A year ago today, I did my first ever blog post. Aside from occasionally posting on a few band websites and punk forums, I'd never tried anything like what I'm doing now. After a year of doing so to the tune of almost 300 posts (this one is #294), I'm pretty glad that I decided to do it.
I'm not quite sure what got me interested in cards again after a a 15 year or so break. It was most likely a mixture of things. I started teaching 5th grade, after a year of being a 1st grade teacher, and I was looking for some stuff to use as "incentives" in the classroom. My 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Seipel, used to pass out packs of '92 Topps to our class, and I remembered being pretty stoked about that, so I had my mom ship out some boxes of cards that I'd left at home. That happened to be around the same time that I fell in love with the Rangers team that went deep into the 2011 playoffs. I got back into baseball after a few years of sort of tuning it out, and ended up going to spring training the following year with my brothers over spring break. A few months after that, my wife and I found out that we'd be expecting our second child. I think I started the blog the next night, almost on a whim.
I think the main thing that got me back into baseball cards is the same thing people love about baseball.
The memories. The nostalgia. I can't think of a time in my life when I was more carefree than when I was riding my bike back from 7-11. I'd have a plastic bag swinging from the handlebars filled with tootsie rolls and baseball cards, since the card shop was right across the street from 7-11. Ripping into packs, organizing and reorganizing my cards based on any number of variables; by position, by last name, by set, by team, etc. Good times.
Living in Texas, not being near my Padres, and thinking about what it would be like if we had a son (which we did); it seemed like the perfect storm to get a blog rolling.
At the time of my writing this, I have 95 followers and 23,523 views. I don't know where these stats would fall on the "Impressive" scale, but that is at least more followers the I imagined having 365 days ago.
Thanks to everyone who has ever read a post, left a comment, made a trade with me, or otherwise participated in the hobby. I've never felt like such a nerd, but it's been a fun year.
Since I can't have a post about my blog's birthday without some sweet cardboard, I'm going to go ahead a post a card that I picked up on eBay a few weeks back. Been waiting for a good time to show it off, figured now would be as good as ever.
I've already posted about my first card from 1953 Mother's Cookies, which was of Tom Alston, a PCL Padre who was also the first African American to play for the St. Louis Cardinals. Here's my second card from the set.
This is in a much more "loved" condition, which is the only reason I was able to afford it. It's tough to find these on eBay at a decent price, so I kind of prefer that they're a little beat up so they fall into my meager price range.
Anyways, it'd be awesome if the two main creases weren't right across Walt Pocekay's face, but beggars can't be choosers. I really like this shot; a non-distracting blue background with some vintage catchers gear, and the dude's even rocking some glasses. The name of the blog is "Backstop Cards", so what better way to commemorate a year than my oldest Padre catcher?
Looks like Pocekay was a pretty decent hitter in '52 for the Wenatchee Chiefs, a minor league club in Washington. His average in '52 would be his highest of his career, and he would never rise above AAA ball (which happened before he came to San Diego).
Anyways, thanks again for reading this, I really enjoy writing about baseball and my beloved Padres, and it's cool that people take time out of their lives to read my words.
Hopefully the Padres can help me really celebrate the blog's birthday by completing a three-game sweep of the Dodgers tonight!