Finally… A Voice of Sanity in the Wilderness

Earlier today Twitter was abuzz with comments about an article written by Jon Waterman of Community Gum fame. Go take a look at the site, there’s some great stuff on there.

Anyway, Jon’s article was called In Defense of Topps (and Panini) and I urge you to go and give it a read. Just click on the link embedded in the title and it’ll take you straight there!!

Jon gives us a refreshing take on Topps’ position in the marketplace (along with other card companies) by giving us a positive spin on the current state of the sports card industry.

He takes umbridge with all of the negative press that Topps has been getting from various media over the last few days/weeks, citing the inaccurate assumption that the ‘monopoly’ over licensed MLB cards that Topps has is somehow weakening or ruining the Baseball card industry. However, the main thing that struck me about Jon’s article was that it went against the grain of a lot of ‘popular’ opinion that currently floats across the web.

You see, it’s pretty obvious that Topps comes under a lot of criticism from various quarters, some of it justified but a lot of it completely unwarranted. With Topps standing out as the market leader in terms of Baseball card production, it’s incredibly easy to point at them and lay down the blame for all the ‘evils’ in the Hobby. We all get frustrated at times about collecting cards, and the internet, along with other social media, affords us the opportunity to ‘stick it to the man’ whenever we feel slighted from a collecting standpoint.

I’m just as guilty at this as anyone. After reading Jon’s article I went back and revisited my last blog entry from Monday of this week, What Is Missing From The Modern Baseball Card, and I realised that what I’d originally intended as an examination of why I was feeling divorced from collecting after returning back to the Hobby a couple of years ago, ended up being yet another exercise in Topps-bashing.

Rather than dealing with my own frustrations about card collecting – stemming from issues such as international shipping; a lack of available product in the UK; my inability to build a decent sized collection before getting impatient, pulling it apart and selling it on… only to repeat the same cycle ad infinitum, and so on – I went off on a tangent and started looking at my problems with the current 2013 Topps Baseball set. You see..?!? Topps’ fault again!

There are things that, as a collector, I don’t always like about Topps products – the infinite amount of parallels that are seeded throughout most of the their brands; the high-end releases that are usually out of the price range of the majority of collectors and which drive the ‘box-hit’ culture that we currently see in the Hobby; the configuration of their flagship Baseball release – but these are just my issues, things that I need to get past on my own. It’s imperative that we remember for everything that we feel Topps gets ‘wrong’, there are over a dozen things that it actually gets ‘right’. And it’s easy sometimes to forget that… easy to concentrate on all that we perceive as bad in the Hobby when we should also be celebrating all that’s good!!

And, believe it or not, there is a lot out there to smile about…

All it took was Jon Waterman to remind me of that fact, I just have to remember to keep reminding myself every once in a while! And kudos for taking a different stand on a worn out subject for a change.

For all this Jon, you have my gratitude…

And from now on I’ll try and dispense with some of the negativity and focus on the positives, trying to remember all the fun stuff that makes collecting Baseball cards so great in the first place!! If there’s something I don’t like I won’t shy away from it, but I’ll remember that there are ways and means in writing about it in a more constructive way!

Unless of course I can get a cheap laugh out of it, in which case…

2 thoughts on “Finally… A Voice of Sanity in the Wilderness

  1. Great article, and thank you for the kind words. The important thing that comes across from all sides is passion. The bashing comes from a place of love of the hobby, even if they’re misplaced emotions. My plea for understanding and presenting a business side was to also show love of collecting. As long as we remember that common thread, the hobby will be okay.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment Jon, and I couldn’t agree more about the ‘passion’ side of things!

    And passion for the Hobby can only come from a good place as far as I’m concerned. I guess it’s when the ignorance and obtuseness creep in that it moves away from the love of collecting to just plain mud-slinging.

    US sports card collecting in the UK is a very niche market, but those of us over here (and in the rest of the Europe) share the passion too. We have our own crosses to bear around getting hold of cards but I suppose if we didn’t love it so much we’d just simply stop.

    Part of the reason for me starting the blog last year was to create a home for us overseas collectors to sing our love of card collecting, and it’s good every now and again to remind myself of that fact.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s