Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: My Collecting Year In Review

The year is over, the cards are filed away, and the lists are up-to-date.
Yeah, right.

I'm writing this post before returning to California, but I'm sure there are packages from trades waiting to be opened and filed away, and I haven't updated the type collection lists since Topps Chrome was released. Plus, with the "discovery" of, there are great strides to be made in further updating the type collection. I have cards on COMC that aren't registered in my inventory, and I have thousands of cards in transit from Georgia to California to scan before heading overseas.

So while everything from 2011 isn't complete (I have until January 8th!) this is the time to take a look at my life in cards for the past year.
It's hard to think back to January, to see where I was in my collection. I know I had discovered some blogs and I was reading a few, and I was collecting cards via eBay and card shows. I made the decision somewhere around this time to add the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards to my collection, and flagship base sets for Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Upper Deck were added pursuits (Topps has been on the list for years).
I started this blog in mid-February, and hit off with a few big posts on 2011 Topps. Some of my first posts were show-offs of finds on eBay that helped me finish sets. Of course, since then I've had about 600 more posts on a whole bunch of crazy topics.
Over the course of the summer, I built two 2011 sets: the flagship release (all three series!) and Gypsy Queen. I also obtained Allen & Ginter and I've made major progress on the Stickers set.
I also finished or made major progress on several other sets - some that I started collecting in the 1990s, like the Upper Deck version of the Hassan Triple Folders issue. I made major progress on the flagship sets, though most of those sets were issued in the "junk wax" era.
I started, defined, blew, and refocused a series of player collections. I certainly added a lot to my plate this year.
I started and never completed a card set based on important baseball locations. I would love to continue this series but time is an issue.
I have a "supercollector" collection - nearly - for Geoff Geary. I'm sure there are 1 or 2 other collectors in the world with more cards of his than there are in my collection, but someday I'll make a major stab at fixing that.
I completed dozens of trades with you, my loyal readers. I thank you for all the wonderful cards you sent my way and I hope I've been at least fair in what I've sent to you.
I really rediscovered my love of collecting this year. In the past, the collecting of cards was fun, but the lists were all that mattered. Lists are important, but I've been able to enjoy my collection more by being able to share it with you. I dreamed of having a baseball card and souvenir museum when I was younger - a way of sharing my knowledge and collection with others. I can do just that through blogging, and your comments and support through readership has helped inspire me to continue on as an amateur writer.

I don't have "2010" numbers to compare to, but my collections stand today:
  • Awards and Leaders: 3374/4295 cards (78.6% complete)
  • Base Sets
    • Topps: 47.3%
    • Upper Deck: 77.3%
    • Donruss: 43.5%
    • Fleer: 34.5%
    • Score: 45.5%
    • Stadium Club: 71.4%
    • Ultra: 17.7%
  • Type Collection: 6664/30404 cards (21.92% complete)
    note: Beckett lists 32,803 sets; SCF lists 35,501.
  • Baseball Sets: 159/278 sets (57.2%)
  • Diamond Kings: 17/63 sets (27%)
  • Non-Sport Sets: 760/1336 sets (56.9%)
  • Personal Collection: 273 cards
  • Player Collections:
    • Geoff Geary: 24/54 (64.9%)
    • Other Players: 151 cards
  • Team USA: 10/58 sets (17.2%)
  • UD Heroes: 21/30 sets (70%)
  • Womens Sports: 68/74 known sets (91.9%) plus 101 cards, 63 Sportscasters
  • Japanese Type Collection: 0/1779 (0%) (list through early 2008 with some sets missing)
Hopefully next year the percentages will be up a little.

That's it for the year. Have a happy New Year!

2012 Topps Series 2 Quick Preview

Preview images for 2012 Topps Series 2 just came out. Let's have a fast look at the ones that matter!

