Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Replay Review

2015 was a banner year for this blog with some awesome highs and some heartbreaking lows.  Let's call up the umpires for a review of how I did with my goals for the year:

  • 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.

  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  5. I want to complete the 2015 Topps Chrome, 2015 Topps Stadium Club, 2012 Topps Update, 1994 Topps and 1969 Topps sets.
  6. WHEN 1994 Topps is complete, I need to start on 1995 Topps.
  7. Add 1967 and 1972 Topps to my wishlist page and my notebook, officially starting those sets.
  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.
  9. Attend the 2016 National in Atlantic City.  With a better handle on my budget.
  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.

I think those are attainable goals for the year.  Finally, I want to thank everyone who made 2015 so amazing.  I can't even begin to name you all, but I want to single out: Max, Andrew, Drew, Nick S., Michael, Scott, Noah, Caleb, Sam, Josh, P. A., Eli, Frankie, Julie, Robert, Jayden, Jack, Cameron, Joey, Ben, Jake, Jake Iggy, Ryu, Brian, Tim and so many others.  If I didn't mention you, I apologize.  I also want to single out my mom who added some more memories to this blog, which I know you all enjoy reading about.

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!

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