Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cardboard History 2015 Year in Review

I don't even know where to begin...(This is going to be text heavy!)

2015 has been an amazing year for me in the hobby. I really can't put into words how incredible this year has been. One of my goals for the year...rather ambiguously, I admit, was for 2015 to be better than 2014 in the hobby. It sure as heck was...2014 was blown out of the water by the end of January!

Actually, I think 2015 is my best year in the hobby...ever. I have been active in the hobby non-stop since 1988, so it takes some effort to raise the bar...but this year did it. Even though it's not going to the the year I get the most cards in, I think I appreciate them more now than I did back in 2002, where I set the record for most new cards in a year.

A large part of why this year was so special, and such a standout, was that so much of the good things that happened during 2015 was accomplished through friends. I received more cards as Random Acts of Kindness in 2015 than I have in all other years combined! Of course, that doesn't count the non-random acts of kindness from my mom and brother, who, year after year, keep the hobby alive for me. The cards they get for me number in the thousands every year, and I can't understate the fact that without their kindness I would be lucky to get 100 new cards a year. But back to the RAOKs from various friends, it's incredible. I am not sure what I've done to be worthy of this kindness, but I am eternally grateful. Some of these gifts came from fellow bloggers, some came from Database members, some came from other people I know. My friend Ricky send me nearly 3000 cards in January, I actually got more cards on January 31st, when the package from him arrived, than I have in any other entire month in my life! I don't know exactly how many cards I received as RAOKs, but it's over 5000 easily. More cards than I got in all of 2014 combined! I've tried sending out thank you gifts to everyone who has RAOKed me- some people have specifically asked not to be identified or receive anything in return- but it means the world to me. Thank you to everyone who has given me a gift of cards during 2015 (and other years as well!)

And that brings me to another topic. 2015 saw my hobby horizons expand exponentially. I have to admit, I have a pretty one-track mind. And, most of the time, that track is NBA. All NBA, all the time. But this hobby expanded to where I bought cards from every sport. (It's nice to have something expanding that's not my beltline, too!) I have not even shown some of the vintage sports cards I added this year...yet! Before 2015, I had never spent a single cent on any cards that were not NBA, NASCAR or non-sports, or people who did more than one of them or were directly related, IE, Michael Jordan's time in baseball. I never expected, when the year started, that I would purchase a pack of tennis cards, or MMA cards, or some horse racing cards. (To be honest, I didn't know they MADE horse racing cards, but I found and purchased two of them in the summer). Granted, I did do most of that purchasing so I could upload something in each topic to the Trading Card Database, but it still counts. I still added them to my collection, and as we all know, when something enters my collection, it stays there...forever. I joke that I run a "Home for Wayward Cards"...I will accept anything, I will collect anything. Any card has a place with me. 2015 has given me a much better appreciation of cards in general, that's for sure. When 2015 started, I had a grand total of 28 hockey cards. As of right now, I am less than 100 cards away from 3000, due to the RAOKs of 1/31, the largest portion of the cards I received that day being hockey.

I broke some records that I will probably never break. Most of them all came on that recurring date of 1/31/15. I got more new cards that day than I've gotten in any other single month, let alone day, 3644 new cards. My old record was 1388 in one day, set in 2002. New sets in one day...the old record was 22. The new record is 432, once again set on 1/31/15. Of those, only 2 were NBA, and none were NASCAR. There were too many to put on my chart on the Database, but it includes the NBA and Non-Sports from that day and all the NBA, NASCAR and non-sports from the rest of the year. For my main focus, I added 114 new sets in 2015. I actively worked on adding the missing sets and people some this year, and it's going to be more of a focus in 2016. I have the NASCAR listing down to 3 sets, so one of my goals for 2016 is to get at least one card from each of those.

