30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Unpopular Hobby Opinions

Over the summer, I watched a Youtube video titled Unpopular Opinions Book Tag and instantly thought about applying it to our hobby.  The problem is that I'm one of those collectors who enjoys just about everything related to sports cards.

That's why I sat on this post for a few months.  And over time... I slowly accumulated five opinions about this hobby that might not exactly be popular with everyone out there.  Let's just remember that the greatest thing about our hobby is the fact that each and every one of us has our own way of collecting. and I'm in know trying to press my point of view onto others.

With that being said... let's take a look at some of my hobby opinions that might not sit well with most of you guys...

Topic #1:  Blaster Boxes

As a collector on a very fixed budget... I find these a complete waste of money.  Do I buy them?  Yes.  But that's only because I'm so addicted to cardboard.

Topic #2:  Magnetics

Among my friends who collect cards, I'm the only one who doesn't use these.  They look cool.  They're easy to open and close.  And they definitely do their job... which is to protect.  Unfortunately... in terms of my collection... they take up way too much space.

Topic #3:  Portrait Photographs

If I ever became an editor at Topps, my first agenda would be to use nicely cropped action shots and make sure that no arms, legs, or heads were chopped off in the process.

Topic #4:  Supporting Card Shops

I know.  I know.  I'm the sports card devil.  But it all boils down to money and I rarely ever buy singles, sets, packs, or boxes from my local card shop.  They're just way too expensive compared to my wholesaler, online shops, flea market vendors, or eBay.

Every now and then, I'll throw them a bone and purchase supplies from them.  But I've got to admit... now that my buddy has an account at a wholesaler... even those days are few and far between.

Topic #5:  Non-Vintage Base Cards

I might as well kick the hornet's nest, because I'm sure this opinion is sure to annoy some folks.  But it's the way I feel.  Outside of the teams and players I collect... and the occasional interesting or unique photograph used... non-vintage base cards are pretty much low man on the totem pole for me.  You'll rarely see me buying a 2015 Topps base card (unless I'm building the set or team set), when there are so many other things like... oddballs, autographs, parallels, 90's inserts, relics, and vintage cards out there to purchase.

Well... there you have it.  I told you ahead of time that they weren't going to be popular.  Hopefully this didn't upset you to the point where you're removing me from your blogroll.  Instead... why don't you even the score and...

Leave some of your unpopular hobby opinions down below.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. Good piece. A card shop by me had mostly the same stale cards under glass for years. As for new cards, I got overwhelmed by the magnitude of choices. All I collect now is golf cards for my grandson. And I do it on ebay...
    Peace, the smg

  2. With hockey, Panini did a better job across all price points than Upper Deck.

  3. Nice post Fuji. I am with you on three out of five. Fortunately I have an awesome LCS with an owner who understands real world prices. Also, I use magnetic holders ;-)

    1. Same 3 out of 5 for me. Good LCS but too far to make it a regular thing. I can get oddballs, etc there. I really like magnetics but limit them to the best cards I have. I haven't bought a new card except for the 2015 mini box primarily for the 1975 style inserts.

  4. I've been a card Scrooge in general for all of 2015 so none of your opinions offend me. I've been down on all new cards. I do agree particularly on the blasters which for you ties in to your topic #5. I've purchased zero blasters this year and just a smattering of packs. One of my white whales is currently on ebay so maybe I'll splurge and hopefully win that. You'll all know if I do. I did notice your "additions" on #3. Funny!

  5. Man, I just bought one of those Mega Boxes or whatever they are. The $14.99 ones? Complete waste of $15. I have a hard time forking over $15 on a card I would love, but then hand it over easily for a crappy blaster.

    1. "I have a hard time forking over $15 on a card I would love, but then hand it over easily for a crappy blaster"

      I have to admit, that's me right there.

  6. As a team/player collector, there is literally no monetary reason whatsoever to buy unopened packs of cards. If one is completely disciplined about their collecting, buying packs is a complete waste of money.

    Of course, it's tons of fun and the thrill of the hunt and all that, but I have bought very very few packs this year.

