Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2018 Year in Review / Plans for 2019 / Contest teaser

2018 was a pretty good year. Health was better overall this year (2018) than last year, (2017) other than late June through early August for me, which was totally miserable. Card wise, my intake of new cards was actually down this year. I added "only" 8644 this year, although I'm writing this on the 30th so that number is unknown for tomorrow. (added 2 on 12/31) The last year I did not clear 10,000 new cards in a year was 2014. but 2018 still ranks as the 7th most cards I've documented in any year...although I have not always kept up on that, so who know for sure? I don't, and I wish I did. While I have enough cards stashed that I could force it tomorrow, and today for that matter, I simply don't want to.

The Card of the Day project actually contributed to the lower card number. Whenever I would get cards- everything from gifts, to packs, to COMC orders, to even repacks- I've not been going through all of them, but saving them for the Card of the Day project. I didn't do an entire blaster in one day through all of 2018, until Christmas day! At the end of the year, I ended up having enough of a stash that I could probably have kept the Card of the Day project going to 4 to 5 more years, even if I didn't add another new card to the stash. But, I'm not doing that. It stopped being fun a long time ago, and it made getting new cards a chore, instead of exciting. I had been planning to go through what remained of the COMC box I had been pulling from since January 1st, 2018, but as I'm writing this, still in December, I'm not sure I even want to do that. (I decided I needed a break and as of January 1st, I have not gotten a single card in 2019 yet) I will move through the stash eventually...but I don't know when, and in fact I don't even know where everything I had stashed away even is. Angus had sent me a box of baseball and football, maybe some hockey, back in 2016 and I set it aside for this project...and have not seen it again. It didn't make it into the project at all because I don't even know where to look. (being a collector/hoarder of many things, I have a LOT of boxes of stuff). I've been building the stash since 2015, and incorporated cards I've held since 2012, without opening the packs.

I had debated going through everything in the stash on January 1st- opening every pack, going through every card in every box that I've set aside from Angus, CrazieJoe, SumoMenkoMan, Shoebox Legends, and others. But I decided against it. I am already trying to play catch-up all the time, and keeping my collection tracked on paper, on the Database, and on Excel, it would just be too overwhelming and in the end would NOT be fun. So I've decided to just do them when I feel like it, whenever that may be. Odds are that some will last well into the 2020s before I actually see them.

But, I DID achieve my goal of getting at least one new card every day of 2018, to celebrate my 30th anniversary of collecting!

Other card project wise, I finally got my Excel stuff mostly caught up. I had set it all aside to work on scanning everything for the Trading Card Database, but I was able to finish that in December 2017 so I was able to do things just for myself.
  • I did a countdown of my 30 Favorite Non-Sports sets ever
  • Cardboard History was voted the best blog on the Trading Card Database Awards, and I was 3-time MVP
  • I righted one of the biggest wrongs of my collection when Jason German sent me a copy of the ONLY card I ever had and no longer did. 
  • I hit the 500 post mark
  • I wrote a multi-post series highlighting my Error collection, something that was asked for by my readership
  • I fulfilled my lifelong dream of doing a case of cards, although it turned out to be frustrating and disappointing. 
  • I was interviewed by SumoMenkoMan
  • I hit 10,000 different hockey cards in my collection
  • I pulled off my first three-way trade despite the fact that I've been trading online since 2000
  • I bought a collection for the first time 
  • I launched Cardboard History Gallery, probably the hardest work I've ever actually put into anything in the hobby, although I've done literally only 1/3rd of the things I want to do with it, and I've already posted 88,000 scans to it.
  • I got all the college cards scanned. I consider them the dregs of my collection and didn't really talk about them, and only made one post about them, but I finally finished them, on Christmas day. 
  • The NHL surpassed the NBA for number of different people in my collection
My actual card collection focus took a change this year, as it has for a while now. Set completion is no longer the "be-all, end-all" it once was. Now, I'm more focused on getting as many different people as possible. As such, I only completed a handful of sets this year: 
  1. 1992 Maxx International Motorsports Hall of Fame
  2. 1994-95 Fleer
  3. 1994-95 Stadium Club
  4. 1999 Wheels High Gear
  5. 1993-94 Hoops
  6. 2018 Topps US Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls
That's definitely a lower number than usual; I completed 18 in 2017, and I believe 47 in 2016! You can see my full Completed Sets chart by clicking the link. I got the entire Olympic set out of one box on Christmas day, a post about it is forthcoming. If you do click the link, you'll see that I show the Panini Instant NBA Playoffs set. I had originally considered that it's own set, but I reconsidered it and now classify it as an insert to the Panini Instant set. 

