It’s that time again, of course. There are posts to be written, and cards to be shared, and plenty to be said. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the annual look around over here and do my annual evaluation. This’ll be an in-depth look as I kept some numbers last year.
First, let’s look at some statistics. 2018 was the first full year that I’ve attempted to track this stuff. These are – well, less than comprehensive. It ignores the bulk of cards I bought at that fancy French shop, Targét. There are some mild flaws in the numbers – incoming cards include ones I picked up in order to send out, so the actual number of collection additions was lower for example. But, overall it’s a pretty good reflection of what happened.
Net Change: -656
Oof, that’s not the ratio I was hoping for there. Well, I suppose that means I found/received a lot of good stuff! So where did all that stuff come from?
Card Shops: 1,228
From Shows: ~375
From Bloggers/Other Traders: 3,377
That’s four card shop visits and three shows, for anyone wondering. How about a little breakdown of the new additions? There are only a few categories which I bother to tally.
New Astros: 2,012
New Bagwells: 84
New Biggios: 79
Holy hell! That’s a ton of new Astros! Adding that many new Bagwell cards is pretty impressive as well, given that I’ve breached 1,000 different cards.
The most cards were sent to: Nick Vossbrink, with a total of 716!
Well, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. That’s what happens when you interact with someone on Twitter all the time and find three set builds where you can make big dents.
Runners up: @StillAtIt (another Astros fan!): 423, jddavis84 (TCDB): 384, Shaggy69 (TCDB): 326, randylaw (TCDB): 321
The person who sent me the most cards was: Johnny’s Trading Spot (364).
This was a good one! Despite the large and random nature, there were still 133 new Astros in here, and some other great stuff.
Runners up: @StillAtIt: 300, P-Town Tom (282), ArpSmith (244)
Here’s a quick breakdown of my numbers according to TCDB. I have only a handful of cards which aren’t logged there, so this can be considered accurate. Numbers are as of when I checked on January 2nd. It’ll be fun to see where these wind up this time next year.
Alright, it’s time to look back at last year’s goals.
- Get rid of a lot of cards: I shot the moon and wagered 10 grand last year. That, as it turns out, was overly ambitious. I’m happy to say I managed to cross half that, though.
Subplot: I wanted to cut out about 1000 of the 2000-ish extra football and basketball cards that were here. I failed this one as well, but I did seem to drop about 500 of them. Not a bad start.
- Get caught up on the trading backlog: Oof, I still have 18 trades from last year overdue, and a couple from this year already. However, I got caught up to September, and there were a lot in the final two months.
- Astro-graphs project passing 50%: I did this! However, I’m teetering on the edge and there will be new names in 2019. I didn’t put much focus on this in the latter half of the year as the Starchives project came to fruition.
- Keep a regular posting schedule: The goal was more than two posts a week. I hit 168 posts, more than three a week! Easy A here.
- Scan my Bagwells: Whoops, I definitely didn’t get this one done. That’s because I spent my time making customs, trying to catch up on posts, and trying to unload cards. That’s okay. I bet I can get it done this year.
- Finish my wantlist: I did this too! The goal was to have my Astros needs up-to-date through 2017, and that’s the case. Sure, there are probably a few sets missing, but it’s as comprehensive as it is going to get.
- Finish Starchives. That’s my 2018 Astros DocumentaryNOW custom set. The goal is to have this complete by the end of this month. I’ve still got 43 games and all my roster cards to do. The nice thing is that the games just need a photo and headline for the front, and a quick recap blurb on the back. The roster cards need a quick player blurb (stats and such are already done) and a photo. I’ve been saving shots as I go through game galleries, so selecting these will be pretty fast.
- Get caught up on the trade backlog. My goal is to have everything up-to-date no later than March.
- Add/Upgrade 50 Astro-graphs. This might be tough, but with a little more TTM effort and some selective purchasing, I can probably do it.
- Make another team set of customs. I’m not doing the whole season-long documentary this year, but I will still do a team roster, maybe scattered highlights as warranted.
- Scan those Bagwells! One reason for not having this done was wanting to catch up on the backlog, then organize what I already have scanned. I need to do the former first. I’d rather not re-scan a bunch of cards that are already sitting on my hard drive somewhere. So once those posts are done, I’ll set about re-organizing my scans.
- Get 2018 sets in the want list. At some point. I’d like to get the base set needs added by the time the season starts.
- Get rid of a lot of cards! The 100 per week number I achieved felt great. I’d love to hit that average again, with a stretch goal of 7800 – that’s 150 per week. The spreadsheet says I’ve already sent out almost 500 thus far. The current football + basketball count on my trade list is 1564. I’ll shoot to get that under 1000.
- Finish off the Brubakers! The big one here is a 1939 Play Ball of Wilbur. Other than that, there are a couple reprints of Bill, a TCMA card from the 70’s, and a Conlon card from the 1990s. For Bruce, I only need his 1994 Miller Brewers card.
- Complete 24 Astros team sets. This shouldn’t be all that hard. I’m already up to 4 on the year. Insert “sets” are included, whether that be a full parallel run or the lone Astro in a small insert series. So, let’s throw a stretch goal of 48 on there and see how we do, shall we?
- Finish the Topps flagship Astros from 1975 onward. I’ve added a sidebar list for this. Well, technically I dated that back to 1970, but there are some tough high-numbers left. Including Traded/Update sets, I’m missing 65 cards. The obvious toughie here is the Altuve RC from 2011 Update, with the 2015 Update Correa and 2001 Traded Oswalt rookies also on the list. The less obvious one is the 1994 Orlando Miller Top Prospects cards, which he shares with Derek Jeter among others.
- Complete the flagship Astros team sets from the 80s. That means full base card runs from 1980-1989 for the main Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Bowman, and Upper Deck sets. I’ll probably add a sidebar list for this as well. Neither one should be long. Many are already complete.
- Finish the 1974 set. The big one still looms large: I need the Winfield rookie, a checklist, Bob Gibson, and a four of the “Wash Nat’l” variations. Some focus at the next card show will hopefully turn up most of these. Maybe I’ll even net a decently priced Winfield.
- Make some initial progress on 1957. I currently have 12 of these, and five of those are autographed. One is the Maz rookie, in my PC. So, I really have 6 cards from this set. I’d love to take that up to 24 by the end of the year. It’ll be one of my main focuses at the big card show next month.
- Additional organization: I’d like to get all my scans in order, with a long-term goal of potentially scanning all of my smaller collections. Baby steps for now. TCDB added a neat Collections feature in the past year, and it looks like a great way to digitally organize stuff, particularly what’s a set build v. one of my other collections. Unfortunately, moving cards from one to the other at the moment isn’t the easiest experience. If that improves, though, I’d like to do some sorting on that end. Finally, I’d like to achieve full end-to-end organization of cards I have for trade. They are all currently sorted in separate boxes and I’ve been slowly merging those together. I’d say they are about 40% combined at the moment. I could probably knock it out in a weekend, but that would require having everything in one spot, and that’s just not possible at the moment.
P.S. All the cards in this post were not 2018 additions, but actually leftover from some 2017 pickups that I never showcased. Better late than never, right? Of particular note are this fantastic Ken Johnson from the ’64 set, the ’05 Fleer Biggio, which is a gray border parallel, the ’93 Topps Ken Caminiti, which carries an Inaugural Rockies stamp, and of course that delightful Jeff Bagwell oddball atop the post. It comes from Allan Kaye’s Sports Card News Magazine, from a 1992 issue.