Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Is In The Rearview Mirror

Well now.  The year that was 2016 is finally behind us without taking Betty White or Sean Connery.  It was a crazy year that I, personally, am glad to see gone.  Normally, I go through my old posts from the past year and reminisce about all the things that happened for this blog, and obviously for me, during the year.  I can sum it up with probably one sentence, really: I got a lot of TTMs.

No, really, did you even read my blog?  Wow I got a lot of TTMs.  I went crazy.  I have to say, though, the TTM successes kept this blog afloat this past year.  Trades really dried up, and I blame myself.  I don't necessarily enjoy trading.  Mostly because I have tons and tons of Orioles base cards and while I happily accept more, if I have a nice auto or relic of someone, I would much rather get a nice auto or relic in return.  Oh well.  I do love care packages, though.  Keep sending them and I'll keep returning the favor.

I would like to take a look at my goals from last year and see how I did:

This is taken directly from my Dec 31, 2015 post where I outlined my goals for 2016 (yeah, I know, I'm a day off).  Here we go.

  1. I have 118 Hall of Fame baseballs as of the close of 2015.  I actually have some on the way, as well.  I would like to close 2016 with 10 new Hall of Famers, so I would like to be at or above 128. I blew this out of the water by adding 11 baseballs this past year.  Bud Selig getting the call to the Hall put me at 129, so I did pretty well.
  2. I want to knock 5 cards off of my Top Ten Wishlist, with at least two of them being holdovers from 2015.  That shouldn't be difficult, depending on which cards I add to the list. I beat this one, too.  I ended up with only two cards remaining on my Top Ten Wishlist at the close of the year.  Not bad.  Obviously, I added eight new ones (this was really tough), two of which are actually baseballs.
  3. I want to upgrade at least one of my Hall of Fame balls of Phil Niekro, Pat Gillick and Jim Bunning.  I got those before I knew about the troubles with China balls, so I intend to correct those soon. This didn't happen.  I had a chance to pick up a nice Neikro at the National, but passed it up.  I also sent an OMLB to Bunning, but oddly enough, it hasn't come back.  I hate burning an OMLB, but he usually is a sure thing.
  4. I want to upgrade my 1955 Topps Duke Snider. The one I have is really rough, so upgrading that one would be nice.  I plan to, in the future, upgrade a few more of those cards, but the Snider is one of the worst of the bunch.  This will not be a Top 10 card. Ok, so this didn't happen either and it has been moved to the Top Ten Wishlist.  That's how tough it was to populate that this year.
  5. I want to complete the 2015 Topps Chrome, 2015 Topps Stadium Club, 2012 Topps Update, 1994 Topps and 1969 Topps sets. Finishing 2015 Chrome is going to be tough.  The four cards I need are rookie SPs and one is the Correa that lists at $75.  Dang!  I did finish 1994 Topps.  That helps.
  6. WHEN 1994 Topps is complete, I need to start on 1995 Topps. I was serious about finishing 1994 Topps.  I have started 1995 and am almost done with it.
  7. Add 1967 and 1972 Topps to my wishlist page and my notebook, officially starting those sets. 1967 is in my notebook, but I haven't been all that serious about knocking stuff out for it.  I hope to get to that one really soon.
  8. Get two TTM successes completed in 2016.  I actually tried a few in 2015, but two subjects passed away in transit (how does that happen) and one if still pending. Two TTMs.  Seriously?  Well, I beat that.  Try 241.  Told you I went crazy with them.
  9. Attend the 2016 National in Atlantic City.  With a better handle on my budget. Better handle on my budget.  Haha!  Yeah, let's ignore that one.  I did go to the 2016 National in Atlantic City and had a really good time.  I blew my budget, only because I bought the one baseball I have been wanting since I started my HOF collection, in Jimmie Foxx.  That was the biggest highlight of the collecting year for me.
  10. Spend more time organizing my cards and actually enjoying them, instead of letting them pile up on my desk, just to be added to random boxes. Ok, that kind of happened.  I got my Topps base cards organized really well.  My other PC stuff sat on my desk for forever (and some are still sitting there) and should be filed away soon.
Ok, so I did pretty well with most of my 2016 goals.  I had a blast at the National.  Like I said, picking up the Foxx was the highlight of the collecting year for me.  I also met Tim Lincecum, Tim Raines and Craig Biggio.  I also learned that there will be two new minor league teams in my general vicinity, which should help me do some IP graphing, which has sorely been missed.

