Saturday, February 9, 2013

The makings of a goal-oriented collector

Before I joined the blogosphere, I wasn't much of a goal-oriented guy.

I figured my collection was simply too "all over the place" to have a few single, outright aspirations.

During my forum days, I basically had just one real goal from one year to the next.

All I wanted to do was get my hands on anything from the latest and greatest set on the shelves as quickly as possible.

This time last year, I was very nearly frothing at the mouth for 2012 Topps. Trades here, trades there, trades everywhere!

I acted as if everything from the set would magically evaporate if I didn't trade for them within the first few weeks of their existence.

It was basically like that for 2012 Heritage. And 2012 A&G. And even for sets that I didn't much care for, like Opening Day.

I've seen the error of my ways lately.

While I'm sure the great people of the blogosphere will be able to help me out with my 2013 needs during the course of the year, I've learned that patience goes a long way.

Instead of pulling off dozens of trades and spending a pretty penny on shipping charges, I've adopted a much cheaper and more sane way of doing things.

As has been the case with nearly every year I've collected, much of the base cards from the "latest and greatest" sets will likely find their way into dime boxes in the coming months.

While I'd still love any help I can get with the many 2013 base cards I'll need over the course of the "season", I'm sure the dime boxes will eventually teach me the value of patience.

As for the inserts...well, those have never been must-have cardboard for me in the first place. For the most part, I'll look to the people of the blogosphere to help me out with those. I'm sure dime boxes will have their say in the manner as well.

Sure, judging from what Flagship has shown, Topps may be on the right track this year with the inserts. This Killebrew sure is a beauty.

But I'm just not going to get too worked up over them this year. It's just not worth it.

For those reasons, I'm officially labeling 2013 as "The Year of Patience" for me.

And, also, possibly "The Year of Real Goals".

Yes, my friends, the blogosphere has inspired me yet again.

First, it inspired me to map out a few aspirations for this blog.

Now, it has inspired me to do the same with my collection.

And, yes, I realize that I may be a little late with these 2013 goals, considering the fact that we're closing in on mid-February right now.

But you know what they say.

Better late then never, right?

Although it's still quite early in the 2013 collecting season, I'm going to make a not-so-bold prediction.

This is already my "Card of the Year".

While I'm looking forward to seeing what Heritage and A&G have to offer, I doubt either of them will turn up anything as neat as this.

Call me crazy, but I just don't see anything topping the one at-bat heroics of Adam Greenberg.

Because of that, I've worked him into one of my 2013 goals. 

I am going to chase the Greenberg "rainbow".

Now, do I really expect to fulfill this goal of mine?

Probably not.

Between the scarce black, "camo", and pink parallels of today's world, Topps has made "rainbow chasing" an impossible and very costly task. Certainly not anything a broke college student like myself could ever afford.

At the very least, I guess, I'd like to track down Greenberg's Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'r' Us, gold, and emerald parallels. 

And, hey, I already have a trade in place for that emerald one.

The wheels are in motion.

This is what I like to call a "mutual goal".

I'm shooting to ship out more trade packages in 2013 than I did last year. Trouble is, I have absolutely no idea exactly how many mailers I sent in 2012.

So I guess you're just going to have to take my word for it.

My "trade stacks" are already growing to monumental proportions. Given the recent influx of Padre fans in the blogosphere, my San Diego stack is nearly spilling over right now.

While my budget is a little thin right now, I do hope to hold a couple "marathon" mailing sessions in the coming months.

The basis for this goal of mine is pretty simple.

I get to clear out some space, and my fellow bloggers get some (hopefully) new cards for their terrific collections.

It's a win-win.

In a way, I guess this is a pretty self-explanitory aspiration.

I'd like to build on my many player collections in 2013.

But...I do that every year, don't I?

While that is certainly true, things will be a little different in 2013.

After all, I "inducted" about a dozen new players into my binders over the course of 2012, way more than I had in any previous years.

As a result, I'm specifically looking to build on my still-budding collections of those select few newcomers. Which means that I'll specifically be on the hunt for all the Pat Neshek and Derek Holland cards I can find.

