I've always been a bit cynical about New Year's Resolutions. After all, while the change of years makes for a nice time marker, the actual results of these grand resolutions leave something to be desired. Hell, I'm still working on my New Year's Resolution from my freshman year of college to loose that freshman 15. Two degrees later, it's still there.
But this year? It almost - ALMOST - makes sense. The tail end of 2014 has seen me get married, take on a new job, get another year older, and finally feel like all those years of that there book learnin' have paid off. So I'm willing to concede that January 1 is a nice, round date to lay out my plan for the new year.
And where would this blog be without equally lofty aspirations for my cardboard companions. I tried to keep the goals for this year attainable. And I'm sure some of the great folks I've met through blogging will undoubtedly help me inch closer to those goals this year, so thank you all in advance for trading, reading, commenting, and humoring my babbling in this coming year. Without further ado, ze list.
1) Hit 13,000 unique Pirate cards. My count currently sits a couple cards shy of a nice, round 11,600. So it'll take 1,400 new cards to get to the magic number for 2014. I added over twice that many cards in 2013, but I'm setting my sights a little lower this year. A lot of more attainable cards - base and unnumbered inserts/parallels - have already been knocked out of the way. It might be a little tougher to find cards to add this year, but catching up on 2013 releases should give me a nice start on my goal.
2) Clear out these boxes! This past year has been a hectic one for me. By the time I finally got my blogging legs under me, life got in the way. I've met some fantastic folks through this blog, and made some great trades (even if I have been terribly slow at getting packages out - sorry!). Hopefully I can continue that streak into 2014. I have way too many cards around here that just don't have a place in my collection, so I'm hoping that between trades, contests, and surprise packages I can clear at least 1,000 cards out of the house this year. With any luck, I should blow by that number. A win-win for everyone.
3) Add 500 new autographs My autograph collection is about 4,000 cards right now, mostly of the ip and ttm variety. But I'm hoping the new year will be about quality, not quantity. I've started making a list of some key autographs from the 90's and early 2000's I'd love to add. I'm also hoping to be more aggressive about sending TTM autograph requests. That's another area of collecting that had been a casualty to my more hectic life over the past few months.
4) Black & Yellow, Black & Yellow
5) WVU Player Collections - I meant to start serious player collections of WVU alum Bruce Irvin (Seahawks), Geno Smith (Jets), Stedman Bailey (Rams), and Tavon Austin (Rams). But the lack of card shows post-Ohio killed that plan pretty fast. I'm also going to try my hand at collecting WVU product Jedd Gyorko, so hopefully some of the Padres collectors out there have doubles, triples, and quadruples of some of his cards. Let's shoot for a a a dozen new cards of each player.
6) Operation: Binder Last year saw me finally commit to moving my collection to binders. In part convinced by the blog community, I'm thrilled to be able to better enjoy and store my collection. Sure, they take up more space. But I can't tell you how many times I have sorted and resorted my Pirates boxes over the last 5 years. And every. single. time. they're messed up within a few weeks.
Right now my non-Pirate PC cards, including autographs, are bindered by team with separate binders for Pens, Steelers, Pitt, and WVU cards. I have a case of 9 pocket pages ready to tackle the Pirates cards. I'm planning to organize the Pirate cards by year and set, leaving room for missing commons and then filling in parallels/inserts/autos. It's going to be a pain, but it should be worth the work in the long run.
7) Complete 2 sets I'll confess right now this is the goal most likely to go untouched this year. I've never been a set collector, and never really wanted to be. But I'm willing to try my hand at a couple sets that I already have a solid jump on: 2001 Donruss w/ 1999 and 2000 Retro inserts and 2002 Leaf Rookies & Stars. Step one is going to be figuring out what cards I already have from those sets. We'll see if I ever make it to step two.
So there ya have it. I'm looking forward to this year for a lot of reasons, and excited to find new ways of enjoying my collection in the coming year. Now on to those goals.