(Even) Better Know a Blogger: Diamond Jesters

Welcome to (Even) Better Know a Blogger week!  Each day this week, my goal is to publish an interview with a fellow blogger.  To be included, bloggers had to email me for a questionnaire, fill it out, and then email it back to me.  Simple!  I think many of us enjoyed getting to know fellow bloggers back when I ran a similar feature a number of years ago...and I'm happy to report that some of the same people that participated back then joined up this time around as well!  Let's get to it!


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1.       Your name (or alias if preferred): Matt Keppel
2.       Your blog website: Diamond Jesters
3.       Your social media handle(s):  Not really on social media outside of Facebook. My Trading Card Database ID is Kep75 though.
4.       What are your favorite sport teams? Boston Red Sox and Buffalo Sabres

5.       What kind of collector do you consider yourself to be (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.).  
I really don't consider myself to any type of collector. I guess I would fit the team collector ideal best, but I don't really go chasing after every Red Sox card I can. I just like opening packs and seeing what I can get. 

Why do you collect that way?  Because I'm cheap! (Ha!) I really don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on the hobby, so I try to treat myself to a pack every payday or so.

6.       What is your favorite item in your collection? 
The one card I treasure the most is a 1987 Hygrade card of Mickey Mantle. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Mantle at a card show in Niagara Falls and have him sign it.

7.       If you could add any one card to your collection (that you don’t currently own), what card would it be and why? 
I've always wanted to add a vintage Ted Williams card from his playing days. Probably something from his Fleer set. As arguably the greatest Red Sox player, he's someone I've always been enamored by, but his career was far over when I first started collecting.

8.       Thinking back to when you first started collecting, how have your habits changed (if at all)? 
When I was young and could make collecting my primary focus, I was a set collector. I used to enjoy the thrill of piecing together a complete set.  Any ideas why? Once again, I'm cheap! Also, the abundance of short prints, inserts, and parallel sets makes set collecting a lot more difficult.

9.       If an alien being came down from the stars and forced you to describe yourself using no more than three cards as talking points, how would you do it?  

Now this one took some thought! I did manage to come up with something though:

  • 2015 Topps Update #US115b Stephen Vogt
  • 1995 Stadium Club #51 Rex Hudler
  • 2019 Topps Heritage #310 Red Sox Celebrate World Series Title Win!

Vogt:  This one turned out to be a two-for-one special for me. I wanted to have a card showing a player with his kid. I have two young daughters, and being a father is the core of who I am as a person. My family is everything to me. When I saw this card, it held another meaning for me as well. Vogt is holding up a Stand Up To Cancer sign, and I am a cancer survivor myself. I've participated in numerous cancer awareness and research fundraisers over my life.
Hudler:  I also wanted a baseball card of a player being goofy. I have an offbeat sense of humor. Like Hudler, I'm not beyond making faces or telling an awful "dad joke" to get a reaction out of people.
Red Sox:  I have to include a card of my favorite team, right? I've been a Red Sox fan since Roger Clemens led the team to the World Series in 1986.

10.   If you could give any of the major sport card companies one piece of advice about something you’d like changed (or perhaps simply continued) what would it be? 
Ease up on the parallels and inserts! Nobody wants 8 different colored borders of the same card!

11.   Where do you live?  Waynesboro, Virginia
What is your favorite local food? 
Honestly, I don't think the area is known for anything particular. There are a lot of great local restaurants though! I'd probably vote for either the burgers at the Tailgate Grill or the steak fajita nachos from Enigma.

12.   If someone were to visit you, what place (within an hour of travel from your residence) would you suggest someone be sure to check out?
Although the Shenandoah Valley has a lot great historical sights to see, I would probably take a visitor to the Grand Caverns (Grand Caverns - Grottoes, VA).

13.   What is your profession? 
I am the Senior Computer Technician for a small locally owned IT company.
How did you end up there?
I went to college as a Computer Science major, but decided I didn't really enjoy programming. My familiarity with computers led to numerous smaller jobs before I ended up here. 

14.   Do you have any hobbies besides card collecting? 
I wouldn't consider them hobbies, but I enjoy reading, playing board games, and watching movies.

15.   Tell me something interesting about yourself that hasn’t been covered in the first 14 questions!
I'll be attending my second "Weird Al" Yankovic concert next week. The first was almost 30 years ago!


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As always, a major "thank you" to our latest participant!  Matt had a bunch of answers that intrigued me, starting (as usual with me) with the non-baseball stuff.  I had never heard of the Grand Caverns before but they look pretty cool based on the webpage.  I'm also very much interested to learn more about Matt's interest in board games.  I love playing board games but I don't have many people around me who seem to share the same passion I do. 

Turning to the baseball questions, I think my favorite answer in the entire interview was Matt's reasoning for why he chose his three cards.  The Vogt card reasoning, in particular, was touching! 

Thanks again to Matt - and yes, there are still some more interviews to come as part of my (Even) Better Know a Blogger series.  I would invite you to check back through my archives to see the other interviews done so far (this is the fourth of the series) and then go ahead and check out each person's individual blog! 

Comments

  1. Thanks for letting me participate! It was a lot of fun! As far as board games go, I'll play anything! I don't get to play much due to the fact that I have no social life. :) I do try to get my daughters to play at least once a week (Exploding Kittens is the current favorite..)

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  2. This was great, I've gotten to know a little bit about Matt before but learned a lot more here. Definitely agree with #10, and the choice of 3 cards was perfect.

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  3. Between the Weird Al appreciation, the Dad jokes, the set collecting, I felt like I found a long-lost cousin or something. Outside of that inexplicable Red Sox fandom ;)

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  4. Great stuff. Matt... hope you have fun at the Weird Al Yankovic concert. Sounds like a blast.

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