    1. yeah, I'm a team/player collector too. I bust packs 'so you don't have too.' ;)

  7. My unpopular hobby opinion is that people tend to think the cards they have are more valuable than they actually are and that people tend to think the cards they don't have aren't as a valuable as they actually are.

    Also, it's also the fault of vintage baseball cards for why our hobby is so obsessed with monetary value as it is today. If vintage baseball cards were worthless (monetarily) then this hobby never would've become an investment for some.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. My good man, I know why vintage cards are valuable. And I also know why certain cards are more valuable than others.

      But my comment was meant to poke fun at how cards are supposedly valuable in the first place when I wonder if they should be. (IE I want every card, especially the ones I want, to be cheap lol).

    3. It's all artificial values, right? People who collect model trains and teapots have created economies around those as well. In the end, I apply a lesson I learned in my life as an artist - "It's worth what someone will pay."

    4. Sorry I misread your comment Zippy, Zappy. No offense intended. My bad.

  8. I don't use magnetics either. Way too expensive compared to regular old top loaders and penny sleeves. Besides, I have heard stories about very valuable cards being damaged by magnetics. Screw-downs are even worse..

  9. I feel like a voice in the wilderness when I say I'm not interested in...
    1) Minis
    2) Pre-WWII cards, especially tobacco sets
    3) Collecting multiple parallels of the same card
    4) Spending more than a couple of bucks on any autograph

  10. I am with you on all of your topics, besides my Championship boxes I use to predict the Super Bowl I think I bought 1 blaster. I would rather use the money to buy singles of the players I collect. I don't use magnetics outside of a couple of cards I have on display and I do not have a LCS nearby for me even to support.

  11. Topps / Panini Gotta actually treat the "Customer" with respect. eg Redemptions / Reward Points. It's a joke at present

  12. 1. Yes, blasters are a waste of money -- except if you're just starting to collect a set, they give you a good amount of cards to kick the whole thing off. That's the only time I buy blasters.
    2. Magnetic holders are for people who "display" their collection. I don't do card "displays," so they're meaningless to me.
    3. You've got a newspaper layout guy commenting, so I hear you on photo cropping. Do it right or GTFO.
    4. If card shops can't adapt, it's their own damn fault -- this the old argument about how people buy Panini because they think the hobby needs competition. It does need competition, but don't buy crap to prove your point.
    5. You're wrong, base cards are glorious. Treat them with respect and then maybe I won't have to sift through inserts I don't care about in every pack. SET COLLECTORS RULE!

    P.S.: I'm with shlabotnikreport, I just can't get myself to get as excited about pre-WWII cards as everyone else is.

  13. Guess mine would be Topps flagship. What happened to the days of the 90's. Product doesn't have the same feel for football or baseball. Same feel could possibly have two meanings as the base cards are printed paper thin now as well.

    I agree with you on 1,2, 3. I wished I had a card shop to see other collectors but can't say I would go there to buy boxes as shops cost much more but I have spoiled shops in the past when on vacay. AS for base cards, I collect sets but there are some that I don't bother with but I still do my players with those. Helps build up the numbers. Of course if base were done late 90's style I may increase my base want.

  14. 1. I've pretty much stopped buying these. This year I've maybe bought 3 and two were Stadium Club in order to work on the set.

    2. I'm a huge fan of these....probably too much so. I do have an area to display some of my nicer cards so they are being utilized.

    3. 100% agree

    4. I don't have a card shop or a local card show. My collection is pretty much all made up of eBay and trades.

    5. I'm still a fan of base cards. Being a child of the junk wax era made me appreciate them.

    A few more....
    I'm not much of a fan of the mini card.
    I like some of the Panini sets. /hides so no one can throw stuff at me

  15. Hummm Lets see..
    - Sometimes I just want the cards with the pretty boys. Forget the name, team, the weather, whatever. I want the pretty ones.
    - I just wish that shipping from US to my country wouldn't cost me more than the pack or box itself. That or that the companies would release their products in Europe..

  16. I buy blasters when they're the best deal on a ¢/card basis. After I get too many dupes, I stop. The stupidest part of blasters is the "...and one extra pack". If it's not a special insert, or a seperate pack of parallels, it's not an extra pack. Just put the total count on there. You aren't fooling anyone.

