In case you didn't see all of this, Play at the Plate featured a great response to a $30 a Week Habit post that was written in response to another PATP article.
|Still with me?|
|Pissed Off Card Collector FTW|
When I was very young my parents apparently bought some cards for me and my brother, which I know because we played with them until we got a bit older and understood the concept of collecting. I'm pretty sure they were factory sets of '89 Donruss and Topps because I had a bunch of those, though not necessarily the better cards in either set. We then picked up the occasional packs, and eventually--though I can't remember how--came into knowledge of the yearly Beckett price guide books, which were available at our library. That segued into our discovery of Beckett, which introduced to us the idea of "value" as it pertained to sports cards. I definitely enjoyed collecting the magazine and still have all my issues from when I subscribed, plus a bunch of older ones I picked up through various means. And for quite a while, I did what many others did and swore by the "book" prices when it came to buying, selling and trading online and at shows.
That made for good and bad moments. There were plenty of times we'd pull something rare from a wax box or dig something out of a closet, look it up and discover it was "worth" way more than we thought. Then again, reality would come crashing down on us when we found out a $20 card didn't ever sell for $20. But more importantly it could impact trading (again, most of which we did online, especially initially through Beckett's Buy/Sell area) when you or your partner didn't feel you were getting "equal value" according to the price guide. It didn't matter if you were giving up better overall cards or if you were just a few bucks apart--usually at that point the deal died.
In the last couple years I definitely got away from trading (and selling, really) while continuing to acquire stuff, mainly through boxes, many of which proved disappointing, as they can at times. The few times I did, though, along with the occasions where I'd open a box or acquire something, I would still swear by the card Bible. What saved me from that limited collecting life was following collecting blogs. As I started to notice people throwing around trade packages without a care for value, I gained a new-found energy for collecting myself because I thought "THIS is exactly what trading should be." Really, it's about as pure as it gets aside from most of it taking place online these days, but then again, it opens up so many more trade possibilities, especially when you can easily work with a Dodgers fan all the way across the country.
What I'm getting at is that during my collecting years when I held fast to the magazine, I enjoyed a relatively OK collecting experience, but since then, I've finally grown up and realized just how obsolete it really is, both in terms of the price guide and its various features. These days you'll hear sellers on forums swear by eBay prices (which is at least slightly more accurate, if not completely) which are a million times more "real-time" than Beckett's false claims. That, and, as Brian pointed out, you're no longer stuck with Beckett as the only game in town for box breaks; instead of reading about their suspiciously good fortune with one outstanding box, you can get a ridiculous sample size including scans and video. And don't get me started about pimping the next big thing. It's a shame that magazines like Beckett can't sometimes discuss the more negative aspects of the hobby--constructively, with a dialogue about how things can improve--and instead choose to be blissfully unaware of monopolies, fakes, and other real problems.
All of that led me to ditch Beckett as a price guide once and for all a couple years ago. I continue to use the site as a checklist resource but otherwise studiously ignore it, since that's the best thing to do in this case. That's worked out just fine for me, especially since I'd quickly grown sick of the shenanigans of major players like Chris Olds, et al. However, recently, something happened to one of my favorite bloggers that I couldn't let stand.
Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle:
- Greg is an excellent, very well-respected blogger
- Greg loves his Dodgers and collects the hell out of them (key word here: "collects")
- Greg made it into a Beckett-run contest as one of three finalists, one of which would win a Sandy Koufax autograph
- Many people, especially his fellow bloggers and collectors would like to see him win this contest because he'd, you know, KEEP the thing and enjoy it as a Dodgers collector
one of the three finalists, a total asshat who sang a Justin Beiber song and should have been automatically disqualified except he was such an asshat even Chris Olds was like, "Whoa, this guy is REALLY an asshat. I'm not mad, that's amazing!" decided to literally buy votes. In a respectful manner, Greg pointed this out. Olds' response, which took a while because he had to manually remove him from Topps' nuts and sit him in front of the only keyboard in the world that's large enough for his fat fingers, was this:
That's right: when Greg came forward with evidence that one of his competitors was cheating and--once again--literally BUYING VOTES, then others piled on by reasonably pointing out how ridiculously unfair that was, Chris referred to these people as "complainers" making "mud-slinging allegations" and made them all sound ungrateful. Luckily for everyone, next time he'll save us "the hassles" (didn't know it was possible to have more than one) and pick someone himself, which is simply what he should have done in the first place, except Mr. Olds is apparently unaware that they have the Internet on computers now, and said computers can be used to break any poll or contest. When I tried to point that out, my comment was, to my utter shock, not approved by their moderator.
Because of all of that, Beckett is officially dead to me. If anyone ever comes to me in a deal and quotes the "Beckett" price I'll just give them this look,
and go on my merry way. As for the people behind "the magazine" that embody everything that's wrong with the hobby,
|You stay classy, Beckett, and go fuck yourselves.|
Good luck all the same to a great blogger everyone knows and loves. VOTE FOR GREG Z!
Update: this one's for Eric L!: