Some of you who know me well enough will know that I’m a big fan of baseball!
This is a pretty unusual occurrence for someone from this side of the Atlantic, but there are plenty of us out there, trust me! It’s not something I widely broadcast, nor do I hide it away like a dirty little secret, but you do get some pretty strange look when you explain to people where your interests lie… Usually its in the form of an open-mouthed gape, as the cogs creak to motion to ask that single question – “Why??”
Growing up in the 80′s in the UK I learned to worship ALL things American! I lived my life stuck to the TV screen, absorbing anything that the US could throw at me – The A-Team, Knight Rider, Airwolf… even Streethawk! There were also great comedies such as M.A.S.H, Cheers and The Cosby Show! Later came a steady influx of US movies to keep me going through my late teens and into my student years! I completely fell in love with America and its culture!
It was only natural that a love of US Sports would grow organically from this! But this was true to up to a point, as it was only really the NBA that grabbed my attention at the time!
I remember watching highlights of the NBA Finals in the latter part of the 80′s, loving the hard, work man-like graft of the Celtics over the flashier ‘Showtime’ ball played by the Lakers! I remember booing at the brutish behaviour of the Pistons! I also remember being pretty nonplussed by the early exploits of a pair from Chicago by the names of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. “What’s the big deal about these guys?” I recall thinking to myself… Neither of them could hold a torch to Larry Bird! “What are they ever going to achieve with their careers??”.
Baseball didn’t come along for another decade. As I got older I moved away from basketball and started to appreciate what the MLB had to offer. Over the years I steadily immersed myself in Baseball folklore and history. Thanks to the exemplary documentary making skills of Ken Burns* I started to appreciate where Baseball came from and why it means so much to the American people – why it’s so ingrained in American culture!
So started a love affair with a sport that remains to this day.
Because I’m a hoarder by design the notion of baseball card collecting came pretty naturally as well. This interest coincided with the emergence of eBay in the late 90’s, making the acquisition of the cards themselves so much easier.
This hobby carried on up until Erin was born in 2001 but I picked it up again on a small-scale basis around 2011. In 2012 I started my very first blog – The Wax Fantastic – and I started to make new friends in the collecting community all over the world!
Today marks the first post on my new site – The Baseball Card Hub – a mini-blog dedicated to looking at new and upcoming baseball card products and reviews. Feel free to check it out my clicking here.
The purpose of this post is to give you a small inkling as to where my love of baseball comes from. Over the course of time I’ll be using this blog to bring you stories of baseball past and present and, of course, baseball cards! This is just a heads-up, just a warning in advance before you start asking the question – “Why the hell does he keep going on about baseball?”
And before I go I’ll leave you with a picture of All-Star outfielder, future Hall of Famer and the man who possessed perhaps the sweetest swing in baseball history – Ken Griffey Jr.
* As an aside, if you ever get the chance then please watch the documentary Baseball by Ken Burns. Click on the link and it will take you to the Wikipedia page so you can read about it. What Burns does is take us on a journey from post-Civil War America all the way up to the 1980’s, telling not just the story of baseball as a sport, but also exploring major themes along the lines of racism, labour relations and the relationship itself between ‘The National Pastime’ and American society in general! Not only is it fascinating viewing but it might also change your opinion of this game that I love so much!