Sunday, June 29, 2008

AngryChris


On Saturday, Chemgod, the author of the awesomely titled blog, Awesomely Bad Wax Packs, not only showed gratitude for my post, “The Card”, but took it a step further and wrote his own post about the role that his father played in his introduction into the hobby in 1978. It’s a great read and definitely worth your time. Great story, Chem!

Once I realized that Chemgod had linked to me, I made it a point to go and read his post and to leave some feedback when I was finished. I wasn’t prepared for what would come next.

I’ve yet to learn the “who’s who” of the card blogging world. I’ve met a lot of you and with many I’ve become pretty good friends. The following individual is new to me. Maybe some of you know him from around the horn but I have never heard of him.

Shortly after I left my comment at Awesomely Bad Wax, someone by the name of “AngryChris” did the same. Chris has some pretty opinionated views on the state of the hobby. Before you read this comment, you have to understand that while I DO consider this a personal attack, I DO NOT take offense to it. I just happen to be an opinionated person myself and, against Gellman’s better judgement, I’ve decided to do some “respondin.” I’ll explain after you’ve read AngryChris’ comment. This comment has been posted “as is” from Awesomely Bad Wax. I have not edited any portion of the comment:

AngryChris said:

I have to say, I am getting tired of reading about all the memories people have attached to their cards. People that are bringing children into this hobby with an expectation of it being the same hobby it was in the 90’s, is ridiculous. You know what? That hobby is dead, and it is never coming back, and yet people have a very hard time coming to terms with that. I dont like reading Treasure Never Buried because I dont think people should be living their glory days through baseball cards. Yeah, he is a good writer, but ill tell you, he doesnt tackle anything that is relevant in today’s hobby. Its all relevant to your childhood where people collected base cards with their dad. In fact, that is a common thread ’round certain hobby blogs, where people only blog about 1995 score packs and buying cheap hits off of eBay.

BOOORRRRING. Give me some quality writing like on TNB, but instead of blogging about old stories, give me a site where they tackle more of the most important things that collectors face each day. How about stuff like fake patches and getting screwed over by Topps redemption replacements on a daily basis? How about busting 300 bucks worth of boxes and getting 15 bucks in eBay value back? For this reason, I read Wax Heaven because Mario touches on some of these things. I also read Sports Cards Uncensored because Gellman touches on it more than anyone, but I think people are still holding back.

Here is what I mean: Instead of telling stories and busting old packs, do some good for your collecting bretheren who actually spend money in this hobby. You guys are the voices, so crack the effing whip with people like Beckett, Topps and UD! Dont continue to try and fit into their cookie cutter molds. If you want to yell and swear like Gellman, do it! If you want to bash on Topps and their gimmicks like Mario, DO IT! Dont write to be published on Beckett’s blog or in some magazine published by people that know crap about this industry. That is not what collectors need from the people who have the power to change things for us the silent.

Just for that, I may have to start my OWN blog, just to make sure that I counteract all the lovey dovey BS that goes on in TNB and this site.”

WOW! I didn’t see that coming!! First and foremost, I can’t see how ANYONE would have a problem with ANYONE ELSE posting a story about their father and how he affected their card collecting addiction. But, that’s not why I’m writing tonight. I don’t intend to ask questions as much as I intend to answer them. But, don’t worry, once I’m finished talking, I have a few questions of my own.

People that are bringing children into this hobby with an expectation of it being the same hobby it was in the 90’s, is ridiculous. You know what? That hobby is dead, and it is never coming back, and yet people have a very hard time coming to terms with that.”

I couldn’t agree with you more, Chris. My son and I recently opened a box of 1990 Topps. I’m usually not a naive person but for some reason I took “sealed” in the eBay description literally. The last pack I opened had maybe 5 cards in it. Hmmm, could a pack searcher have pulled my Frank Thomas’ and Griffey’s prior? Yup.

Personally, I’m not attempting to “bring back” the hobby of my childhood. It’s too much fun the way it is today! I’ve pulled over 75 autographs from packs in the last year alone. I have only TWO that I received in person in almost 29 years. I have to disagree that “that” hobby is dead, though.

It may dead to you and to me, but to my 4 year old, he’s sorting through cards he’s never seen before. You have NO idea what it feels like to watch someone find a 1996 Topps Laser or a 1993 Stadium Club for the first time. I just can’t see where it’s “wrong” to introduce my kid to where it all began for me. But as far as having “a very hard time coming to terms with that”…not this guy…

he doesnt tackle anything that is relevant in today’s hobby.” and “I dont like reading Treasure Never Buried”

Chris, I’m under the impression that you HAVEN’T read Treasure Never Buried. Check these out and get back to me:

Watch Out Beckett! Someone’s Finally Got The Right Idea

Lawsuits and Baseball

Why Should Kids Start Collecting?

Impossible or Improbable?

Do You Think Retail Value Packs are “Searchers” Left Overs?