    My most unpopular concept: I don't care about rookie prospects! I avoid Bowman and minor league issues. And I get annoyed that the last few cards I need to complete a set are the hot prospects that are somehow impossible to pull from packs.

    Secondly - I don't collect shiny! Have never tried for a set of Chrome anything. They're too expensive per pack and no one sells or trades starter lots.

    Third - Don't believe in graded cards. The only graded cards I have are T205s. Grading is good for buying sight unseen, but the pricing shouldn't be anywhere near what it usually is.
    A Gem Mint 10 card should never be worth more than full book on the raw version. Populations are irrelevant. I see auction results in magazines and am amazed at what people will spend. (Who are these millionaires buying 9.5 Mantles or $35 Pete Rose cards for $6500?)

  17. Wow. Haven’t received so many comments on one of my posts since the summer contest days. Absolutely love the interaction. This comment is so long that I actually considered dedicating a post to it. But I’m too lazy.

    the sewingmachineguy - I dove into golf cards a few years ago when Tiger was hot. One of my favorite pieces in my collection is an Arnold Palmer autograph I pulled back in 2004.

    buckstorecards - Wish I could comment on this particular opinion, but I haven’t really opened hockey in a few years. However back in the day, Upper Deck was definitely my favorite hockey card company.

    shoeboxlegends & steve - That’s awesome. If I had a decent LCS who could compete with online prices, I’d definitely give them my business. The interaction alone is worth 5%.

    Hackenbush - Best of luck on catching that whale. And thanks… I found a site dedicated to adding comic strip bubbles. You’ll definitely see more of that in the future.

    The Lost Collector - Sorry buddy. There is value in the entertainment of actually ripping into packs, but for me it doesn’t equate to the Jackson I’m handing over to the cashier.

    Tony L. - My thoughts exactly. Starting to look like my opinion on blasters isn’t exactly unpopular.

    Zippy Zappy and Hackenbush - Over the years, I’ve become a realist and typically do some research before assessing how much I’ll pay for cards. With that being said, I see your point and definitely know dealers who think their cards are only worth top dollar. It’s almost like a defense mechanism built into collectors to help them justify spending their hard earned money on pieces of cardboard with photographs on them.

    Need More Cardboard - Back in the 90’s, I worked at a card shop and remember this guy who brought in a wooden box filled with one inch screwdowns held inside little felt bags. He had some very high end vintage cards, but unfortunately had not used penny sleeves. Can’t remember if they stuck or not, but I know that it was pretty common for the cards to stick to the lucite.

    shlabotnikreport - Although I wouldn’t say I’m a super collector of anything you listed, I have to admit that I have purchased at least one of everything you listed in the past year.

    Corky - Most of the time, I just can’t get into blasters. However… if you’ve found a way to make busting a box fun, that’s definitely worth something in itself.

    MJ Heap - I have mixed feelings on card company customer service. Most of the time, it isn’t positive… however every now and then, they go out of their way to take care of the people who put food on their plates.

    night owl - Lol. I stole a line from Remember the Titans that I use with my students. “I don’t care if you like each other right now, but you will respect each other”. I’m definitely down with the “Set Collector Clan”. And I respect non-vintage base cards… I just don’t like them (unless they’re part of my player/team collections).

    Sport Card Collectors - Normally, I’d agree with you… but the 2015 Topps flagship design made me rethink my position on their designs. It’s the first set since 2008 where I actually wanted to build a hand collated set.

    Matthew Scott - I’m a child of the Junk Wax Era myself. But I think it had the exact opposite affect on me. As for your support for Panini, I understand it. But once again we’re on opposite sides of the fence. The MLB needs to be peacemakers and give them a license. That way we can both support them and live happily ever after.

    Ana Lu - Pretty boys? Yeah… we’ll have to agree to disagree. However… I completely support you on the international shipping opinion.

    GCA - Yeah that extra pack thing is pretty ridiculous. I with you on rookie prospects. I enjoy collecting rookie cards, but prospecting isn’t my thing. As for graded cards… I get in “graded” moods, where I like them for vintage cards. But you’re absolutely correct… most of the time they’re way overpriced for what they’re actually worth.

