by Rich Klein
Some random notes while preparing for the National Convention. Last week, when I described some of my favorite media contacts and stories I forgot to mention one of my favorites. When Marty Appel was the PR director for Topps he called me one day with an executive in tow to ask me what I thought about the 2001 Topps Archives product. When the very first words out of my mouth were about the card numbers being so small that you needed a 20x loupe to read them, he said he called me to prove to an executive that was the case. I was laughing because 2001 Topps Archives, as with almost anything issued in 2001, was a success but the card number issue was eventually fixed. If you have seen the Topps Archives product the past couple of years the numbers are very readable.
Mike Jaspersen of Topps posted on the Sports Collector page on Facebook (note I am the admin for the site and we’re looking for tons of new members) that not only would there be 2013 Topps Mini boxes for sale at the NSCC but also those boxes will contain the first Yasiel Puig non-redemption autographs. Last year we did a review of the 2012 Topps mini box and we expect to have a review of the 2013 box as well this year.
I received a very nice email from Mary Davis, who was a former colleague of mine at Beckett. I was very touched when she said her email was “a nice way to let you know how influential you were in my life”. Who doesn’t like hearing that? Frankly, that is one reason I try to write positive stories whenever possible. While not every story is going to be upbeat, the more we can emphasize the positive the better off we are as hobbyists. It is, after all, supposed to be fun.
One of my favorite SABR convention stories comes from the first time I ever traveled to one of the group’s annual conventions. One of the seminars in 1995 was about the potential growth of the internet. I knew we were making an internet push that early as we were actually the only company in the hobby part of the 1995 All-Star FanFest to request a way for internet access. We were introducing our Beckett on-line player search. Nearly 20 years later, those searches seem so simple but then they were state of the art.
So I figured I would check this seminar out, which was done in a hotel suite and one of the stories breaking that morning was “Perry called up the Indians”. The other 10 people of so all thought it was Gerald Perry but I knew it was Herb Perry ready to make his debut.
It was just funny to realize that none of those historians or researchers were paying any attention to prospects and they all assumed it was the older player. Now that I have less time, I do understand the belief to call out the familiar name instead of asking for the player’s first name. Sometimes when I read the Blowout and Freedom Cardboard message boards I realize those collectors are years ahead of where I am in following baseball. I may know Byron Buxton because he was a top pick but am not as familiar with some of the other players who are in the Bowman products.
And I’m continuing to wonder if there is a local ‘base card” market. I did mention when I set up at a local card show here in Dallas how very few collectors ever came in for local players. I’ve also been posting so team lots for sale on a buy/sell/trade forum for modern cards without even a second look. I do believe it’s kind of a shame that we have as a group forgotten the very cards that many of us over the age 30 collected as children. I know the base cards aren’t as valuable but those are also a good way to introduce many collectors with less money in their pockets into the hobby and give them a collection they can be proud of as well.
The National is now just days away. If you are in the Chicago area or close, are you ready? I will have limited internet access during this time but of course, Sports Collectors Daily editor Rich Mueller will be providing daily updates (follow @SportsCollector on Twitter and the SC Daily Facebook page to get bonus coverage and notes. We hope to have at least a couple of Rich’s Ramblings from the show as well. If you have a story to tell such as my friend Bill Barron did recently or just want to ensure we touch base either email me at [email protected] or let Rich M. know at [email protected] before or during the show.
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago.