Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 In Review, The Last Card Of 2015 and 2016 Collecting Goals

I know some of you thought I was gonna miss one of these. I am not!

Yes, this ended the year, even with it being a retread of sorts, as the best card of 2015. Yes, I've already posted it. No, I don't care.

So...not to worry, I have not forsaken cards or my fellow card collectors. As I'd mentioned earlier in the year, I've moved to Massachusetts! It is going to be a very slow crawl, getting everything "house-shaped", as the missus calls it, but we're getting there. A bunch of my cards are here already!

(Yes, that is a Vectrex to the left of the cards, and that's a comic box to the right of them. No, I don't have a video game site or a comic site. I probably should, but I don't. I also don't have any money. Please help me.)

This is the room where they will eventually live, my "office", otherwise known as "the room where I keep a bunch of my crap"...

Needs some work, but it's got potential.

As for which cards are up here, most of my sets are not, most of my sets-in-progress are, and a lot of my doubles are, since I needed them up here early for trades. On my last trip home, I did remember to bring the extra SSPC set I've been threatening to trade to Night Owl for like 2-3 years.

(If it looks breathed-on here, it's because the person who initially had it ripped up 3 commons for some reason, and I had to replace them.)

The Owl and I are in the middle of a long trade, which he'll say is lopsided if I send him this, but it'll eventually happen, as will the remainder of my long-in-gestation deals (Ryan G., you're next! Had you grab me those Eri Yoshidas FOREVER ago). Yes, even in the middle of a very difficult move (keep in mind that the card boxes pictured above are probably about 1/3 of one of my collections, with comics, toys, video games, music, movies, books and so forth also among them), trades can happen. dayf and I got a big one done this year, as did Bo, though the USPS definitely made that one challenging by making an entire box's contents disappear. The large Priority box showed up. (Yes, this trade stretched over several large Priority boxes, because Bo and I have problems...) The cards did not! I still feel bad about the hours of sorting Bo did, much more than I do about the cards. Life is a finite resource, man, way more finite than junk wax!

But yes, with the house taking up a lot of my time, I will still most likely be a little more sparse than I once was, at least for a while. It's a good kinda sparse, and a good kinda busy, though, and I hope you're all finding your lives as rewarding as I've been finding mine of late.

So, some stuff about the year in collecting now.

First up, as I'd mentioned over the summer, Bunt has indeed gotten me. I have learned to distrust locked down, cloud-based propietary thingamajigs over the years (ask the people who bought music from the Zune store how they feel about it) and wish Topps would do a desktop Bunt/SWCT/Huddle/Kick/etc. app that allows you to archive your collection(s), but for now, I'm having fun, and I'm finding it a lot easier to deal with than worrying about how I'm going to pay for their new products when they come out. I get creative, I trade, and I do pretty well. (Almost done with my red Series 3 and Postseason; I just do red, green and white on the sets, but I've got green and white done now.) Still some white whales out there (complete '12-'14 sets, since I wasn't paying attention, cards of Vladimir Guerrero, since there's almost nothing and the highest count is 300 on any of them, etc.), but it's been a fun pastime doing both Bunt and SWCT. (I have Huddle and Kick accounts, but they're both pretty inactive, as I don't follow either sport these days.)

Some of my favorites from the past 6 months or so...

I hated the All-Star Game designs, as did pretty much everyone, but the Legends Softball Game card subjects were terrific. I would like the whole set eventually, especially Bernie Williams, but I'm psyched to have Eric Davis so far.

David Price looks way too happy for a guy who eventually went to Boston. Oh, wait, what am I saying?

I think this is a duplicate of a hard copy card (which I may even have; hope so, anyway...this is how disconnected from my collection I've been...), but it's DIGITAL ORIOLE REGGIE. There's at least one other Oriole Reggie in Bunt that I can think of, gotta track that down.

As a Buehrle collector and in general, at a "print" run of 56 cards (I had a Playoff Chase LaTroy Hawkins that was around there that went toward this card, but it wasn't quite as impressive), this is probably my best "get" of my run at Bunt so far.

This is a gorgeous card. We need many huge sets with the '85 f00'ball design. At the time it hit Bunt, it was only the 2nd Bo card (with the other being an unattainable "signature" card; another time, I'll get into what crap I think sigs and relics are on a digital card platform...), so it was a welcome pull from a pack.


His number retirement day may be my first trip to Fenway as a resident of MA.

This, I just got today, one of those things that falls into your lap if you're lucky. Limited to 255. Surprisingly to me, I'm having the damnedest time trading it (I am not a Ruth collector by any means...). I'm SCOTTCRAWFORD on Bunt, hit me up if you're interested, especially if you've got any Vlad cards.

When I get settled a little more, I'll show you folks some of my SWCT haul, but that's a decent cross-section of the fun stuff I've gotten over at Bunt.

Oh, physical cards? Yeah, I have those, too. My scanner's not hooked up yet, but here's a picture of the last card of 2015 (I'm not gonna do a separate post for it this year, as I've already gotten 90 minutes into a post on a holiday), barring my ending up with another card by accident before Midnight...

Pretty fun Molitor relic from some Topps Tribute thing, numbered to 150. Shiny and purdy, and my first relic of Paul's.

So...2015 goals, and 2016 goals. Let's get to it.

1. Pause the football and basketball collections: I haven't been buying much, though I got a nice little chunk of Globetrotters, but I traded dayf for most of an '80-'81 Topps hoops set, including Bird/Magic. I've been responsible. We'll call this one a win.

2. Stick to buying complete sets whenever possible: I totally blew it here. I ended up building most of '15 flagship. Do not let me fall into the "opening packs" trap with '16, y'all! I did get a few other sets (Heritage-ish stuff, thanks to Stubby), but I bought way too many singles and packs.

3. Get autographed cards (either certified or in-person) of at least 5 of my favorite players: blew it.

4. Reconnect with writing about cards: yeah, we know what happened here. Working on it! Doing it right now, in fact! But I gotta get back to this, because it's fun.

5. Unload the trade boxes: y'know, I'm doing OK at this. I unloaded about 10-15K in one craigslist deal over the summer. I picked up a big lot or two, too, but I've got a reasonably good way to jettison excess for cash, if need be.

6. Get at least 5 more Brooklyn Dodger cards, including one from my Brooklyn Dodger Top 5: nope.

7. Get 6 more 1951 Topps Ringside cards: I fell 2 short, but given the travel, new expense, etc. that I've been dealing with, that I got any, even with help, was pretty great.

8. Focus more on players with fuller careers: gettin' a little better at this. I don't have a team, so I kinda have to vet my players well. Still dreading the day, post-retirement, when I see a news item about a lefty hurler from Missouri talking politics. Hope I never do.

9. Complete 5 more “flagship”-sized (400 or more cards) sets: I definitely got some stuff done here, but I've no idea what, off-hand. That Bo deal finished 2 or 3, I think.

10. Get at least 5 2007 Upper Deck Goudey high number cards: dayf sent me 3, I think! Better than usual!

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): did this for a few months. Actually doubled my Ted Williams set haves. Stuff happened, though. We'll see what's what.

2016 goals:

1. Have fun.

And I hope you do, too!

I will never top the first card of 2015 with the first card of 2016 (though The Year Of Dicks will return, because every year is The Year Of Dicks; I've had one aside for months, but haven't typed it yet), but I'll be talking to you all soon, and I wish you all a happy new year.