- Acquire 10 baseballs for my Hall of Fame Collection. As of today, I stand at 118. I exceeded my goal by one, so that is nice. I added: Lou Brock, Leon Day, Hank Greenberg, Bobby Cox, Harry Caray, Tom Glavine, Al Lopez, Pee Wee Reese, Joe DiMaggio, Sparky Anderson, and John Smoltz.
- Acquire 5 cards from my Top Ten Wishlist. I exceeded that goal by one as well, having knocked off 6 cards this year. The best pickup was the 1992 Donruss Elite Cal Ripken auto that I got at the National. You can see it here. The Top Ten will be updated shortly with some fresh cards for 2016 and the 4 holdovers from 2015.
- Attend the 2015 National. As you can see in the photo above, I was able to make it to the National this past summer and had an amazing time. I would have said "Once in a Lifetime" but I intend on going again, so now all I need to do is start saving again.
- Keep up with blog trades and emails. I didn't do as well as I would have liked with this goal, but I think I have graduated from email to app with my trading. I still enjoy getting emails from fellow bloggers and have followed up with them. My trading is primarily done over Instagram, Snapchat, Kik and Skype. I see that being the main venue for discussion here on out.
- Meet and complete trades with 10 new people. I've blown that away, I believe. I've added some new friends and lost a couple whom I traded with regularly. I think that will continue and I will keep meeting new folks.
- Continue to add and expand my google docs spreadsheets. Well, I was halfway right on this one. I have my Davis and Reimold PCs up to date and have done a good job in doing so. I haven't added anyone to the sheets yet, and my Brooks Robinson PC isn't up to date. That will probably be a goal for 2016 (and 2017 and 2018).
- Complete the 1948 Bowman and 1959 Topps sets. I met both of these goals this year, and am really happy that I did so. Both sets were difficult, but are now closed. I completed the 1959 set this summer at the National (click here); and the 1948 Bowman set was finished in April when I got the Joe Page card (read here).
- Start one 1950s set and one 1960s set if 1948 Bowman and 1959 Topps are completed. I haven't officially started a set in either decade because I wanted to work on the often-neglected 1969 set that I have been trying to finish. I have a good start on the 1967 set, so I guess you could say that I have that one going, even though I haven't officially added the checklist to my wishlist. I think I opted to consider completing the 1972 set before I embark on another 50s set.
- Complete the 1994 Topps, 1997 Topps, 2012 Topps Update, 2014 Topps Update and 2014 Topps Chrome sets. I got most of these done. I still need to complete 1994 Topps and 2012 Topps Update. I didn't even try 2015 Topps Update, even though I busted a jumbo box. Instead, I went after 2015 Chrome and 2015 Stadium Club. Those are still to be finished.
- If the 1994 Topps set is complete, start the 1995 Topps set. I didn't complete the 1994 set, so this will carry over to 2016 goals, I believe.
Here is a look back at a few of the things that happened on this blog this year:
- On January 1, I posted a year in review of 2014 and my 2015 goals.
- January 24 was when the baseball world lost Ernie Banks. I was in a Skype chat when I heard about it. It was definitely a shocker.
- On February 1, I posted about the 2015 Orioles Fan Fest. I took my mom, wife, sister and son to Fan Fest and we all had an amazing time.
- On April 28, I briefly discussed the civil unrest in Baltimore. The day after, the Orioles would play the first ever game in an empty stadium.
- On May 4, I showed how awesome my mom was when she picked up two amazing vintage cards for me.
- On May 10, I cut ties with a former friend who was being dishonest with fellow traders. This was rare for me, since I usually am forgiving to a fault. I haven't heard from the guy since, and I doubt I will. I lost a few other "friends" throughout the year, for various reasons. I think I'm better off without them in the long run, and I imagine a few of them will apologize and try to make things right. We'll see how that goes.
- On May 20, my wife, son and I met local former MLB player, George Altman.
- On July 6, I completed my second trade with my good friend, Nick S. from Instagram. Nick and I have become really close over the last month, and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. I hope we can keep it going, because he is a lot of fun to talk to, and an all-around good guy. We had completed a trade a long time before, for a 2014 Panini Prizm Chris Davis blue parallel, but I never posted it. This was one of the reasons why I wanted to do a better job of keeping track of trades.
- On July 29, I posted my first of many blog posts on location in Chicago from the National Card Show. I met up with fellow bloggers Andrew and Nick (Dime Boxes) and fellow instagrammers Max, Eli and Frankie. Max's family hosted us for a box break and barbecue. I had an amazing time and solidified some awesome friendships I made in the community.
- On August 4, I posted about meeting Hulk Hogan, a long-time idol of mine. I have watched wrestling my whole life, and Hogan is probably the most famous wrestler. He was very gracious and humble. I teared up after talking to him.
- On August 10, still on a high from the amazing time at the National, I was heartbroken by the loss of my friend; my cat, Jericho. He passed away on the way to the pet emergency clinic in Greenville. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. I loved him and will always miss him.
- On September 9. I wrote about a former scammer making things right with me. He messaged me out of the blue to apologize, and sent me a care package to try to make amends. He honestly had me at hello. I never expected to hear from him again. I was so moved by his gesture, I included him when I sent out Christmas gifts this year.
- On September 23, I wrote about the passing of a legend, Yogi Berra.
- On October 5, I showed that I had appeared (briefly) on MASN celebrating Chris Davis's second home run of the day; in the final game of the season. My son and I enjoyed a three-game series in Baltimore and capped it off with the Orioles sweeping the Yankees.
- I reached my 2,000th post on October 6.
- On November 29, I got an amazing 1906 Trophy Baseball.
- I went to 2016 Orioles Fan Fest on December 12.
I had a pretty good year, I think. I can now look toward 2016 and set a few goals and see if I can achieve them.
- 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 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 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.
- 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.
- I want to complete the 2015 Topps Chrome, 2015 Topps Stadium Club, 2012 Topps Update, 1994 Topps and 1969 Topps sets.
- WHEN 1994 Topps is complete, I need to start on 1995 Topps.
- Add 1967 and 1972 Topps to my wishlist page and my notebook, officially starting those sets.
- 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.
- Attend the 2016 National in Atlantic City. With a better handle on my budget.
- 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.
I hope everyone who I am blessed enough to call my friends and family have a safe and happy New Year and a prosperous 2016. Thank you all, and I will see you next year!