All right. Some of you may be asking what in the world is this thing. Well, it's a blog. Ha, ha, funnyman. We knew that. But what is it?. What is it's reason for being? Why does the interwebs need yet another blog cluttering up the joint? Well, let me explain.
You can get the full interesting story here. Here's the boring antiseptic version. I have a lot of trading cards. All kinds of cards. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, non-sports, game cards, playing cards, business cards, a whole lotta cards. Some of them are special cards. Rookies, inserts, relics, autographs, again, all kinds of cards. I want to organize these cards - at least the good ones - and post a list online so I can pull up a page and see what I have.
Ok, we get it. You have a lot of cards. Buy why the blog? And why autographs?
The reason why I'm posting all my autograph cards is simple. After really sitting down and thinking about it, of all my "expensive" cards, I believe the autographs are the most worthwhile and will in the long run retain the most value. While rookie cards and relic cards and short printed serial numbered cards are popular and can be sold for a lot of money in the right circumstances, they are are in essence just pieces of cardboard. Cardboard with artificially inflated values. Don't get me wrong, I love cardboard. Cardboard is wonderful. I have a lot of cardboard. Even the relic cards, yeah there is a little slice of memorabilia in there, but it's still just a little object embedded in cardboard.
Get to the point.
Ok. The thing about autographs is they represent a tiny little piece of another person's life.
An autograph - any autograph - is the result of a physical act by a person. It takes about 3 to 5 seconds of that person's life to grab a pen and scribble their name. It's something a lot more personal than an object they may have touched at one time. That autograph came from their own hand. Even if it's faked someone had to write it whether it's a forger, or a bat boy or the player's wife.
So... you don't like relic cards, but you do like forgeries?
No. You're completely missing the point here. An autograph is personal is all, and I find them to be more interesting than other insert cards.
Ok, autographs are interesting. So why a blog?
I want to organize my autograph cards in a way where I can easily see what I have and who I have. Writing them all down in a notebook just won't cut it. Neither will putting them all in a spreadsheet or database. Sure, I would be able to sort them all, but I couldn't actually see them. I could dump them all in an image bucket, but that would require some work and would limit the amount of info I could include on each card. Now, in a blog I can post a scan of the card, include relevant information about it, and label it for easy reference. I can also share them with everyone else. Why have a neat collection if it's just going to sit in a musty box in the basement until you croak and your wife sells them to the first card shop that will take them for about .001% of book value? I might as well show 'em off.
In other words it's more fun?
Ok, so you like autographs and like blogging. So what's up with the name?
It's a pun. Auto... autograph... I'm sharing them in a blog so it's for the People...
Well, Duh, but why a reference to an old R.E.M. album?
I went to the University of Georgia in the early 90's. Automatic for the People was the first album they released while I was a student there. There has a huge deal made about it since it was the first one since Out of Time completely blew up and sold about 30 billion copies. The title was a reference to a local restaurant, Weaver D's. I think it was a soul food place. I wanted to go there because R.E.M. liked it but I was a chickenshit freshman too scared to leave the dining halls. Oh well. Basically it was a nice pun from a kick-ass album by a really good band.
So is that your favorite R.E.M. album?
Nah, Out of Time is better simply because Texarkana is one of the best songs ever. If I had to choose one I'd probably pick Fables of the Reconstruction. It's still a decent album though and Drive is one of my favorite songs from them.
So you really think you'll get sued by R.E.M.?
No, that's just another joke. Stranger things have happened though, I guess it depends on whether their lawyers get paid by the lawsuit. If I get a C&D order, I'll probably write back asking for an autograph and change the name of the blog.
You'd want Michael Stipe's autograph even if his lawyers threaten you?
Sure, why not? I was one of the only people at UGA to go through my entire college career without having an R.E.M. sighting so what the heck. I'd take an auto. I wouldn't ask for Stipe's though.
Whose autograph would you want then?
I'd ask for one from Mike Mills. Stipe probably gets pestered for autographs all the time, but no one ever shows the bass player any love.
So what would you name the blog if/when you get sued?
Yeah, it's a B-52's song. The B-52's are ten times as good a band as R.E.M. anyway.
You're really weird, do you know that?
I blog about baseball cards, what did you expect?
I didn't expect you to talk to yourself in a sort of fake interview.
Oh, I can explain that. That's going to be the structure of the posts. I'll have five questions on who, what, where, how and why for each card that I will answer. It will make things easier on me and it will keep me from bullshitting for twenty paragraphs on every card.
Interesting. What are the questions?
Here they are:
Who is this?
What is this?
Where'd I get it?
How much did it cost?
Why is this so special?
Those five questions sum up the card pretty well.
Why isn't there a question for when?
Man, I've been collecting for 25 years, I can't remember when I got all these cards. I'll be damn lucky if I can remember the where and how, let alone the when. Any extra info I have will end up in the why answer anyway.
You already have a baseball card blog, Cardboard Junkie and you post regularly on A Pack A Day. How are you going to keep up with another one?
It really won't be that hard. It takes all of 10 minutes to scan nine cards front and back. The post structure keeps things concise and to the point. I can probably knock out a month's worth of posts in a couple hours. I want to get a lot of these done quickly anyway, to build up the inventory and then I can dole them out one per day with no additional work.
So it this how this blog is always going to look?
No. I found a template I could live with for now, but I plan to create a logo eventually and do some tweaking with the design. Set a background, add some links, that sort of thing. I'm going to build up the posts before I mess with that though. This looks good enough for now.
Alright, man. Good luck with that.
Ok thanks, um, me.
You really are weird.
I can't argue that.
1987 Topps, Dave Leiper
1 day ago