Queen of cards, a Hobby Heavyweight Interview…

I went to high school with Josh Hartnet. Because of that I always have a small swell of pride anytime I see him on the big screen, someone that came from the same place going on to bigger and better things. I think a lot of us in the blog-o-sphere feel the same way about Sooz. Susan Lulgjuraj was a blogger that moved on to be a editor for Beckett. It doesn’t hurt that she is also a trained sports journalist.

Sooz is a great collector with a unique view and a unique accent.

She was nice enough to answer a few question, take a look at what she had to say.

Kevin: Tell us about when you first got into collecting?
Susan: I never really considered myself a die-hard collector until I got my first job at 17 years old and started buying my own packs and buying cards off eBay. Before that, however, I always used the extra money I had from going to the corner store for my parents to buy any cards they had there. I always tried to pick up extra packs here and there as I always loved baseball cards.

Kevin: Did you favor one sport, team or player?
Susan: When I was first collecting, anytime I would pull a New York Yankees cards I was thrilled. I would jump up and down over a Mell Hall or a Kevin Maas card.
I don’t think I would have the same reaction now.

Kevin: What was your favorite set and card as a kid?
Susan: I wouldn’t say I had a favorite, but I did end up with a lot of 1991 Fleer baseball cards.
Even now when I see those yellow borders, it brings me back to my childhood.

Kevin: What kind of education and experience did you have before joining Beckett?
Susan: I’ve been a newspaper reporter for 14 years, covering every kind of sport out there. I’ve covered the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, auto racing, soccer, LPGA, AVP – at this point I could start just throwing random letters down because I probably covered a league with this letter. I studied journalism in college and always wanted to write about sports. While I loved my job and what I did, working for Beckett is special to me because it was a publication I read as a child.

Kevin: Is having a job in your hobby as great as it seems?
Susan: Of course! When I got hired, so many people said to me, so I guess you got your dream job. Initially, I didn’t think of it that way, but when I had time to reflect, I realized they were right.

Kevin: What did you like most about working at Beckett?
Susan: It’s only been a month, but the satisfaction of completing a magazine is thrilling, followed by the fact that I want to do better each and every time a magazine goes to print.

Kevin: Is there one dream story you are dying to write?
Susan: I’ve been lucky enough to have covered some of the greatest events and coolest athletes. I just want to keep putting out information for collections and make sure I do the best job with every story.

Kevin: The online world of blogs, twitter, and message boards are very much a part of the hobby. Do you think it has been good for the hobby?
Susan: I love the blogs. I got my start writing about cards with A Cardboard Problem.
Through that I met so many great collectors and have been amazed with how wonderful the people in the hobby have been. It’s a great thing for the hobby because it keeps people talking. The card companies are listening and consider constructive criticisms. Every time I see a blog post or read something on Facebook or Twitter, it keeps reminding me why I love this hobby.

Kevin: Are there any hobby blogs/sites you read on a regular basis?
Susan: I actually have more than 50 on my RSS feed. I read a lot of them.

Kevin: What all does being Editor of Beckett Football entail?
Susan: I have to keep track of everything going on in the sport, on a card front and day-to-day stuff. This offseason has been interesting because of the different starting job controversies and holdouts. Then, I have to figure out how these moments affect their cards. It also means looking through blogs, following the companies through social media and checking message boards to ensure I’m not missing out on any stories. With so much going on in the hobby, it’s impossible to keep track of everything.

One thing that I didn’t realize was part of the job was the amount of magazine work that needs to get done. It’s not blogging all day – although that would be fun. I have to put the pages together, place ads, fill the pages with content and then proof them – more than once – when all the pages are completed by the designer. Sometimes that takes up more time than I would want because I really just love to write.

Kevin: Do you have any kind of rivalry with the other sports?
Susan: No, everything is under the Beckett umbrella. I want every magazine to do the best it can.

Kevin: You are a Kevin Kouzmanoff super collector, how did that happen?
Susan: I learned he was Macedonian one day as I was a reading a bio about him. My parents are from the same area of the world and I thought it was really cool that there was someone of that heritage playing baseball. So, I started collecting.
Obviously, he’s in the minors now, so the Kouz collecting has slowed down a bit.

Kevin: What else do you collect?
Susan: Lots of Derek Jeter card.

Kevin: What is your favorite product?
Susan: UD Premier.
I loved the look of the Jeter hits in that product.

Kevin: What is your personal best hit?
Susan: I pulled a 2010 Sweet Spot black bat Derek Jeter autograph. I think I did a little dance when that happened.

Kevin: What is your favorite card?
Susan: I have a Jeter autograph that commemorates a day in history of that player. That day just happens to be my birthday on the card.

Kevin: There is debate online about whether or not the hobby is moving in a good direction. What do you think about the hobby today vs. several years ago?
Susan: Everyone is going to have a difference of opinion. If people are still collecting and talking about the hobby, how can that inherently be a bad thing? Not everyone is going to like everything the card companies put out, which should make collecting easier for people. This way they only need to collect what they want.

Kevin: If you could change one thing in the hobby what would it be?
Susan: Personally, I wish cards were cheaper so I can afford more products.

Kevin: Last question, what do you love most about the hobby?
Susan: I love opening packs of cards with my boyfriend. We sit there and go through each pack and look at the players and the cards like I did when I was a kid. It’s my favorite part of opening cards.

Thanks Sooz. Make sure to check out her stuff over at Beckett!


3 responses to “Queen of cards, a Hobby Heavyweight Interview…

  1. Cool interview. It is cool seeing a fellow blogger move on and actually make money writing about the hobby, Good job, Sooz!

  2. Thanks for the interview. I really enjoyed doing it.

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