Thursday, December 31, 2020

Top 12 Cards of 2020 + Yearly Recap

This is my second post of the day, the In Memorium post went live at noon.

Trying something new this year, in that I'm not waiting for the end of the year to compile this post- I'm actually beginning the composition on March 20th, and will update each month after they conclude. With March, I already had a card by then I knew would take the top spot, so no need to wait for the end of the month to begin. But first, January and February.

January was a huge month-I added 1525 new cards to my collection, with the largest batch coming from 2 full 600 count boxes I received as a Random Act of Kindness on the Trading Card Database. I also got my Christmas present COMC order, and from there is where my favorite card of the month comes from.
This oversized insert from Upper Deck commemorates the very first NHL game I saw from start to finish, on January 1st, 2017. Although I had begun watching in October 2016, I didn't catch a full game until the Winter such, that game's commemorative insert set takes a very special place in my collection. I remember this event, where Tarasenko took a selfie with the crowd, from that day, and when I saw the card posted on one of the blogs, (don't remember which one) I knew I had to have a copy. It took me a while, but I found one on COMC as noted.

February saw even more cards roll in, 1571, 998 of them from a shoebox I bought at a card show, where I met Dan and Jerry from the Trading Card Database. One card I found that day, despite not being in the greatest shape, is a card I had been chasing for many years.
Wayne Embrey was for many years the missing person from my collection. An NBA Legend and Hall of Famer, he had scant few cards issued, and I was never able to hunt down a copy. I eventually added a card of his from 2010-11 Rookies & Stars Longevity, but this is a playing career card! In fact, he was the only Hall of Famer who had cards later than 1948-49 Bowman that was missing from my collection! And he had that distinction for quite some time, as he was inducted in 1999. I don't recall when I got the R&S card but it was only a couple of years ago- after I had made the list of missing people which I published to Cardboard History in 2015. I had been wanting this card for so long that finally adding it made it a sure bet for the top card of the month.

March...things got crazy in March. Still are, as I type this on March 20th. Every century has a major health pandemic, and it's going on right now. All sports in the world are on hold right now- cancelled outright or on hiatus until further notice. It's something the world has never experienced and hopefully it'll be in the past soon. However, it has not stopped cards from entering my collection, although at a much lower rate...only 154 cards as I type this, although 11 days remain in the month. One, however, has such an awesome photo that I don't think any card would surpass it.
  I love's not something that comes up on card topics very often, so it may not be known to even my most regular readers. But watching snow fall is one of my favorite things to do. I've been known to set my chair up in front of the window and just watch it fall for hours. The Heritage Classic, an outdoor game, was played in the snow during this season, and UD chose a photo of Rittich from that game to use on his base card in Series 2 of the flagship set. And it is snowing! And he's toqued! So much awesome about this card. I ended up with 172 new cards on the month.

April saw my card intake decline somewhat from January and February, but I still added 1048 cards! 881 came to me as Easter gifts, and the rest were pulled from my stash. All but two were hockey cards! I didn't go out card hunting at all, for the second month in a row. My favorite was clearly the Clear Cut parallel I pulled from the Upper Deck Series 2 box my mom gave me.
So far, with the first third of the year down, Hockey has taken three of the months.

May was a BIG card month, as I hit the Sousafly Collection hard...I ended up adding 1797 new cards during the month, and all but about 150 of them came from that collection and my pack stash. However, my favorite new addition was actually one my Mom got for me. I had mentioned how I didn't have any of the series 2 High Numbers for the 1953-54 Topps World on Wheels set, and probably wouldn't because they are generally all above my self-imposed $20 per card limit. So, she went on Ebay and got me this one!
It was also the most cards I've scanned in a month since 2017, as I did 2501 cards. I didn't get the monthly upload on the Cardboard History Gallery done until June 13th!

June saw 874 cards enter my collection, many of them from a large purchase I made on the Trading Card Database. I don't purchase all that often, but I had a deal presented to me that I could not possibly pass up. 313 of the cards from the month came from that purchase, including the card of the month. It was most of the Chrome parallels, about half the Refractors, and about 1/3rd of the Atomic Refractors from 1996-97 Topps Stars. It is the equivalent of 44 boxes worth of parallels. The most I've ever opened of one box was 6...

The Atomic Refractors don't really scan all that well, so I actually took a video of this card in the sunlight. 

Two of the greatest to ever play the game on some amazing technology. 

375 cards came my way in July, and the absolute best was already shown- my Henrik Lundqvist autograph that I got from Kenny!

I never thought I would ever get one of these! I'm not sure this can be topped, this may be my card of the year. 

August...nothing can top July, but let's see what is my favorite addition of the month. Only 94 cards to choose from, too, a very light month. In fact, the first time since August of 2014 that I didn't get at least 100 new cards in a month. August 2020 is when I started to go fully into scale modeling mode, which would last until it got too cold to build in October, when I'm working on this post for the first time since June. I'm actually going to go with one I pulled from my pack stash this time:

I always liked the alien Green Lanterns and the stories that dealt with the GL Corps in space, and this is one of my favorite alien GLs solely because he looks so cool. I am slowly working through a box of 1993 Cosmic Teams I bought in 2019. 

