Please pardon this brief interruption. In addition to all of the fun we have talking about or trading baseball cards, I thought it would also be fun to leave a more permanent mark upon this world, to organize all of the great work we have been doing.
Since we are a SABR Research Committee, I asked Jacob Pomrenke — SABR’s Director of Editorial Content — how we could best have and use permanent web space that is more easily found, organized and updated. He urged me to use the SABR/Baseball-Reference Encyclopedia, otherwise known as the B-R Bullpen, for this purpose. It is a wiki, which is perfect for us in my view.
So I wrote up a very simple skeleton. (There was some baseball card material already there, which we will build on or around.)
Besides the front page, I already wrote up several subset pages (All-Star cards, Season Highlights, Historical Highlights, and Group Cards), and several place holders.
I especially encourage any interested committee member to help, but it is a public wiki which anyone can update. It is also part of a very strong and respected site, and (I have already discovered!) active editors who are on the look out for errors.
My thought is that this would grow organically based on whatever it is people want to see here. Do you want to add a list of Police Sets? Let’s add it. A list of cards with people doing whimsical things (carrying snake, etc.)? Let’s add it. Cards of players signing autographs? Cards that show the wrong player? We are not going to provide the images — we just create the list. The images are findable.
The subsets I created are all incomplete, and focus on the Topps era which is my strength. However, my pages should be updated (if appropriate) to include all eras and all brands. For the Group Cards page, I stopped at 1969 Topps, but obviously in the 1980s it all came back. Let’s get it all down.
(All of this is optional of course — if its not your bag, that’s fine. We’re still going to do all of the things we already do.)
How can you help? Don’t think of it as “help” — which implies that you are providing assistance to me — think of it as co-efforting? You can create content yourself (its easy) or you can send material to me (or someone else) and have them create it for you. You can add to existing material (more Group Cards) or you can add entirely new pages.
All ideas are welcome. 1970s plastic cup collectibles? We’ll figure out how it fits in.
WAIT, DOESN’T THIS JUST RECREATE WORK OTHER PEOPLE HAVE DONE?
No. In fact, we will act to organize the rest of the web, and link to the best pages. For example, we could have a Topps Flagship Sets page, and each entry “1971 Topps” would provide links to the best content related to this set, including articles on our blog. (We are not here to advertise, but to provide content).
If we had a page on “Goudey Card Sets”, it could be a list of each set with a sentence or two of text. Right below the entry for “1936 Goudey Wide Pens” would be a link to Jeff Katz’s great article that I posted an hour ago. Synergy!
All advice on organization (especially if accompanied by a willingness to perform the organization) are welcome. I created pages that all look “the same”. I can be talked into changing the look, but not the consistency.
I suspect some of you already have your own lists that you have created for your own purposes. Share them!
So, who’s in? If you are, please contact me.
— Mark Armour
PS: Sometimes, Topps had to try harder to find season highlights. And I am grateful.