Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Alex from Chavez Ravining)

Welcome back to another Better Know a Blogger post in my ongoing series.  Today's entry marks the final set of answers to my questionnaire that I received in the year 2014.  I do have a few more posts waiting to be written from answers received in January of this year though - so the entire series isn't quite yet done!  Of course, if you still haven't participated and would like to, now is the time to shoot me an email for the questionnaire.  Once I post my own answers to the Better Know a Blogger series, I will consider the series complete!

Now, let's get to know another fellow blogger!

1. Your name (or alias):  Alex Markle
2. Your blog website:  Chavez Ravining
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I have dabbled in a ton of different collecting habits. I started out (only about a year and a half ago) as a team collector. I pretty much collected any and all Dodgers. I kept that going for a while then started getting into set building. Time and money eventually became an issue and I have settled into becoming a player collector, though I still pick up Dodgers cards when I get the opportunity. I enjoy player collecting the most, simply because I feel like I am achieving something, whereas I feel my collecting habits beforehand were to diverse. 
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
To be honest, there isn’t a ton that card companies can do to make my style of collecting better at the moment. All of the players I collect are pretty well represented in products nowadays, so I have nothing to complain about. However, I would like to see a more diverse checklist in the future. I love me some Yasiel Puig, but there is no reason to have 5 different cards of him in one set. I would also like to see more products sold in retail (Stadium Club, Finest). Finally, I would LOVE it if these companies did away with lettered numbering on the back of their cards. It is insanely difficult putting together a set with cards like MM-MAK and T87CK. 
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
My Matt Kemp PC is by far the highlight of my collection. 

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?  
1992 Upper Deck Top Prospects Shawn Green. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the stuff from the ‘90s, but I absolutely love this card. Perhaps it is because it was the first card I remember ever getting, but something about it draws me in. 

7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
Oooh. Tough question. I currently have a card in route to my mailbox that would take the cake, but it isn’t here yet, so I won’t count it. I’ll instead say my 2012 Matt Kemp Topps Five Star Baseball Auto Relic FSAR-MK, #'d 20/97 (Blue Swatch). It was the very first Matt Kemp auto in my collection, and I don’t plan on ever trading it. If we were talking about memorabilia on the other hand, there is no doubt that I would hang on to my Game-Used Matt Kemp autographed and cracked bat. That is the ultimate collector’s item for me. 
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 not too creative, but there are some things that they could do that would interest me. An all-black border set (ala 1971) would be cool. Less rookie autos and more veteran autos. Less boring up close action pictures, and more pictures like they have in Stadium Club.
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 currently a student majoring in English Education. I attend a community college at the moment, but I am transferring to Fresno State in the Fall to work on my BA. I also plan on completing my masters, most likely at CSU Fullerton if things go according to plan. The goal is to eventually teach English at the college level. On top of being a student, I am also an English and History Tutor at my college. I also work at a mini storage, which while boring, can lead to fun finds at auctions. 
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Dodger Stadium. I don’t travel too often, but I absolutely love driving down to LA to catch a Dodgers game. The stadium is beautiful. The weather is always nice. It is pretty rad checking out all of the ladies in Dodger gear as well. Also, knowing that I am in the same building as Vin Scully gives me goosebumps. 
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.  
Hmm. I am probably the most boring eater in the universe. I live in a town with fantastic Mexican food (or so I hear), but I cannot handle any spice at all. Like none. Salsa – nope. Hot Cheetos – nope. Pepperoni – nope. I know it’s not local, but I do love me some Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation. 
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I honestly don’t have time for any other hobbies. I work two jobs, go to school full-time, and write sporadically on my blog. You may want to ask me again in a few years haha. 
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
I’ve been to Dodger Stadium ten different times in my life and the home team has gone 8-2. 
As always, a big thank you to our latest volunteer Alex.  Without all of the great volunteers, my Better Know a Blogger series would have been a total flop...instead it has easily become one of the best features I've ever done on my blog!  That wouldn't be possible without all of your support.

Now, let's take a look at some of Alex's answers.

My favorite response of his was part of his answer in regards to what companies could do to improve their product:  "Finally, I would LOVE it if these companies did away with lettered numbering on the back of their cards. It is insanely difficult putting together a set with cards like MM-MAK and T87CK."

Yes, yes, one thousand times yes!  I'm a big set collector and using only letters to "number" a set is terribly frustrating.  So much so, in fact, that sets numbered with only letters are quickly becoming sets that I ignore.  I hate it - and how hard would it be for Topps to simply use numbers like they used?   Answer:  It wouldn't be hard.  Topps just likes to make things difficult sometimes (see 2008 Stadium Club for another example of Topps making things unnecessarily difficult)!

Moving back to Alex's responses, I'm also a bit jealous of how many times he has been able to go to Dodger Stadium.  I live on the east coast of the US so it's somewhat understandable that I've never been to Dodger Stadium...but I have been to the old Petco Park in San Diego years ago - not quite the same history there as there is in Dodger Stadium!

Thanks again Alex for your answers!  And, as I said above, consider this one of the final chances for anyone else who wants to get involved in the Better Know a Blogger series to do for the questionnaire if you are interested!


Suzy Lulgjuraj said...

There are numbers on the back of the inserts in Series 1. But the autos and relic are in such a state of flux that it really cannot be done. Say, for some reason a card has to removed two days before release ... now you have a gap in the numbering system for no good reason.

Alex Markle said...

Thanks again for this! Looking forward to the next one.

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