For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am going to periodically tell you my thoughts on the current state of the hobby.
I am a fairly large buyer and seller of vintage Green Bay Packers memorabilia (how could I not be? I only live one hour from Lambeau and am a huge fan of the team’s history). I don’t think I am alone when I say that I have been burned many times during my early days of collecting. I once thought “impeccable source” and “light use” meant everything was A-ok. What I didn’t realize was “light use” meant “no use” and the source probably isn’t all that “impeccable” if the seller doesn’t tell us what exactly it is.
Thank God I am a lot smarter than I once was, but I am still a bit vulnerable considering all of the items I buy over the Internet.
That said, the point of this blog entry isn’t to talk negatively about the hobby. I am going to praise it and talk about something that I really enjoy reading – online forums. The two forums I read most frequently are the Game Used Forums on gameuseduniverse.com and the Vintage Baseball Card Forum.
Now there is definitely some drama that exists in each of these chat boards (lets face it, that’s one of the reasons we read these things). Nevertheless, the groups of people who make up these online communities are some of the most knowledgeable hobbyists out there. I can’t count how many times I have seen board members catch wind of a fraudulent item on eBay or a questionable item in an auction and pitch in their efforts to shut down the sale.
It’s really good stuff.
At each year’s National Card Convention the boys at the Vintage Baseball Card Forum even have an annual dinner, which seems to be very well attended (I only say “seems” because I have never attended). With all the negativity that sometimes surrounds the hobby, it is really great to see fellow collectors getting together and developing new friendships.
When I was in high school, I used to hang out at my local card shop for many hours a week. Seriously, my parents were never worried about where I was because they always knew that I was at Timeout (that’s what the shop was called). Sure, we would do things that were not hobby related, like play cards, play catch in the street, but when it all comes down to it we were there because of our common interests in sports cards. More than ten years have past since my days at the card shop and I am in contact with almost everyone I used to hang out with there.
I currently view message boards the same way I view the bonds and great times I had at Timeout. A place to make long-time friends. All because of the hobby we are passionate about.