2015 has been an amazing year for me in the hobby. I really can't put into words how incredible this year has been. One of my goals for the year...rather ambiguously, I admit, was for 2015 to be better than 2014 in the hobby. It sure as heck was...2014 was blown out of the water by the end of January!
Actually, I think 2015 is my best year in the hobby...ever. I have been active in the hobby non-stop since 1988, so it takes some effort to raise the bar...but this year did it. Even though it's not going to the the year I get the most cards in, I think I appreciate them more now than I did back in 2002, where I set the record for most new cards in a year.
A large part of why this year was so special, and such a standout, was that so much of the good things that happened during 2015 was accomplished through friends. I received more cards as Random Acts of Kindness in 2015 than I have in all other years combined! Of course, that doesn't count the non-random acts of kindness from my mom and brother, who, year after year, keep the hobby alive for me. The cards they get for me number in the thousands every year, and I can't understate the fact that without their kindness I would be lucky to get 100 new cards a year. But back to the RAOKs from various friends, it's incredible. I am not sure what I've done to be worthy of this kindness, but I am eternally grateful. Some of these gifts came from fellow bloggers, some came from Database members, some came from other people I know. My friend Ricky send me nearly 3000 cards in January, I actually got more cards on January 31st, when the package from him arrived, than I have in any other entire month in my life! I don't know exactly how many cards I received as RAOKs, but it's over 5000 easily. More cards than I got in all of 2014 combined! I've tried sending out thank you gifts to everyone who has RAOKed me- some people have specifically asked not to be identified or receive anything in return- but it means the world to me. Thank you to everyone who has given me a gift of cards during 2015 (and other years as well!)
And that brings me to another topic. 2015 saw my hobby horizons expand exponentially. I have to admit, I have a pretty one-track mind. And, most of the time, that track is NBA. All NBA, all the time. But this year...my hobby expanded to where I bought cards from every sport. (It's nice to have something expanding that's not my beltline, too!) I have not even shown some of the vintage sports cards I added this year...yet! Before 2015, I had never spent a single cent on any cards that were not NBA, NASCAR or non-sports, or people who did more than one of them or were directly related, IE, Michael Jordan's time in baseball. I never expected, when the year started, that I would purchase a pack of tennis cards, or MMA cards, or some horse racing cards. (To be honest, I didn't know they MADE horse racing cards, but I found and purchased two of them in the summer). Granted, I did do most of that purchasing so I could upload something in each topic to the Trading Card Database, but it still counts. I still added them to my collection, and as we all know, when something enters my collection, it stays there...forever. I joke that I run a "Home for Wayward Cards"...I will accept anything, I will collect anything. Any card has a place with me. 2015 has given me a much better appreciation of cards in general, that's for sure. When 2015 started, I had a grand total of 28 hockey cards. As of right now, I am less than 100 cards away from 3000, due to the RAOKs of 1/31, the largest portion of the cards I received that day being hockey.
I broke some records that I will probably never break. Most of them all came on that recurring date of 1/31/15. I got more new cards that day than I've gotten in any other single month, let alone day, 3644 new cards. My old record was 1388 in one day, set in 2002. New sets in one day...the old record was 22. The new record is 432, once again set on 1/31/15. Of those, only 2 were NBA, and none were NASCAR. There were too many to put on my chart on the Database, but it includes the NBA and Non-Sports from that day and all the NBA, NASCAR and non-sports from the rest of the year. For my main focus, I added 114 new sets in 2015. I actively worked on adding the missing sets and people some this year, and it's going to be more of a focus in 2016. I have the NASCAR listing down to 3 sets, so one of my goals for 2016 is to get at least one card from each of those.
I worked pretty hard on chasing down the people missing from my collections during 2015, and I was able to get NBA under 500 and NASCAR under 50. I added 168 new people in 2015, combined NBA and NASCAR. Of course, the numbers of new people get slightly skewed every year with the new rookie class for the NBA, which always gives at least 50 players cards, and usually about 35 of them make their way into my collection during the first part of the season. I don't know how many new people I got in the other sports, or even non-sports, during 2015, but again, thanks to 1/31's RAOK, it's a LOT. You can see who's still missing in the "People Missing from my collection" tab at the top of each and every page here on Cardboard History.
(Don't forget to click the links in the above two paragraphs to see the new sets and people, many of which I've captioned)
I didn't complete as many sets in 2015 as I would have liked, only 14, which is down from 20 last year- one of the few records I did not set in 2015. Still, it's the third year in a row I've completed 10 or more sets, and I've not really put a lot of effort into completing sets this year- I put much more effort into adding the missing sets. These are the sets I completed (in chronological order of my completing them):
- 1994 VIP (NASCAR)
- 1991 Star Picks (NCAA Basketball)
- 2015 Press Pass (NASCAR)
- 2002 Topps Attack of the Clones (Star Wars)
- 1984 Topps Supergirl (non-sport)
- 2009 Press Pass (NASCAR)
- 1993 Cardz Muppets (non-sport)
- 1997 Starting Lineup (NBA)
- 1979-80 Topps (NBA)
- 1993 Maxx Premier Series (NASCAR)
- 1994 Cardz Hanna-Barbera Classics (non-sport)
- 1987 Comic Images G.I. Joe (non-sport)
- 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary (non-sport)
- 2008-09 Topps Tipoff (NBA)
During 2015 I participated in my first ever Group Break and had spectacular success, getting my first and so far only Steph Curry autograph, my favorite player in the league now that Elton Brand has retired. It's one of my favorite new cards of the year. I also got my first relic from Kevin Durant from the same break, which was also my first relic from the OKC Thunder. Durant is in my top 5 favorite active players as well, so that went well beyond my wildest expectations! I chose those two teams hoping to get something nice from those players specifically, and it worked out well!
Here are 12 of the best cards I got in all of 2015...not counting the cards I got for Christmas, which weren't scanned and ready to go when I made this gif.