The state of our society has seen better days. On the other hand, the hobby's popularity appears to be on the rise.
New blogs have popped up. Retired bloggers have returned to their keyboards. Former collectors are rekindling their love for cardboard. Plus... a couple of sports documentaries have inspired people to open up their wallets and buy cards.
I can't wait to sit down this summer and watch both of them. I've already showed off bits and pieces of my Jordan collection. Today I figured I'd share five of my favorite Big Mac collectibles in anticipation of Long Gone Summer, an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary covering the race to break the single season home run record.
Let's get the ball rolling with one of the most recognizable baseball cards ever collected...
1985 Topps #401
According to Beckett, there are over 8,000 Mark McGwire cards in their database and none are more iconic (in my humble opinion) than his 1985 Topps rookie card. The days of selling raw copies for $200 might be in the past, but so are the days of finding this card in a dealer's dollar bin.
I think I own two copies of this card. One resides in my 1985 Topps set. The other is this signed copy I picked up two years ago.
1999 Finest Split Screen Dual Refractor #SS1
If you're a regular reader, then you know my deep appreciation for 90's inserts... and this card is hands down my favorite McGwire insert.
1987 Topps #366
This unopened cello pack was a gift I received from Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders five years ago. I enjoy collecting unopened 80's products featuring key rookie cards on the front. It might not be considered a rookie card by most collectors (including myself), but it is one of the first cards to feature him as an Oakland Athletic.
2016 Topps Team Logo Pin Autograph #TLP-MM
I'm not usually a fan of gold and gaudy... but this card is an exception to the rule. It's not just a key piece of my Oakland A's PC, it's also a member of my Prime #'s PC, because it's serial #'d 25/25 (the last card in the run as well as his jersey number).
Steiner Certified Signed Ball
I'll wrap things up with this signed ball, which was the first McGwire signature I ever owned. Now I just need to acquire a Sammy Sosa autographed baseball to go with it.
What about you?
Do you have a favorite Mark McGwire collectible sitting in your collection?
By the way... I totally understand why some of you think this hype is silly and in some ways I completely agree with you. However there's a bigger part of me that thinks this is great for our hobby.
I've commented my thoughts on the subject on a few of your blogs... but felt like I had to document it on my own to preserve history.
My philosophy when it comes to collecting is the more (collectors out there)... the merrier. Will a lot of these people regret overpaying down the road? Sure. Will most of them have their fill of this hobby by the time this pandemic is over? Probably. But what if 20% stay? Or even 10%? I'd call that a win.
It's only natural to have different interests and opinions. But there's plenty of room for all of us. Set builders, team collectors, prospectors, graded card enthusiasts, autograph hounds, and every other type of collector out there all have one thing in common. We enjoy collecting cards.
So my suggestion for my friends would be to collect what you want to collect, buy what you want to buy, spend what you want to spend, and enjoy this hobby while there are still other people out there who can enjoy it with you.
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!