Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Commishbob from 5 Tool Collector)

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):  Bob Andrews aka Commishbob
2. Your blog website:  5 tool collector 
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?  
Wow, first question and I have to provide a ‘cop-out’ answer. I can’t label myself at all. I collect players (Billy Pierce, Brooks Robinson, Mike Cuellar, Johnny Unitas, etc)…. Teams..Orioles, NY Rangers and Baltimore Colts as well as the Houston Cougars. I also collect sets and subsets, mostly subsets of vintage Topps.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
I never think much about the modern card companies. They could probably do me a favor by no longer issuing recycled cards of players I collect. Like the several different Heritage Pierces based on his ’64 card. Just makes it annoying to chase them.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
THIS is a very tough question. I’d say my Orioles/Colts/Rangers Media Guide collection. I’ve been looking for a few old Orioles guides for a couple of decades. I have all the Colts guides finally but lack the ’54 and ’56 Orioles’ guides. I also gave consideration to my fantasy football player collection of cards. It’s a huge binder of all the players I’ve had in 35 years of my league. It would be hard to replace.
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?  
1961 Topps Wes Covington. It’s just all around awesome. Great pose, colors, great card. Runner up would be the ’78 Murray rookie. Just a bad ass card.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
My 1959 Topps Bob Gibson rookie. It’s the only card to survive from my childhood collection. It is literally irreplaceable. 
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?  
Honestly I am anxious to see other folks’ thoughts here because I have been of the opinion that about all the better ideas (and a lot of the lousy ones) have been used… diecuts, rainbows, chrome, plastic, numbered, signed relics…what else is there?
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 coach and teacher and have been for 25 years. I was an admirer of my uncle who did the same when I was growing up and he seemed to enjoy it so much. 
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Cooperstown, New York. The Hall of Fame is fun but probably the best thing about the area is Ostego Lake. The drive around the perimeter of the lake along Highway 80 is fantastic. The view from the south end of the lake, down just a few blocks from the Hall is my favorite of all time. I wish I could retire there.
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 live in Houston now which is a town without any traditions of its own but I grew up in Nutley New Jersey and while there I survived on three staples of my area…Taylor Ham (aka pork roll), Brookdale Soda and Ralph’s Pizza.  Nutley best tradition, at least as far as I was concerned was the annual fireworks show on July 4th at the Park Oval. As a kid it was the coolest night of the year.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I play golf and fantasy football (my league has been around for 35 years), collect Baltimore related paper memorabilia, presidential campaign pins and US quarters, and I enjoy photography and reading historical fiction. 
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
1) My sons are named Brooks Robinson Andrews and Jim Palmer Andrews and were featured on Baltimore morning TV, in the Baltimore Sun and in Baseball Weekly when they were born…. Or 2) I was the “all district freshman” baseball player selection but my family moved to Houston and I attended a school that was brand new that fall and still a year away from establishing their baseball program. I played football but never played another inning of competitive baseball. 
As always, a big thank you to our more recent volunteer in my way-more-popular-than-I-ever-imagined Better Know a Blogger series!  This is our third week of what I thought I'd be lucky to get a single week of posts out of...and so far, not a single blogger in the series has disappointed me in his or her answers!  That trend certainly continued with Bob's answers - in fact, he had a number of interesting ideas that are worth mentioning again.

First, Bob's love of the Orioles has to be mentioned when you discover his sons' names!  That's a level of dedication that I don't think I'd ever be able to convince my own wife of should we ever have children!  I found it interesting that Bob is another in a rather long of educators who also blog about baseball cards!  I wonder why the seemingly strong link between the two (you can count me in that number as well)?

As for Bob's other answers, I have to admit that I'm always happy when someone says that I posed a tough question.  I have ZERO interview question practice/skills but I did try to come up with a questionnaire that avoided the typical cliches (favorite team, card, etc.) while simultaneously still being relatively quick to answer - and ideally fun for the rest of us to read!  I think Bob nailed it, by the way, when he said that all of the better ideas (and a lot of the lousy ones) had already been done in regards to baseball card "innovations."  We have seen a few new ideas come out as a result of this Better Know a Blogger series but overall it seems that there isn't a lot of new places for cards to go.

(that still won't stop all of us from giving Topps crap when they re-hash the same idea for the tenth time however)

Finally, we end today's post with Bob's assessment of Cooperstown and the surrounding area.  I had the fortune of visiting Cooperstown for the second time in my life last summer and I would agree with Bob one hundred percent!  I live a few hours south of Cooperstown but my childhood consisted of riding from PA to VT each summer (to visit my grandparents) and a large chunk of that drive is on 80...which means I went nearby Cooperstown probably hundreds of times without ever getting to stop!  I'm not sure if I'd want to retire there (it's awfully grey in the middle of New York State) but I do love the idea of retiring near a lake.  I'm more of a northern Adirondacks guy...or better yet, the Green Mountains near Lake Champlain in Vermont!


  1. Incredible names for your sons, Bob!

  2. These are great! It's nice to be able to get an "inside" look at other bloggers/collectors.

  3. I wonder if I can incorporate Bob Walk if I ever have a son...../visualizes wife slapping me in the back of my head. Probably not.

  4. My boys are twins, my first choices as names were Elrod Hendricks Andrews and Miguel Cuellar Andrews. My wife didn't buy in on those. ;-)

    I have to dig up the clippings and the video I have of the little news features that ran in Baltimore. Honestly I never thought it would be a big deal. 'Brooks' and 'Brooke' were pretty common names in Baltimore among my generation of parents.

  5. Great to interview .. Like be the answers. Bob has a great Orioles , Colts collection. Every baseball fan has to spend a day or two in Cooperstown


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