Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! - 2014 Collection Goals - A Year in Review

I can't believe it has been over 2 weeks since I have posted.  I have some great trade packages to post as well as some other awesome pick ups.  I have been spending my hobby time on an organization project but want to make posting a priority moving into the new year.  Day 1 - 1 post - off to a good start!

I decided to look back on some of my collecting goals and give myself some letter grades with a little summary of what I accomplished.  Upon reflection, I have decided my 2015 goals will be a little more streamlined, with fewer focuses. Not only will this give me a secondary benefit of having a better chance of accomplishing most of my goals, it will primarily give me focus on how to spend my time and monthly budget.

Here are my recaps:

1. Get my card room and collection organized.  Includes:
having everything unpacked and put away (may need to acquire shelving to make this happen.  Everything is unpacked but not put away.  Definitely need to invest in some shelving.  Much more organized but not as much as I want to be.
having all cards not essential to my collection loaded into Sportlots to inventory and put up for sale (helps with trading as well, it is a free inventory program) Not done, have a backlog of about 2500 football cards and scores of boxes in my card closet from pre-2005.  However I did recently get almost 3000 cards, mostly from 2000 forward, input into Sportlots.
having an active trade list on the blog.  I envision this including sets where I have large lots of cards that I could make available for trade or purchase (cover my shipping fees and maybe make a couple bucks). Didn’t make it happen.
having all my want lists updated and have them include wants for all parts of my collection This is pretty much completed.
I contemplated a D+ but I did get a lot more organized and I am happy with the status of my want lists and these were to top 2 areas I really wanted to make an impact in 2014. Overall Grade C-.

2. Acquire Certified Autos of at least 4 of these HOFers:
Barry Larkin
Paul Molitor
Eddie Murray
Robin Yount
Mike Schmidt
Rod Carew
Red Schoendienst
Sandy Koufax
New HOFers (please writers vote some new players in!)
Scored Autos of Paul Molitor, Johnny Mize, Early Wynn, Whitey Herzog and Doug Harvey.  I also picked up a sweet Biggio Auto/Patch in anticipation of his election and had autos of newly elected HOFers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox in my collection.  
While I only hit 1 name on the list, I am super excited about how I did on this goal.  Overall Grade A+

3. Tie up some loose ends
Finish my Giants base sets from 2011-2013 Made some good progress here but still have some cards to track down.
Finish up my Giants base sets from the Turkey Red, UD Retro, UD Vintage and Topps Heritage and Topps Gallery, Fleer Tradition products  Didn’t do much work in these areas, still need about a dozen cards from these set.  Totally lost focus and think going forward I am going to focus on years instead of products.
While not complete, I am pretty happy with the first bullet and will continue to whittle that list down.  COMC on Black Friday was a pretty big help.  As mentioned about, I really didn’t rally around the second bullet and think my 2015 goals will focus around years instead of products.  Overall Grade C+

4. Complete my final 3 1960s Topps Giants team sets and finish 1 Topps or Bowman set from the 1950s
In at the buzzer.  Finished off my 1961 set with the Mays All Star featured at the top of the post in December.  I didn’t get any 50s sets complete but am just short of Mays cards for 1958 Topps, 1956 Topps and 1955 Topps.  With the 60s complete, I will turn my focus onto the 50s vintage and do some damage to this want list in 2015.  
Overall Grade B+

5. Complete 2000 Topps Insert Sets - I have completed my version of a Master Topps set since 2005 and I want to start filling in the gaps at least back to 2000. I will start with the oldest set and move forward. If I get this done quick, I may be able to start on other sets in 2014.
Started off with with buying one complete insert set then lost steam and focus.  I did create checklists for each of the sets from 1999-2004 but need to determine if this will remain a focus.  
Overall Grade D

6. Acquire all Ultra and Stadium Club Giants inserts
I gave this up early when I realized almost all of them are Barry Bonds and cost quite a bit.  This goal was abandoned before the end of February.
Overall Grade Incomplete

7. Make progress on 1970s Vintage sets:
Complete my 1973 Topps Set - Done!
Obtain at least 450 different 1972 cards (starting 2014 with 346) - 481 Different, exceeded
Obtain at least 250 different 1971 cards (starting 2014 with 83) - 340 Different, exceeded
Get 1970 Topps want list down to 50 or fewer cards - Down to 17 cards, kind of
I feel I did very well here. I finished my 1973 set in November.  The 1972 goal is close enough for me especially with exceeding the 1971 goal by so much.  In November I struck a deal with my old LCS in Orange County.  He had broken a set of 1970 Topps a couple years back and had quite a few of my needs.  I set up a payment plan and he set the cards aside for me.  Technically they aren’t mine yet but I am going to count them as success as part of this goal. Overall Grade A

