Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014/2015

How’d I do on 2014?

Woof.

We’ve covered that this was a tough year, right?

Despite that, I’ve gotten some shit done.

The goals I met from my 2014 Card Collecting Goals post:
"2. Acquire at least 5 more playing era Brooklyn Dodger cards I need": Yep, I got this one. I didn’t get anything really gaudy this year, but I bought a few post-war Bums, and I even traded for a few pre-war Bums, which was kind of awesome!

"4. Acquire at least 5 cards from my top 25, including at least 1 from my Top 10": as predicted, I didn’t get any closer to my Top 10 than #10, the 1964 Topps Willie Horton card, but I did get it!



See?

I got some other cards with it, too!



The rest of these '64 Tigers, including Mr. Mossi, were part of a 7 card lot that Willie came from that cost $13 shipped. The Horton's off-center as you can see, but these other cards are some of the nicest raw '64s I've ever seen. So, chasing the easiest card to get from the Top 10 worked out OK.

There was also a pretty steady churn of the items at the bottom of the list, and I reckon that’ll continue for the near future.

"5. Finish at least 10 sets of more than 400 cards, including at least 1 '70s Topps set": I spent a little money to do it, but I nuked this. 1971, 1974, 1976 and 1977 Topps are done (setting me up with a run from 1974-1994), and I picked off a bunch of others (1981 and 1983 Fleer, 1993 Donruss, 1992 Leaf, 1997 and 2005 Topps, and 1993 Upper Deck) as well!

"6. Trade more, and get back to actually doing trade posts": I didn’t make as many trade posts as I’d have liked to, but I did make a few. I definitely made some trades, though, which was nice. Here’s hoping for more in ’15!

"7. Chase fewer insert sets": This wasn’t hard at all. I was broke for most of the year, so I didn’t rip wax, didn’t buy a lot of single inserts, and really wasn’t inspired to do much with ’14 insert sets at all. I’m hoping the ’15s will be equally boring to me.

"9. Find more affordable old wax from sets I need, and open some of it once in a while for the hell of it": I didn’t do a lot of this, but I was VERY happy to find a bunch of 1981 Fleer Star Stickers wax, and even built a complete set from it! Got a bunch of doubles, too, if anyone's interested!

"10.  Begin work in earnest on the 2002 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Bat relic set": Hey, I got one!



I’ll keep working on this, because it’s a sweet set, and even if the wood’s from a toilet seat or something, it still looks great. Some of the names in it are intimidating as hell, of course, but the prices on those cards are not as bad as you'd expect.

Here's my want list for 2002 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Bat:

Alvin Dark
Bobby Bonds
Babe Ruth
Cal Ripken Jr.
Dave Parker
Duke Snider
Elston Howard
Early Wynn
George Kell
Gaylord Perry
Hank Greenberg
Jackie Robinson
Johnny Mize
Lefty Grove
Mickey Mantle
Mark McGwire
Nellie Fox
Nolan Ryan
Pee Wee Reese
Rocky Colavito
Ralph Kiner
Roger Maris
Ryne Sandberg
Robin Yount
Steve Garvey
Tony Gwynn
Tony Kubek
Tony Lazzeri
Thurman Munson
Tom Seaver
Willie Stargell
Yogi Berra

The goals I missed:

1. Acquire at least 10 more '07 Upper Deck Goudey high numbers: this set is gonna be the death of me.

3. Acquire at least 5 more 1951 Topps Ringside cards I need: I got a few this year, but I’m pretty sure I fell short of doing 5. No worries, as I’ve still got almost half of a beautiful set that came out in 1951.



Gotta love Ringside.

8. Buy complete sets when possible, even if I don't get to post ALL TEH NEW PUIGS 5 minutes after they hit Target: definitely need to plan for this in ’15. I wanna open some ’15 Topps flagship wax when it comes out, but just a few packs for fun, so I can shoot for a factory set. Through trades and other devious means, I’ll be hand-building the ’14 set (and if you’ve got a ton of it laying around, please send it my way)

2015 Goals:

1. Pause the football and basketball collections: aside from completing sets that I’m close on (there’s a few football I’m trying to finish, and I do want to finish ’86-’87 Fleer basketball, since I’ve got the tough card out of the way there), not much from these. Just not relevant to me at the moment. I’m not watching football as avidly as I was even last season (the NFL did that), and I’ve barely watched hoops since Jordan retired the 2nd time (which was, what, 2 out of 3 retirements? 4?). Don’t get me wrong, if I see something I really like for the right price, I’ll buy it, but it’s not going to be a focus this year if I can help it. On my way out the door, as an "OK, if I don't make a point to buy a specific football card for a while, let me make it good" present, I did grab this, because it's completely and totally friggin' awesome...


