Tag Archives: bip roberts

Why The Card Blogging Community Loves Bip Roberts

Guide - Current Card Prices Jun 1989

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 Bip TimelineFame (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:

Bip Bucks

Ten Tough to find Bip cards

Explaining to his significant other his need to collect Bip Roberts

Bip custom cards

Bip cards that never were

Bip WWII war posters, here, here, here, and here

Other’s takes on Bip:

SB Nation Gaslamp Ball’s: Tribute to Bip’s cards

BCB has a true 1/1 Bip card and nothing but love for the man plus created a “Flip the Bip” game

An Angels fan explains his love for Bip.

An on card autograph issued from Topps

Bip Chrome

Common card of the day

Bip Roberts understanding of Bipping

From an Unlikley Source declared a Bip day, again, again, and again

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!”


A Couple of Twitter Discussions Yesterday

First one was with Adam from Sports Cards Uncensoredsadasd. We discussed the impending Upper Deck sale.  The crux of the discussion was is the company worth it.  His argument was with the NHL license, plus all the athlete licenses, it’s a damn good investment.  At $40 million, it’s expensive for what you get.  Panini is the obvious suitor.  However at 40 mil, maybe not yet.  At some point Upper Deck is going to have to let go of it and probably at a major discount.  My feelings are that the value is in the brand name and not necessarily the licences.  I threw the idea out there that maybe an athlete or a consortium of athletes would be a novel idea to own it.  It would be as if the company would come full circle as one of the original founders was baseball player Dewayne Buice.  Imagine the possibilities with the connections athletes have.  Just thinking it would be interesting.

Next up was a question I posed to everyone.  What will 2015 Topps design be known as?  I mean think about 1987 Topps2015TOPPS1 (wood set), 1971 (black box set), and 1978 (script set).  After seeing this promo I kept thinking it has a texture like stucco.  Then after looking at most of the subsets, I noticed it does look like stucco, like colored stucco.  As I said yesterday, I love the design so it works.  I think this might go down as one of the iconic designs.  It’s just so different from all of the releases of late.  Twenty years from now when Topps does it’s yearly Heritage set, its going to do a full set in this design and we are going to eat it up (as long as we are still alive and given Topps having a baseball license, oh and let’s hope Topps is still around).  Damn that’s a lot of what ifs. Fingers crossed on this one.

Next up I wanted to get people’s opinions on whether or not the addition of autographs into card sets ruined the idea of a base set or for that matter non-hit card collecting in general.  My point was that prior to the arrival of the autographed card, the chase was the rookie card.  How many of us out there had amassed huge 1992-Score-Franchise-Players-Autographs-Stan-Musial-Mickey-Mantle-Carl-Yastrzemskicollections of key rookie cards?  I’d even throw in the idea of graded superstar cards as well.  Finally if you weren’t collecting key cards, you were base set building.  All that is gone.  Go ahead and open a box, 90% of us out there, sort out the subset cards and the hits (relic / autograph cards).  The rest go into a huge box to sort later.  How many of us still set build?  I fully admit it, I do it.  I didn’t used to but it’s all I buy a box for now.  I’ll even admit that I use the base set to make my custom cards.  Autographs are the single biggest reason cards cost what they do.  The licenses are expensive but nothing compared to paying athlete’s to sign stickers.  Saying that no one would buy the cards if there were no “hits” is not true, just look at Magic the Gathering cards, which still sell like mad and there are no “auto gamers” in those cards.  Just my two cents.

Finally a funny idea.  This one was brought up between me and Chris Harris from Stale Gum.  Chris may not post like he used to but he’s atop-2 blast to follow on twitter.  One of his favorite concepts with regards to packs is added value and I proposed that instead of a Rip card, you have a ripaction2Bip Card, that when ripped, there would be a Bip card inside (possibly signed).  Chris took it one step further and said that the Bip card could be ripped and a miniature Bip Card could be had that had eleventy-billion parallels.  At which point I passed out from the sheer enormity of it all.  Maybe that’s a custom card I can make in the future….

Well that’s it for now, let me know what you think of all these random items. Have fun and as Chris Harris always says ABC – Always Be Collecting!