Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 12 Cards of 2019

I like to finish each year with a countdown of my top 12 cards of that year- one from each month. This year I was mostly on burnout mode because of my Card of the Day project in 2018, basically just going through the motions until about mid-November, when my passion returned (as I'm sure you've been able to tell by how much I've been posting since then) I have even less preconceived plans about what will "win" each month this year than I have in the past couple of years, so this should be fun for me to compose, hopefully for you to read, as well.

2017 Absolute Racing Tools of the Trade Dual Gold

It's hard to argue against a dual relic SN to ten that I pulled from a pack myself, which is not something I do very often! Couple that with the fact that it's got two colors on the sheet metal piece and parts of the Goodyear lettering on the tire, I just can't beat that! 2017 Absolute was also the only hobby box I bought for myself during the entire year...although not the only one I did. I got three for Christmas as well. That's it though, the least I've done in a year since 2008 when I did none.

2015-16 Ultimate Collection Jumbo Materials Patch

I attended my first card show since either 2004 or 2005 in February, that was a thrill for me! This is the marquee card I got, and I actually got two from this same insert set. I had hoped to attend the card shows at least two times a year but it just didn't turn out that way for me, attending each one only once. But the fact that I got to go to two is just so amazing to me, I hope to get back to at least one in 2020.

Hitting 2017 Absolute Racing again, but this time from the Plainville CT card show, not the box. This has a piece of neon yellow sheet metal, and having grown up in the 1990s, there are two things that will ALWAYS catch my eye- holograms and neon. This is my first piece of neon sheet metal, although not my last, as I purchased three pieces from the same seller at the show all at once. As you can tell from the photo, Menard is ecstatic.

Here's a card I got from another blogger, this one coming from Chris of the Collector. It completed my Starting 5 promo set for that year, which is quite an accomplishment because I wasn't collecting NBA at that time, and promos are notoriously hard to find after the fact.

I'd like to show you the favorite card I got in May, which is a Henrik Lundqvist card I got in trade from Kenny/Zippy Zappy. But, I lost the box I put it in and the other cards he traded me, as well as the rest of the Beach Boys box I finally finished opening, so I can't. I've gone nuts looking for them, because I didn't even get a chance to list them in my paper listing yet. Very frustrating, and a sign of how much I was just going through the motions in those months.
What I CAN show is one of his trademark pretty girls he's known for sending. Somehow, I managed not to lose them.
2013 Seven Colors #62

I have no idea who this lady is, I think possibly a musician, but she has a lot of cards issued. Unfortunately, I can't find full checklists so I can't post them on the Database, making them and the Sumo cards Ryan sent me a while back the only part of my collection not properly documented.

2018-19 Panini Threads Dazzle Gold #86

I never pull cards SN to 10 or less...I did it twice in 2019! My brother bought me some cards when we took a one-day-up-and-back trip to Lake George, and I happened to pull this Russell Westbrook card SN 01/10! And it's really cool looking in person, much nicer than it does in scans.

1966 Batman Black Bat #51

I was able to add three 1966 Batman cards in 2019, bringing my total to 4. I need more of them, but they are quite hard for me to find! The Black Bat set was new to me in 2019. I still lack the Blue Bat set totally.

2000-01 Stadium Club #236

August was probably my worst month in the hobby since 2008. I didn't scan even a single card during the entire month, the first time that has happened that I can recall. The one and only highlight of the month is that Ryan / SumoMenkoMan sent me a box of stuff totally at random, and I really like the design of the 2000-01 Stadium Club hockey set- this is only my second or third card from the set- so it got the nod.

2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Patch

I think we all knew that this was going to be the card. I passed this card by last time I went to the shop it was for sale in in 2017. I didn't get there at all in 2018, and I assumed it would be sold...lost to me forever. When I got back there on September 3rd, it was still there, so I made sure that I would not leave without it- even if it's the most I've paid for a hockey card to date. (tied) This is probably my favorite card of the entire year, to be honest. I can't tell you how many times I had thought about and regretted leaving it behind.

1887 Allen & Ginter Arms of All Nations

I got a lot of REALLY great cards in October. For new cards, it was one of the best months of the year. Getting my oldest card, a full 131 years old, that can't be topped so it gets the nod.