Yep, it's a goddamn Refrigerator Perry auto.

2. Stick to buying complete sets whenever possible: This one’s a repeat from last year, one of a few. I’ll undoubtedly buy packs of some things (2015 Topps looks fun, so I’ll do that and grab some trade stuff out of it), but it’s time to get serious about not manually set-building and not ripping wax unless I absolutely have to. Have you ever tried building a Topps Finest set without opening any packs? That shit’s hard! Definitely getting ’15 Finest from a case breaker. As for the rest of the sets I usually build? Let me see what they look like. Archives, I love the '57 and '83 designs, but '76 looks awkward and they made the set 100 cards bigger, so I gotta think about it. Haven’t seen a ’15 Ginter sell sheet, ’15 Heritage look as awful and boring as we’d been predicting they would, and (here we go again with this complaint) I wasn’t in love with the card stock on ’14 Stadium Club, so I’m taking a wait-and-see on ’15, too.

3. Get autographed cards (either certified or in-person) of at least 5 of my favorite players: Bernie Williams has been my favorite ballplayer of all time for a good while now. It’s a sin that I don’t have his autograph. Mark Buehrle, Reggie Jackson, Wade Boggs and Eric Davis, ditto. Hell, my SISTER has a Reggie Jackson autograph, and I don't!

I did add my first autos of 2 of my favorite players down the home stretch this year, though.





The Vlad's awkward lookin', but it's a Vlad auto, so screw it. The Dunn? Gorgeous. Love it.

4. Reconnect with writing about cards: I think the direction I’m trying to take right now, ideally toward slowing life down and appreciating what I have more, will help with this. I’m not gonna put a number of pieces per month or anything on this, but I’ll look back at the end of next year, and I’ll know how I did. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the attempt, too.

5. Unload the trade boxes: I have a LOT of cards here that I don’t need. I’ll be exploring my options all year on how best to rid myself of, oh, 60,000 of them or so. Stay tuned!

6. Get at least 5 more Brooklyn Dodger cards, including one from my Brooklyn Dodger Top 5: I didn’t have that last part in last year’s version of this, but this is one of the ones I did accomplish in ’14. Seems like a good thing to keep working on, so I will.

7. Get 6 more 1951 Topps Ringside cards: 6 more will bring me to 48 cards, or the halfway mark on a set that turns 65 this year. Unfrigginbelievable. Totally affordable, too. I don’t start getting backed into a corner on the pricey ones for maybe another 20 cards.

Here’s my want list for 1951 Topps Ringside:

1 Gus Lesnevich
2 Henry Armstrong
4 Jimmy Flood
7 Gino Buonvino
13 Billy Soose
15 James Carter
16 Art Aragon
19 Dan Bucceroni
22 Beau Jack
24 James Braddock
27 Petey Scalzo
28 Sal Bartolo
32 Rocky Marciano
33 Walter Cartier
36 Vic Toweel
39 Benny Leonard42 Tiger Flowers
47 Bob Montgomery
48 Rocky Castellani
49 Bob Murphy
50 Lou Ambers
51 Jess Willard
52 Lee Savold
54 James Jeffries
55 Bob Fitzsimmons
56 Joe Gans
58 Rex Layne
59 James J. Corbett
61 Pete Mead
63 Tony Canzoneri
64 Ray Miller
66 Luis Firpo
67 Paul Berlenbach
68 Steve Belloise
69 John L. Sullivan
71 Tony Pellone
75 Kid Gavilan vs. Paddy Young
76 Bill Bossio
78 Fritzie Zivic
79 Ray Famechon
80 Walter Cartier vs. Eugene Hairston
82 Joey DeJohn
83 Fred Apostoli
85 Jersey Joe Walcott vs. Ezzard Charles
87 Tommy Loughran
88 Joe Louis
89 Carlos Chavez
90 Nick Barone
91 Jimmy Herring
93 Marty Servo
94 Paddy DeMarco
95 Gene Tunney
96 Ezzard Charles