8. Make progress on my non Giants player collections:
Rickey Henderson
Vida Blue
Reggie Jackson
Dave Winfield
Dave Parker (Pirates only)
Ben Petrick
I didn’t track these but made progress in all areas.  I picked up a few older Rickey releases and am trying to stay current with his new stuff.  There just isn’t that much Vida out there that I don’t have so I keep my eyes open.  I picked up quite a few Reggie’s, mainly newer issues, and may get active in picking up more cards from his playing days.  Most of the Winfields I got came in a trade.  Parker and Petrick have been here and there but they will never be at the top of my list, just fun to pick up.  Overall Grade B

9. Obtain all 2014 Giants base cards from all releases
Doing well here.  Outside of a couple of the later releases I have these complete.  It helped that I decided to classify variations as parallels.  
Overall Grade A

10. Create and share my strategy on football card collection to include:
Sets to chase - I decided to only collect the Topps flagship set for football this year and ended up just buying a factory set on Black Friday.  I usually get a Jumbo box and fill in the gaps at the LCS but this year the inserts were horrible so  I went the easy/cheap route.  Topps loses its license after next year so unless Panini comes up with a great looking flagship set, 2015 may be my last base set for a while. What I may do is go after some of the Topps set holes in my collection from the past.
USC Football Collection focus - My USC football collection is currently only being bolstered through base purchases in the dime/quarter box at the LCS, bid board wins at the LCS and Sportslot auction wins.
49er Player Collection focus - I have recently decided on my 49er focus.  I have made a checklist of vintage 49ers (1950-1970) and will pursue those team sets.  I am only looking at the major brands like Bowman, Topps and Phildelphia, not the team issue or oddball cards/items.  I suspect I will extend this same focus to 1980-current at some point and in fact have several team sets from more recent years already.
I completed this goal but took until now to share so I will give an Overall Grade of B.

11. Improve my trading by:
Tracking packages I receive
Creating a speadsheet with everyone I have traded with including their address and what they collect to make it easier on me
Send out more frequent PWEs just because
Trade more
I failed in every area of this goal. I did quite a few trades, sent a few PWEs out but cannot characterize my trading as improved.  Life got busy and I didn’t make this a priority.
Overall Grade F

12. Be smarter about set collecting. I will definitely buy Jumbo Boxes of Topps Series 1, Series 2 and Update but I really need to consider outside of those sets if I should buy the set online or bust boxes to build.  I love opening packs but it gets so expensive.
I think I did a solid job here.  I collected the Flagship/Update sets with Jumbo purchases.  I haven’t been as aggressive as I was in the past with the insert sets but will still look to complete them.  I completed Opening Day and Heritage through boxes/packs/trades/single card purchases.  I bought a complete Chrome set.  I completed Archives minus the SPs and I am not sure those SPs will ever be completed.  Stadium Club is probably the one where I went a little crazy but the photography got me.  I did pass on Gypsy Queen and Ginter and all the Panini products. 
Overall Grade B

Blog Goals

Here are a few things I would like to focus on for the blog itself:
Read 6 Sports related books and post a brief review of each
250+ posts throughout the year - that is 5/week
Run at least 5 contests
Failed in all 3 areas, I read and reviewed 3 books, all in the first half of the year.  I didn’t even get to 200 posts this year and did run any contests. However I do think I found a balance for me between the blog, my family time, my other hobbies, etc. that makes me happy so while I didn’t meet these goals I set at the beginning of the year.
I still give myself an Overall Grade of B as I think I have a solid fit of the blogging into my life.

Well, there you have it, some failures, some successes but it is a hobby and as I mentioned in my last goal summary, I am happy to have struck a good balance that works for me.  I will be sharing some 2015 goals in the next week or so and hope to get back in the groove on sharing some cards more frequently. Happy New Year and Happy Collecting!


  1. Looks like you made some great progress in 2014! Best of luck in 2015!

  2. Congratulations! It looks like you met a bunch of your 2014 goals. #2 reminded me that I'd like to track down a Hertzog autograph for my collection as well. Happy New Year!

  3. Looks like a good year even with all the busy life stuff going on! By the way I keep finding cards that will fit your collection!