Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013...So, How Did I Do? (and Some Card Porn)

Yes, it's time for my obligatory year-end post, where I look back over 2013 and see how I did with the collecting goals I laid out for myself back in January.  I promise I'll try to make it interesting and include some scans to keep you from falling asleep if you decide to read along.  First off, I'll take a look at the goals I set and give myself a grade on each one...

Increase my New England Whalers/Hartford Whalers Collection to 1,200+ Cards

Grade:  B

I'll just come right out and say it, I fell short against my goal of 1,200 unique Whalers cards.  I didn't miss by much though, as 2013 saw the number of Whalers cards in my collection grow from 790 to 1,133.  That's a net gain of 343 unique cards, leaving me just 67 cards short of my goal.  I'm still giving myself a 'B' though, because many of the cards I did pick up, like this Gordie Howe auto, were really great, and I started an entirely separate blog to track my Hartford Whalers cards, something I hadn't planned on at the start of the year.  Not a terrible start...

Increase My Red Sox Collection to 2,000+ Cards

Grade:  A+

I smashed it out of the park on this one.  A good portion of my hobby time in 2013 was devoted to cataloging the mass number of Red Sox cards, both that I already owned, and that joined the collection this past year.  I ended the year with a total of 2,639, over 600 cards more than I was shooting for!  I more than doubled the size of my organized Red Sox collection, which started the year at 1,217 cards.  Not only that, but the additions ranged from your average common up to a couple of collection cornerstones like this original Cracker Jack card.  I even managed to compile a list this past summer (already woefully outdated) of my Top 100 Red Sox cards...

Increase my Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox Collection to 100+ Cards

Grade:  B-

There's really no excuse for not finishing this one off, a simple $5 Sportlots order could have put me over my threshold, but as it stands I quite frankly got bored of this project and came up short at just 85 cards.  I also failed my sub-goal of getting to 10 printing plates, falling tantalizingly short at 9 total.  I have a few more Gonzalez Red Sox cards to post but I don't really actively seek them out anymore.  There are just too many of them, and he was only with Boston for less than 2 seasons.  I don't know how you player collectors do it, but I'll stick to vintage thank you very much.

1953 Topps Project

Grade:  B

I was really ramping it up towards year-end with this one before I was totally sidelined with the flu for over a week.  As it stands I finished the year with 61 cards towards my set, 4 shy of my goal of 65.  Nevertheless, I give myself a 'B' on this one, because I did manage to profile 11 new cards, or roughly 1 per month.  I'll look to improve on that in 2014 for sure as I approach the new year with a renewed focus on this beautiful set.  All in all, not too bad...

Complete the '80s Topps Hockey Run

Grade:  C

I failed to make good progress on this goal in 2013, profiling just a single set, '85-86.  At this point I've still got the '84-85, '81-82 and '80-81 sets left to feature, and I hope to knock those out this winter.  Then it will be onto the '70s continuing to work my way back...

Complete At Least a Dozen Trades

Grade:  A

By my count I completed over 30 trades in 2013!  For me this is amazing, in fact I'd be willing the bet I traded as much this past year as I did in the five years prior since I started the blog.  It was really great to see so many unwanted cards go out this door this past year, and so many wanted ones come back in return.  Thank you to the many, many great trade partners I had over the past 12 months!

Complete At Least 10 Sets, Aside From '80s Topps Hockey

Grade:  F

Probably my weakest area overall, as I knocked out just four, and barely four at that with '01-02 Topps Archives hockey (less than 100 cards), 2013 Topps baseball (Series 1 only), 2012 Topps Archives baseball (without the short prints), and 2010-11 Score hockey (which Douglas finished for me!).  Oh well, there's always at least one area where we can improve, and I do have some great sets finished off that I plan on posting about in 2014.

Everything Else

Grade:  A

As usual, I thrived in the "everything else" category, as 2013 once again proved that I have serious collector's ADD.  Along with Marc Potvin's fantastic mullet, here is some good ol' fashioned card porn as a reward for reading this far into the post.  All of these cards debuted here on the blog over the last 12 months...

Wow, 2013 was certainly a great year for my collection looking back on it now.  If you enjoyed these cards, wait until you see what I've got in store for 2014!  Happy New Years everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Pack Rip - 2010 Topps Series 2 Hobby

Here's the second of five packs I received as a Christmas present, 2010 Topps Series 2.  This was a perfect choice, as I purchased a crapload of Series 1 back in 2010, then got bored with the set long before Series 2 hit the shelves.  I should need virtually all of these, let's crack it open...

Ouch.  I need this card, and there aren't many better ways to start off a pack than with a new Red Sox card, but this is a painful reminder that Jacoby is no longer with the team.  Not the end of the world though, I think the Yankees overpaid in typical fashion.  Will Jackie Bradley Jr. be Jacoby Ellsbury?  Probably not (but you never know).  Will Jacoby Ellsbury ever be 2011 Jacoby Ellsbury again though?  I don't think so, short porch in Yankee Stadium or not.  Let's see how many other players in this pack are no longer with the depicted team, not even four years later...

Since this set came out Pena left the Rays for the Cubs, came back to Tampa, then spent time with Houston and Kansas City, and is now a free agent.

Still with Kansas City, although Luke appears to be painted on this card.  Strange photo to say the least.

Dan is still kicking around the Giants organization, at least I think he is, although he didn't see any action with the Major League club in 2013 and appears to have been designated for assignment.

This card was kind of a cool pull for me as Petco Park is one of the very few MLB ballparks I've been to.

On to the inserts, and we start off with a cool old-time photo of Bob Feller.

A Legendary Lineage card that compares Mickey Mantle and Mark Teixeira (excuse me while I yak).  Both of these inserts are off to the Zistle trade list, I should have no trouble finding an interested party for them.

An interesting story.  Dallas pitched a perfect game in 2010 (remember?), but just a few starts into his next season suffered a series of injuries that have kept him out of the game since.  It appears as though he may actually be finished.

Clint left Colorado for the Astros, and is now a Pirate.

In closing, an insert of another guy whose career may be in the rear view mirror.

Some new cards for the collection (I didn't have any of the base cards), and some nice trade bait as well, I'd call that pack a win...
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