Monday, January 1, 2018

A look back at 2017

Here I thought the winter months would bring me more downtime to blog and take care of other hobby related things and my last post was 3 weeks ago. So much for "downtime"! I did however want to take advantage of my last day of vacation before heading back into the work week to look back at the previous year like I usually do.


Before I look back at the year that was, let me take a moment to share my card related gifts from Christmas. Now I have to be honest here and say my wife bought and wrapped for me the rack pack of 2017 Topps Update. I bought the clearanced box of 2016 Topps Update, 2017 Topps Gallery and one pack of 2017 Panini Playoff Contenders and put them in my own stocking! I grabbed the other pack of Contenders while in Charleston, SC with my wife as we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.

2017 was a great year for me. I got to take in several professional games, something that I don't always have the chance to do. Back during the summer my wife and I got to take in two games in one weekend at the Braves new home, Sun Trust Park. What a beautiful ballpark to visit and soak up a few games.


Too bad the Braves on field performance fell short (of the Playoffs, not expectations). I did feel that going into the new season that the Braves would have performed better, after all they signed a few veteran starters in the offseason (Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey) to help anchor the rotation that had a lot of question marks. Dansby Swanson struggled and was demoted to AAA at one point, however Ozzie Albies got the call up late in the season to make it interesting to watch none the less. Then of course there was the scandal with the Braves front office that led to a shakeup with the general manager and other moves. I guess I'm more concerned about hte future of the team with the players they lost because of the rules they broke. None the less, we should see the young phenom Ronald Acuna in Atlanta, very, very soon!


Back in November I attended a business conference and trade show in uptown Charlotte and my employer treated us to the Panthers vs. Dolphins Monday Night football game. I hadn't attended an NFL game in many, many years so even though it was cold and I was sitting in the nose bleed section, it was a great time. The NFL regular season is over and my Panthers have limped into the Playoffs as a Wild Card. We were swept by the Saints during the regular season, but have a chance to get our revenge against them this upcoming Sunday. If they can make it past the New Orleans, an injured Eagles team waits in the 2nd round. So far this has been a good season for the team, despite the ups and downs we've had with injuries and Cam Newton's play at times.

On the card front, I don't feel as if I accomplished as much in 2017 as I have in past years. I pulled back on some of the set building I've done in the past, only focusing on the flagship Topps set (even though I slacked with series 2) and somewhat with Allen & Ginter and Stadium Club. This marks another year I didn't buy even one hobby box, choosing to stick to retail for my card needs.


I even ignored Gypsy Queen for the most part, something I haven't done since it's inception. I find this odd/funny because when it was announced that 2017 GQ was going to be less expensive and have less "bells & whistles" I was all jazzed. Then it was released and I only mustered up a few retail packs.

I did noticed that from a post count, 2017 makes the most I've blogged since 2013...and here I thought I dropped the blogging ball this year. I am behind on getting want lists created for sets I am working on, as well as actively looking to help others fill their holes in their collection with trades and what not. I did receive a few surprise packages from fellow bloggers over the last few weeks. A huge thank you to those who sent me cards. I always try to post and share what others have sent and I do plan on doing so when time allows.


While my single card purchases decreased during the year, I have a ton of 2017 Topps Now cards that I never got around to scanning and posting about. At this point I question if I should even bother putting them on the blog. Does anyone care at this point now that 2018 Topps flagship is right at a month away from being released? I did have some fun w/ the Topps Bunt (and Huddle) app and have routinely posted new digital cards of both sports to my Facebook page. Like others though, I'm still behind on scanning other new card purchases and getting that overall organization down. I hate all the random stacks of cards on my office desk. I bought a lot of stuff from BCW last Christmas to get myself organized and while I made some headway, I still have a lot of work to get totally organized.

All in all 2017 was a pretty good year to me. I do look forward to 2018 and what it holds for me and my teams (Panthers in the Super Bowl again?). I haven't researched much of what Topps and Panini have planned for the new year so I guess I'll just have to wing it moving forward. I hope that the blog can remain just as alive (if not more) in 2018. Thanks to all my fellow bloggers for the comments, trades and continued support.