I swear to you that I have about eight versions of this post. It’s not easy writing a post about someone who has been at the forefront of the card blogger and card twitter world for the past few years, and oh yeah, he’s also going to read this post. How does one eloquently explain the evolution of Bip Roberts love in our tiny blogosphere? At least eloquently enough so that you don’t look like a total buffoon to the man himself? All that said I think I’m ready to come up with a good enough explanation, that will both explain the “Bip Roberts Movement” and provide insight as to why we love Bip himself.
In order to understand why Bip Roberts was chosen as our go to guy for cards manufactured in the late 80s and early 90s, you have to understand the card world back then. There was no wide use internet, we only knew what Current Card Prices Magazine, Beckett, or Tuff Stuff told us our cards were worth. We didn’t know that starting in 1986 the card manufacturers produced more cards in 1986-1990 that all of the previous years combined plus more! All we knew was this was our stock market. We could buy rookie cards low and either trade or sell them high. We were going to store our cards in boxes and place them in our closets and twenty years from now we would all be millionaires. Well those twenty – thirty years have passed and we are not millionaires, thousandaires, or even hundredaires. We have essentially firewood.
There were a lot of players we have since forgotten about in that time frame. However one name sticks out. Not because he was a superstar (although he was drafted in the first round of the 1982 June draft) or that he ended up in the Hall of Fame (although he got a lot of hits and robbed a lot of hits from Hall of Famers). It was because of his offbeat name, and his perpetually happy demeanor. Of course I am talking about Leon Joseph “Bip” Roberts. Bip wasn’t the greatest player to play in that era, but he was a fan favorite. He had a long well traveled career (see card created by Travis at Punk Rock Paint). Anyone who plays 15 years in the bigs in my book is a solid player. You don’t get to be in the majors that long and not produce..
For many of us who write blog posts, Bip Roberts represents everything we loved about that era. He represents every Donruss Rated Rookie, Topps Future Star / 1st Round Draft Pick, Fleer Major League Prospect, or Upper Deck Rookie Star. We had our choice of Cory Snyder, Odibie McDowell, Shane Mack, Rob Deer, BJ Surhoff, Benito Santiago, Kevin Elster, or Gregg Jefferies. There were hundreds of prospects we amassed, some panned out most did not. Bip though with his big smile and great on the field play and essentially the best nickmae of any player in that era became our hero.
There are so many posts out there that deal with Bip and in no way am I going to be able to link them all. If I forgot yours, it wasn’t a slight on you or your blog, it’s just so much passion for the man and so little room to write about him. As much as I can tell I guess it started about 6-7 years ago. I’m not even going to guess who started it, but I’m sure those reading this will know and please leave a link in the comments. I know that Travis is a big fan:
Punk Rock Paint Posts:
Other’s takes on Bip:
SB Nation Gaslamp Ball’s: Tribute to Bip’s cards
An Angels fan explains his love for Bip.
Padrographs has a TON of Bip content
Stale Gum declared Bip Wars
For those of you who want to know what being Bipped or a Bip war is:
Bipped: (verb) – A person who when he (or she) received a card they traded for, also comes with a random Bip Roberts card. Or in the case of a war, many Bip Roberts (or other player in that era’s) card. Examples here and here
Bip War: (noun) – This is performed by multiple people in the same time frame. Card traders try to send out stacks and stacks of Bip Roberts (or any player in that era’s) cards. The idea is to not end up with all of them combined! Results of a Bip War
As I said before this is just a small take on the world of Bip in our blogosphere. My hope is after reading this Bip is not offended, takes pleasure in knowing that he is beloved in our community, will allow me to interview him, and finally will allow me to send him some cards to sign and resell on my blog with all proceeds going to any charity of his choice (fingers crossed). Bip if you are reading this, congrats on an amazing career. A career that brought joy into middle aged men you still collect baseball cards and who smile simply by hearing your name. As I said in my tweet to you yesterday 140 characters in a simple tweet can’t even remotely explain the blog world’s fascination with you. You represent our childhood, our dreams, and the simple fun that is collecting cards. I challenge any card collector who grew up in the late 80s and 90s to not smile or have great memories when thinking of Bip Roberts. It was an absolute pleasure to write this blog post (even if my hands were trembling trying to figure out what the heck to say). I hope all that read this either retweet it (to show Bipster10) some love and comment below your favorite Bip article / moment / card.
Now don’t forget “Rip That Bip!”