As now usual, I documented the special cards and new people and sets I added to my collection with lists on the Database. 
Non-card wise was pretty interesting this year, too. 
I had my best year building models in years, finishing 14 models and coming two decals short of 15. 
It was also my most successful year- the Lotus F1 car took a bronze medal, the Pinto wagon took a silver, and the International Space Station as Seen from Earth, a humor model, got me my first ever career Gold! Granted, I was the only one who entered the class, but hey, I've been entering model contests since 2002, so I'll take it. Of the 14 completions, that may be my favorite actually. The Pinto wagon was also the 300th model I've completed in my life, kinda. The number is ambiguous, as I would count things differently had I been creating it now. The three yellow cars on the left is totally coincidental- they are shown in the order I completed them. 

No pictures for this one, but I attended a wedding for the first time in my life, a Cousin actually invited us and we went. 

We got a new car in July! 
It's a 2018 Ford Edge Titanium, and it's the first time my mom ever got to pick out a new car- she's been driving since 1970. It's pretty amazing. This photo was taken on Prospect Mountain in Lake George, our favorite place. My brother took this one. It is our first time leasing a car, and it's the newest vehicle I've ever been in. It also has a glass roof so that's pretty awesome. 

I took more photos than ever before in my entire life- I hit 10,000 in September! I'm finished the year with exactly around 13,050 total photos taken on the year, and 2019 looks to have even more. 

I attended 29 car shows during 2018, resetting my career high, which was set in 2017 with 16. My previous career high before 2017 was 5 in one year, so I have improved on that number significantly...and if not for the weather, I could have gotten more, as a half dozen were cancelled by rain and even a tornado this year. Missed some due to health concerns as well. Some of the shows were pretty small, the smallest having only 4 cars, but there is nothing that makes me happier than being at a car show. I maintain a car show photography page on Facebook, and a full car show photography archive dating back to the 1980s on my main website as well. 
Probably my favorite find in 2018 was a King Midget, photographed on July 29th, a very rare microcar that was actually sold in kit form via magazines. I've read about them over the years but never saw one. Seeing it prompted me to create a list of the cars I want to see/photograph right here as well. 
I also determined that during my lifetime, I had photographed a car from every year from 1906-2018, with the exception of 1993. Luckily the very next car show I went to, a car from 1993 happened to be parked right next to the crosswalk to get into the show, so you better believe I photographed it. Another, a 1993 Cadillac Allante, happened to be in the show as part of the Paninfarina theme. 

Late in the year my brother decided to take me on some adventures. While my health and the weather didn't cooperate for too much- we only got in 2, he has plans for 16- the two we did do are both pretty spectacular. 
The trip to the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art was, by far, my favorite day of the year. It is the first time in my memory that my favorite day of the year was NOT a car show. In the grand scheme of things, ancient history actually surpasses cards and gives classic cars a run for the money as my favorite subject. On attending that museum...I got to see the ancient artifacts in person, for the first time in my life! I saw the oldest man-made object I have ever seen, some 4200 years old, from ancient Egypt. I saw a Cuneiform tablet, the world's first recognized writing system. This is pretty monumental stuff. I can't put into words how much this meant to me. I mean, 29 car shows and it still is my favorite day of the's that important. It may be one of my favorite days of my LIFE, let alone 2018. It was also my brother's first time driving in NYC and my first time in NYC since 1995. 

On December 1st, he took me to the New York Botanical Garden, which is actually so close to Fordham that you can see the Fordham building from the Botanical Garden grounds. I never got a chance to write up a post about that adventure, but it too was a lot of fun. In December, they have model trains set up and scale replicas of buildings, this year's theme was New York history. I ended up taking over 700 pictures, although once I culled the blurry ones, I got 643 to post to my website- a lot. It turned out to be the 4th most photos I've taken in a single day-I think- following September 8th, 2018, September 7th, 2017 and September 7th, 2018, all three of those days being part of the Adirondack Nationals car show! 
My favorite part of the Botanical Garden has to be the cactus room. The smallest of these is about 1 and a half times the size of a basketball. The largest one is pushing 5 feet!

Now, what does 2019 hold? Only time will tell, of course, but the plans include even more car shows, return trips to Fordham and the Botanical Garden, and more...some of it is a secret, will be revealed later. The remaining adventures my brother has planned are a mystery to me, as I asked him to surprise me instead of tell me. I do know some things planned but I will post about them after they happen...when I can share the pictures I've taken. 

Card wise, I'm going into the year with specifically no specific goal. After the Card of the Day, which took 365 days to pull off, I want a break! I always have a goal set for the year, and usually, I pull them off easily in January. This year, nothing...I'm just going to enjoy the hobby and take it as it comes. I know for a fact that come January I will be getting the upgrade to the Cardboard History Gallery I've mentioned wanting a few times, I also had a goal in 2018 of getting at least 10 posts up every month on Cardboard History. I accomplished that although it was a challenge when my computer died in October. 

