Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Marcus from All the Way to the Backstop)

Before I get to today's Better Know a Blogger entry, I would like to invite you to join in my newest group break.  You can find all the details (including sign-ups) here but I will say that it involves boxes of 2014 Topps Tek, a box of 2014 Stadium Club, and plenty of other goodies!  Each participant will get a fully loaded small, flat rate box at the end of the break with at least one guaranteed hit per slot!  You can't beat that!


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):  Marcus
2. Your blog website:  All the Way to the Backstop
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I am definitely a team collector (Padres), but I don’t worry myself with trying to collect every Padre card.  I don’t have the time or the money for that.  But I collect all of my favorite Padres, especially those from the 90’s, and of course, Tony Gwynn.  
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
 My major complaint as a Padre fan is the lack of Padres out there.  Besides Topps’ flagship and Heritage sets, most of them are pretty light on Padres.  Example: In the three years of Topps’ Archives set, there have been four Padres cards: Tony Gwynn (2012), Tony Gwynn and Chase Headley (2013), and Tony Gwynn (2014).
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
The favorite part of my collection is probably all of my Archi Cianfrocco cards.  At last count I had 66 different cards, ranging from his minor league days to his last major league season.  I know I’m not the only Padre collector out there, and I’m definitely not the only Gwynn collector.  But I’m pretty sure that I have one of the biggest Archi Cianfrocco collections out there.  I also sponsor his page.
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 first pack of cards that I remember opening was 1991 Fleer, and the lone card I remember getting out of that pack was Henry Cotto’s.  For whatever reason, I just love that card.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
 The first vintage card I ever bought was Willie McCovey’s 1967 Topps card.  It was $18, which was a ton of money for one card when I was in middle school, and I labored over whether or not to buy it for a long time.  Easily the card I have the most attachment to.
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 dunno what I could do that would be “creative”, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a set that reminded me of ’92 Topps.  Made out of actual, not super-thick cardboard.  Oh, and getting a few extra cards in a pack wouldn’t be too bad either.
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 currently in my 5th year of teaching elementary school – two years of 5th grade sandwiched between three years of 1st grade.  I love it.  A big influence in my life was my 3rd grade teacher Mr. Seipel – he even came to my wedding reception.  One way he found his way into my heart: lining the room with packs of ’92 Topps and passing them out to the class.  The man was a saint.
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
I’m from San Diego, which has no shortage of beautiful spots, but living in Texas now, one of my favorite places is the Riverwalk area of San Antonio.  Going to the Alamo is definitely a pretty cool experience. 
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.  
I love food.  In-N-Out Burger is my favorite burger joint, I’m super happy they’ve branched out from southern California all the way to Texas.  In San Diego, my wife and I always go to Lourdes in Escondido for some really great Mexican food.  In Austin, you are a fool if you don’t go to The Salt Lick.  I never thought that I was a big fan of BBQ before moving to Texas, but they made me a believer.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I used to be really into live music, but as I’ve gotten older, most of the bands I like have broken up or don’t tour as much (or they were local bands from southern California who don’t travel to Texas).  But Austin has some great venues and killer fests, so I try to make it out to some shows a few times a year.  Best shows of the last few years include Spoon, Hot Snakes, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Chuck Ragan, and The Gaslight Anthem.
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
My wife and I were married when we were 22 and we celebrated our eight year anniversary a few months ago.  We’re expecting our third child (our second boy) in late January/early February of 2015.  I love the Padres and collecting cards, but nothing touches the love I have for my family and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As always, a big thank you to today's volunteer for Better Know a Blogger!  Marcus had a lot of great answers but I have to begin with his assessment of the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  I've only been to San Antonio once in my life but I 100% agree with the Riverwalk as being a great place - I loved it there and can't wait to go back.  My wife has never been to Texas so maybe I can convince her to jump in the car and drive halfway across the country just to see the Riverwalk again!

In terms of the baseball related questions, I also found Marcus' answers to be agreeable to me.  He makes a good point about Topps (and other companies) not having a good representation for all teams within their sets.  Right now teams like the Padres are severely underrepresented, but in the past I know the Reds have had a terrible dry spell (as have other teams).  I think Topps should try to have all teams represented in each set - and not just the one or two "main guys" all the time either (such as Gwynn for the Padres or Votto for the Reds).

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate Marcus and his wife on their upcoming third child!  I'm sure I speak for the entire blog-o-sphere when I say congrats and best wishes to you and your entire family, Marcus!


Play at the Plate said...

If you're going to San Antonio to see the Riverwalk, make sure it's not one of the times they drain it to clean it out. That's pretty nasty!

The Lost Collector said...

Nice to learn more about Marcus. It's incredible that his 3rd grade teacher had such an influence.

Tony L. said...

I co-sign on going to The Salt Lick in Austin. My brother-in-law lives there, and the barbecue at The Salt Lick is an excellent representation of the Texas-style barbecue!

Wrigley Wax said...

Another teacher! Does it seem like an awful lot of the bloggers are in education?

Joe Frecker said...

Amen brother.

Marcus said...

Thanks for the chance to share! Here's hoping that the recent Padre additions of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Derek Norris will boost the volume of cards they have! And thanks for the congratulations, I'm looking forward to agreeing on a name for the new kid so I can find work on a card-related blog post.

Fuji said...

Marcus... didn't realize we had so much in common. Pretty much the same first name... we both teach... we both love food... and we're both Padres fans. Go Padres!

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