Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Major Milestone reached...thanks to you!

I reached a major milestone on June 12th, and didn't realize it for several days. What's more...I have you all to thank. The milestone? I reached 10,000 different hockey cards! I say hockey and not NHL because- for the time being- I'm counting the minor league cards I've gotten as part of one collection. I may break them out at some point into a Minor League collection, but I'm not organized enough to do that any time soon. (by time I am, I will be well over the 10,000 marker anyway).

But I have my fellow collectors to thank for reaching this milestone so quickly. Of the 10,000 cards in my collection...at least 7,000 of them have come to me from other collectors, largely as gifts, sometimes as trades. That's mind-blowing. I didn't keep track of where the cards in my collection came from until mid-2017. When I realized that most of my new additions were coming from other people sending me cards, rather than actually me buying them for myself, I started writing down where they came from in my Excel file I track the order I get them in. I wish I had done it sooner, so I could know for sure how many of those 10,000 came from other people.

When I add in the cards given to me by my family members for gift giving occasions, we're looking at at least 8,000 of the 10,000 coming to me as gifts or trades. At least! I've only purchased one hobby box for myself.

Really, that's so mind-boggling that I can't even think of a proper way to convey how incredibly awesome that is.

I thank every one of you who has contributed to my NHL collection. Whether it's been gigantic boxes of cards- my friend Ricky sent me almost 3000 of them in one day- or just a simple PWE of 2 or 3 cards- I treasure them all, equally. Having these cards means the world to me, because as you know, my health problems mean I don't have much enjoyment and fun in my life. Cards are just about the one thing that brings me any true happiness, and these cards sure do make me happy.

What's more, I'm using cards to learn about the history of the sport. Through cards, I've learned about players who played before I was born. Heck, I've learned about players who played before my grandparents were born! I still have a lot to learn about the history of the sport, but I will get there...probably by reading the backs of cards. Although it happened before I knew what the concept of a blog was, that's also how I learned the history of the NBA as well.

I've only been actively collecting the NHL for 15 months. I officially began collecting on January 15th, 2017. And I've already come this far. I know the future of this section of my collection is going to expand exponentially. There's still hundreds of thousands of cards I don't have and would like to. And my project of getting as many different people as possible will be going on the rest of my life. I'm going to make a fairly bold prediction right now: At some point, my NHL collection will be larger than my NBA collection. (My NBA collection is currently at 90,462 cards). I don't have as much money to spend on the hobby as I once did, thanks to the medicine that I need to stay alive, but there are a couple of reasons I think this will happen- 1 is the generosity I've already gotten from fellow collectors. Even if that stopped tomorrow, I've gotten such a headstart because of it that I'm way ahead of where I would be left to my own devices- and 2 is the simple fact that the NHL gets more cards produced, and has a longer history of cards, although the old stuff is too pricey for me. The NHL gets at least 2 500 card sets a year. The NBA hasn't gotten a single set above 400 cards in 15 years. The early 90s, the easiest cards to get, have huge sets...in both sports, but I've gotten most of the NBA cards already, there's very little room for expansion there. Not so for the NHL, where there are some early 90s sets still not yet even present in my collection!

Sure, it will take me a while to get there. I would guess at least 15 years. But I'm never planning to stop collecting, either sport. I just think it will happen some day.

This is the card that happened to be #10,000, which was a random pull out of a pack I opened from the hobby box I mentioned earlier.
 2017-18 Upper Deck #399.


I'm also very close to another big milestone...
As reckoned by the Trading Card Database, I am 2 cards short of 10,000 different Topps cards across all sports. That's somewhat misleading- it doesn't include any of the Topps Non-Sports sets or any of the other Topps issues- just Flagship Topps cards, but it DOES include inserts, parallels and pre-production cards. If Topps still had the NBA license, I would have reached it long ago...I don't know what card it will be, or even which sport it will be, but that's kind of a big deal.

16 comments:

  1. 10,000 unique cards in an entire collection is impressive, let alone in one sport! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks! It's really easy when you prefer quantity to "quality"...but I view quantity AS quality! :)

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  2. Wow! That is really cool and you dove head first! Congrats!

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    1. A lot of those cards came from you! I just scanned the latest batch of vintage you sent me last night actually.

      I have many years of lost time to make up for...

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  3. I need to get your email so I can send you some cards. My NBA "collection" is laughable, but you're more than welcome to the 12 or so cards I have. But I know I could send you some hockey stuff.

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    1. I should get your address as well. Never know when I will find some Dodger stuff you might need. elcaminobilly@yahoo.com or @elcaminobilly on Twitter.

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  4. Congratulations! Nice to see a SJ Shark was number 10k.

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    1. Thanks! It was purely luck of the draw as I opened a pack and he happened to be in it.

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  5. That is so cool that your collection has grown so quickly. I used to be in to hockey big time but stopped after the 2004-05 lockout.

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    1. It really is! I hope they don't have any more lockouts. I need my hockey fix!

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  6. Congrats on the big milestone Billy! I wouldn't be surprised if you hit the Topps milestone by now.

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    1. Thank you! Not yet, this was one of the few posts that I actually published the day I wrote it...or at least finished it.

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