I would like to hit 100 trades on the Trading Card Database. At the turn of the year, I'm at 79 completed and one in progress. I want to hit 100. I have always been rather reactive with trades on there- I don't generally initiate trades, because I have not figured out how to work the system properly. I'd like to learn that as well, but I'm not going to call either of them a goal, specifically so I don't have any goals, LOL. (I know I will hit 100 eventually anyway, so no stressing about it) I completed 25 during 2018, and that's not even counting the ones done through messages, only those counted using the Transaction manager. In reality I'm probably already at 100 because I did some trading before the Transaction manager was implemented, and I've done at least a dozen via private message, bypassing the transaction manager. (I actually went ahead and figured the trading initiation out already, at least the how to begin a trade part! The matching is still beyond me but learning how to initiate a trade is what I really wanted to learn.  I figured it out on December 31st so that never even had a chance to be a goal. I fully figured it out on January 9th.

For Cardboard History, I'm pretty happy with what I've got going so I will probably stay fairly consistent to what I'm doing now. I do plan to work more on my Encylopedias and the Uniform History series next year- I wanted to work more on them this year but just have not had the time, creating the Cardboard History Gallery has taken up so much time, most of my time from August to December. But, that's all created now, I just need to maintain it, giving me some time to do other stuff, like create posts here. At least, that's the plan. In theory, I will be able to create the posts for each series MUCH easier now that I have everything all sorted together fully, by both person and team. 

Oh, also, 2019 marks Cardboard History's 5-Year Anniversary, so expect a contest of some sort. I'm not sure what exactly I will do for my contest...I want it to be a good one, and there's not really a lot of people on the Blogosphere who collect what I have available. So I've got to come up with something...however, the 5 year anniversary is not until November, so I have time. Of course, I may decide to do more than one...I will probably do one simple that just requires leaving a comment, and I'm thinking of a trivia contest, too...

While I am glad to be done with the year-long project of Card of the Day, I never stop thinking about the hobby and on January 2nd I came up with a new project...sort of. I had thought about this project a while back, but set it on the back burner. I am thinking about resurrecting the idea, but unlike the high pressure Card of the Day, this would be extremely low pressure, and not something I expect to finish this year...luckily, more than half of it can be completed with cards already in my collection. Once I come up with a good name for this project, I will post more about it. It will be the closest I ever get to doing a "Frankenset", I will say that much. 

Thanks for reading! 


  1. Sounds like 2018 was a great year! I'm looking forward to what 2019 brings to Cardboard History. An early Happy 5 Year Anniversary!

  2. Congrats on a great year Billy, looking forward to the coming one on your blog!

    1. Thank you! Hopefully this will be the best one yet!

  3. Looks like you had a great year Billy! Kept up the tremendous work and I'll for sure be reading!

  4. Sounds like you packed quite a bit into 2018. Goodluck on the year ahead

    1. Thank you! It was a good year, hope 2019 is as well!

  5. I know you wound up not being a fan of Card of the Day, but I was (from my POV). I'm really glad you seemed to be able to get out and do more things this past year. Here's hoping to an even more active 2019!

    1. I'm sure looking back on it I will think of it fondly...not yet though. I do kind of miss it, but I don't miss the stress it caused, either. It was the best year in a while

  6. I like the picture of the Edge on the mountain. Nice seeing mountains and the lake in the shot.

    1. Me too. It's the one I'm using as the "official" picture of the Edge.

  7. Replies
    1. I really did a lot more than I really realized...I didn't count up all the stuff until December.

  8. Oooh looking forward to the Frankenset!

    1. I'll be ready to start posting about that by the end of the month, I think. Still thinking of a name for the project.

  9. You had some bookmark worthy posts in 2018! Here's to another solid year.

    P.S. Never seen or heard of the King Midget. I'm gonna hit up YT and watch some videos on them.

    1. Thanks! I hope 2019 is even better! The King Midget is a true rarity, I never think to look on YouTube for reference type stuff.

  10. I found your card of the day project very interesting to watch.

    I honestly can't even really remember what I sent you that you have stashed away, but I have other stuff that put aside for you that I've been meaning to send. (I am so far behind in mailing things out to people. I didn't send out anything for Christmas, other than my Secret Santa gift.)

    1. I have a box of mixed football and baseball, some random packs, and some of the Racing cards you sent me at Christmas 2016...I realized this morning as I was looking into one of the boxes of cards that a hobby box you sent me in 2016 is still sealed! I really dropped the ball on that one.

      Not sure how often you check your American PO box but there should be something waiting for you there by now.

  11. You, my friend, have had an amazing year!!! It has been awesome following your blog this year!

  12. Do you ever sleep? You pack a lot into life, Billy. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Hah! Yes, I do, but I have been known to complain about time spent sleeping is not spent on cards.