  18. 1 blaster boxes: guilty of purchasing
    2 magnetics: nice but take up too much space in my collection
    3. Photos: I think of 80s Fleer. Doesn't get much worse. Crop and center!
    4. LCS: I don't have a great one nearby. The closest LCS has the same stuff, always. Fading cards sitting under glass and light for much too long. I miss my Dallas LCS. Much better than ebay! These days, most of my cards are picked up from COMC, or ebay lots and an annual card show.
    5. Base cards: I don't by Bowman and rarely care for Flagship Topps. This year's mini set is a rare exception. I do enjoy my team sets and players from most base offerings. I also collect some catchers, and players making an incredible play.
    I truly enjoy vintage cards, more because of the old uniforms and some are like pieces of art to me. beautiful old art.

    thought provoking post Fuji! a great opportunity to share opinions!

    1. COMC, eBay, and card shows are the way to go (IMHO)... b/c you're hand picking cards for your collection. 80's Fleer is bad. But to be fair... are there really any sets from the 80's that feature a high percentage of well cropped and centered action shots? I was digging through my 1987 Topps set today for tomorrow's post and found less than 15 in the entire 792 card set.

  19. 1.) It's extremely rare that I can justify a full-priced blaster, but I'm down for certain discounted ones like Allen & Ginter and (sometimes) Panini Prizm. I also had an epic run of Topps Winter Olympics last summer where autos outnumbered relics 5-4 (including one each #'ed /50, /30, & /15), and also pulled both an auto and relic of the one person I wanted most (Meryl Davis). So I don't mind them, but full price = hard pass.

    2.) I only use magnetic holders for my very best cards (and a few borderline bests that are too thick for binder pages).

    3.) 100% agree.

    4.) I desperately want decent cards shows and/or flea markets again, but I just can't do card shops, man. Too much for my non-existent social interaction tolerance/skillz.

    5.) Aside from high end, I also completely agree on this. I just like random bling too much to devote any effort to modern base cards.

  20. My own additions...

    1.) Topps has had a pretty solid couple years, and I don't openly dislike them as much as I used to. Buuuuut... I like Panini way more than Topps, and I don't think that will ever change. Going back through Donruss and all the way to when Pinnacle was its own operation, that lineage has always been the home to the most fun I've ever had as a collector.

    2.) Knowing number one, it should go as no surprise that the lack of logos on baseball cards don't bother me at all (which is interesting, because I didn't really like it when I was little). The only annoying thing for me is when it's blatantly obvious they're trying to hide them. Like, just own it, guys.

    3.) I'm over tobacco card-sized minis (framed minis and some pre-WWII OGs are still groovy though). I keep what I like (and I'll still pop for a rare one), but they aren't official parts of any of my player collections anymore, and a frankenset is never gonna happen.

    4.) I don't dislike it by any means, but I'm also not nearly as crazy in love with vintage as most bloggers seem to be. Outside of notable RCs and a few iconic cards, they don't tend to move my needle that much.

    5.) Along the line of Ana Lu, sometimes I just want to collect cards with the pretty girls. I actively collect a few female athletes/pro wrestlers, though I wouldn't even bother if I wasn't down for their skill above all else. But I also like Benchwarmer cards quite a bit, and other celebrity/non-sport hotties, even certain fictional ones. My sketch card collection also skews heavily female. As someone once told me, I am such a guy sometimes. :P

    1. Congratulations on those Topps Winter Olympics blasters. I've seen them on sale at my local Toys 'r Us. Might need to pick one up... although I have no idea who Meryl Davis is.

      As for your opinions... thanks for sharing. Here's my feedback...

      1. I've been a Topps guy my whole life... and although companies like Upper Deck, Fleer, and Donruss definitely challenged them from time to time. However... without a license... I don't really buy Panini baseball products. Maybe a single here and there... if the price is right.

      2. Yeah. Pretty much covered this too ;)

      3. I flip flop between how I feel about minis. Bottom line... I'll pick them up if they're super cheap and I need them for my insert, player, or team PC's.

      4. Umm... we're on opposite ends of the spectrum here. But that's okay... right?

      5. Finally we agree on something :)