Pack Searchers - Part Deux - Boxes, Cases and Beyond

But most importantly, if you read none of these, at least read this last one. If this doesn’t fit your mold of “relevance” I don’t know what to tell you other than TNB must not be what you’re looking for. It’s pretty long winded but I feel like this might help you to change some of your opinions about TNB…

The Voice Of The Collector

How about stuff like fake patches and getting screwed over by Topps redemption replacements on a daily basis? How about busting 300 bucks worth of boxes and getting 15 bucks in eBay value back?”

I would love to expose these issues but, honestly, Chris, I”ve never personally had a problem with any of them. I’ve never even heard of “fake patches”. The one redemption I pulled actually ended up here as promised (it was from Upper Deck, not Topps, so I don’t know that it applies.) $300 bucks on boxes? $15 return? Dude, what are you buying? I’ve never had anything worse than losing half. But, I’ve ALWAYS recouped it somewhere down the line in another box.

You guys are the voices, so crack the effing whip with people like Beckett, Topps and UD! Dont continue to try and fit into their cookie cutter molds. If you want to yell and swear like Gellman, do it! If you want to bash on Topps and their gimmicks like Mario, DO IT! Dont write to be published on Beckett’s blog or in some magazine published by people that know crap about this industry. That is not what collectors need from the people who have the power to change things for us the silent.

Now, Chris, do you know what ticks me off the most about this statement?

“us the silent”

Who’s fault is that, Chris? What have YOU done about the issues you’re having with the hobby? How many times have you called the Upper Deck/Topps/Beckett etc hotline and spoke up about the things you see wrong. If you have done these things and you’re still not satsified, then my next question is, “why are you still collecting?”

I’ll tell you why, Chris. It’s just easier for you to rely on “the people who have the power to change things” for YOU the silent. It’s not my fault, it’s not Chemgod’s fault, it’s not anyone’s fault if you have unresolved issues that you haven’t done YOUR part to correct.

As far as writing “to be published on Beckett’s blog” I can assure you that it was the least of my intentions when I wrote it and it’s not on my agenda to do again in the future. I couldn’t care less about what you or ANYBODY in the blogosphere, for that matter, thinks about me being featured at Beckett. It wouldn’t matter to me if Better Homes and Gardens wanted to print something I wrote. Where do I sign? That should be the goal of ANY aspiring writer, to have their work published somewhere, anywhere.

Furthermore, and this is a question for ALL OF YOU reading this, “what is your gripe with Beckett?” You don’t like it, don’t buy it. From everything that I can gather in one year of being back in the hobby NOBODY uses it anyways. Am I wrong? When was the last time that you bought something and paid “Book Value” for it. When was the last time you sold something under the same circumstances? Why pay Beckett if you’re not going to use it?

Or, are you even using Beckett? If you’re not, then why do you care what they do. Want to know what your cards are worth? Let me help you:

1 pack of cards = $4.00

8 cards per pack

1 card = .50 cents

I don’t care who you pulled. I don’t care if there is an auto in the pack, a game used or a 1/1 printing plate. It’s all worth .50 cents apiece. Go have fun on eBay. Beckett is officially out of a job because there’s the friggin’ answer to the question.

Me personally, I swear by Beckett. I don’t care how stupid that may sound to some of you. The first thing I do after busting packs is to go and load all of my cards in the Beckett Online Price Guide Collections. Beckett has always been my first reference. It probably always will be. I don’t care if you disagree.

It seems to me that the general consensus is to jump on anyone that doesn’t “smear” Beckett every chance they get. I have and I will call Beckett out anytime I feel like it. But, Beckett is struggling to find some semblance of order in the hobby just like all of us are. Everyone reading this that has a problem with Beckett has a problem with Beckett because it’s not what it used to be. Which denotes to me that at one point you DID look to Beckett for guidance.

Name me ten of the top “gripes” about the hobby today…. Now name me 3 “gripes” that were circulating in the hobby when you “liked” Beckett…. Now tell Beckett how to fix it.

You don’t like Beckett, come up with a better plan and then put them out of business. Otherwise, stop using them or figure out a way to help them get a better handle on what the hobby is today.

I think it’s just easier / cooler to say Beckett is evil… More power to you…

Just for that, I may have to start my OWN blog, just to make sure that I counteract all the lovey dovey BS that goes on in TNB and this site.”

Please do. I promise I’ll bookmark it and you can expect multiple hits from me per day. Every day. Until the very last day of your blog I’ll be reading. Even if I leave the hobby and you’re still writing 10 years from now, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I am very curious as to what you have to say on how you’re going to fix the hobby.

To paraphrase your comment, the voice equals the power. All it takes is a voice, right? Chris, don’t go silent any longer. By all means, dive in and show us the way.

I’m not angry. I don’t take offense to the statements made about my blog. But I wasn’t kidding in the Voice of the Collector when I said, if you don’t like it, fix it or quit giving them your money. It’s as simple as that.

What you permit you promote, Chris. If you’re not going to do anything about the problems you see in the hobby, you’re slinging a silent yes in their direction. You can fix it, Chris. But, first you’ve got to start with you.

