1. Your name (or alias): Tim B.
2. Your blog website: I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I've been a bit of everything during my collecting years(set collector, team/player collector, in-person autograph seeker, rookie/prospect collector, etc). These days though, I'd say that I am mostly a team(s) collector(Yankees, select Rays and Nationals, and Broncos) but I mix in cards dealing with season highlights/playoffs/baseball history. I think this style of collecting suits me best because it maximizes my enjoyment and helps me stay within a reasonable budget.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
Well, Topps took a small step with 2015 series 1 by reintroducing the team cards that had been missing for the past few years. I'd like to see them bring back true Season Highlights cards. Instead of making these into checklit cards with a caption describing an event, I'd like to see a devoted card with a more detailed description on the back. As for Panini, I'd love to see them get a full license(I know this is not their decision to make) so I don't have to pick and choose cards that don't look terrible to me without the logos. Much like many others, I'd like to see a drastic reduction in the numbers/types of parallels(hopefully Topps' reduction in series 1 will continue).
5. What is your favorite part of your collection? This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
I'd have to say the favorite part of my collection is the run of late '90's-early 2000's Topps/Topps Chrome(inc. refractors) Yankees Playoff/World Series Highlights subsets. For at least '99, '00, and '01 I have(am searching for) all of the Yankees highlight cards in base, Chrome, refractor, and in some cases Limited/Employee/HTA versions. I guess it's the early version of collecting the rainbow. It's been a lot of fun hunting them down, and I'm almost done(I think).
6. Most of us have a favorite song that we like for no good reason – heck, it might even be embarrassing. Do you have a favorite baseball card that might fit that bill?
The closest thing to a guilty pleasures card that I have is probably the 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco RR. I loved the Bash Brothers when I was growing up and even with all that has happened to Canseco's reputation/popularity I stilll love looking at that horribly awkward rookie card. I mean, he's got a caterpillar crawling on his upper lip, how is that not entertaining?
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
It's hard to choose. I think it would be a toss-up between my 1962 Topps Roger Maris or my 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente RC. There are interesting stories as to how they came to my collection(both are planned future blog posts). I'd have to say it would be one or the other because of significance they hold to the history of my collecting days(as well as their hobby significance).
8. Many of the blogs (including my own at times) seem to decry Topps’ lack of vision and creativity. Can you think of something creative that could be done for an upcoming card set?
Since relic cards are not going anywhere anytime soon, I'd like to see a focus on some non-traditional relics. For catchers, maybe include pieces of chest protectors or masks. Revisit fielding and/or batting gloves, hats, batting helmets, and spikes. Plain white/gray jersey swatches and plain splinters of a bat are so common. I think they should explore a little more variety.
9. What is your profession? How did you end up there? If you are in school, what do you plan to major in and/or what job do you hope to get after graduating?
I currently manage a high volume small animal veterinary hospital. I began working in the field a number of years ago and planned to enter NC State veterinary school. That goal was put on the back burner when I learned my wife and I were expecting our first daughter. Here I am a few years later with 2 girls under 5 years old and have changed plans to management so I can stay in the business that I love and actually make a career out of it. There is always time to pursue vet school once my girls are in school, but I didn't feel I could devote the amount of time required to studying, etc and sacrifice seeing my girls grow up.
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited? Why?
I'd have to say Hawaii. I have some extended family there, but the real reason it is my favorite would have to be the atmosphere. You can truly be laid back visiting there and there is hiking, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, and surfing available to fill your leisure time. I've always been drawn to the ocean, so never being too far from a beach was pretty great too.
11. Many of us have favorite foods or customs that are somewhat local to where we live. Do you have any such things that you particularly love? A website link to specific products would be spectacular.
A true NC specialty is pulled pork barbecue. There are a number of great places that specialize in this, but my favorite is a hole in the wall called Backyard Barbecue Pit. From pulled pork to ribs to brisket, they have it all and it's all incredible. They have traditional southern sides like mac and cheese, collards, Brunswick Stew, and sweet potato caserole as well. I'd include a website link, but they don't have their own site. They were featured on Man vs. Food when they came to Durham, NC though.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?
Primarily listening to music and spending time with my daughters(and wife).
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
As a family, we tend to do a decent bit of traveling. As a result, I've been to 8 MLB stadiums and 6 minor league stadiums so far. I know there are others that have been to a lot more, but at least I've got a start. We typically attend 10-15 Durham Bulls home games each season(though we live about 40 minutes from the park, we both work only about 15 minutes from there, so it is our 'home' team).