8. Focus more on players with fuller careers: This one’s got to do with how human beings behave, which can be unpredictable at times. Sometimes, people don't fully out themselves as total jerks until well after they retire, and I'm aware of that, but if a player's been around a while, talked to the media some, had a Twitter account, that sorta thing, you get some idea of who they are both on the field and off. And don't get me wrong, prospecting's fun, and it's something I'll continue to do to some degree, but I sorta think I should pump the brakes on starting player collections of fairly young players moving forward. OK, so I've added Jose Altuve to the list of active players I collect, but that's *it*, you guys!

9. Complete 5 more “flagship”-sized (400 or more cards) sets: I don’t have as many of them lingering this year, because I put a huge push on, but I wanna keep finishing the sets I’m building. It’s gonna get challenging after another year or two of this, because the “easy” stuff (you know, like 1971 Topps) will already be done.

10. Get at least 5 2007 Upper Deck Goudey high number cards: This one was the biggest whiff of 2014. It’s a TOUGH set, though! I do think it’s important to finish, though, even if I’m having some thoughts about not finishing the “Head’s Up” cards. They’re on the regular high number checklist, but they don’t look like 1-240 (and I’m not in love with the look of them, truthfully). I do have a fair number of those cards, though, so we’ll see. Overall, I have 31 of 88 cards, so I need 57. If I can’t get 5 cards from a particular set in a fairly normal year, on the resources I have, I’m not doing this right. If you’ve got this stuff, please trade it to me!

Here’s my want list for 2007 Goudey:

Regular SPs:

203 Cal Ripken Jr.
204 Harmon Killebrew
205 Reggie Jackson
207 Carlton Fisk
208 Yogi Berra
209 Al Kaline
210 Alan Trammell
211 Bill Mazeroski
212 Bob Gibson
213 Brooks Robinson
215 Don Mattingly
218 Lou Brock
219 Rod Carew
222 Tony Gwynn
223 Wade Boggs
224 Alex Rodriguez
225 David Wright
228 Ken Griffey Jr.
229 Daisuke Matzuzaka
230 Kei Igawa
231 Akinori Iwamura
233 Albert Pujols
235 David Ortiz
238 Pedro Martinez
239 Roger Clemens
240 Vladimir Guerrero

Heads Up (no writing):

241 Ken Griffey Jr.
242 Derek Jeter
243 Ichiro Suzuki
246 Kei Igawa
247 Joe Mauer
248 Babe Ruth
249 Johnny Bench
251 Carlton Fisk
252 Albert Pujols
254 Ryan Howard
257 Harmon Killebrew
258 Alex Rodriguez
259 David Ortiz
260 David Wright
262 Justin Verlander

Heads Up (with writing):

265 Ken Griffey Jr.
267 Ichiro Suzuki
268 Cal Ripken Jr.
269 Daisuke Matsuzaka
271 Joe Mauer
273 Johnny Bench
274 Reggie Jackson
275 Carlton Fisk
276 Albert Pujols
277 Nolan Ryan
278 Ryan Howard
279 Mike Schmidt
282 Alex Rodriguez
283 David Ortiz
284 David Wright
285 Al Kaline

11. (A bonus goal!) I’ve come up with a system I’m going to try to work within, for some of what I’d consider the “key” card and card set goals I have. Ready for it? Here goes. I’m going to try this 2 card rotation out on eBay, and I’m going to shoot for keeping my purchases around $5 per card (though obviously, I won’t be able to do that forever on some of these, and I’ll make exceptions if something extraordinary is out there).

January/April/July/October:

Brooklyn Dodgers (all)
1951 Topps Ringside

February/May/August/November:

1959 Fleer Ted Williams
2002 SP Legendary Cuts Bat Relics

March/June/September/December:

2007 Goudey
Autographs of players I like

If I nail anything for under $5, I can “bank” that money for the next round of purchases.

I think it’s a good way to keep myself engaged in the market for these cards, a good way to monitor the market, it makes reasonably good financial sense (as anything card collecting goes, anyway) and it gives me something to look forward to.

So, that's where I'm at. How'd you do this year, and what do you have planned for next year?

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