1972-73 Topps #87

In November, I found out I was losing my favorite place for vintage cards, where I've gotten all sorts of great oddballs and hockey since 2014, due to the owner pulling the lease to put in "upscale coffee shops". Well, I went and got as much as I could afford, which was a lot of Rangers cards, and a partial set of 1972-73 Topps, which I suspect was complete at one point, but had gotten picked over over the years. I chose this card, instead of the many Rangers I got, because it has such a cool, unique photo on it. (and it does have a bit of a Rangers tie in- the photo was taken at Madison Square Garden.) This is a really unusual and creative photo for 1972-73...about 95% of the set are posed photos, not even action photos, which makes this stand out even more.

2019-20 Upper Deck UD Exclusives #86

Although I got a lot of great cards in December, including my COMC order that had been building since August of 2018, a card I pulled had to get the top spot. I have been a fan of the UD Exclusives parallel since it was introduced in 1998-99 for the NBA, and as I would come to find out, the NHL as well...although it would be years until I learned about that sport, which has now taken firm control of the #1 spot in my collection...not in card totals but in interest. The UD Exclusives are always SN, usually to 100, although some sets to 500. They are not common pulls, and since I began collecting the NHL, this is only the second one that I've pulled from a pack, following one from 2010-11, which I pulled from a single pack I found somewhere. In the grand scheme of things, these are my third-favorite parallel concept, but are de-facto #1 since the first two are no longer issued in my sports, or at all. (Refractors, which sort of live on in Prizms from Panini for NBA and NASCAR, but not quite, and Ultra Gold Medallions). The fact that I pulled a Ranger, a player from my team, makes it so much more special. I pulled this on Christmas day, and I got the base version as well. My brother's Christmas Present to me was $100 on COMC, and a good portion of that was spent on other UD Exclusives issues, including a full page from the 2017-18 set...I'll post about them when they arrive, and my recap of the cards I actually got on Christmas will be coming soon...hopefully by this weekend....but next year, nonetheless!

I ended 2019 on a high note, Cardboard History wise, and 2020 is going to be starting out much the same way, as I have almost 30 posts in the queue waiting for their time in the sun...

Thanks for another great year of reading!

Monday, December 30, 2019

In Memoriam 2019

Time for the annual look back at the people who appear in my collection that have died during the current year. I am happy to report that the list is smaller this year, with only 37 people present, down from last year's 45. However, like last year, there are some people who appear in my collection but have not been scanned yet.
 Sam Bass 1961-2019
 Al Bianchi 1932-2019
 Arnie Brown 1942-2019
 Bob Burrow 1934-2019

 Ben Coleman 1961-2019
 John Coughlin 1985-2019 (please note that my including him here is just because he is in my collection, not that I'm condoning what he did)
 A.G. Dillard 1939-2019
 Andre Emmett 1982-2019
 Doyle Ford 1933-2019
 J.D. Gibbs 1969-2019
 Jim Glaser 1936-2019
 Danny Grant 1945-2019
 Anthony Grundy 1979-2019
 John Havlicek 1940-2019
 Carl Hill Birthdate unknown-2019
 Jim Holt 1944-2019
 Harry Howell 1932-2019
 Greg Johnson 1971-2019
 Junior Johnson 1931-2019
 Vaughan Johnson 1962-2019
 Red Kelly 1927-2019
 Lewis Lloyd 1959-2019
 John MacLeod 1937-2019
 Johnny Neumann 1950-2019
 Matti Nykanen 1963-2019
 Ross Perot 1930-2019
 Dean Prentice 1932-2019
 Jim Reed 1926-2019
 Frank Robinson 1935-2019
 Bob Rule 1944-2019
 Bart Starr 1934-2019
 Mike Stefanik 1958-2019
 Red Sullivan 1929-2019
 Bruce VanderLaan 1952-2019
 Rick Wetzel 1956-2019
Glen Wood 1925-2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Blog Bat-A-Round: Favorite Set of the Decade?

This decade is rapidly approaching the end. It will be the 2020s by this time next week...so I thought it would make a nice Blog Bat-A-Round to see what everyone considers their favorite set from the decade.
For me there were a couple of sets that I considered, but I kept coming back to one: 2012-13 Hoops. Besides the fact that it's Panini's best NBA effort, it's also the set that brought me back to the NBA after walking away in 2006. The pure enjoyment the set brought me as I was chasing it when new, and in the years that have followed, is unmatched by any other set issued in the Teens.

