This week's blog spotlight is a double feature of sites created by Kevin Brotzman, who many of you know by his Camden Chat screen name of Brotz13. Today you'll hear from Kevin about Orioles Card "O" the Day. His other site, NumerOlogy: The Uniform Number History of the Baltimore Orioles, will get the spotlight later this week.
Like Matt from Roar From 34, I met Kevin for the first time at MASN's Blogger Night in May, but I've been reading both of his blogs for much longer. Card O the Day combines Kevin's love for the Orioles with his love for baseball cards. It's a simple process. Every day, he picks one of his Orioles baseball cards, writes about it, and posts it on his blog. Honestly, it doesn't really sound like the sort of thing that I'd enjoy, but I do. I'm not a baseball card aficionado by any means, but Kevin's writing brings me back daily. The baseball card is really a jumping off point for stories about Orioles history, current events, etc. Of course he loves baseball cards, so there is a fair amount of geeking out over the actual cards themselves (and of course I use "geeking out" in the most complimentary of ways, as I'm sure Kevin is aware).
Kevin answered a few questions about Card "O" The Day. See his wit and wisdom below the jump.
1. As far as Orioles sites go, Card "O" The Day is unique. Do you remember how and why you decided to create it?
I started reading other people's card blogs in 2007, and that's what sucked me back in to collecting cards. From there, it was probably just a matter of time before I started my own. However, I was originally going to feature a card a week on my NumerOlogy site as a way to show off a bit of my collection and keep producing new content even if there weren't any number-related updates to the site in a given week. But the more I thought about it, I realized that it might work better as a stand-alone blog. I also figured that I had enough Orioles cards to make it a daily thing, and that's even truer now than it was when I started. At this point, I could keep posting until the day I die and probably not exhaust the possibilities.
2. OK, spill. How many baseball cards do you actually have?
My collection has mushroomed in the past two years, since I got back into it as a regular hobby. Between readers who aren't collecting any more and just gave me their cards and fellow bloggers and collectors that I trade with by mail, I've almost doubled the number of cards that I own. Oh, and once or twice a month I actually buy cards, whether from eBay or Target or a hobby show. The count is at about 28,000 right now, which doesn't even include the duplicates. There are piles all over the dressers in my room as well as on my computer desk. I'm looking to move in the next month and desperately trying to organize, but in my mind it's a good problem to have!
3. You have a bunch of links to other baseball card sites. Is there some sort of baseball card internet sub-culture we should know about?
Haha, you can't run from the baseball card underground. The awesome thing about the Internet in general and blogs in particular is that it's so niche-driven. If you have an interest in something, you can quickly find a community that celebrates it. As a 27-year-old guy, it would be easy to be self-conscious about being immersed in a so-called children's hobby. But there's less of a stigma when you realize that so many other men and women your age (and older) are so devoted to it as well.
There are a few prominent card blogs that have been around for several years, including the Baseball Card Blog (no longer being updated), Cardboard Gods, and Stale Gum. It seems like they're the inspiration for dozens of blogs that have sprung up in the past few years. I enjoy reading these other blogs because I learn about cards and sets that I wasn't familiar with, and also because at the root of it all of these writers love baseball. Practically every fan base is represented in this little community: Mets, Braves, White Sox, Dodgers, you name it.
There's also a lot of support between card bloggers. We comment on each other's posts, share links between blogs, and as I mentioned, there's a lot of trading and card giveaways. That's the part that I really enjoy. The people that I've "met" through doing this are unfailingly generous and they make the hobby more fun. I do a lot more trading now than I did when I was first into collecting in middle school.
4. Your entries alternate between writing about events surrounding the person on the card and the card itself. Can you pick out a few example entries that would be a good introduction to those who are unfamiliar with your site?
In September 2008, I met Boog Powell at an autograph signing. I like to find the links between the team and my personal experiences. http://oriolescards.blogspot.com/2008/09/vintage-fri-umvintage-saturdays-boog.html
Sometimes I just go off a tangent about my own personal life, which may or may not be interesting to the rest of the world. Judge for yourself with this post featuring Brian Burres and a story about my high school cross country coach trying to leave me at the hotel. http://oriolescards.blogspot.com/2008/02/brian-burres-2007-topps-52-rookies-119.html
It's always fun to make lists, as I did when I compiled the Born-in-Maryland team.
Every Friday, I post a vintage (1954-1980) card, and that's often a great opportunity to dig up a little team history. For instance, did you know that the foul lines at Memorial Stadium were originally wooden slats?
5. Anything important about this site you'd like people to know?
I've written about 17 Cal Ripken, Jr. cards, but only one Chris Sabo card. That sounds about right.