Klein’s Korner: Our Little Corner of the World – As many of you know I’m Jewish which is pretty obvious since I reference my synagogue often and run card shows at that location twice a year. I’ve had an interesting year as I even led services one night and have been active in other ways also. We also have an approximately 10 day period which are titled “The Days of Awe” which occur immediately after the month of Elul which is our time of reflection. Now those are details you all probably did not know or want to know but I think if you are in this business, thinking about more than day to day issues can be very important. So much stuff comes at us each day that stepping back can be very difficult but is also very needed.
During the past week Drew of Lemme Get That Podagraph started harping on these Iconic Ink facsimile autograph cards featuring Mets uber-rookie Peter Alonso. Here is an example of what one looks like.
Now these cards have a perfectly legal eBay listing even if the moral authority of these cards are lacking. The worst aspect for show dealers and store owners is when someone comes to them with one of these cards and you have to explain that these cards have no collector value and you have a nice collectible but it is not really a re-sellable item.
This example, while not as serious as some of the issues in the hobby is just one of the myriad issues the hobby has faced in recent years. I think my comment on Twitter was based on a great bit of wisdom I heard on the old M*A*S*H* television series. Whenever anyone tried to say the doctors were interested in changing the world the response would be: “No, just our little corner of the world.”
Perhaps that can be our way to deal with any and all issues which come up. This is not to echo our Rabbi’s Yom Kippur sermon, of which he said he has given an updated version of every year since the end of the 20th century to improve in both big and small ways. (Trust me, I will not hear the end of that from my wife all year so I now have that hanging over my head) but we can all pick a topic or two to improve upon. That can include: How we buy or don’t buy material from the public? I know every store owner here in DFW gets constant phone calls about “do you buy 1980′-90’s cards?” One newer local store went so far as to not have a store phone so they don’t have to answer that question daily. Telling people their cards are worth very little is the worst part of life. On those occasions when I receive a call such as that is to begin by explaining the standard wholesale and specify there are exceptions. If we establish the cards are from the over-produced era everyone knows they will get something but not very much, and that’s a good beginning to the conversation.
Everyone has their pet issue in the hobby to complain about and if we all spend our time just working on fixing one little corner of the hobby we can all have a great year before Elul in 2020. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a year In which we fixed one issue permanently and started working on other ones as well? If you do what you think is the right thing to do, then we’ll all be better off.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.