As I wrote when I did my Top 20 Favorite NBA sets countdown, "Why I like it: There are many reasons. The biggest, of course, is that it's the one that got me back in. The fact that it includes coaches. The fact that it's (mostly) sorted by team. The fact that it was the first card for so many of the players who now make up the NBA in my collection. The color coding to each team."

All that still holds true. Nothing else from this decade has had as much of an impact on my hobby than this set. Not even the hockey cards, although the companion set- 2012-13 Score- is my 2nd favorite hockey set of all time and did play a role in my beginning to collect that sport...it didn't have as much of an impact as the Hoops set did. 

Although this scan is not up to my current standards, it's the one I used in my Top 20 sets countdown, so I thought it would be fitting to use it again....for some reason I can't get it centered, though. I'm one card away from completing the set, and I'm working on a trade to bring that card to me.

So, what's your favorite set of the decade?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

NHL moves past Non-Sports for 3rd

It happened sooner than I expected. I knew it was coming fairly soon...but I figured it would be in 2020. Since I began collecting the NHL in January 2017, I realized fairly quickly that it would move up the ranks of my collection. By the end of 2017, it was already in 4th, behind NBA, NASCAR, and Non-Sports. It stayed fairly steady in 4th place, gaining on Non-Sports but still a ways back. As 2019 was drawing to a close, I had actually begun my Year in Review for the year, and was going to include a section on things to watch for in 2020....but the main thing I was going to focus on went and happened on Christmas day!

I woke up Christmas morning with exactly 16,600 non-sports cards, and 16030 NHL cards...a fairly large cushion for Non-Sports. It wouldn't last the day! I ended up getting 729 new NHL/Hockey cards on Christmas, which now puts the NHL firmly into third place!

While this happened much sooner than I expected, the NHL still has a long way to go before it catches NASCAR, and, at my current rate of card intake, may never catch the NBA...but I don't plan to stop collecting, so you never know.

NASCAR is next, with 34026 cards in my collection. That's a difference of 17,267 cards...which is over a thousand more than in my current NHL collection. (16759). The NBA is likely untouchable with 93257 cards, a difference of 76498. But you never know...I've collected the NBA for 18 years, and the NHL for 3, so let's see where I stand in 15 years...

I know NASCAR will probably fall eventually, and sooner than the numbers may make it appear here...the NHL gets multiple sets a year which each have more cards than all NASCAR cards in a year combined, in fact, in just one box of this year's Topps NHL stickers, I got 235 new cards...which is only about 150 less than NASCAR gets in a year, provided I get all of them...which I have not done since 2015.

Of course, those numbers are what I'm working on, but I don't think they are entirely accurate. Even the NHL, which I in theory should have totally documented, I'm not sure on because I have a stack of 1991-92 Score Bilingual which I'm not sure is properly documented, and I have no idea which of the two versions of 1991-92 Upper Deck I have. For the NBA and NASCAR, I don't know if I counted some cards, or maybe I may have counted some more than once. I'm almost sure I didn't count any cards that were not standard card size, both larger and smaller, until I came back to the NBA in 2012.

I won't know for sure until I get everything scanned and that may happen this decade...maybe.

This was the card that pushed the NHL into third place, passing non-sports cards. Modern non-sports cards aren't really common so I don't think they will ever take the spot back. If I could afford and could find all the vintage cards I wanted, that might change...but isn't too realistic to think about.

2019-20 Topps Stickers #208.

The one-per-pack foil subset scans actually pretty well. Each player who has a foil card (sticker) also has a standard sticker. Each team also has a logo foil sticker as well. I really like the Topps sticker set...it's the first time Topps has produced NHL cards since the 2003-04 season. I'm glad they are back! At 630 cards, it's so far the largest set of the season, although when the rest of the O-Pee-Chee set is issued in Upper Deck Series 2, it'll probably surpass it.

I will show more cards I got for Christmas soon...stay tuned!

Added bonus: I mentioned that I would include a photo of my family Christmas tree in yesterday's post, and I just plain forgot. Here it is now!
The red plaid card is the one sent to me by Kari of the Trading Card Database that I specifically mentioned previously.