Saturday, January 24, 2015

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Nick from Baseball Dime Box)

Is it really fair to keep calling this a theme week when we are over a month into posts with the same theme?  I doubt it, but it's too late to change the title now.  I hope you enjoy the latest feature - only a couple more to go before the entire Better Know a Blogger series will be complete!

1. Your name (or alias):  Nick P.
2. Your blog website:  Baseball Dime Boxes
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I call myself a “little of everything” collector. I like sampling as many cards as I can as much as I can. Between my mini-collections, hundreds of different player collections, and even my non-sports collection, there really isn't an easy way of describing my life as a collector. I don't usually like to latch on to one concrete way of doing things, which might explain why I collect in such a way.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
First off, MLB could start by giving a license to someone other than Topps. Panini should get one, and I'd love to see Upper Deck make a return to baseball cards as well. As far as Topps goes, though, they need to stop recycling so many photos. It's boring and basically like a middle finger to the card community. And, although it'll never happen, my hope is to see the return of Topps Total one day.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
It's tough to pick one, but I'd probably say my Hoyt Wilhelm collection. I've been working on it ever since I first broke back into baseball cards in 2005. His 1952 Topps rookie is (and has always been) my white whale.
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?  
I was a bit hesitant to profess my love for 1995 Fleer at first, but I've found that there are a few '95 Fleer-ites out there that join me in my appreciation of the “LSD set.” As far as specific cards go, one that comes to mind is the umpire-less 2008 Stadium Club Manny Ramirez. I love that card way more than I probably should.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
That's a tough one, but I'd have to go with my 1973 Topps Roberto Clemente.
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?  
This is going to sound very Total-esque, but Topps should make a set of all base cards without any inserts or parallels (because Lord knows we get enough of those in other Topps sets). Make the checklist big, and market packs from anywhere from 49 to 99 cents a pop. 
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 an English major at Northeastern Illinois University. I really don't have a specific job in mind as of right now, and I'm basically hoping for any decent gig I can get once I graduate at the end of 2015.
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Memphis, Tennessee. My family and I took a trip there when I was about ten. I was a little young to appreciate it at the time, but we saw Sun Studio, Graceland, Beale Street, and a whole lot of other music history. The food there was second-to-none as well.
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.  
There's a local joint called Gene and Jude's that has the absolute best hot dogs I have ever tasted, bar none. I'm not too big of a hot dog guy, but I usually try and make a trip to Gene and Jude's at least once a month. The fresh cut fries are magnificent as well. Oh, and if you go there, don't ask for ketchup. They don't have any.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I (try) to play both the guitar and bass and occassionally try my hand at songwriting. Music has always been one of my biggest passions in life, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if I began record collecting at some point down the road. (If the day comes where I could ever afford more than one hobby.)
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
Thanks in large part to my time in the blogosphere, I began to try my hand at writing this past year. I'm currently working on a novel and recently had a short story published by my school's literary journal. Oh, and I can cook a mean Ramen Noodle as well. (I'm not exactly the next Iron Chef.)
As always, a big thank you to our latest volunteer in my Better Know a Blogger series!  I think most people are probably familiar with Nick's blog since he has a great writing style (and a seemingly endless amount of stories to tell involving baseball cards).  However, it was great to get to know some other sides of Nick!

I had to look up Gene and Jude's hot dog place since I've never heard of it...and man, now I really want a hot dog.

*Editor's note:  I wrote this post on Thursday evening and my wife had a random craving for KFC.  I had to take a break and drive down there.  On the plus side, we both figured any cravings for KFC will definitely be gone for at least six months.  Ew to most of that.  I would have preferred a Gene and Jude's hot dog!

Looking at some of Nick's baseball card related answers, I was intrigued most by his idea of a no-frills, cheap set.  I wonder if something like that would be marketable - and enough of a money maker for Topps to do it.  I'm guessing that the royalties for the players, licensing, etc. must make it hard to charge a low would seem like Topps would have tried something like that at least once in the past decade or so otherwise.  Then again, maybe I'm giving Topps too much credit.

Thanks again, Nick!  For everyone else, stay tuned to the blog for a couple more entries in my Better Know a Blogger series!  Once my own entry hits, you can be sure the series is over.  Before then though, if you want in (and haven't provided me your answers as of now), feel free to email me for the questionnaire to fill out!


JediJeff said...

Next time we hit up Orland, Nick, we'll swing down Harlem and hit up Don's. Used to be a franchise for Jr's, which is a dog they must have missed tasting in that competition. Then we'll swing by G&J after the National this year.

Nick said...

Thanks for featuring me, Chris! If you're craving Gene and Jude's, KFC probably won't cut it.

I don't know that a low-end set like Total will be marketable/profitable ever again, but, to me, it would more represent a gesture on Topps's part. Even if it's not the cash cow like one of their high-end sets, it would mean that they're still interested in the low-end collector. But expecting Topps to put out anything that wouldn't make them money is probably wishful thinking at this point.

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