The blog’s author, Brian, posts several times daily, and regularly dedicates a full day of posts to one of his favorite players on the guy’s birthday. His regular series’ include "Top Ten Lists" and recapping his purchases from the monthly baseball card shows.
Brian is a Marlins fan, and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. This interview took place right after the Miami/Toronto trade that sent several Marlins stars up north, so Brian was admittedly rather upset at his team at that point. Enjoy the Q&A!
Q: How did you get started collecting baseball cards?
A: When I was in the third grade, my mom brought me to the card store in the mall by our house and said that because I got a good report card I could pick five packs of cards. Five packs cost less than $3.00 back in the day, but it was her small investment that got me hooked. I actually ended up pulling a 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly rookie that day!! I have been hooked on baseball cards ever since (even though I took a 15-year break from collecting).
Q: Why choose Andre Dawson as your "super-collection"?
A: For me, Dawson personified playing the game the right way. He was a supreme defender and relied on his skills - speed, power, agility - to excel in all aspects to his game. I have always been drawn to the 5-tool players, and Dawson was certainly amongst them. I liked him as far back as 1983/84 when I first got into watching baseball on television, but when I moved to Chicago in 1989 is when my fondness for him as a player took over. Coming from Miami and not having a team to call my 'home team' to going to Chicago and having the Cubs as a team and him as a player on that team is what made me really attach myself to him. I moved back to FL in 1994, and Dawson was a Marlin in 95 & 96 so it was fun to then cheer for him on another 'home team'.
Now, I just try to honor his Hall of Fame career by collecting and sharing Dawson-related stuff with others that have similar interests. You have no idea how thrilled I was when he finally got elected into the Hall of Fame - easily the single greatest sports memory of my life to this point! And long overdue too!!
Q: What is your favorite Dawson-related item in your collection?
A: Wow, there are a lot of them. If I had to single out my most favorite, it would be a picture that my wife took of me, Andre, Jeff Conine, and my two sons at Marlins FanFest in 2010. It was a lot of fun to watch my kids interact with Dawson and Conine for those few minutes in the dugout, and both players were great with the kids. I will never get a chance to take my kids with me to watch Andre play baseball, but this was as close as you could get to that.
Q: Say you were given the reins of the Topps Company; what would be the first thing you would change?
A: I'm not certain that I would change anything. I think that they could do a few more things to appeal to a larger (and younger) audience, but that goes for all collectible companies.
Pricing is certainly something that I would look at, maybe try to find a solid brand to release at $0.99 per pack??
If I did have the reins for a day, I would implement the following:
- Issue Archives in cello and rack pack form
- Bring back 'Super Veterans' in the 2013 Archives set
- Put gum in Allen & Ginter
- Make more sense of the players included in themed subsets
- Add manager cards back into the flagship sets
Q: Grade the Marlins 2012 season, and hand out the team MVP, Cy Young, and ROY trophies.
A: Easy, F. The team was really not fun to watch this year, but I still did because they are my team. With all of the expectations that were placed on the team by their management and then to finish in last place again was tough to swallow. On top of that, it is hard to watch the other teams in your division get better as you add 'talent' and decline. The Nats are so much fun to watch, and the Braves are always in it. I have to say, even the Mets were better than us last year...
MVP = Jose Reyes
Cy Young = Steve Cisek
ROY = Justin Ruggiano
It's very possible that nobody outside of Miami has heard of my CY and ROY winners, but that is what it is going to be like for most Marlins players for the next few years...
A: I like the hire. Catchers seem to be good coaches, and he has put in his work in the minors. The Marlins will look like a minor league team next season, so he will not have to deal with a lot of high-paid egos in the locker room. That will help ease him into the job so the sole focus can be baseball and really working the young guys to see what they can do. In 3-4 years, maybe we can compete again....