Welcome to High School....now how do I stay involved in the hobby? So now that I am in high school, what are the challenges to stay current with this hobby we love? High school means long days, especially when you have activities you are involved with. My main ones my freshmen year have been sports, specifically basketball and baseball. Basically, when in season, you have 6-day weeks, with either practice or a game every Saturday. During the week, I typically won't be home until anywhere from after 5 until after 8. Then when home, it's time for dinner, homework and on good days, a little bit of free time. Usually this means catching up on whatever games were happening that night.
So, with a busy high school schedule, and then adding in time for family and friends, how can kids stay involved in the hobby?
-One of the best tools out there is YouTube! On the bus, going to or from a road game, I can use it to check in and see if anything crazy has happened recently in the hobby. You can also check out a lot of product openings on there, which I do all the time! With so many products and how much some of them cost, watching some breaks can help you to see what is out there now!
-Your phone can also come in handy for checking out podcasts or web shows. Listening to shows like Hobby Hotline, Hobby News Daily's Morning Minute, Sports Card Nation Podcast, Dr. Beckett's Sports Cards Insights, or even Brody TK's Hobby Life Show (wink), can keep you up to date on hobby news and also get you some different perspectives from people involved in the hobby.
-Social media is a good tool to keep current also. I usually spend a little bit of time on Twitter and Instagram daily just to see if there is any other big news out there. Twitter can share more news but also has more negativity on there. Instagram is less drama and a fun spot to see some big hits and new products.
-Breaks! While it's still the best to get into breaks and be in the live chat for the break, with a busy schedule, you can still grab spots and go watch the video to see what cards you hit in the break.
-Opening Cards! At the end of the day, the best way to stay connected to the hobby is to riiip some packs. Picking up some packs or a box is still the #1 way to stay connected to the hobby and add some fun cards to your collection.
With such a busy schedule, it is very hard to stay active in the hobby, but there are still ways you can. Technology is very useful and offers lots of ways to stay connected to what’s happening in the hobby and to see all the new products when time is limited to get to shops and shows. So, kids, when you’re busy, make sure to stay connected! Let’s put an end to all the horror stories of collectors losing touch with the hobby in high school!
For the final part of this month's article, let's take a look at the new 2023 Topps Big League set and ask, "Should you riiip?" This is always a great set for kids, fun design, fun insert sets and a lower price point. More positives with Big League would be the autographs and quantity of cards. There is a decent number of autographs to be found in this one and hobby boxes will give you 144 cards, which is a nice amount for around $50 per box. Unfortunately, there are some cons with Big League this year. The first 200 cards are standard base, but cards 201-310 are harder to find and have different odds of pulling in packs from 1 per pack for #’s 201-250 up to 1 in every 360 packs for #’s 301-310! So, for a kid to try and put a full set together, it will be nearly impossible. There are also some innovative inserts in Big League this year. The Become a Big Leaguer contest is cool and gives kids a chance to get their own card in next year’s set. There are also rare “Social Media Follow Back” cards which would have a player give you a follow on Instagram for example. These are a cool concept, but not all kids are on social media. Also, as some have been pulled, they are showing up on eBay and going for really high amounts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I worry it could make the product cost rise and go out of kids’ budgets. Finally, is the much talked about Hobby Influencer short print set of 5 hobby personalities. I don’t know if this was a great choice for a kid’s product. They are basically case hits, making them a rare chase, but to be honest, very few kids will know what they have even pulled. I think a player short print chase would be a better one for a kid-oriented product. Especially with Opening Day off the roster, Big League is the stand alone “Kids” product now. All in, Topps came up with some cool new ideas for Big League this year, but I will be interested to see if they all stay in this product next year. So, should you riiip? I would definitely say Big League is a Big Yes! It is one of the most fun products to rip and is a great value at the price point. Hopefully they stay near that cost and lots of kids can have fun opening Big League cards and falling in love with the hobby!
Thank you for reading! I’ll see you next time! Peace Out! ✌️