Friday, December 19, 2014

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (AJ from The Lost Collector)

Welcome to "Better Know a Blogger" Theme Week (week 2) here at Nachos Grande.  About a week or so ago, I put out a call to any interested bloggers to answer a short questionnaire that I had prepared.  The goal of the questionnaire is for all of us to get to better know some of the various personalities on the blogs!  I hope you find this Theme Week as much fun as I did - and hopefully you'll learn something about your fellow bloggers as the week progresses!

1. Your name (or alias):  AJ aka The Lost Collector
2. Your blog website:  The Lost Collector
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?  
I have a few focuses. I’m a Yankees collector, and love all Yanks, but don’t have a formal want list. I’m not trying to get every single Yankee card ever, but I do love adding new Yanks that I didn’t have before. I have a few player collections as well: Tino Martinez, Michael Pineda, Ty Hensley, Phil Rizzuto, and a few Yanks prospects. I also enjoy TTM autograph collecting.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
I would love a lower price point on a few products. Opening Day isn’t enough. I grew up with Score and Collector’s Choice and Bazooka…a lot of options for a kid collecting at the time. That’s shaped how I am today. I still think cards should be affordable. I also wish an all-encompassing set, like Topps Total, would come back. As a TTMer, I would love cards of the middle relievers and utility players and lesser-known guys.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
My Topps Yankees Project! It’s a signed Yankees Topps card from every single year, 1951-2014. There are no repeat players, and each autograph was acquired through the mail.
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?  
 Holograms and die cuts and clearcuts. I’m a sucker for those types.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
Hmm, very tough. I think I’d keep my Phil Rizzuto TTM auto (even over my ’67 Mantle).
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?  
 I keep saying how much I want Pro Debut back, but not the current Pro Debut that is just an excuse to put top prospects in a current set. I’m talking about the Pro Debut of the early ‘90s, which was a year end sent that highlighted actual MLB debuts from that season. The card had the date and what the player did in his first game. 
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’m a marketing professional in New York City. Studied marketing/business in school and somehow stuck with it.  
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Aruba for my honeymoon!
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.  
Oh hell yes. As someone who has spent some time in Binghamton, NY, I’m sure you’ve heard of spiedies.   Living in Hoboken, NJ right now, we have the original Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss Fame. I’ve never been in.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I dabble in art and painting.
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
I have two awesome kids – a boy who is almost 3 and a little girl who is 7 months. I’ve been collecting cards for son to put in a binder – mostly original HOFer cards but some others too. I was a college athlete as well, and have what I consider to be one of the best jobs in the world. Lastly, in high school, I got to play my home games in a Double-A ballpark, which was a blast and gave me a teeeeny tiny glimpse of what it’s like to be a real ballplayer. They’d also leave up some old lineup cards from the pro games that I’d swipe. I still have them.
As always, a big thank you to our latest Better Know a Blogger volunteer!  Like many other people who have been featured in my ongoing series, AJ laments the loss of Topps Total.  I still don't find that set to be all that palatable but I will admit that I certainly seem to be in the minority.  On the other hand, I couldn't agree more with AJ with his love of sets like Bazooka and UD Collector's Choice.  I always liked most of the Bazooka sets...but I LOVED Collector's Choice.  Heck, I'm still working on completing some of the Collector's Choice sets - I think it was the low price point, solid design, and great photography that always attracted me to the set (plus availability at my local CVS drugstore)!

This interview was also my first chance to hear about AJ's Yankee project.  It's certainly an ambitious idea - and I love it (despite the Yankee-ness of the whole thing).  A cool idea indeed!  

Unfortunately, I have to admit that despite me doing a semester's worth of work in Binghamton, I never tried Spiedies.  If only I had known then what I know now!

Thanks for volunteering AJ - and yes, there are still more Better Know a Blogger episodes to come - in fact, I think I have enough for a third week which is entirely shocking (and yet awesome)!  Stay tuned for more!


Napkin Doon said...

"Marketing professional"= Pimp

The Lost Collector said...

Who is Napkin Doon? Never heard of him.

JediJeff said...

The better question is why would anyone want to impersonate that guy. He was, and still is, a total jackweed.

The Junior Junkie said...

These posts are fun.

Zippy Zappy said...

AJ works in marketing? Then the industry/Topps should really take his advice/opinions on how to improve, he's actually got the credentials to back it up.

cynicalbuddha said...

I will take AJ's side with the Topps Total. At least the early sets like 2002 were huge with huge team sets. While the design wasn't mind blowing it was cheap and you got a huge team set with players that probably didn't get many, if any, cards made for them. So if you're looking for TTM material it might be the only choice. Plus I liked how the team set was numbered on the card, a great set for team collectors. And I totally ripped AJ's Yankees project off and did my own Brewers TTM project, still working on that.

The Junior Junkie said...

I like Napkin. We've traded and stuff.

Mark Hoyle said...

AJ's one of the the first guys I traded with. Another interesting interview.

Fuji said...

AJ and his artwork are awesome!

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