I sit here roughly 16 months after starting ’30-Year Old Cardboard’ and I feel a little saddened. The guys that aided in my motivation to get back into the hobby of baseball card collecting are no longer around. And while they are not the sole reasons I got back into the hobby after a 14-year absence, they are undoubtedly a big part of the reason that ’30-YOC’ exists.
First to leave us was Charlie, from ‘Hawk to the Hall’. Charlie taught me how to take a player collection to the extreme. His dedication to Andre Dawson and collecting ‘The Hawk’s’ baseball cards inspired me to do the same. You can still catch him posting comments from time to time, but I miss having a collector to envy as he added new Dawson cards to his collection all of the time.
Then Dave, creator of Fielder’s Choice, left us. It feels like yesterday that this happened, but amazingly more than 6 months have passed since his last post. Dave was the ‘Go-To’ guy for me. I checked his blog multiple times a day and always felt like he was one of the best writers out there in this small, but tight-knit group. Dave’s dedication to Don Mattingly and the Tampa Bay Rays made his blog fun to follow and his box breaks picked up a pretty strong following.
And now, Mario has left the building too. Wax Heaven was the first baseball card blog I found. I was addicted quickly, and I am proud to say that I got to hang out with Mario on a few Florida Marlins themed occasions. He brought most of us together and inspired a majority of us to release our creative energy in this forum. Nobody will be able to replace what he has shared with all of us.
These 3 guys have left a permanent impression on me, my collecting habits, and my desire to play with this blog on a daily basis. As other blogs have shut down, I have removed them from my ‘Blogroll’. But not these 3 guys – they played too much of a role in my creating this site so I choose to honor them by keeping their links alive!!!
Luckily, I have found some pretty wonderful sources of entertainment in this blog-o-sphere to keep me going. Night Owl is a daily favorite of mine. Along with checking in on Alfredo to see what he is collecting. Zach is always posting autographs he has picked up which is fun to witness. And Uncle Moe is really busting through the 2008 Topps set in what may be the loftiest collecting goal any of us could dream of. I cannot forget about James and his Sports Locker or Dan and his OMG Autos too.
And lately, I have found new sources of inspiration too. Some new, and some not, these great blogs deserve a big pat on the back for their dedication as well. Orioles Card of the Day and Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame are great examples of team and player devotion. A Cardboard Problem is always fun as is GCRL!!!
I’m kind of rambling, but I want to close with this:
Blogging is and should only be a hobby. Unless you’re getting paid a nice salary from doing this, try your hardest to keep it as a fun part of your life. The minute your blog begins to feel like a chore and not an extension of your collecting, take a break. I have seen some great blogs shut down, and many of them did so due to burnout. If you feel like you’re heading in that direction, take a day off, or even a few days. Recharge your batteries a little. Spend time doing other things you enjoy. The cards will always be there, and so will your fellow readers!!!
I leave you with this. A picture of Dave, Mario, and I at a Spring Training game in Ft. Lauderdale this past March. Dave was in town with his wife during Spring Break and we had a great time together, even though the game was canceled due to rain.
Keep the blogs alive!!!