I've been getting ready to write a recap post about 2018 in Baseball and cards for a couple of days now, but every time I begin formatting a post in my head, I'm unable to conceptualize a coherent idea. Therefore, I've been delaying this post until I'm certain it's exactly what I want it to be.
This time last year, I had barely been blogging for 4 months. I was still trying to figure out what exactly I was going to do with the blog. The quality of my posts wasn't great, I was kind of all over the place, and I was still getting in the groove of things.
Flash-forward to the end of 2018. Okay, I'm still all over the place, but I'm pleased to say that I've remained dedicated the blog and through that, I've been happy with what I post. I guess I wasn't too certain about the type of collector I was even as recent as last year. Now, I'm still collecting a ton of things at once, but I'm having a blast doing it, and that's what card collecting is really all about.
The reason I'm talking about all of this now is that I wouldn't have made this much progress if I didn't set goals for myself. I knew I wanted to put out posts almost every day a week, I wanted to focus on player collections, and most of all, I wanted to have fun with the blog. It feels great to have achieved all of those goals in 2018.
Similarly, I set 7 card collecting goals for myself back at the end of 2017. In order to achieve my ultimate goal of having fun while collecting cards, I needed a basic outline for what I wanted to accomplish. Today, I'll be reviewing the goals I set for myself roughly 1 year ago today.
#1 Complete the 1972 Topps set
We start off with the goal I'm proudest to have accomplished, and that's completing the 1972 Topps set back in July. It was a process that took my Dad and me 46 years, but it was 100% worth it. Towards the end, there were high-numbers, team cards, and rookie cards that made the odds of finishing the set seem grim.
Through it all, however, I was able to complete the set before leaving for The National which proved to helpful since I was able to complete 1975 Topps while I was there, a goal that wasn't even on my list in 2018.
#2 Complete 1969 and 1970 Topps Seattle Pilots team sets
With the completion of the 1969 and 1970, Topps Seattle Pilots team sets very early in the year, I'm now 2-2 for goals completed thus far. Since I first started collecting vintage, Seattle Pilots cards have always been on my radar, and it's taken quite a few years to finish off these 2 team sets.
With the Topps base team sets done, 2019 could be the year in which I track down some oddball Pilots cards to further boost my collection.
#3 Continue to focus on player collections
The development of the player collection tiers was the major breakthrough that I made for my always-expanding player collections in 2018, quite possibly the focal point of my collection. While it can be difficult to measure how well I was able to concentrate on PCs, the tiers provide proof of how much I choose to focus on the players I collect when I'm at the show or anywhere else purchasing cards.
With 38 player collections currently at 100 cards or more, it's safe to say that I accomplished my goal of focusing on player collections in 2018.
#4 Control impulse purchases
Like the player collections goal, the idea of controlling impulse purchases isn't very objective and thus, there could be different opinions on if I truly kept myself from buying too many card products or not in 2018.
I will say this, however. There were many times in which I went into Target or my LCS and walked out because there wasn't a product that appealed to me and that I was willing to spend money on. Other times, this did not happen, and I ended up over-buying certain sets.
I do believe that I made progress with this goal, but I would not refrain from putting it back on the list of goals in 2019 as well.
#5 Continue to trade and eliminate cards from my want list
My want list certainly has expanded over the last 12 months, but thanks to generous viewers and bloggers, I have been able to consistently acquire cards that go towards completing some of these sets.
One of the many cards I traded for in 2018 was this dual patch of former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. I completed the trade with Bob Walk the Plank who retired from blogging in 2018. He joins the list of many retired bloggers whose writing I adored and have inspired me to start my own little card blog and join this community.
#6 Complete my player collection project
It took a bit longer than I would've liked, but I was able to finish the process of moving all player collections from binders into boxes while also adding newly-acquired player collection additions to their new homes as well. It took a year, thousands of penny sleeves, and a lot of categorizing, but the process was completed in 2018.
It's very simple. Sheets were not working for me as they were collecting copious amounts of dust and becoming old, damaging the surfaces of the cards. I see the boxes as a solution for many many years because of how little space they take up and how cheap penny sleeves are. After all, they are called penny sleeves.
#7 Buy a Topps NOW card
In addition to purchasing individual cards of Rafael Devers for his grand slam against the Yankees and Brandon Phillips for his historic home run in Atlanta, I purchased an entire Topps NOW box set, commemorating the 2018 World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox.
Even with the faith I had in this team back when I made this list of goals, the Yankees appeared incredibly formidable, and I wasn't expecting Boston to pull off what they did this year. I still think the individual cards are over-priced, but the idea is excellent and the cards are very well-made.
While I'm on the topic of the 2018 Red Sox and the progress I've made with the blog, I'm ecstatic to say that I've finally found the perfect background for the blog. It's taken me well over a year, and I've gone through multiple themes, but come on, once I got these Topps NOW cards in-hand, it was an easy choice for the background of the blog.
Thank you to everyone for a great 2018 for the blog. I'm proud to be one of many sports card blogs out there, and I can't wait to see what 2019 brings for us collectors.