And, hey, I found a pair of new Bobby Grich cards in another long-forgotten box in my room the other day.

Progress is already being made on that front.

As I've mentioned over and over again during the course of this blog's history, I have an unabashed love for cards that feature "pitchers at the plate".

The people of the blogosphere have been quick to help me out with these over the past year. I've received tons of new additions to this little obsession of mine from fellow bloggers.

In going over some of my newer additions of the sort, a thought hit me.

"I wonder if I have one of these cards for every team in the league?"

Obviously, the National League is the driving force behind my collection of "pitchers at the plate". Although I haven't yet checked, I'm sure I own at least a couple for every team in the NL.

The American League, however, presents a bit of a problem. Card companies only have a few opportunities per year to snap these kind of shots.

The recent demise of hitting pitcher cards in the hobby doesn't much help, either.

Still, I've decided to try and obtain at least one "pitcher at the plate" card for every major league franchise in 2013.

I'm proud to say that I do own at least one of these for many AL clubs. Mark Buehrle is my White Sox representative. "Dice-K" is the face of the Red Sox in this department.

However, a quick flip through my Devil Rays/Rays binder turned up absolutely nothing. Same with the Royals.

Still, I have to believe that there's at least one Ray or Royal "pitcher at the plate" card floating around out there. Finding it is the real problem.

Any "leads" on this topic would be much appreciated.

Until then, though, I'll just have to play it by ear.

Much like "pitchers at the plate", my love for anything and everything Cooperstown-related is a frequent topic on this blog.

Even after about a dozen years in this hobby, I still get a huge kick out of finding anything of greats like Ruth and Aaron for my collection.

However, I've found that I get an even bigger kick out of finding items of the lesser known Hall of Famers.

Guys like Dazzy Vance and Elmer Flick aren't huge names in this hobby. Or the entire baseball world, for that matter.

Yet both of them are enshrined in Cooperstown.

However, I'll be taking my love for the lesser-known Cooperstown-ites to the extreme in 2013.

My goal is to own at least one card of every Hall of Famer by the end of the year.

Obviously, I'll exclude the front-office guys from my quest. Probably umpires, too. While I appreciate their impact on the game, I doubt many of them have ever been featured on cardboard.

I'll admit, going through a complete list of HOFers earlier this afternoon resulted in a few new names to me. Not surprisingly, almost all were of the turn-of-the-century variety.

Thankfully, I found a great ally for this latest goal in a past "impulse buy" of mine.

Thanks to the spectacular 1994 Origins of Baseball set, I already have tougher-to-find names like Jim O'Rourke and Jimmy Collins crossed off the list.

However, the Dave Bancrofts and George Davises of the baseball world have eluded me up to this point.

As oxymoronic as it might sound, some past Cooperstown inductees are relatively "obscure" in today's world.

Because of that, this quest will not be an easy one.

By any means.

All I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Still, goals are a necessary aspect of the majority of collections in existence.

Mine included.

After all, where would we be without them?

That's a question I've asked myself many times throughout my blogging tenure.

And while a few of these quests might prove to be nearly impossible, I feel confident in saying the following.

Say it with me, people.

Goals are good.


Backstop Cards said...

"Influx of Padre fans" is a phrase that I never thought I'd read on a card blog. Watch out Dodger fans, we're comin fer ya!

Ok, maybe not quite yet...

Stealing Home said...

The more the merrier. Welcome, Padre fans.


Nice post Nick,and yes, I have a ton of Padres cards also !

tourist504 said...

Nick - do not run out and buy this card (assuming you don't already have it) ans I'm sure someone will send it to you, but the 1995 Collector's Choice (go figure) Randy Joahnson card is the greatest AL "Pitcher at the Plate" I have ever owned.

I collect pitchers batting as well, and this one is a beast. Check it out. Funny picture. And the best Mariners PatP card ever made, if not the best ever.

tourist504 said...

Oops - Johnson.

tourist504 said...

Also oops - it was 1995 Collector's Choice SE.

Alright, I'm done.