The end of 2016 also saw me cut way back on buying cards.  I still have been working toward paying off the National, and I went overboard again on Christmas.  I've bought less boxes of cards and less single cards off of Ebay.  I see that continuing, at least until I can pay off the Foxx ball and what remains of the 2016 National.  I also need to start building a budget for the 2017 National in Chicago, and also work on getting a plane ticket.  I'll be going solo this year, so the plane ticket won't be as high as 2015 was.

Finally, here are some goals for my collection for 2017.  Like my diet, let's see how bad I blow these goals:
  1. Sick of TTMs?  Neither am I!  There will be more TTMs.  TTMs everywhere!  OMG TTMS!  How many more?  Who knows.  Just more.  Let's see if I can beat my number of 241 that I received in 2016.  I have a head start already with the ones that are still out pending.  If they come in after Dec 31, they count toward 2017.  Make sense?
  2. I really need to add a player PC.  I have been only looking for and interested in Chris Davis and Nolan Reimold cards lately.  Let's see how Trey Mancini does in Baltimore this year.  Hyun-Soo Kim may be an option as well.
  3. Hall of Fame signed baseballs?  I highly doubt I will be adding 10 new ones this year.  I have been hitting the easy ones really hard.  Now, it is getting tougher to find baseballs for less than $100.  I also have been spending less on my hobby, so that has hurt as well.  I will be happy if I can add 7 to the roster.  I figure I may get a head start in a couple weeks if Raines, Bagwell and/or Pudge get in, since I already have those guys.  Fingers crossed!
  4. Minor League graphing.  I want to attend more MiLB games this season.  I have a good chance with Kinston finally getting a team back.  I also want to check out Buies Creek and some more Columbia Fireflies games.
  5. I am going to the 2017 National in Chicago.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I have no idea what my agenda will be this year since I now have the Foxx ball put away.  I may hit some graded cards, sick patches, rookie autos, etc.  We'll see what happens.
  6. Keep trading and meeting new people.  My favorite part of this hobby is meeting new people and making new friends.  I have just recently made some trades with some new folks and I hope that I can keep that up.  I have also maintained some of the friendships I have made in the past.  Some folks have moved on, and that's ok.  I can't expect everyone to be available to chat all the time, but having some new folks to talk cards with will help keep the hobby moving forward.
  7. Continue to post every day when I can.  I've noticed that a lot of the big name blogs have kind of dried up as of late.  Like the point above, many people have moved on with their collections, and some with their lives.  I plan to keep plugging away at this blog.  I've been going strong for 8 years now, and don't plan on retiring.  Even if no one reads or comments, it helps me serve as a diary of sorts.  I enjoy it, and that's all that matters.
  8. Finally, I want to have fun.  This shouldn't feel like work.  I enjoy my collection, and have had a really good time using the Live Stream feature on Instagram.  I have been able to show off some of my collection, and have gotten a few deals set as a result.  I want to do some giveaways and maybe a Razz or two.  Keep your eyes on my Instagram (@wregenthal) and see what happens.
There you have it.  I think 2016 was pretty successful.  My Top Ten Wishlist has been updated, for those who are interested.  I also have a few cards I want to sell or trade, so hit me up.  Thanks to everyone who made 2016 great.  If I named names of everyone, I run the risk of leaving someone out and hurting feelings, so I just want to thank everyone I have traded with; everyone who sent me a care package; everyone who messaged me on Skype, Snapchat, Kik, Instagram, email, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, wherever.  I really enjoy doing this and can't do it without you.  I finally want to thank my Mom who always hooks me up with awesome stuff and probably reads every post before anyone else.  Thanks Momma!

Finally, I want to say that I love you guys.  2016 taught us that life is short and we should take the time to love one another.  Let's all get along and be friends regardless of beliefs.  Except for you, Jose Bautista.
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