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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Look Back at 2013 and My Collecting Goals for 2014

2013 was a pretty good year over here at foul bunt.  There were lots of good things that happened, but there were quite a few low points as well.

  • On March 24, we lost Virgil Trucks.  That was a really sad day for me.  You can read that blog post here.
  • On January 19, we lost both Earl Weaver and Stan Musial.  Both personal favorites of mine.  It was a surreal experience for me because I was in Baltimore at Fan Fest when the news broke about Earl.  Read that blog post here.
  • Continuing with the depressing news, as of my count, 11 guys I got TTM over the course of this blog passed away in 2013.  That's really sad,  I guess it goes with the territory, though, since I get my names off of Wikipedia's list of oldest living baseball players.
  • Some awesome stuff happened this year as well.  I facilitated my first guest post on this blog, which can be read here, when I met up with my longtime friend, Drew and visited the Hall of Fame with him, his dad, my son Chris and my brother Adam.
  • During that Hall of Fame trip, my son got to meet, in no particular order: Ralph Kiner, Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Rickey Henderson, Rusty Staub, Andre Dawson and of course, Pete Rose.
  • I had two meet-ups with another good friend and fellow blogger, Scott.  I'm not done with showing my card show haul with him.
I took a look back at my 2013 Collecting Goals and I feel pretty good about what I achieved this year.  I started 2013 with 82 Hall of Fame signed baseballs and my goal was to add 10, which would have put me at 92.  I exceeded that goal by 4.

I completed one of the sets on my want list (1971).  I started working harder on my 1959 and 1969 sets in the year as well, once 1971 was taken off of the books.

I'm not too sure I added 2 new players to my PCs, unless you want to count new Oriole draft pick, Hunter Harvey.  I actually took 2 players off of my PC in Brian Roberts (which was foreshadowed in that January 2013 post) and Tim Lincecum.  I have transferred most of my Lincecums to Chris's collection, since he is starting to get old enough to keep up with and take care of his own cards.  Roberts will be re-visited after he retires.

I still haven't figured out what to do with my TTMs.  I haven't noticed any fading on any of the TTM balls I got after I started using a different pen and the non-synthetic baseballs.  So, I guess I slowed that process down.  Speaking of things slowing down, my TTM pursuits have slowed to almost a complete stop.  That's more of not having enough time to sit and research the player, write a letter, package a ball up and go to the post office, than anything.  I want to get more out soon, so we'll see about that.

I didn't really branch out with my set collecting, with the exception of taking on the daunting task of trying to complete the 2013 Emerald set (Series 1 and 2; Im not interested in doing Update).  I also finally sat down and wrote out my needs for Topps sets 1993 through 1997.

I'm not too sure if I added 5 new blogs to my sidebar, but it should be close.  With the addition of Matthew's blog and my son's, there's two right there.  I'm thinking I added a couple more last year as well.

Finally, on 2013, I was very active with trades.  I sent out a ton of packages.  Lots were to regular trade partners, but I did complete several trades with other guys that I hadn't traded with before.

Now, onto my 2014 goals:
  1. I want to try to add 10 more Hall of Famers to my collection.  That would put me at 106 and yes, it would put me past #100.
  2. I want ball #100 to be special.  You know, a BIG name.  Depending on who it ends up being, will determine whether or not I can reach my goal of 10 more baseballs in the year.  There is a possibility that a large Hall of Fame class will have me surpass 100 anyway, since I already have baseballs of Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas.  I see a few of those guys getting in, but not all.  We'll see, though.  If all get in and I get to 100 that way, then #101 will be the special one.  Trust me, its coming regardless.
  3. I intend to complete at least one of the Topps sets from 1993 to 1997.  In a perfect world, I can complete two.
  4. I need to add the 1993 to 1997 needs to my wishlist.
  5. I want to make significant progress in my 1948 Bowman, 1959 Topps, 1969 Topps and 2013 Topps Emerald sets.  I'm not saying that I'll be able to complete those, but I want to make some progress.  Either by knocking out a bunch of commons or taking a couple heavy hitters off of the list. (such as the 1969 Reggie Jackson RC)
  6. I want to knock off at least 5 of the cards on my Top 10 list.
  7. I want to continue the trades and relationships I started or maintained in 2013.  I had to take a couple guys off of my regular trading list, but I was able to add a few in their places.
  8. Finally, I want to continue to provide you guys with a good place to go and read about Orioles happenings, card pickups, TTMs (maybe), Hall of Fame information and general baseball discussions.  I want to continue to be a standard bearer (from what I was told recently by a couple guys) in the blogging community.  I really appreciate all of the page views (I set records this year for daily, monthly and views for the year for my blog) and I really hope I continue to get feedback from you all.
Thank you everyone for a successful 2013 and I look forward to spending 2014 with you all as well!
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