Friday, January 1, 2016

Hobby Goals for 2016

With a new year now here, it's time to set some goals. (Note: I don't do resolutions!) Last year, I set a couple of goals and I had knocked them all out by June. This year I'm going to set some more goals for myself, and vary the degrees of difficulty. Some of which are easy, (in fact, one of them I was going to set, I went and completed already!) and some of them will be hard...perhaps not even possible.

1. Finish scanning the 1989 Microcards. I have no idea why I have not finished these's a set I got new and a set I've always loved, so why has it taken me so long to work on them? This is the easiest goal, I can probably accomplish it in 3 days or less. I'm purposely making the easiest one first so it can be accomplished with ease.

2. Recreate my Excel chart listing my autographs, relics and Serially numbered cards for my NBA collection. I used to have a chart that had it all entered, but I lost it when the floppy disk I had been using crashed, circa 2004. I never got the information back together, and I realize now that the loss of half my records played a role in why I left the NBA side of the hobby in 2006. I have a lot of cards to type in...but I don't know how many. I am going to start this project January 1st...I've been putting it off for over a year now, and I like to start card projects on January 1st. My OCD likes it that way :)

3. Post more blog posts in 2016 than in 2015. I wasn't sure if I wanted to list this as easy or medium, because it's going to take a year long effort to do. During 2015 I had a few down months where I only posted 5 times in the entire month. Late in the year I found a bit of writing inspiration and typed up nearly 40 posts in the queue, and in the month of December, when I am writing this, I had so much inspiration to type that I found myself actively limiting myself to one post a day. I'm typing this at 3:14 AM on 12/30/15, and it's the 5th post I've written all or most of since around 7 PM on the 29th.

4. Get at least 20 new Elton Brand cards. One of my goals for 2015 was to get more than 9, and I ended up getting almost 40. I don't think that number is likely to be matched in 2016. but 20 is an achievable number. 

5. I'd really like to complete a relic set. While it's true that I prefer base cards, I love relics as well. I've never completed a relic set, even though I've been actively adding relics to my collection since 1999. I have two I'm targeting- one for NBA and one for NASCAR. I'm targeting those inserts specifically because I already have a head start on them. For the NBA, it's 2002-03 Topps Xpectations First Shot relics, and for NASCAR it's 2012 Showcase Classic Combinations sheet metal, which I got my first three cards of on Christmas 2015. It's only a 9 card set, and each is numbered to 99 copies. Although it is a smaller set than the First Shot from Xpectations, which is 25 cards, there is always more demand for multi-piece relics, and it's also newer which does play a role. Most of the players I'm missing from the First Shot set are already out of the league...the biggest names I need are Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince and Mike Dunleavy Jr.. None of them should cost me very much, Amare will probably be the most expensive, but his career has really tumbled the past two seasons which in this case helps me. I doubt it will cost me much to get Steve Logan or Vincent Yarbrough, for example. I have 12 of the First shot cards already.

6. Get at least one Sparkle parallel from 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary per month. These are spectacular cards...they fall one per box and are serially numbered to 75. A quick perusal of Ebay shows they seem to mostly be in the range of $12-$30. Some higher but none below. Most are in the 20 dollar range, which is my limit for single cards. That's why I'm going for one per month instead of a complete set. In all actuality this will probably be harder than the next one, which I label as hard.

