I've been very busy these last few weeks. Yes, I've bought cards (I found the Cubs and the two All-Star Team retail sets and will go over them soon). If you catch the Facebook patch on the sidebar of the blog, you'd see that last week, my daughter (the big Derrek Lee fan) and her dance troupe won gold at the Starbound National Dance competition, and we got to watch her perform. I'm so proud of her. But I digress.
At the end of April, I updated the Sports Card Blogroll. The glitches, as you probably had read on here, have finally been fixed and I've been busy adding a number of new blogs to the site. But I also had to remove a few, including one that caught a lot of people's attention: '75 Topps (it's far out man). First came the comments:
Maybe a new list for blogs which have a start and finish, like the '75 Topps blog. He 'finished' it, but it's a great resource and a great read. Like Dickens, these are like serial novels, but they do end, yet continue to exist and serve.
Then from 30-Year Old Cardboard:
I agree with Anonymous, completing a set-based blog is a major accomplishment. Maybe creating a 'retired blogs' section would be a good idea? I would hate to see that blog just disappear...
Finally, an e-mail from friend of the blog Mark Aubrey:
I'm going to petition you to add the "1975 Topps (it's far out, man)"blog to the Sports Card Blogroll Hall of Fame section. I think thatis on par with the 88 Topps Cards blog.
It won't be updated and it really is a work.
What a dilemma. What should I do???
If you haven't read the blog, Night Owl, who already is a prolific writer and number one on many blogger's reading lists, did a great job with profiling every card from the 1975 Topps set. Breaking every down card into a ton of different and unique categories (down to the grouping of two-colored borders), he gave each card a glowing biography. The blog itself even reads like a book just of the iconic '75 Topps set.
Now the problem. Is the blog Hall of Fame Worthy? The Blogroll presently contains three blogs in the HOF section. These blogs will never be removed from the SCBR ever. All three were placed on the HOF section because the blogs and the writers broke new ground. They were influential to a number of writers (including yours truly) and inspired us to dive into the Hobby blogging pool. 88 Topps Cards was the first blog enshrined into the SCBR HOF. I wrote the reasons why almost three years ago. Andy, who wrote the blog, gave each card in both the regular and traded 1988 Topps sets its own day in the sun. And it was a pioneer in that nobody else had done a blog about one entire set and, up to that point, done so to completion. The fact that his site still gets more than a thousand readers a month, more than three years after the blog ended is a testament to what a incredible reference the site is and an influence to many who have dared to create a blog focused on one specific set. Want to know how challenging a blog of this magnitude is? Andy was working on a blog for the 1978 Topps set, but was not able to finish it (to his credit though, he did manage to complete a blog for the 1988 Score Traded set, and was working on another card blog before giving up on the genre altogether).
So back to the point? Is the '75 set blog HOF worthy? Perhaps.
Should every blog that focuses on a specific set manage to be completed be included into the HOF section of the blogroll? No.
I mean, even that 88' Score Traded blog managed to be completed, but it's not HOF worthy (nothing against it Andy...even if it highlights Score cards). Just like debates regarding which players should be inducted into real HOF's or not (and please, I don't want to get into any arguments here), I know that whatever I decide to do, I'll get called out on it. For now, I am not going to put the '75 blog on the HOF section (the writer is still active, and is presently working on not one, but TWO set blogs to go with his eponymous blog).
So before you get out the torches and pitchforks, I have come up with a compromise. I have added a new section to the blogroll called "Retired, but Relevant." It is not going to be part of the main page, but instead on the sidebar just underneath the HOF section. The blogs added to this section will never be removed (but they will also not count towards the active blog roster). I am going to add the '75 Topps blog to this site as it is still extremely relevant (and as a completed blog should be linked in perpetuity on the blogroll anyway). I have added five other blogs to this section as while they are no longer active (save for probably one...), they make great reference sites, especially because of the subject matter. This is probably where completed set blogs will be going when the time comes (note that I said COMPLETED set blogs...if you were working on one and didn't finish, it probably won't be going here). So along with the '75 Topps blog, I am adding the Red Hearts Cards blog to this section.
Yes, the set contains only 33 cards. Yes, the set consists of cards found as a premium that came included with cans of dog food. But when a small, hardly recognized set that came out in 1954 could score both Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial while Topps could not, (and Bowman didn't have Musial in 1954 either), you have an incredible looking set. Yes, the writing about each card is brief compared to the '88 and '75 Topps cards (understatement), but he completed the now 58-year-old set (and none were reprints). So that goes there.
Also, I've always wanted to put the sites that were created after the now popular Ginter Codes were solved. Jason Wong (2008), Nick Jacoby & Mike Gellner (2009), Jacoby & Company (2010), and the trio of Guillaume, Frank, and Ryan (2011) each cracked the Ginter Codes AND wrote blogs explaining how they did it. Instead of having to search for each one, I thought what better way than to have them added onto the blogroll in one easy to find location? So all four of the solution blogs have been added to this new section as well (honestly, the 2011 answer blog isn't retired, but I highly doubt that the boys will be writing on there any time soon).
So there you have it. A compromise. I'm not saying that the '75 Topps blog isn't HOF worthy. It's just that I wanted to save that section for the truly inspirational, the truly unique, the truly pioneering blogs of this Hobby (and they managed to reach six months of inactivity at one point or another). The three blogs inducted into the HOF meet that criteria (along with 88 Topps Cards, the other two blogs are The Baseball Card Blog and Dinged Corners). There are handful of blogs that, when the time comes, will be added to the HOF some day. But for now, the membership remains at three.
I thank all who left comments regarding Night Owl's '75 Topps blog. I invite all of you to tell me what blogs should be included in the R & R section of the blogroll. Certainly the six I picked are worthy of inclusion. But I leave it up to you to tell me if I'm missing any other blogs that are no longer on the active blogroll that should be added back into this new section. Send me e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave comments on this humble little blog and tell me what you think.
This makes three straight posts on here about the SCBR. Maybe one day, I might want to start talking about cards again.