Monday, December 8, 2008

Sports Card Fun Essay Contest Results

I submitted an essay to Sports Card Fun's most recent essay contest, "My favorite type of baseball cards to collect are __________ (fill in the blank) and here's why." Now that the contest is over (and no, I didn't win), I thought I'd post my essay here on Green Monster. Congratulations to the winner, Andrew Algava (aka aacard). His essay, though chosen by random drawing, was well written. I also like the sounds of his "oddball cards" collection. In some ways, I'm happy that a collector whose collection is a little bit outside of the, set, team, player collection mainstream won and got to share his unique passion. If you get a chance, take a few minutes and read some of the non-winning essays. There are some good ones in the bunch. Thanks to Darcy at Sports Card Fun for yet another great essay contest. I look forward to the next one.

As promised, here's my essay - those of you who have been reading Green Monster since the beginning (all three weeks ago) will notice some familiar themes.

My favorite type of baseball cards to collect are Topps base sets, and here's why.

I'm a history geek. There's just something that fascinates me about people and events that happened long ago. I love understanding the hows and whys behind the past and being able to make connections to current times. To me, Topps base sets are like a baseball history lesson in cardboard format. They are an archive of every baseball season since 1950 - the record breakers, the all-stars, the rookies. Topps base sets are also the only place where you can fins cards for many players. I've never been one to gravitate towards the high profile stars. Rather, my favorites have always been the gritty, lesser-known role players. These are not the types of players who are immortalized with shiny, autographed, serial numbered, game used, tri-color shoe string cards. Most of these players are only featured on a handful of cards a year. Topps base set is always one of those handful of cards.

Then again, I'm sure that most of the reason that I'm partial to Topps base sets is nostalgia. Some of the first cards I collected were 1983 Topps. I remember stopping with my Mom and Dad at the neighborhood convenient store after church on Sundays. There would always be a half-full wax box of Topps cards on the counter and every Sunday I'd plunk down a few quarters and walk out with a couple of packs. I collected Topps cards straight through to 1992 when cars and high school girls became more important. And when I came back to the hobby last year, I skipped right over the shiny chromes and the boxes guaranteeing a game used card and went right for the packs of Topps base cards. Just like I used to all those years ago. It just cost me a few more quarters.

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