Until then, you can go back to letting me worry about me. If you need me I’ll be busting some awesomely bad wax.

10 comments:

Dayf said...

June 29, 2008 at 3:59 am e

AngryChris is angry.

Of course I just had my own meltdown on Gellman so I probably should check myself :)

You’re doin’ great stuff. keep it up.

Cliff said...

June 29, 2008 at 5:05 pm e

I just discovered your blog recently and personally I like your stories. Collecting baseball cards is all about the love of baseball. And baseball has always had a strong feeling of nostalgia. I wasn’t a big baseball fan when I was a kid, but one of my most powerful memories from my childhood, is my first live baseball game, when I was about 8 years old. So keep writing about that sort of stuff. Oh, and keep expressing your opinion about the hobby as well.

Dave said...

June 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm e

Yeah, Angry Chris is totally classless for ranting like that on Awesomely Bad Wax Packs and attacking you personally. I hope that you (and ChemGod) didn’t get too upset because you both have many more fans than detractors. I have some simple advice for Angry Chris. If you don’t like the baseball card hobby the way that it is today, then don’t buy any cards. The card companies exist to make money. If people stop buying what they’re selling, then things will change. And if there’s a blog that you don’t like, just don’t read it. Don’t waste your time. Just read the blogs that you enjoy or start your own. If you do, I’ll be one of the first people to comment. I’ll be sure to mention how BOOORRRRING it is and how much I prefer blogs like Treasure Never Buried and Awesomely Bad Wax Packs :)

Gellman said...

June 30, 2008 at 9:17 am e

Like I said, I wouldnt respond to anything that “Angry Chris” has said. I dont think it gets you anywhere. People will make opinions on their own, and if he says he doesnt like you, well fine - its not the end of the world. I say this because Im sure he made enough enemies on his own just by writing that, and if you spotlight all his BS, then all it makes you look like is someone trying to right a wrong that doesnt need to be righted.

Either way, for me, to see you sort of “break character” on your blog is kind of disappointing. Whereas before, everything was kind of wax nostaligic - pun intended - and now, you have sort of dropped that for a moment to rag on some commenter from another site.

Im sure you had your reasons for posting this, but as you said, I dont recommend it. It will only make things worse.

Matt said...

June 30, 2008 at 11:07 pm e

Great post. Dude, collect for the fun, not the business. I’m still pumped when I get a Ken Griffey Jr base card in whatever it is I’m opening. This is not an investment business for me. You know what I do for money? I work. It’s a hobby. When I was a kid I wasn’t buying $300 packs hoping to make money off of it, or get return on my investment. I dont have a blog or anywhere to post on this, but I’ve been really wanting to say it. Personal opinion: I think buying $300 packs or even $150 packs is insane. I would only do that if I KNEW I was getting something at least worth that amount inside and I KNEW I was going to resell on ebay. Now I’m like you, I love the way the hobby is now. I got a box of Donruss Elite 08 Football the other day and pulled an Auto from James Hardy I believe is his name. Do I know who he is? Nope. Is it awesome? YES! That’s an autograph from a guy in the NFL who has far more athletic ability than me, and the fact that he is in the elite league of his sport impresses the mess out of me. So I cased it up and set it aside from the rest. Now my father never understood the hobby, and always fussed at me for spending my money. I on the other hand, will very much involve my kids. Sit them down and watch them open packs. Heck, I got my fiance in on it, and watching her open a pack of Donruss Prestige and get a Matt Flynn rookie (however worthless it is), made her very happy as we have watched him play at LSU and are big fans. That’s what it’s about. If you’re coughing up silly money on packs and getting no hits (in your mind), that’s your thing. I’ll continue to get on ebay and buy up your ‘worthless’ hits of the players I like, and enjoy finding my favorite players. Not big money cards. I enjoy reading this blog a lot because you say what I think most of the time. Keep up the good work and forget that guy.

Dave said...

June 30, 2008 at 11:56 pm e

I’d be interested in your James Hardy auto, Matt, if you are interested in trading it. I don’t have any football cards to trade, but plenty of baseball. Click on the link to my blog and then click the ‘About Me’ page to email me if you’d be willing to talk about trading it.

Patricia said...

July 1, 2008 at 12:43 am e

What Matt said.

Matt Lange said...

July 1, 2008 at 9:55 am e

Dave, I’ll consider it. Let me see if I can my hands on some autos from some guys I know and like first. Call me a kid, but it’s hard to part with ink on card for me…..for now that is. Got any Griffey’s? He is my fav.

Harner said...

July 1, 2008 at 5:26 pm e

I am so glad that Beckett featured you because you are one helluva writer my friend. And while this is a response to some idiot, it actually shines light on what this hobby should be: whatever you want it to be. I enjoyed this post because it’s true.

I can’t say I don’t enjoy the business side of things in this hobby, but my PCs are more important than any amount of money any of my cards sell for. Continue writing how you are on here and I think you’ll have more satisfied readers than you’ll have disgruntled ones.

Tony - The Football Card Blog said...

July 1, 2008 at 11:28 pm e

Great post.