Who am I? What am I doing here? A blog, really? I don't have an iPhone and barely use Twitter. I still own (and wear) shirts I had in college (Ed. note: I haven't been in college in over a decade). Am I really ready for a blog? Can I handle the strain and responsibility that comes long with the blogosphere? Who knows. But you're not here to learn about my personal life and emotional well-being. If you are, well, I am sorry to disappoint you. I'd rather like to keep you around beyond one blog post. After all, this is a blog created for baseball cards and about baseball cards.
So, rather than tell you who I am as it relates to card collecting, I prefer to tell you who I am not...at least for starters. I'm not a heavy hitter with loads of pristine vintage cardboard. I've never bought a hobby box or a case. I don't pack search. Rather, I still buy almost exclusively retail. When I go to a card show, a $10 purchase is a huge, HUGE commitment. A "hit" for me usually involves pulling a favorite player or a neat insert.
As is the case with the rest of my life, I'm a simple person who takes pleasure in simple things. I love this hobby for its freedom and simplicity. And for intrinsic stuff. Like the memories that are attached to the hobby for me personally. Like hounding my mom to drive me to Caldor to buy another 1990 Topps blister pack. Or getting royally ripped off in trades time after time by my buddy Chris -- but not caring because the card I got had an awesome play at the plate photo. Building and comparing 'dream teams' out of our cards with my friends Neil and Brian. Smelling that new cardboard smell after opening a fresh pack of 1989 Topps. Dreaming of getting another Will Clark card.
Oh yeah! Will Clark.
You're probably wondering why he is my so-called cover star in this seminal post. I mean, like, you know, I'm a Mets fan and all. Right, I get it. Well, for whatever reason, Will Clark was my first baseball hero. Couldn't tell you exactly why. Maybe it was the snarl on his face, which graced a good number of his cards. His bulldog attitude between the lines. Or his awesome batting stance and sweet lefty swing. Maybe I just liked this card a lot?
Truth be told, this isn't even my favorite Will Clark card (the 1989 Topps is my fave of his, with the 86 in close pursuit). But, I had to include the '88 to tie into the title of my blog. As you may well know, the little blurbs on the backs of most 1988 Topps cards had the "THIS WAY TO THE CLUBHOUSE" as their title. I gotta admit, that baffled the hell out of me as an eight year old. This way to the clubhouse? With little hands with little fingers pointing towards the right edge of the card. Where? Huh? (On a similar note, it was a few years before I also grasped the road sign "Wrong Way". I once said to my mom, How do they know where we're going? She just rolled her eyes.)
On a side note, the '88 design is one of my most beloved, but not my favorite by a long shot. That designation belongs to one design and one design only: 1989 Topps. I can assure you I will have plenty of entries dealing with that set and particular cards in the future.
I can't promise you that my blog entries will always be brilliant or make you smile, laugh or sneeze. But, after reading and enjoying all the wonderful blogs around the 'net, I was inspired and figured that the worst I could do was never give it a whirl.
So, there you go. Entry No. 1 in the books, and no animals were harmed. I look forward to blogging with you all soon. Enjoy the hobby and God Bless!