’t engage in name-calling. If you like that kind of approach, there are blogs run by people who have admitted to committing hobby fraud who will be glad to accommodate you.
January 1 marks the beginning of what will eventually be Sports Collectors Daily’s eighth birthday. I want to offer a simple thank you to those of you who come here each day—or a couple of times a week—to read what’s posted. I want to thank those of you who follow us on Twitter and especially on Facebook –all 31,000 of you. You love the stories linked there but you really love the great old cards and memorabilia that’s posted there. The reaction from those who aren’t hard core hobbyists and are seeing the cards for the first time—or the first time since they were kids—is priceless. Every time I feel stressed, I stop over there and instantly feel a lot better.
The industry has many problems. Greed is one of them. Lack of due diligence by sellers of all kinds, often involving expensive pieces. Carelessness. Lack of customer service. We could go on. At its heart though, collecting is still the guy who is putting together the 1971 Topps set because he remembers buying packs as a kid and finally has a few extra bucks to buy the Nolan Ryan card he never got. They outnumber everyone else about 10,000-1.
Like all hobbies it’s an escape and as we head into a new year, I hope all of you get to escape as much as possible in 2014.
There will be a lot more to discover.