Friday, February 15, 2019

2018 Year in Review and State of the Blog or Being Left Behind

Greetings my fellow collector's.  It's been awhile since I sat down and just wrote a decent blog post. I have lots of excuses, but the main one is and continues to be I just didn't or don't feel like it.  This blog will be celebrating it's 10th Anniversary this year. I'm not bragging, but I'm surprised as anyone I kept with it this long even if I barely post anymore.  You can look back through my posting history on the side bar and see just how less I'm posting now.  The first 4 years I was pretty gung-ho about it.  It was new.  I was in a good place and really enjoy the hobby.  Over the last couple years though it's been tough getting excited about cardboard.  2018 marked the lowest I've posted on here since I started up the blog.  2009 doesn't count as I started the blog in October.  And most of the posts I put out last year were in conjunction with my 2 annual contests.  But that doesn't mean I've stopped collecting cards, or reading other blogs, or that I plan to shutter Collector's Crack.  It also doesn't mean I haven't been posting elsewhere.  I contribute to A Pack to be Named Later all the time and post pretty regularly on the Yount Collector, my Robin Yount PC blog.

So if you have a few minutes, sit back and listen to me rant and rave I want to just get this all out of my system and talk about what's happened this year and about the hobby that's starting to leave me behind.

I didn't bother to look back but I'm pretty sure I haven't done a retrospective post in a couple years or a look ahead for that matter.  The last couple year's have been a big whirlwind.  We bought a new house, my job has gotten a little more challenging, but mostly in a good way, I got to visit Hawaii for the first time (and loved it even if I got to only small parts of the whole), and I was also finally able to clear off my drawing table and work on some art.  If you're curious of the stuff I do, I do occasionally post on my art blog, 13 Tenets of Cynicabuddhism.

This post really is about me, the hobby I love, and changes.  Both changes in the hobby and changes in me, or more accurately my life.  When I started the blog almost 10 years ago, I was unmarried, mortgage free, and well 10 year's younger.  Oh how the times of changed.  Now I'm married with a child, got a nice house that bank owns most of, and I'm 10 year's older and the hobby has drastically changed.  We are now in entering our 10th season of exclusivity in the baseball card market and a time where every major sport has only one licensed card manufacturer.  The shift from these card makers has gone from sets with large base sets to products that are almost entirely hit driven.  The cost per box has skyrocketed and really the way the hobby works has just passed me by.  I'm stopped buying boxes to break.  The main reason is financial, I just can't afford to waste the money, but secondarily I've just changed the way I collect.

When I started blogging in 2009 I considered myself a 3 pronged collector.  I was a set builder, a player collector, and a team collector.  I really enjoyed putting together a nice big base set, or even a small one, from ripping packs and then finishing that set off with a few trades or purchases.  To me the hand collation of a set was very therapeutic and relaxing.  I've reduced my set building to just a Topps Baseball flagship set and have completely stopped working on any football sets.  I'm still contemplating giving up the set building all together or just purchasing the set. 

I use to love ripping wax.  It's like playing the lottery.  Most of my hits I would trade away or sell to buy the cards I wanted, but with eBay continuing to change for the worse, in my opinion, and the fact that just about nothing I get in a pack or box fits into my collection, ripping wax and busting boxes just doesn't make sense, and getting rid of the cards is getting harder and more expensive..

I've found over that last couple year's I've really started to focus on my team and player collections.  I'm proud that I finally got most of my collection entered into the Trading Card Database.  I still have some organization of by Brewer's team sets that needs to be done, but that's more on me getting the supplies I need to do it.

I've also found that I've started to really narrow what I buy in regards to my primary Player Collections.  More importantly just one, my Robin Yount collection.  As a matter of fact I would say my collecting focus is around 70% Yount, 10% other player collections, 15% Brewers team sets, and just 5% set collecting.

While it may seem I'm complaining about the way the hobby is changing, and I kind of am, I've been collecting long enough to have seen the hobby change, and change again, and change yet again.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes not.  I remember the junk was era, the end of the junk wax era, the almost collapse of the industry, the rebirth of the industry in the early to mid 2000's, the consolidation of the industry in the late 2000's, the start of exclusivity, and the birth of super high end products.  None of these changes has once made want to stop collecting cardboard, but they all had some influence on how I collected and still do.

Wow you're still here?

Let me conclude I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.  I may not post much, but I'm still around,  I enjoy reading other blogs, and using my blog to keep track of my set needs.  I still enjoy holding my World Series and Super Bowl contests and we get a nice manageable turnout for those.

And if you made it this far and read the whole thing, thank you, and thanks to the great blogging community, it's been a great almost 10 years.


  1. Congrats on the longevity. I agree this hobby of ours has changed too much and is driving collectors away everyday. I would much rather have it like it used to be where the only high end was Stadium Club. Pre-relics and autos. Oh yeah....and a 660 base set and a 132 card update. Have a great weekend.

  2. Your feelings about how the way things have changed seem to be those of most collector's right now, which is unfortunate, but I don't think anything will be changing for the better anytime soon - but it's good to hear that you're not planning on going anywhere :)

    This was the first time that I've seen any of your artwork... you are very good! The world needs more octopus art!

  3. I share your feelings regarding the 'changing hobby' changing how you collect. Glad to know you'll still be here and I'm also excited to discover TENETS and your artwork!!!

  4. I'm another who feels very much similar to you. I did not ever foresee a time in my life where I was NOT primarily a set collector, not reading current DC Comics, and no longer caring about Star Wars...and yet all three of those things happened in the current decade.

    I have found switching my focus to be more on my projects of getting at least one card of every person to get one to be much more personally rewarding and fun...thanks to a trade that arrived today I got the NBA under 300 people missing, which is amazing to me. And getting into hockey has given me the feeling of awe and wonder I once had with the NBA and NASCAR before I got jaded and "have seen it all before".

    I still love the hobby, and I probably always will...I would not be putting so much effort into the Cardboard History Gallery if I didn't...but the change I never would have predicted is real.

    As long as you keep posting, I'll keep reading!

  5. New trading card blogger here. Just came across your blog. Good stuff! I also recently entered my collection in TCDB, so maybe we can make a trade sometime.

  6. A lot has changed for you (and me) the last 10 years. Other than being active on TCDB, getting married, and having a kid... there are definitely a few parallels in our lives. I once loved ripping wax... but now focus on specific cards. I too love Hawaii. And I barely build sets anymore. It's way cheaper and quicker to just buy them.

  7. Congrats on the close to 10 years! I too have always treated buying packs as if I'm playing the lottery. Even though you post less, I will still be around to read them...and keep up the A Pack to be Named Later posts!