One of the more interesting Twitter contacts I’ve made is Andrew Aronstein (@AndrewAronstein) who, as the scion of TCMA, has both a lot of cool stuff to show off as well as a lot of great insider stories. This has been a ton of fun since TCMA sets were one of my* entry points into baseball card collecting and history. I couldn’t afford “real”** cards of the legends but the TCMA issues had stats and bios and I consumed every bit of information on them.
*and it turns out pretty much everyone else my age as well as everyone born the decade proceeding me.
TCMA cards were also great for getting autographs of those stars since they not only weren’t valuable but were cheap, and accessible. Plus they were generally photo-centric and featured nice minimal designs. I wish they still existed today since they’re the kind of thing I’d love for my kids to have access to as a primer into the history of the game.
What made TCMA so great was its photo archive. Andrew’s maintained the archive and is, in addition to cards, a big-time collector of vintage photos. This has been of special interest to me since I can learn about how and when different print and negative technology got adopted.
I know how the technology works but seeing it in action in the sports photo newswire world is not something that I’m an expert in. Andrew meanwhile has both the prints and the negatives as well as their dates of creation and so is a great resource for all kinds of photo-nerd questions I may have.
He was snowed in last week so opened up the floor to trademaking as he had a bunch of boxes of doubles. He’s also a New York Giants guy so reached out to see if I had encountered anything interesting in my collecting experience.
I did not. My New York Giants collecting is very new, very low grade, and very efficient. In other words, I need everything, don’t care about condition, and have still been picky and cheap about what I acquire. This is good for me and my wallet but leaves me with zero tradebait.
However if someone asks for your wantlists, you send your wantlists. While Andrew is a Gypsy Queen and Ginter collector now, he also had some 2017 Stadium Club extras that I needed and graciously sent them off even though I had nothing worth sending back.
Stadium Club is of course a perfect first mailing to get from Andrew since it’s the photo-centric set. 2017 in particular is a set that I especially love. The photo selections are better than other years and it’s the set that convinced me that modern cards were worth collecting.
The wonderfully-clean typesetting along with the crisp, varied, and interesting photos makes this a set that I just like looking at. These three mean I’m only missing 22 now.*
*11 36 41 43 47 53 55 57 64 70 84 89 91 137 168 175 181 203 211 228 285 300