Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stage 2: Wanting the Cards

I mentioned in my earlier post that I had a few other baseball interests. I'd like to talk a little about one of those interests now.

In my route to baseball discovery I went through a few stages that I'm sure every baseball fan goes through, normally at a much younger age than myself however. These are the stages I went through:

1. Loving the Game (play, field, team)
2. Wanting the Cards (favorite players, teams)
3. Obsessed with the Numbers (scoring, stats)

I talked a little about Stages 1 and 3 in my first post, now I'd like to talk about Stage 2: Wanting the Cards.

Everybody knows about baseball cards. Most kids collected them if they had any interested in a ball team or player. Since I came into my baseball enjoyment later in life I never bought any cards as a kid. A few years back when I really gained an interest in baseball I figured, heck, I need cards for the guys on my favorite team, the Kansas City Royals. Talk about a can of worms. There were so blasted many card sets to choose from I didn't even know where to start! I looked online, I looked in card shops, but could never decide which cards I wanted to collect, so I never bought any. The selection was too diverse, or too expensive, or didn't have the players I wanted. I was frustrated. Why can't someone just print a set of baseball cards that has all the players for all the teams. Print one set at the beginning of the year with initial line-ups, then print a second set to update near the end of the year? I don't care about game-used jersey swatches, or chucks of a baseball bat, or dirt from the pitching mound. If someone does/did print one like that, I must have missed it. Am I alone in wanting a nice looking baseball card, with a large, clear picture of the player, some stats on the back, and reasonably priced? No way, I refuse to think I'm the only one who wants that.

Now, about this same time I got into my first rotisserie league. I'm pretty computer-literate, and like to think I have a decent eye for design, so I figured I would just MAKE my own baseball cards for the players on my rotisserie team since I couldn't seem to buy what I wanted. I built up a template, created a nice logo for my team, and proceeded to create them. While doing this I started to look around on the internet and found that I wasn't the only one creating custom cards. Goose Joak happened to be doing the same thing, albiet with a better design asthetic, and he was apparently a Royals fan also. I have lurked his blog for the better part of a year now. :)

My only stumbling block came when I decided, how cool would it be to have some of my custom cards signed by the players? Kind of a one-off fantasy baseball card set for just little ol' me. I decided that I didn't know the legality of using someone elses photos and presenting them to a ball player for an autograph, and scrapped the whole project.

So now I've come full circle on Stage 2. I still want baseball cards of the players on my team, and my fantasy team, I know that all the players I want will not have a card created for them for the 2010 season, and I don't know if I'll have the gumption to create them for myself. Even if all the players I want will have a card created, they will likely be from ump-teen different sets. Won't someone think of the casual baseball card collector like me who doesn't give a flip about jersey swatches and super-duper high-end collector sets? I'm not trying to make a fortune on old cards, I just want what I want. :)

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