Or how about all of them.
 If you forgot what the flagship design looks like, here you go. I enjoy the modern, fairly minimal design. I think the logo cutting off the baserunner's body is a bit of poor placement, but what are you going to do?
 This will probably end up being the black /60ish parallel. This is another good photo, though for some reason it feels like he's playing at a minor league park.
 I still say the wood borders would have been a nice change from the tedious white as the flagship design.
 And here's your gold cards again. I'm glad Topps took at least one of my suggestions! As if they read this blog.
 Fake relics are not relics, but done right they are still pretty cool. I liked the coin sets Pinnacle put out in the 1990s, and if this was an affordable release I would build it. I know these things will be running pretty high though.
 So will the team rings, I'm sure. Again, another manupatch style relic, but it's different since it's a ring now. You can own all the rings you collected virtually, for real! Another cool card, but the "real" ring cards will probably be too expensive.
 I believe these are available through the giveaway site. I'll have to pick mine up on the secondary market.
 I think this Mantle is our first look at the 1987-style minis. I like the design, and that's a great picture to use.
 This is another carry-over from Series 1. This has the Donruss relic/autograph-first design philosophy.
 But if I pull a hit like this I'd be fairly happy.
 And if I had a hit like this I'd be really happy. I have a renewed interest in owning a majorly awesome patch card like this, but I can't afford one. That'll go on my fantasy wish list, I suppose.
 Cut Above is a smooth looking insert. I'm guessing they'll be die-cut, which will be nice.
 What a great player to show in your preview images!
 Now that's better.
 And that's nice too. I think I like these two insert sets, as they appear to have some connection to specific events in the players' careers. We'll see what the backs of the regular inserts look like, but these are promising concepts even if they too are hit-based designs.
 These aren't any different from previous years' jumbo patches. I would prefer some sort of sleeve or team logo patch with multiple colors and such, but if I pulled some 1/1 letter patch like this you wouldn't find me complaining!
 I see the 1500 RBI Club designation beneath the white spot. Again, a nice touch that seems to take into account many of our thoughts about inserts - give them meaning!
And we'll end with another nice logo patch!

Being in Japan next year will mean I won't be busting many/any (that's yet to be seen) packs of American cards, but I think the flagship release is growing on me and could be a nice release by the time series 2 comes about! What are your thoughts?

Friday, December 30, 2011

12 Packs: The last one, the last part.

Let's do this. Five more packs and I'm done!
 Two First Edition packs in the same repack? Sure, one was an Update pack, but they could have done better than this!
 Another Cub looking randomly out in the outfield bleachers. Must be plenty of hot topless women out in those bleachers. Wait, those are men? Ahhhh!
 Throw... Yowsers. So many players in the process of throwing/pitching the ball.
 And then there's this thing.
 And then there's that thing. The two insert sets I have seen more than way too many times.
 So we get another Upper Deck 2008 pack, but this time it's Documentary. While First Edition is an inexpensive version of the flagship Upper Deck, this set is just... bizarre.

 Is this pack over yet? No?
 Ah, crap. Let's get something better.
 That is better! I'll have two RCs and a Rookie Sensation, per pack, on average! Plus, seven cards of players who actually played major league baseball!
 Is this a night card?
 Cook seems to be happily tossing the ball.
 Mark Grudge.. Gruzz... Grudlez... Grizzleneck. That'll work.
 I'll Hoff and I'll Poff and I'll blow your bat down!
 Randy Johnson looks wrong as a Yankee. Maybe it's the lack of mullet.
 Not rookie!
 And insert!

UD didn't do too bad of a job with the inserts once taking over the Fleer name. But it just isn't like it was in the 1990s.
 X marks the spot, again. This '09 pack was in the repack, while the '08 pack before was just in the markdown box.
 This guy wins way too many Silver Slugger awards.
 There's my die-cut, complete with plenty of scanner artifacting going on.
 Random inserts. I still don't know if the X3 is better than the X2 or X1. I like X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain though. That's a fun ride.
 I think I might like Dan Haren as a ballplayer. That doesn't mean I'll collect his cards, though.
 Randy Johnson on a third team! Wow!
 Let's finish with something really fun. Robert, I think I sent you all these cards already.
 Must look tough. Don't smile at the camera.
 Popup. You're out.
 This is an insert that I could have used several months ago. That's a fun design.
 As you can tell from the top corners, this is the black bordered card.
 I love these stadium shots. I really do.
We'll end with a guy who stole my first name.

And that's the end, finally! And I'll be leaving Georgia to return to California tomorrow. Until then, have a fantastic remainder of 2011! Sorry these posts have been quite plain at times. There are more important things going on this week.