Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's See-B.S. Sunday Morning with Armen Keteyian.

By now you've seen the piece that aired over the weekend on CBS Sunday Morning. To be fair to Mr. Keteyian, Charles Osgood had the week off -- Osgood would have NEVER allowed this to air -- and you can only do so much with a 5 minute segment. He told a story which he thought was an accurate depiction of The Hobby in 2012. With that said, I thought it was a fine segment ... had it aired in 1994.

The main issue I had with the story was that it completely misunderstands what The Hobby has evolved into. It is not the Romanticized vision of "Leave it to Beaver"-era kids swapping cards, wrapping them up in rubber bands (now you know why you can't find a 52 Andy Pafko without severe notches), then riding the trolley with Mom, Dad, and Sis for a double-header at Ebbets Field.

Those days are past now, of course, and card collecting has ceased to be a "kiddie" Hobby for at least a generation. It is a Hobby for young internet-savvy men (and a few chicks, too), and there's nothing wrong with that. You wouldn't know that from the Keteyian piece.

You also wouldn't know from Keteyian how stratified The Hobby has become. Mr. Mint and five middle-aged guys in a VFW Hall in North Jersey on a Tuesday night are not representative of The Hobby as a whole.

Yes, The Hobby does have problems. But it's no where near as bad as CBS led Sunday Morning viewers to believe.


--David said...

The way that piece was done, they could have substituted ANY hobby in for the baseball cards, it would have been the same story. Things change, the hobby evolves (ANY hobby), the Internet helped change things. It could have been about trains, R/C cars, stamps, beer steins. Awful piece.

When cards were cards said...

Totally agree with this piece, hobby is dead, cards are worthless, rather spend 600.00 on gold than a pack that yields nothing.

mike said...

I watched the story online after reading the blog post and comment from David. With that in mind, David was right that it could have been anything tangible - stamps, cards, fishing lures, Beanie Babies, etc.
I think where the piece missed entirely was noting the hobby has gone online, which is where most of the commerce is done. Just like Best Buy and electronics, just like banks, just like post offices.
If you put the right product online (Strasburg in the summer in 2010, anyone?) the market is there. Online stores and eBay, Sportlots, etc. are where the hobby still thrives, and while the "thrill" is gone from the childhood boom, Mr. Mint and the VFW Hall which was convenient to slant the story toward its purpose, don't show well when Target and WalMart shelves fly when certain products sell out on a routine basis.
Ask Apple about market trends when it comes to hot and cold...not Mr. Mint.

Retrofan said...

This story is like saying beacuse amazon.com is the leading seller of books in America, and people aren't buying at traditional bookstores, then the logical conclusion is that the majority of Americans are illiterate. That's just obscene. Worst. Story. EVER.