Where have the last 5 years of my life gone? My father always told me, as I'm sure many of your fathers did, to enjoy youth, that the day would come that life would begin to go by so fast that you couldn't hold on to it. I know now what he meant.
I'll refrain from the usual exegesis on the relationship I have with my son. You guys already know the story. My life revolves around the antics of a soon to be 5 year old, the single most important thing that has ever happened to my wife and me. I've often joked that we should have named him Elmer. He's the glue in our family.
But, this is not intended to be a celebratory post. That will come in a few weeks with a look back at the short life of my kid.
This post is an invitation...
No, not to the party as I only have so much cake and ice cream to go around. This post is instead an opportunity to invite you to send your gifts now, if you'd like to. I've already had a few requests from readers via email asking for the address and I wanted to take the time to invite anyone else interested. If you are. Great. If you're not. Also, great. This is not panhandling for presents. It's simply an opportunity for someone, anyone, that would like to send a birthday gift. Trust me, he has a closet full of "too much" once again this year.
I want to explain here today some of the reasoning behind this invitation. Treasure Never Buried began for reasons twofold:
First, I started this blog as a medium to keep collector's who might find their way back to the hobby from leaving again and, second, as a means to chronicle the attempt to bring my son into collecting. Some days I feel that I've only been successful at the latter.
The history of our hobby is intricately linked with the future of our hobby. The collector's of yesterday will fail to maintain relevance in our world if we don't insure the timely entrance of new collector's into the fold. I think this is a sentiment shared across the board by readers and writers alike. I don't feel that the card companies have bought into this mentality completely just yet, or in the correct manner.
I feel about card companies in much the same way that SCU does about Beckett. They've both lost sight of the true meaning behind our hobby. It's all ran by businessmen who happen to own some cards, whereas I feel it use to be ran by collector's that happened to be businessmen.
I also feel it imperative that we find new and innovative ways to bring the next generation into the hobby. Card companies should be the leader in this drive to reestablish the hobby roots, not the follower.
Topps, are you listening? Throwback sets to the the '60's wont be bringing the kids back. It might bode well for the 40 year old collector's coming home but it won't bring the cell phone generation any closer to hobbydom. Upper Deck? Same for you. Utilize the Fleer brand name or sell it to someone who cares. Goudey doesn't count.
Listen to your customers and deviate from those things that we've all unanimously proclaimed as a threat to the future of the hobby. Scale back the relics, further short print the autos, and cut the variations in half. Don't send loaded boxes to Beckett. We're not stupid. We pay good money for your products, yet the market is so saturated that we can't possibly make a good enough return to sell anything and use the money to buy more of your products.
Suggestion? Conduct a panel with us, the card bloggers. We moderate the comments from readers every day that agree with our ideals about the state of the hobby. No, I'm not kidding. Seriously! Orchestrate a 1 hour conference call to be conducted at your leisure and invite the bloggers alone to join. Give us one hour of your time and we'll give you ten years worth of good ideas. If anyone has a contact at either of the two monopolies, please push this issue up the chain. I don't know of a single blog author that wouldn't schedule their time around this to make it happen.
But, back to the topic at hand. For those interested, Connor is a Ben 10, Transformers, Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Superhero fanatic. As far as sports go, he also loves anything Die Cut or printed as a Sticker.
I'm not asking anyone to send anything. I'm surely not asking anyone to go out and spend money if they do. I just know that a lot of us have old gimmick and non-sports stuff lying around that collects dust. I just happen to know a 4 year old that would help put some of this stuff to good use. This post is completely open ended and voluntary.
Everyone that contributes will receive a thank you package in the mail containing items as close to your interests as possible. All thank you packages will contain things from my personal collection, hand picked by Connor to show his gratitude.
If this idea takes off like I hope it will, you can expect a post typed by Connor with any pictures he wants to show you. If participation is minimal, we will be sending personalized emails to everyone that gets involved.
To Topps and Upper Deck, Donruss and TriStar, and to all of the card companies that enter the fray after the fact, I leave you with this...
If you won't do something about where the hobby is headed, then I will. No, I can't influence as many of the next generation as I would like. But, I can influence one little guy to get involved.
It's up to you, those responsible for propagating our hobby, to keep him there. I would love to hear your ideas. If you don't have any then I would love for you to hear ours.
Give me a call sometime...