I worked pretty hard on chasing down the people missing from my collections during 2015, and I was able to get NBA under 500 and NASCAR under 50. I added 168 new people in 2015, combined NBA and NASCAR. Of course, the numbers of new people get slightly skewed every year with the new rookie class for the NBA, which always gives at least 50 players cards, and usually about 35 of them make their way into my collection during the first part of the season. I don't know how many new people I got in the other sports, or even non-sports, during 2015, but again, thanks to 1/31's RAOK, it's a LOT. You can see who's still missing in the "People Missing from my collection" tab at the top of each and every page here on Cardboard History.

(Don't forget to click the links in the above two paragraphs to see the new sets and people, many of which I've captioned)

I didn't complete as many sets in 2015 as I would have liked, only 14, which is down from 20 last year- one of the few records I did not set in 2015. Still, it's the third year in a row I've completed 10 or more sets, and I've not really put a lot of effort into completing sets this year- I put much more effort into adding the missing sets. These are the sets I completed (in chronological order of my completing them):
  1. 1994 VIP (NASCAR)
  2. 1991 Star Picks (NCAA Basketball)
  3. 2015 Press Pass (NASCAR)
  4. 2002 Topps Attack of the Clones (Star Wars)
  5. 1984 Topps Supergirl (non-sport)
  6. 2009 Press Pass (NASCAR)
  7. 1993 Cardz Muppets (non-sport)
  8. 1997 Starting Lineup (NBA)
  9. 1979-80 Topps (NBA)
  10. 1993 Maxx Premier Series (NASCAR)
  11. 1994 Cardz Hanna-Barbera Classics (non-sport)
  12. 1987 Comic Images G.I. Joe (non-sport)
  13. 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary (non-sport)
  14. 2008-09 Topps Tipoff (NBA)
I actually completed 4 of those sets during December, and 6 of the 14 sets I completed via RAOKs or gifts- including 3 of which I got the complete set as a gift! The last two I completed via boxes I got as Christmas presents. At the moment I am not counting the Topps Revenge of the Sith 3Di set, which was sold solely as a factory set. I got that during 2015 as well, but I generally don't count sets as part of my completed set chart if it was sold only as a factory set, unless it's over 100 cards, like the 1993 Maxx Premier series, which is 300 cards.

During 2015 I participated in my first ever Group Break and had spectacular success, getting my first and so far only Steph Curry autograph, my favorite player in the league now that Elton Brand has retired. It's one of my favorite new cards of the year. I also got my first relic from Kevin Durant from the same break, which was also my first relic from the OKC Thunder. Durant is in my top 5 favorite active players as well, so that went well beyond my wildest expectations! I chose those two teams hoping to get something nice from those players specifically, and it worked out well!

Here are 12 of the best cards I got in all of 2015...not counting the cards I got for Christmas, which weren't scanned and ready to go when I made this gif.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this an excellent year! I don't know if 2016 can hope to top it...I'm not even sure it's possible to improve upon this year! (Ok- no floods!)

In Memoriam 2015

On award shows, the only part I usually watch for is when they show a small tribute to people in the field who have passed away during the year since the last award show.

I thought I would adapt that concept and post a scan of all the people in my collection who passed away during 2015. There are a couple who I have not scanned any cards of yet, and there are others who are in these fields who I don't have cards of.

2015 was a pretty bad year for NBA people- more former NBA players died in 2015 than any other year in history, more than 30 people. NASCAR also lost several dozen, although not all of them have cards. The only non-sports person in my collection who passed away during 2015 was BB King, but I have not scanned my only card of him as yet.