September was fully model mode, although I still managed to add 146 cards. Starting in August, lasting all of September and into October, was the greatest time period in my modeling career. I did almost ZERO card related things. However, I did make one trade- in which I sent out empty toploaders and got back some great Allen & Ginter cards, which completed two of the inserts. Two of them, from the 2017 World's Fair set, show things I've seen in person, but I am going to go with the Unisphere. Funny thing, I've been so focused on models, I have not scanned it yet as I write this caption on October 28th. It showed up in the mail on September 3rd. I finally got it scanned on December 23rd! Actually, I scanned it on something like December 12th and just got around to editing it, since I've been working so hard on other stuff, like the Recovery project.

October, normally a big month since it contains my birthday, wasn't this year...sort of. I got 196 cards, and all but 85 of them were from the Topps Now NHL Playoffs set. I was all set to use one of them, but then I got a birthday present from Database member and friend Bevans, which included this Rangers card from 1969-70 O-Pee-Chee. I have so few 60s Rangers cards, this being my 13th from the entire decade (though I do have 3 from the 50s.) But this is a playing career card of a Hall of Famer- one of the greatest goalies ever. The last card issued during his career and lifetime...Nope, can't beat that! 

November saw me add 280 cards, the vast majority of which were from an entire 100-pack box of Tim Horton's cards my friend in Canada sent me- which I still have not written a post about yet! My favorite cards out of that set are the lenticular team cards, which are also the rarest not-hit insert, as I pulled only three of them in 100 packs. I am going to go with the Lightning, they did just win the championship, and they were the first ones I saw. 

This card looks so much better in hand than it does in scans.

December was once again dominated by Christmas with 435 of 931 cards I got in the month arriving on that day. 291 more arrived on the day my two Black Friday purchased boxes arrived. In total I ended up adding 9009 cards on the year, which is a massive amount. More than I got in either 2019 or 2018. In fact, 2020 is my 6th highest total that I have documented, although  my records are really only fully accurate from 2010 to present. Christmas once again provided my favorite card of the month:
Sheet metal pieces are my favorite, and these are both three color! 

Overall though, my favorite card is the Lundqvist autograph. No surprise there, right?

Overall 2020 was a great year for me for cards. Pretty amazing since I haven't gone looking for cards since February, haven't gotten a COMC shipment since January. 

I achieved my goal for the year on January 5th, and my 2021 goal? I met that on December 6th 2020! I specifically have no goals for 2021 now, at least not not for cards. I do have a goal in scale modeling. That is to build more than 25 1/64 builds. 
My 2020 there was even better than my 2020 in cards...I set a new personal record by finishing 62 models, breaking my old record of 60 which I set in 2000, and which I thought I would never break. Now that I've figured out what I'm doing, the record I set this year could soon as next year! Only time will tell...

My 2020 completions.

I keep some yearly lists on the Trading Card Database that you might enjoy looking over. Some cards appear in multiple lists.
2020 Trades 10 (I normally make way more trades through a year but I was not trading for most of 2020)

In Memorium 2020

 2020 was a rough year for a lot of people...and my In Memorium post is the largest it's ever been, with 54 people. And even at that I'm missing some big names, either because I don't have cards of them or haven't gotten them scanned yet. I really hope 2021's post is smaller. 

Jaber Al-Sabah 1929-2020
John Andretti 1963-2020
Robert Archibald 1980-2020
Bird Averitt 1952-2020
Chadwick Boseman 1976-2020
Kobe Bryant 1978-2020
Jeremy Bulloch 1945-2020
Bunny Burkett 1945-2020
Jimmy Collins 1946-2020
Walt Davis 1931-2020
Joe Diffie 1958-2020
Chris Doleman 1961-2020
Mike Gale 1950-2020
Dick Garmaker 1932-2020
Bob Gibson 1935-2020
Brian Glennie 1946-2020
Kevin Greene 1962-2020
Rich Hacker 1947-2020
Dale Hawerchuk 1963-2020
Larry Hedrick 1940-2020
Tom Heinsohn 1934-2020
Les Hunter 1942-2020
Sascha Hupmann 1970-2020
Eddie Johnson 1955-2020
Rafer Johnson 1935-2020
K.C. Jones 1932-2020
Gene Kennedy 1949-2020
Al Langlois 1934-2020
Ralph Liguori 1926-2020
DeDe Lind 1947-2020
Justin Love 1978-2020
John McCarthy 1934-2020
Mark McNamara 1959-2020
Bobby Joe Morrow 1935-2020
Hosni Mubarak 1928-2020
Curly Neal 1942-2020
Jim Neilson 1940-2020
Bob Nevin 1938-2020
Lute Olson 1934-2020
K.T. Oslin 1942-2020
John Paul Jr. 1960-2020
Maurice Petty 1939-2020
Henri Richard 1936-2020
Clifford Robinson 1966-2020
Bruce Seals 1953-2020
Tom Seaver 1944-2020
Eddie Shack 1937-2020
Jerrry Sloan 1942-2020
Stanley Smith 1949-2020
Pat Stapleton 1940-2020
John Thompson 1941-2020
Wes Unseld 1946-2020
Al Worden 1932-2020
Chuck Yeager 1923-2020

Since I don't want to end the year on such a sad post, I'm publishing two today. Come back at 5 PM to see my favorite card added each month in 2020.