Potch Wheeler Turns One

Back in my card-collecting prime of 1978 to 1983, pre-teen me of course never imagined the cards in my hands would be some of the same cards 43-year-old me would be writing about on a blog well into the 21st Century.

We didn't know a "blog" from a cog or an "internet" from a hairnet. We only knew that by 2012 we'd be getting around in flying cars and have robots cleaning our homes. Baseball cards, of course, would be holograms that could talk with you, answer baseball questions and teach you how to drop the perfect bunt or throw a devastating curve ball.

I'm glad I rediscovered baseball cards. I'm glad I rekindled the passion. I don't know if I'll eventually burn out on the blog and wander off into the ether, but I'm pretty sure that baseball cards will always be a part of my life. Going forward, I see myself building my pre-76 "vintage" collection, which is anemic right now, and completing the sets I collected as a youngster ('76-'83) and surely chasing the yearly Heritage offering.

February will mark my first anniversary of coming back to the hobby. Last year I sampled (sometimes heavily) everything released. I enjoyed it, mostly, but I plan to stay focused going forward. My random spending has left me with some great cards I certainly want - but an awful lot of trade bait too.

I won't collect the 2012 base set, but I did sign up for a couple of breaks just to get ahead on my favorite teams and maybe get a little bit of trade bait. I do plan to buy Heritage in March and April while it's still around.

I really don't plan to buy much else but I'm sure the lure of opening packs means I'll be picking up some here and there. I'll also admit that I'm concerned Gypsy Queen will hook me - but I'm going to do my best to resist.

As for the blog, I have a couple of periodic series: Hoosiers on Cardboard and, my pet project, the Fun-Time Baseball Hall. "Hoosiers" is a nice way for me to acquaint myself over time with players from my home state. The Fun-Time Hall is my way of getting closer to the game's history by examining the best players from each franchise. You've already helped me induct the first-year Tigers and now we're wrapping up voting for the Angels.

In February, as my way of celebrating a year with the blog, I'm going to debut "Cardboard Heroes" - a series with brief write-ups on the favorite cards in my collection. Many of you have done this, of course, so this isn't breaking new ground.

But, I like to think that keeping a record will be nice to refer to over time and, frankly, will be a good way for my young daughter - who looks to be the eventual owner of my favorite cards - to know precisely which cards meant the most to me - and why. I'll even indulge the thought that a future grandchild of mine will inherit my old favorite cards and get to know a bit about why I held them dear.
Will this card make the list? It's a fair Gamble. (Well, actually, it's a sweet Gamble.)
This one seems to be on many such lists. I love mine but I'm willing to, ahem, bet it won't make the Heroes list.
These cardboard heroes (and the phrase has always meant as tongue in cheek as I only have a few true heroes and I know them all quite well) won't necessarily be cards that are the most valuable dollar-wise (although a few might be); but they'll be the cards most valuable to me.

They likely will be pulled heavily from my prime collecting years as so many of those cards take me back to a very innocent time in my life, but I expect there also will be some pulled from cards I've chased down this year - including vintage acquisitions.

I'm a list kind of guy so eventually I'll surely select a top 100 or top 111 or top 726 - who knows. I'm a bit of an oddball, so we'll see where I go with that.

Whatever happens here on the blog, it's been a fun first year. Trading with literally dozens of fellow bloggers and readers has been an amazing way to build and improve and winnow my collection.

Of course reading the great blogs out there also has been phenomenal. I've learned a lot about the hobby from these fine blogs and not just from the blogs widely considered to be the best around.

Everyone seems to have their place, their unique perspective. It's been a blast discovering my own private cardboard nation.


  1. We started out blogs right around the same time, so I've always enjoyed yours and made it a point to read. It's certaintly one of my favorites. Congrats on the birthday!

  2. Congrats on the one year BD. Looking forward to another.


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