Buddy Baker 1941-2015

Ron Bouchard 1948-2015

Bill Bridges 1941-2015

Ticky Burden 1953-2015

Mike Colabucci 1962-2015

Jimmy Cox 1935-2015
Lloyd Dane 1925-2015
Mel Daniels 1944-2015
Darryl Dawkins 1957-2015
Harry Gallatin 1927-2015
Jack Haley 1964-2015
Nate Huffman 1975-2015
Bob Kauffman 1946-2015
Jerome Kersey 1962-2015
Meadowlark Lemon 1932-2015
Earl Lloyd 1928-2015
Jim Loscutoff 1930-2015
Moses Malone 1955-2015
Anthony Mason 1966-2015
Dave Meyers 1953-2015
Dan Press 1949-2015
Flip Saunders 1955-2015
Dolph Schayes 1928-2015
Mary Scott 1923-2015
Dean Smith 1932-2015
Jerry Tarkanian 1930-2015
Roy Tarpley 1964-2015
Jabe Thomas 1930-2015
Lou Tsioropoulos 1930-2015
Jim Vandiver 1939-2015
Jackson Vroman 1981-2015
Neal Walk 1948-2015
Christian Welp 1964-2015
John "Hot Rod" Williams 1962-2015
Michael Wright 1980-2015
Rest In Peace, all.

Edit to add: After I posted this this post, NASCAR legend Marvin Panch died at age 89. I was actually friends with him on Facebook, although for a few years now his daughter was posting pictures for him.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Trade Recap

December was another good month for me for trading. I consider any month where I make more than one trade a good one. My total number of trades for 2015 was 14, which is a little more than I expected, to be honest. Considering I have almost exclusively base cards available to trade, it limits the number I can do. 6 of my 14 trades came in November and December combined.

All 14 of my trades were made on the Trading Card Database, and one of them, early in the year, was the largest trade I have ever made..  I discovered a mistake in the post I made about it back then. I stated that it got me to 1 card away from 1993-94 Upper Deck. that isn't actually true, because the trade I just got in the mail on 12/28/15 got me to 1 card away from the set! When I was looking at my listing, I missed the card I got this trade. The info on my tradelist on the Database was correct and helped me get the card now.

I don't have any idea exactly how many cards I got in trade in 2015, other than in the month of December. I got 5 cards in the first trade, 4 in the second, and 56 in the third and final trade, 65 total. I also got several replacements for cards that got destroyed in the flood of 2/5/15, including the 1991-92 Upper Deck Muggsy Bogues card, which was totally obliterated in the flood. It, and the other replacements, are not counted as part of the 56 new.

Trade #1 for December saw me get 5 of the 1991 Vette Set cards. This is a set I was fairly close to completing, and as of now it is one of many sets where I am missing only 1 card. I only scanned 1 of them I got. This is card #99 of 100 in the set. It didn't scan all that well, the real card does not have those lines on it.
The second trade saw me get 4 of the Distinguished Service inserts from 2007 Topps Baseball. This was a very interesting set, it highlighted baseball players who served in the military, as well as some military only people. I got one earlier in the year as well, now having 5 of them. Again, I only scanned one. These arrived just a couple of days before Christmas and I've been working on the cards I got that day ever since.
The last trade to arrive, arriving on 12/28/15, was the largest, which saw me receive 56 new cards, as stated above. All 56 are NBA, and cover in age 1988-89 through 2004-05. The largest group of them was from 1992-93 Fleer, one of my all time favorite sets. I got 23 new ones here, and, even better, it brings me to only one card short of the set! While I did not complete any sets with this trade, it moved 4 sets to one card short. In addition to 1992-93 Fleer, it also moved 1991-92 Fleer, 1993-94 Upper Deck, and 2002-03 Topps to that mark. I also got some new cards for sets that I have not added to in a long time. 2000-01 Victory got two new records show my last new addition to the set was all the way back on July 23rd, 2002! For a 330 card set, that's a very long time. Of course, I was pretty much totally away from the NBA from 2006-12. 2003-04 Standing O got a new card, and the last time that happened was 3/2/04, and 2004-05 Ultra, my favorite of the three that I hadn't added to in over a decade, saw it's last new addition on 8/11/04. The package also included 6 new cards from 1997-98 Upper Deck. For some reason this set almost never comes up in the mixed boxes I like to get. Although this was not the first time I added to the set in 2015, is the largest new addition I've made to this set since 2002 or 2003. Here are some highlights.

This is a scan I made of the original card, which is now lost. I am glad I got a replacement for it as Muggsy is one of my all-time favorite players
Thank you to all my trading partners in 2015, and hopefully I will be able to make more in 2016!