Saturday, December 27, 2014

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (JayBee Anama from bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog)

Welcome to "Better Know a Blogger" Theme Week (week 3!) here at Nachos Grande.  A few weeks 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):  JayBee Anama aka bdj610
2. Your blog website:  bdj610’sTopps Baseball Card Blog  and  SportsCard Blogroll
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I am a Topps Baseball Card Set collector. I tried the other ways of collecting (player, team – Cubs) and the fact I was missing numbers in between made me want to collect every single card in the set. 
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
As a set collector, I wish Topps would go back to adding more players in the sets, like the third-string catcher and the mop up reliever. With Topps expanding their set to 700 cards for the first time since 2006, I am hoping that this will happen. But there are 750 players on the field on a given day. Someone will still be excluded or certain teams will not be decently represented (by that I mean certain position players might be missing).
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
My most recent favorite part of my collection would be the binder that has the both of 2010 Cards Your Mother Threw Out/2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps reprint sets. The SP ones with the card backs, not the regular insert cards. It took quite a while to complete both sets. But it was a fun, albeit expensive, challenge.
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?  
My favorite card in my collection is a 1992 Topps Jose Tolentino #541. It was the final card I needed to complete the 1992 Topps set, the first one I was able to complete from scratch (without having to buy a factory set). It took months just to find this one card. I even had the micro card before it, and putting the micro card in the binder as temporary filler bugged me. It was like the guy was mocking me. It was a great day indeed when I finally found the card at a card shop.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
A toss-up between the 1989 Topps Ryne Sandberg #360 and the 1988 Topps Ryne Sandberg #10. Both cards are great, and it would be hard to choose, but either one is fine.  Both are beautiful cards of my favorite player growing up.
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’m probably one of the few who don’t really complain too much about Topps when it comes to creativity (hello, see name of blog…I love the stuff they put out). I mean, they try to come up with something unique. Many times, the bad ideas tend to outweigh the good ones, but not for lack of trying. Bringing back MLB Debut, which features every player who made his debut during a specific season, would be great as it would give many players a piece of cardboard immortality, even if he only appears in one MLB game in his entire career. 
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 work in the specialty foods industry, and have been most of the past 16 years (there was a sixteen month period where I was unemployed/working temp gigs). I work with salespeople and help maintain item lists and price lists for items they sell to their key accounts. It’s mostly computer work, and I look at spreadsheets all day, but I enjoy the work, and the occasional free samples are great (especially when it’s seafood). 
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Portland, OR. I went to Portland in 2010 for work, and I was in love with the environment. Mount Hood is beautiful from a distance, and everywhere you turned, the view was fantastic. Cleanest city I’ve ever seen, very serious about the environment. One of these years, I will have to take the family.
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.  
Chicago is a food lover’s paradise. From deep dish pizzas to the hotdogs and Italian beef sandwiches, there is no shortage of places that serve them in this area. If I had to pick a favorite food, I’d go with dim sum in Chinatown. If you’ve never been to a dim sum restaurant, it’s a great experience. It’s basically small courses of Chinese dishes (dumplings, rolls, soups, chicken feet) that are served by wait staff that travel around the restaurant with little carts and you can choose your food from the carts instead of just ordering off a menu. Best places would be Furama, Phoenix Restaurant, or MingHin.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I am a big baseball fan (looking forward to 2015 with both Cubs and White Sox re-tooling), and love learning about the game, and its history. The same applies to baseball cards. Other hobbies include reading, spending time with family, computers, and I get out and walk outside from time to time. I am trying my best to cook a bit more at home after years of eating out and it’s been fun trying new things.
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
 My family has been in the bakery business for the longest time. My grandmother owned and operated one of the largest bakeries in the Philippines, and my parents have done the same here in Chicago. 
Once again, I must start with a hearty "thank you" to JayBeen Anama for answering the call to be featured in my Better Know a Blogger series!  JayBee's answers were great to me since so many of the involved food!  I've never been to a dim sum restaurant but it sounds awesome to me!  After doing so many of these Better Know a Blogger posts, I want to map everyone's favorite dining spots and then plan a trip around the country (or better yet, around the world)!  I think that would be a lot of fun - and maybe I could even meet up with some of the featured bloggers on my way.

Barring that expensive travel plan, I guess the second best option is to simply enjoy the series of posts for what it is - namely, a window into what makes each blogger unique!  In JayBee's case, I would say the answer to the question about what Topps could do to improve collecting was spot on:  "With Topps expanding their set to 700 cards for the first time since 2006, I am hoping that this will happen. But there are 750 players on the field on a given day. Someone will still be excluded or certain teams will not be decently represented."  I think that might be the reason why Topps Total is seemingly so popular - but for me, I'd simply like to see a more even team representation in ALL of Topps' sets, not just basic sets like their flagship brand.  

I know more equal team representation would make selling group break slots a lot easier...speaking of which, my final group break for 2014 (including Topps Stadium Club and Topps TEK from this year) is now open.  There are only a few slots remaining - and every slot is guaranteed a hit either from the boxes or else out of my personal collection!  Jump in now and claim one of the few remaining teams, won't you?

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