Jesse Jefferson – 1977 Topps
February 29, 2012
We Spawned A Monster…
And I’m not talking about Jesse Jefferson’s visage, or countenance, or that wonderful airbrushing (I’m sure the Topps artists were beside themselves when the Blue Jays logo was revealed). (Jesse does look like the son of a Hapsburg in the photo (and that’s not a compliment).)
I’m talking about us!
I realized it again when I went through the Rubbermaid containers that contain my binders of cards so I could mark what sets are in which container. That way, when I put them in storage in the garage when the girlfriend arrives down here I know which sets are which.
But it struck me as I went through them how many sets I’m chasing (well, not so much chasing now as in please peeps send me the cards) and I forgot how many sets I started thanks to those re-packs at Target. It’s no wonder that baseball wanted to get a handle on it because even after a lot of companies came and went Upper Deck was really diluting things with all the sub-sets that seemingly showcased the same players in different poses.
Just too much when you added that in with what Topps was doing, IMHO. Of course, us adult-type collectors clamored for it back in the day.
Now, people are grousing that there’s no competition to Topps, and well, they may be right, but there’s still a lot of product out there. And because of my financial shape, I’m only doing the base set, update, Heritage and either Gypsy Queen or A&G (or maybe neither one) as of now.
And I’m thinking of turning my Bowman, Opening Day, and a lot of those small subset type sets back to the marketplace, though I’m not a huge fan of eBaying it. I may rely on you all, but that’s an aside.
Really, though, I think we’re mostly responsible. We, as adults who are pursuing our hobby. We wanted more premiums, more shiny, more autos, more relics, more, more more and when something wasn’t right we turned internet-tough guy and wrote expletive filled blog posts to show our displeasure.
We lost our way a bit in this hobby and it hit home collating those binders and reading some of the screeds this past year about the damn squirrel and the ‘game changing’ hype. (It’s hype, and it doesn’t concern me, and it’s nothing to get all angsty about. It’s marketing. Whoop-de.)
I think we forgot something. I went back to this hobby because it reminded me of happier times as a child in a tough time personally. Jesse Jefferson was part of those happier times, warts and airbrush and inflated ERA and all. The junk wax era isn’t junk to me because it’s another happier time for me as a person and baseball fan, right out of college and into four rotiss leagues.
Yes, I think we lost the real reason this hobby grew.
It’s to make us happy. Not make money. Not race to collect bling. But to be the kids collecting mementos about your favorite player, team or sport. I really don’t have much to complain about with most all that I trade with because they’re seemingly doing it for the right reason and not trying to make a fast buck or two. You all aren’t pawing through the cards at Target, or setting the prices so they’re out of reach of the kids and fans. You collect teams and players and sets and if you like shinys or parallels or things you collect them because you LIKE them, not for profit.
It just hit me today. The industry ate itself because it lost sight of the 12-year olds. Including the 12-year olds in 46-year old bodies.
I feel good when I see this Jesse Jefferson card, and I don’t care that it doesn’t have three parallels and a purple refactor.
Of course, I think Paul Richards cared about Jesse’s ERA, which is why Jesse is airbrushed into that wonderful hat.