7. Get at least one card all 366 days of 2016. It's going to be hard...but it shouldn't be impossible. I've done several months where I made sure I got at least one card every day during the month, including December 2015. I've actually done it 5 times before. It's fun, but there are some possible drawbacks. The one I worry about the most is that I am afraid it will make the project a burden and not fun. I don't think that will be the case, but it's a concern. Another is that, due to my health issues, I keep odd hours. My days very often traverse two days for people with a normal schedule. Making sure I don't miss any days may be difficult. Even during the month of December I nearly missed a day, opening up a pack quickly at literally 11:58 PM on one occasion. Getting the actual cards will actually be the easiest of all. My plan is, on the last day of every month, I will post a blog post that shows the card of each day. To make sure I have an ample amount of cards almost guaranteed to be new, I'm going to procure one of the mixed boxes I love for the NBA, from the other sports the store has. I have to travel out of state to go to that store and they don't always have every sport available, so I'll get whatever I can while I am there. Since my collections of non-NBA and non-NASCAR are pretty limited, it should make it easy to get a new card every day I pull one out of the box. Considering that the boxes are 550 count, and stuffed to overflowing, if I get all three other sports, it will keep me stocked with cards to open for multiple years. I already have enough in my stash of cards to get me through March at least, possibly April, but I hope to get to the store before then. I have not been able to get there since September 2014 so it's an added incentive for me. And hey, with at least one post a month with baseball cards, maybe I'll get more followers on my blog, too!

8. Halve the number of NBA sets missing from my collection, or more. This will be tough because of the high end sets, which I don't even like. I always considered it one of my greatest achievements when I had one of each set my first time in the NBA (or at least, I thought I did...I found out later, when I got one, that I had missed a set from 2005-06!). I will hopefully also complete NASCAR's sets totally in 2016. I am only missing three, and again, two of them are high end crap.

9. Finish 2016 with none of the sets that I am one card short on still there. I don't have an exact listing of what sets I am only one away from yet (it's been on my list of things to type for about 6 months now) but I know there are at least a half dozen sets where I am one card away from. I am going to work on making that list, and no matter how many cards it may be, I want to have none of them still there come December 31st, 2016.

10. Get to a card show. Back in the 1990s this was not hard at all. There were card shows every week- sometimes more than one on the same day. Then, they just stopped. I have not been to a card show since 2004 or 2005. I don't remember exactly when it was, but I think it was 2004. Either way, now that the calendars read 2016, it was over a decade ago. I have three options, and all of them will be a challenge. The easiest would probably be the Westchester County show. The National is coming to Atlantic City in 2016, but traveling there will be an issue. (Actually, traveling anywhere is an issue for me). Another option is the Philly Non-Sports show, in Allentown, PA. This is apparently the largest non-sports show in the country, if not that than certainly the northeast. I have never been able to go because it has always conflicted with my club's model show. (Irony: The year I joined the model club is the year I learned the show existed). In 2016 my model club's annual show is a week later than normal, which opens up the opportunity of possibly going to the card show. All of these options have inherent difficulty, not least of which is my personal difficulty with traveling. Saving enough money to make it to the show is an issue as well. There's no point in dealing with the difficulty of getting there if I only have $20 to spend, for example. Truthfully, I will be surprised if this one actually happens.

I am specifically not putting any expectations, even ambiguous ones like I did in 2015, of upping my total new card input in 2016. I don't think I can top 2015's totals! If I can pull off even half of these, I'll be happy!

2016 is already starting out great....5 minutes into the year my mom hands me a package of 55 vintage non-sports cards from 1908, making them not only my oldest cards but my largest collection of Cigarette era cards! They will be getting their own post later this week...I have a couple of posts lined up in the queue first, and it will give me the time to scan them.


  1. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this package of tobacco cards your teasing us with.

    1. I got them scanned but have not prepped them yet, mostly because I've been working on #2 on this list. Ironically, one of the things I considered making a goal was to get something older than 1909, which had been my oldest, but eliminated it so I could keep it to ten goals. If I had kept it, it would have been the fastest goal to fall ever- about 4 minutes!

  2. Good luck on your goals for the year. I set mine in a pretty similar fashion - some layups I'll probably hit by spring, and then some harder goals that I'll probably fall well short on. But at least it gives me something to aim for.

    1. Definitely. My ultimate goal is to collect every NBA and NASCAR card ever made. I know it'll never happen, but it allows me an incredible amount of leeway and it means I'm always satisfied with whatever I can get my hands on.

  3. Good luck on your goals! I haven't set mine officially yet.

    1. Thanks! I'll keep an eye on your blog to see if you post them

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks! It'll be tough to get some of them but I am going to enjoy trying.