Alright, 2023 is here! I suppose I should post a few goals/resolutions. If you’re kicking around the House of Cardboard Discord* server, you would have already seen this list.
*If you’re reading this and you find yourself jealous, reach out and I’ll shoot you an invite. Anyone reading this blog is already cool enough for an invite.
2023 Hobby Goals
- Make 4 custom sets.
- Add 24 new Astrographs (or upgrade non-Astro placeholders to Astros).
- Blog at least twice a week.
- Set up a nice hobby corner in my office.
- Read at least 6 of the baseball books languishing on my shelves.
- Send out 200 TTM requests.
I’ll say something that probably sounds insane, but these are pretty modest goals. I have a habit of setting lofty goals, only to find myself dismayed a few months in at my lack of progress. I’m not letting that happen this year.
But Marc, you say, that first one already sounds crazy! How are you going to do all this?
Well, let’s frame these in proper context.
- A fair chunk of this is already done! It’s really finishing 3 sets and making a fourth. If I can get that done, there’s probably room for even more to be made.
- That’s 2 a month, and that seems reasonable enough to me. Heck, I could probably go on a buying spree of pack-pulled autos and get close to done within a couple weeks. I’m not going to do that, but there are some 400+ names to add to the project.
- Okay, if I can get any sort of momentum going here, twice a week should be a piece of cake. I’m certainly not suffering from a lack of stuff about which to post.
- This is already underway! Santa gave me some Chrimbus money, and I took it to good ol’ Ikea. It needs more work before I can post about it, but I’ve already got momentum.
- Good gravy, I have dozens of baseball books. Can I get myself to actually read some? This may indeed be the hardest goal in the list.
- I got close last year, with 183 requests filed in SCN, and I basically didn’t write anything for half the year. The most I’ve ever done is 268 in 2016, and that’s back when I was still dumping a fair amount of Spring Training requests in the box in mid-February. I think I could get to 250 or maybe even 300, but I want to give myself some breathing room in case I just lose desire.
We got the goals out of the way, but what was the last trade of 2022? Well, I got a sweet one in via TCDB to finish out the year, so let’s chat about it. It wasn’t more than a PWE, but it was a rather good one. Why was this one so special? Well, for starters it was chock full of great Astros cards and centered on my youth. That’s always a win.
Wait, why is backup catcher Mitch Meluskey getting the top billing in this post? Well, I own exactly one pair of game-used batting gloves, which I got at then-Enron Field. They came from this man, who definitely went 0-for-4 in the game, and may have even earned a Golden Sombrero to boot. I should try to dig up a ticket stub and figure it out. I remember cleaning off a ton of goop, then hauling them back to the ballpark with me every game that I attended, until I finally got them signed. I should dig those out, I think they’re still at my parents. At this point, Bowman Chrome was still a baby – just 3 years old and with a very reasonable number of inserts and parallels. Nowadays it is an unwieldy beast, a million-headed hydra of never-ending rainbow. Anyway, 1999 Bowman is kinda great, and it’s shiny twin is cool.
There were some rad parallels among the bunch, as well. That’s a kickass Moises Alou refractor – so nice that I may even liberate him from the confines of his protective coating prison. This Shane Reynolds is a super-sweet Blue parallel from 1999 Fleer Brilliants, a very short-lived set. The blues look fabulous, a lovely sapphire, and they fit these awesome uniforms just right.
There were even some stellar parallels of the big boys. This super-sparkly Bagwell checklist is an Nth Degree parallel from 1995 Score Summit Edition. It really is this shiny and glorious in person, as well. I have several, but I don’t believe I had a Bagwell prior to this trade. The Biggio is an entirely new-to-me parallel, Club Edition, from 1998 Pinnacle Inside. You know, that set you needed a can opener to access. This bad boy is actually much lovelier in person, essentially on what we would call foilboard today. These two cards rule!
But the icing on the cake in this little package was a quartet of base cards. This single PWE swap polished off not one, not two, but three team sets! That’s almost unheard of, and I didn’t hunt these down either. This was as offered to me. Goodbye 1997 Score, 1999 Pacific Omega, and 2009 Bowman! I don’t need you on my want list anymore – just your numerous parallels. My favorite here is probably the dual rookie from 1999 Pacific Omega, because practically everything Pacific put out just ruled.
So here’s to 2023 – to staying on track with my goals, and to finishing more team sets – and keeping track of when I finish them! And, you know, blogging about stuff. I’m gonna actually do it this time.