Thursday, November 24, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving (or in Canada, Happy Thursday)
5. I am thankful that the card companies are all finally starting to wise up to the fact that the blogging community of card collectors are not going away. This past year, especially, the manufacturers have began paying attention to the blogs, listening to the suggestions of collectors and taking heed to the voice of the hobby. Many of them have established their own blogs in addition to taking advantage of Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media outlets that are available. It is a new age in card collecting and they are finally realizing they need to get out of the 80s. Although there are many things broken with the hobby, this is probably this biggest step in the right direction in many, many years.
4. I am thankful for (and you may chastise me as you wish) my local card shop. Although the brick and mortar store of old has become as rare as the blue footed booby, those of us fortunate to have one nearby (that being a relative term) still use it to our advantage. I have used my shop to meet other collectors, talk about the hobby, trade with collectors, increase my collection, and of course pick up those ever elusive supplies that I need almost too regularly. Despite the draw to buy online and save the money, I'm still old fashioned in that I like to see it, touch it, and open it right there amidst the glass cases of cardboard heaven.
3. I am thankful for the fact that it would appear, at least on the surface, that card redemption programs seem to be on their way out or at the very least, gearing for an overhaul. Although there are still many manufacturers that still put them into packs to the chagrin of us collectors, it seems they are getting less and less over the last three years. I'll clarify this by saying that my experience is 95% with hockey products and there are only two manufacturers since 2010-11 and only one since 2005. While I have had a better than average experience with getting the cards back from the manufacturers, we all know that many of you have not. Of course my biggest gripe has always been the expired redemptions. I'm not a "big hit" collector but there is nothing that bugs me more than pulling a redemption that could have been an auto or GU of someone highly collectible only to find out that they are sorry but they can't honor an expired redemption. But nonetheless, it seems it may be close to running it's course. We can only hope, right?
2. I am thankful that I have the privilege of being a Pittsburgh sports fan. Let's face it, we have some storied franchises in the Burgh that have great tradition and a long history of championship caliber competition. We have a 3 time Stanley Cup winning team currently with some of the best talent in all the NHL. These guys are young, highly skilled, well coached, and very entertaining to watch. They put a great product on the ice that continually sells out each and every night. We have a 6 time Super Bowl championship team that, at least right now, appears to be primed for at least another playoff run. They have been in the playoffs 26 times, most of which in my lifetime, won 20 division titles, and 8 conference championships. We also have a baseball team (originally I ended it there but...) who believe it or not, do have 5 World Series rings. Sure they haven't fielded a winning team since I was in middle school but that's no reason to fret. I have had an opportunity to see some great players come up through the ranks, developing into solid star players (for other teams). I have no ill feelings toward the Pirates though. It makes it easy to be a team collector when no one else out there wants anything to do with their cards.
1. Most of all, I am thankful for all the great people I have talked with, emailed, met, traded with, and interact with on an almost daily basis in this awesome hobby. The people that blog are some of the nicest, most grounded, down to earth people you will ever meet. Since starting this blog in 2009, I have grown my collection 10 fold and it is mostly due to the blogging community. Everyone is generous and eager to help other collectors out (I should follow their lead sometime when I grow up). I never thought that this hobby and blogging experience would amount to much other than a creative outlet for my compulsion (which it has) but it has also brought me some great friendships. I am glad I have carved out my own little piece of this great community of ours.
I encourage anyone else, both blogger and reader to share what they are thankful for in this hobby. If you have a blog and published a post like this already, put the link in the comments.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!
(unless of course you are in Canada then I say to you, Happy Thursday)