Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Matt from Cardboard Conundrum)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday!  Today, we return to our regularly scheduled posting...namely the continuation of the popular Better Know a Blogger!

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):  Matt Pederson
2. Your blog website:  Cardboard Conundrum & Not Pulled From Packs
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
Mainly a player collector. I have a pretty decent Sidney Crosby collection, which unfortunately for me, is an expensive collection to keep up with. I also buy hobby boxes pretty regularly, and try complete the occasional set, but my set-building tendencies aren’t quite what they used to be. Lately, though, I’ve gotten much more into autographed memorabilia, like pucks, balls, bats, sticks, helmets, and anything else that I can proudly display on a shelf
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
I just want them to try, or at least try and make us think that they try. Really, it’s small things, like making sure that a sticker autograph doesn’t get cut off when the sticker is peeled and affixed to the card, or making sure that a rare patch card isn’t a boring one-color piece. It’s just small things like that, but those things can greatly diminish a card’s value.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
My favorite items are the items that have a story. Most of those have to do with in-person autograph appearances or TTMs, but the fact that I put more work into it besides opening up a pack makes them extra sentimental to me.
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?  

For me, it’s my 1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg rookie card. I started following the Cubs in 1989, and picked Ryno as my favorite player. When I first got big into collecting in the early ‘90s, it was a $25 card, which was a lot for an 11-year-old to afford. When I ended up purchasing the card a few years ago, it only cost me about 10 bucks, but it represents me acquiring my very first “white whale.”
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
My 1955 Topps Ernie Banks.

Not only is it a second-year card of “Mr. Cub,” but it’s a card that my dad gave to me as a Christmas present from his very own “boyhood collection. It is a pretty great card to begin with, but the sentimental attachment makes it extra special.
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?  
For me and my own collecting goals, it’s a matter of a better quality of hits. If I spend $100 bucks on a box, and get two jersey cards and an autograph of a relief pitcher who won’t be heard of in two years, there isn’t much value to it. I know there are prospectors out there, but that doesn’t really do it for me. I’d rather pull one autograph of an MLB veteran than three of rookies who may or may not ever make it past that season.
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 as a process technician at a sugar factory, which I really enjoy. I work 12-hour shifts, which gives me a total of 14 days off on a 28-day rotation, not to mention great pay and benefits. It isn’t quite what I had in mind when I was getting my journalism degree at Sam Houston State University, but it gives me good benefits and allows me to provide for my family, so I’m a happy guy.
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
My wife & I went on our honeymoon in Hawaii, and that was really something else. We went snorkeling, swimming, and biked down an inactive volcano. We also just drove around and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It really makes you completely away from your life at home and allows to to forget all about your day-to-day issues and just enjoy your time with each other.
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.  
As far as local attractions go, baseball related, Fargo is the home of Roger Maris, as well as the Roger Maris Museum and the annual Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament.  We also have a minor league baseball team, the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, and a USHL hockey team, the Fargo Force. Oh yeah, there’s also the NDSU Bison, who are three-time Division 1-FCS National Champions.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?
Dude, I can’t afford any other hobbies.  
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
I’m a dad, which is pretty cool, but apparently, I can’t produce Y chromosomes, as I have three girls. They are age 6, 3, and 2 months, and are pretty awesome, apart from that whole let’s-make-sure-daddy-doesn’t-get-any-sleep thing. I like having girls, but I am dreading the day that I eventually have to sacrifice my man cave, in order for one of the girls to have her own room.
As always, a big thank you to the latest blogger to be featured in my Better Know a Blogger series!  Matt had a lot of great answers but I have to say that my favorite was his retort to my other hobbies question...  "Dude, I can't afford any other hobbies."  That seems to fit me in terms of how I feel right now...especially with Christmas just passing!

I found Matt's job at the sugar factory pretty cool - you don't hear about jobs like that much in north central Pennsylvania!  I also agreed with Matt's assessment of Hawaii.  I had the good fortune of visiting that state once (only for three days though).  I loved every minute there - minus the rather high prices on pretty much everything.  It's so beautiful, and pleasant temperatures...and the snorkeling!  My first time doing that and I loved it!

Thanks for participating Matt - and yes, for those that are wondering there are still a few more Better Know a Blogger editions to come!  We are nearing the end of the volunteers enjoy the final few episodes!


  1. " I have three girls."

    I know someone that won't be getting any sleep for 20 more years. Just when the youngest stops with the ear infections, the oldest will be dating.

  2. Have to agree went to Hawaii on my honeymoon and just went back this summer for my ten year anniversary. Amazing place


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