Categories

A hierarchical tree of the different topics which we have covered on the blog. Sort of an index. Sort of a web. The idea is for this to be an organized, more-concrete representation of everything this committee has accomplished.

The main thematic categories are as follows:

Collecting

Collecting covers the range of how we’ve collected cards and the issues that we have to consider when pursuing projects—whether it’s building sets, looking at individual cards, or remembering our childhoods. Everything from worrying about condition, value, and authenticity to figuring out how to store everything goes in here.

History

Posts which touch on the history of cards, history of baseball, or even general history outside of this specific hobby all belong in this topic.

In Culture

Cards have life outside our collections and intersect with larger cultural institutions like museums and movies. Sometimes cards need to be thought of as objects of art. Other times they’re components of games and other items that encourage use more than collecting.

Production

Everything about photography, printing and design goes in here. The wonderful thing about baseball cards is that they offer a way of looking at our visual culture and how we’ve manufactured it over the past century and a half. Oh yeah, and when there’s a mistake in production that’s where we get Error cards.

Sociology

Cards also give us a window into culture. They touch on our cultural values and record the ways we’ve considered who’s worth depicting on cardboard and who’s collecting them. So we look at cards and consider the ramifications of who’s represented and how they reflect our society.

There are also a couple of big organizational categories which need to be mentioned.

Brands

The biggest one of course is about the card manufacturers and brands. For the most part this is pretty straightforward. The separate Oddballs and Regionals subcategory is necessary to address the explosion of releases that occurs in the 1980s. Currently a lot of the Pre-war issues are grouped by type—Gum, Food/Caramel/Candy, and Tobacco—but as those categories get larger the fidelity will improve.

Eras

Periodizing the posts is also hugely important but also not without controversy. We’ve opted to go with dates so as to avoid too much jargon as well as to keep the category sorting in chronological order. Era breaks are currently set as follows. 1900 for nice round number reasons. 1939 with the creating of Play Ball, Gum Inc., and what would eventually become Bowman Chewing Gum. 1956 with the institution of the Topps monopoly. 1981 with the dissolution of the monopoly. 1995 after the strike ended. And 2011 after Topps regained a monopoly of sorts via an exclusive license to use Major League logos.

Committee

And last but not least, we’ve got a category for committee announcements, projects, and the occasional poll in which we crowdsource opinions about what the “best” sets of a given decade or era are.

Full Category/Index tree