Thursday, December 18, 2014

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Brad from Red Sox Fan in Nebraska)

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):  Brad
2. Your blog website:  I have two hobby websites.  Red Sox Fan in Nebraska for my Red Sox collection and Collecting Sandy Alomar Jr. for my Sandy Alomar Jr. collection
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I consider myself a Red Sox team collector, although I occasionally have a specific focus on a certain player.  Lately though, my single player collection of Sandy Alomar Jr. has really taken off.  So I am team collector with one player collection as well.  I started out collecting the Red Sox but also started collecting Alomar early on.  I just have never changed.  I have no real idea why I collect what I collect, but I would not have it any other way.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
For one, bring back sets like Topps Total and Fan Favorites.  I love getting the lesser-known guys.  Middle relievers, utility infielders, backup catchers, players with brief stints in the Majors.  I love getting as many players as possible.  The flagship Topps set and Heritage do a decent job, but there are still large amounts of players absent.  I miss the days of huge sets with lots of players.
As for my Alomar collection, just including him in newer sets would be helpful.  Other than buybacks, he has not appeared in a set since 2006.  There have been a few sets and inserts over the years that he could have been included in but was not for some reason or other.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
Right now, I would have to say it is my Alomar collection, along with my Jason Varitek collection.  I have always had a thing for catchers and these are two of my favorites.  I have all of my Alomars in one binder right now, but my Variteks are scattered throughout my Red Sox binders.
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?  
Maybe not one individual card, but I love food issues without Major League licenses.  You know the ones.  Plain white uniforms with no logos or team information.  Some of my favorites are the French's Mustard cards from 1992.  I have three in particular that I love, my Sandy Alomar Jr./Benito Santiago card in my Alomar collection and my Wade Boggs/Chris Sabo and Tony Pena/Tom Pagnozzi in my red Sox collection.  Another good one that is ugly as sin is my Matt Young Milk Bone card that features him with his dog in one picture and the airbrushed action shot in a smaller one.  It is so horrendous as to be completely charming.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
My Jason Varitek bat barrel card.  It is the card I have spent the most of in my entire collection and there is nothing really like it anywhere else in my collection.  It has his name plate from his bat on it and is a terrific-looking card.
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 would love a historical set featuring well-known players with teams that they spent a very short amount of time playing for and few, if any cards to show for it.  My best example is Sandy Alomar Jr. with the New York Mets.  He played eight games with them in 2007 but never received a card.  Another one for my Red Sox collection would be Gary Gaetti and Jose Cruz Jr., each of whom received about eight at-bats in Boston, but never a card. 
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 am a lawyer, specifically a criminal defense attorney.  I decided to go to law school sometime in my sophomore year of college.  When I was in law school I had no idea that I would be a defense attorney.  I was actually a little intimidated by appearing in court, but it was pretty clear that I understood criminal law a lot better than contracts, torts, property, and the like.  When I went to work at my first job, I was placed on the criminal appointments list and it sort of blossomed from there.  Currently I have my own law firm and am the public defender for a small county in Nebraska.
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Boston.  Fenway Park, of course.  My parents took me when I graduated from law school.
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.  
Unfortunately Nebraska is not high in cultural peculiarities.  I have no idea how to answer this one.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I am a heavy metal aficionado as well and even run a blog for that.  I have been to a number of concerts and have a very large CD and record collection.  
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
My wife and I have five dogs, eight cats, two horses, a rabbit, a bunch of fish, nine peafowl, and an ever-increasing number of chickens.  We love animals and enjoy living out in the country where our animals have a lot of room to run.
As always, a big thank you to today's volunteer for Better Know a Blogger!  I must say that I am impressed by Brad's numerous pets/animals that he and his wife own.  That's a lot to take care of - but at least he is making good use of all that open space in Nebraska!  

As for the baseball card related questions, I think Brad is right on with his idea of Topps bringing back Fan Favorites.  Brad also mentioned Topps Total as a set worthy of a comeback (and many other people seem to feel that way as well) but I'm not one of them.  I will, however, gobble up another Fan Favorites set!

Brad mentioned that Fenway Park is his favorite spot that he's visited which I think is a great answer.  I still haven't made to Boston (or Fenway) but it's on my list of "hopefully someday places."  I did make it to the other classic ballpark (Wrigley) a few years ago (for a cold, windy game)...I would recommend waiting until warmer months before visiting Chicago!  

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions Brad - and as I've been saying for quite some time now - stay tuned for even more Better Know a Blogger issues in the near future!


Mark Hoyle said...

Great interview with a fellow Sox collector. Bothe Varitek collection is very impressive. The whole area around Fenway is very fan friendly. It's a great park to visit

JediJeff said...

Note to self: When driving over the border to NE, speed limit be damned. My ass is now covered in court.

Nachos Grande said...

I could have used a good lawyer for a traffic ticket when I was in Texas...

P-town Tom said...

NE is a loooooong state from east to west. I take that route when heading to visit family in Denver. Uggggghhh. Like JediJeff, I am also making a note!

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