My name is James B. Anama (I go by JayBee, much more original than writing my name with two letters a la J. B.). I love the game of baseball, and its long and storied history. I guess collecting baseball cards came naturally to me.
I have been a baseball card collector for more than 21 years now, mainly Topps products. I have every basic and traded Topps set from 1976-2008 Topps Series I. As of the time I created this blog, I have over 38,749 cards and many more not included in this tally. This total includes assorted reprint and insert sets from 1995-2008 base sets.
Along with the eponymous Topps set, I am also the proud owner of the following Topps sets:
- 2001 Topps Archives, 2002 Topps Archives: Best Years;
- 2003-2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites;
- 2003 Topps Shoebox Collection;
- 2002-2003 Topps T206 series I, II, and III;
- 2003-2004 Topps T205 series I and II;
- 2004-2005 Topps Cracker Jack;
- 2005-2006 Topps Turkey Red;
- 2006-2007 Topps Allen & Ginter;
- 1986-1990 Topps Mini Leader Cards;
- 1984-1986 Topps Super;
- 1988-1990 Topps Big;
- 1983-1990 Topps All-Star Glossy Send-In Sets;
- 1984-1991 Topps All-Star Glossy Sets;
- 1987-1991 Topps All-Star Glossy Rookie Sets;
- 1990-1992 Major League Debut;
- 2005 Topps Rookie Cup;
- 2006-2007 Topps 14-Card Team Sets, all 30 of them;
- 2005 Topps Hot Button;
I prefer collecting complete sets than single cards (like rookie cards or of just one player) because singles can be too expensive and I think grading is terribly over-rated.
Now comes the more interesting part...why did I create a blog on baseball cards when there are so many good ones out there?
Earlier this week, I was reading posts on a sports card message board, and I stumbled upon one where the guy who started it was talking about how he feels that he was losing his passion for the Hobby (whenever I refer to the hobby of sports card and memorabilia collecting, I will capitalize the word Hobby) and how it's no longer fun anymore . And it made me think. I have been collecting for a very long time now. Am I still passionate about my Hobby? Has it gotten to the point where I'm just going through the motions of buying my one or two hobby boxes, looking online for the insert sets, putting them in their binders and sheets, and then putting the binder away as the new year comes? And then I realized, "yes I am."
For the last ten years or so, I really have not taken the time to relax and look at my cards the way I did when I first started out. While I know the years of each Topps card based on what the design was, I stopped looking at the actual pictures (I mean really looking), reading the card backs, digesting the statistics, learning about the players. What happened to me??? It's simple. I grew up. That's what happens when you collect anything, and then still make time for family, work, and other obligations. The collection takes a back seat. Now that doesn't mean I've ignored the Hobby. I still read the magazines, I read what is posted on message boards. I still buy products. But something was still missing. And it wasn't until I read that post that I discovered what it was. It was taking the time to enjoy what I have.
So I decided to create this blog to allow me the time to enjoy my collection. And I want to share what I have with the collecting public. The baseball cards are and will be the stars of this blog. My job will be to talk about them as best I can. Now I'm no expert. I'm not a hobby insider, nor am I claiming to be fully knowledgable about the Hobby I love. But in 21 years, I think I've gained a little bit of knowledge about cards and card collecting. I fancy myself as a student of the Hobby, always striving to learn about the past, while looking forward to the future. While I don't have the literary skill of a Ben Henry, nor do I have the hobby insights of a Chris Harris, I feel I have some knowledge to pass on to the card collecting world, and it is my hope to share that with you as I finally make the attempts to take time and enjoy my baseball card collection.