2011 was an interesting year for me as far as collecting goes. I struggled a bit to find my footing due to the NBA exclusive with Panini. I used to buy a ton of basketball cards and I have almost no interest in what Panini produces. They just churn out the same thing over and over again under different names. I slipped a bit and bought a box of Totally Certified because the cards look cool and have been regretting it ever since. I can buy three boxes worth of singles that I want for what the boxes sell for.
While I’m still not thrilled about it, the MLB exclusive doesn’t bother me as much because I’ve always been a fan of Topps. I know that lots of people want to blame their every misstep on them having the exclusive and not trying hard enough, but things like the Diamond Giveaway show me that they aren’t just resting on their laurels. This year’s Chrome Baseball was one of my all-time favorite sets and I’m still kicking myself for not getting a case of Chrome Football.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis saw his antics last season get him traded from the Celtics to the Orlando Magic. So, there’s one less player collection that I’ll be actively pursuing. The shame of that is it’s one of my more impressive collections due to the prices on his cards being a little lower. In the past, I’ve held on to my collections of former Celtics Al Jefferson, Delonte West and Ryan Gomes, but I’m not sure if that’s what I’ll end up doing here. I think I may keep my eye on eBay auctions to see how Davis’ cards are selling since that might sway my decision if Orlando fans are looking to acquire his cards. From what I’ve seen, he really hasn’t done anything yet in Orlando to win fans over.
I busted three cases in 2011. 2011 Topps Chrome Baseball was a winner with some great autographs and colored refractors. 2007 Masterpieces Baseball wasn’t a huge win, but it was a fun break and I loved the fact that I was able to help out a lot of people with their collections. 2011 Topps Update Jumbos was a bit of a bust. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that I was shorted what was probably going to be the best hit of the case. This stuff is also a ton of work for a little reward. I ended up redeeming all of the Diamond Giveaway cards and in retrospect I definitely would have sold those. It would have been a lot cheaper just to buy the cards that I ended up having shipped to me. In the future, I think that I’ll probably just stick to one box for myself with this type of product.
My collection continues to be a disorganized mess. The good thing is that everything is finally out of the storage unit. The bad thing is that time always seems to be an issue. I always had everything organized when it was just me and I had plenty of free time, but these days I spend a lot of time with my family and enjoy it. Maybe I don’t need hobbies as much, but I do still enjoy them. I just have to find out a better way to juggle everything.
Looking ahead, 2012 is going to start off really well for me. Part of my Christmas present this year from my family is a trip to the January White Plains card show where I’ll be able to obtain a Mike Piazza autograph in person. I’m super excited about that. I was a few feet away from Piazza after a charity softball game in California years ago, but wasn’t able to get his autograph then. The Piazza auto will end up going up on the wall along with Jorge Garcia, Paul Pierce and Dwight Evans in the place of honor in my man cave.
Another thing that I’m excited about is this year’s Boston ComicCon. I’ve been a fan of Katie Cook’s art ever since my wife showed it to me on Livejournal. This was long before she did any Marvel sketch cards or Fraggle Rock comic book art. I’ve wanted to own some of her original art for a long time now, but her sketch cards always sell for big bucks on eBay. Now that she’s coming to Boston, I’ll be able to meet her and get some of her art. Also at the show will be Stephanie Buscema who is an amazingly talented artist as well. I really want to get some of her original art as well, but that might be a bit of a stretch. I’m going to have to do some fundraising for that one to happen. I also want to get some art from Bill Walko who does the webcomic The Hero Business. I already have one of his prints, but would love to get a sketch for my collection.
Other than that, I’m not sure what 2012 will have in store. I just want to have fun with the hobby and rising price tags make that difficult at times. I honestly have more fun busting cases where I may not end up keeping any of that cards than anything else. Now I just need to become independently wealthy so that my next case break doesn’t depend on selling everything from the previous one. I’m not going to set any goals because I have no clue right now what I’ll be interested in come next September.
Everything considered, it was a good year last year. I hope all of you had great years as well and that you’ll have an even better 2012.