Updated: Nov 1
Do you know or even realize that the true experts in the hobby are you, yes you, the person reading this right now, the collector and through your dedication to what you collect, you somewhat become, by default an expert in your field.
The collectors; small or large, seasoned or not, are the foundation and building blocks on which our history of the hobby is formed, as a hobby historian I can attest to that only too well. Most unknowingly, you fuel our so-called hobby "experts" with your specialised knowledge on specific card sets, dates, pictures and or experiences.
I digress to say that I'm grateful for your kind generosity in letting me soak up your freely shared information with being a hobby sponge. Please don't take this as mere hyperbole; it is meant in all seriousness. This is not to be interpreted as an article created as a "Jerry McGuire" moment in my life. I just wanted to take the time to tell you this since you all deserve some credit.
I am a persistent learner with a thirst for knowledge.
My high school diploma says nothing spectacular about me other than that I'm good at arithmetic but not so great at English. However, my thirst for knowledge is strong, have a half decent memory, and I'm persistent. I also believe that I have a good command of common sense, though my wife might disagree. Please don't assume that I produced this article in an hour; rather, the time it took is comparable to the dollar multiplier difference of a 1952 Micky Mantle PSA 1 to a PSA 3, as I did state, English was not my strong suit.
If I were to list everyone who has contributed in some small way to my past three price guides or my 75 published articles, I would likely leave out more than half because it the little nuggets I use from conversations or a picture shared out of innocence that has helped me fortify my knowledge along the way. Sure, I have certainly dug in and performed much research on my own but that is only part and parcel to the collective.
Personal Story of a Vintage Hockey Price Guide
With all that being said, I bring to you a personal story of what is pertinent today in my hobby-life but I have to reflect back seven years to get it started, so let's jump in the time machine and set the date for 2015.
It's amazing what one phone call can do to your life, and who knew that answering that ring would slice out seven years of your life? A journey that seems somewhat short now in the present but seems never-ending while in the midst of it all.
Having just self-published my third vintage hockey price guide, the VHC, in 2015, I received a friendly phone call from my long-time collecting friend Andy Malycky, a dedicated CFL football collector and historian thereof, who also has a couple of very detailed self-published price guides. In the past couple of decades, we both have graciously and freely shared information about our hobbies due to their historic similarities.
If I can recall correctly, the conversation started out rather innocently with some idle chatter about my most recent release of my VHC price guide into the hobby and who doesn't want to talk about themselves; guilty as charged. But the conversation led to a proposition: Andy asked if I was interested in collaborating all my hockey-related information into creating a website and an app-based price guide. See, Andy is a software engineer or a programming analyst; that is the best description I can come up with, as I am basically able to use software, but no further.
As flattered as I was, my answer to Andy was no thank you, at least for now because my guide had just been released and it was a long journey creating my last hockey price guide from 2006 to 2015 and needed a break.
From Book to App: The Creation of the Hockey Card Price App
A year had almost passed and there was no break in me collecting new information, and in hindsight, that new found knowledge about a set or pictures found of uncut sheets that confirm short-prints, etc. keeps gnawing at your brain, wishing you would have waited another couple of months to release your price guide and you could have gotten that new info in there. With loving writing books, the drawback is that you cannot update them so easily without a financial burden, so the app Andy suggested started to make sense as I could update on the fly and make corrections instantly, but I digress. I am not an "app guy", although I do pretty well with my PC.
To say this was not a selfish choice wouldn't be fair, but you see, Andy and his CFL collectibles weren't enough in themselves to make the app work alone; it needed the larger established collectible base that only hockey could provide. So, this time, I made the phone call and say to Andy, "Let's do it!".
Now this is the funny part, as I thought I would just send him the files, and in a couple of months we would be done and the app and website would be good to go. Oh, how naïve am I. Little did I know that Andy had been working on developing the app for at least two years prior to him asking me in 2015. So, I assumed we were good, but when I started to see progress, I realized that I had the opportunity to add as much content and information as I wanted, so I started down the road of revisiting each issue, diving in deeper and doing the hard research that few rarely do and not just providing the peripheral coverage that my books allotted me.
Although for the last couple of years we have been saying "Six more months and we will be ready", well, it has been two years that we have been saying that and to no avail.
Now seven years later after the release of my last price guide, down to the month and we are now ready to finally bring it to you, the collector. Andy and myself will be set up at the Toronto Sports Card Expo, November 9–12, to help further promote the Hockey and CFL Football website and app, although it will be available shortly before that. The name of the app and or website is NEEDUUM.com , a play-off of kids who when going through their cards would commonly say, " got them or need them".
The website is: www.needuum.com
"So even if you got them you still Needuum!"
NEEDUUM: A comprehensive price guide for hockey and CFL football cards
This website and app are the culmination of all of my three hockey price guides and Andy's two CFL football guides, plus seven years of new information and, in addition, all the items that didn't make the past price guides due to the cost of book production. NEEDUUM will cover all cards from 1910 to 1990 in hockey and the same in CFL except up to current times. It will also cover all food issue, company issue, and merchandise released over the aforementioned time frames.
No other hobby app or website has ever compiled this sheer, momentous task of this type of documentation and our hopes are that you will receive more value than we ever will receive in money. The cost will be $29.99 for six months of access, or just about $5.00 per month, with no annoying advertising. Needuum is structured to command all detailed searches, save want lists, and create PDFs to print or save on your computer or phone and so much more. Each app is written specifically for iPhone, Android or the website; this is not an overlapping app from a website and you will find this quite user-friendly to maneuver through. I said I don't do apps very well, but now, I rarely use my computer and can confidently say I am now an app guy!
The title of this article is a tagline from my first book in 2003. On the cover, I proclaimed "Written By Collectors For Collectors" Again, I digress; it should have been reversed as it has now been in the title. The collectors always come first, as we historians are just the stewards of the hobby, trying our best to bring concise information forward, thus maintaining a healthy hobby for the future.