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

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Goals in Review

I've been busy for the past several days. My vacation started Saturday, and I've been working on card stuff almost exclusively since then. I've gone through a lot of my cards, getting caught up on organizing and scanning. Which leads right into today's post.

While I didn't post much during the year, I stayed pretty active working toward my goals. I came up with fourteen back in January, so as usual, let's review those goals and my progress.

1. Acquire flagship sets. I was specifically looking for reasonably-priced complete sets for:
  • Topps 1995
  • Topps Traded 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015
  • Donruss 2004, 2005
  • Fleer Tradition 2005
My goal was ten of these fifteen sets. I got fourteen. What did I not find? 2004 Donruss. 2002 Topps Traded, 2005 Donruss, and 2005 Fleer Tradition are "short" sets without SPs, which is perfectly acceptable in my mind.

I now have the complete run of Topps Traded/Update sets, with the acquisition of 2002 Traded in November. I also added 1978 and 1979 Topps to my collection, meaning I now have a complete run of Topps flagship sets from my birth year forward!

2. Have 80 or fewer sets left to complete.

I started the year with 100 sets on my list. Today, I have 93. Ten of those are from 2019, meaning I knocked almost 20 sets off the list. I also made significant progress on many of the other sets, as I see several needing only one, two, or three cards.
3. Complete my Pokemon card collection.

I needed 12 cards in January. I'm down to three. I came pretty close on this goal, and might be able to hunt those three down in the coming year.

4. Complete the mini frankenset.

I needed about 200 cards in January. I need about 125 today. I'm not too surprised that I couldn't meet this goal, as I'm still avoiding using US card services. Finding 75 or so minis in Japan was a pretty good feat.

5. Get team cards for Japan Series and World Series teams.

I never tried to do this. My first real failure of a goal for the year. To be fair, these don't really exist in Japan for what I want, so I might need to make customs.
6. Re-check players with "no" cards to see if that's changed.

In mid-November, I went through my lists and picked up a bunch of pre-war players with newly-accessible cardboard. I also checked through my Japanese want lists and found a few good cards.

7. Get one Nolan Ryan card.

I needed 1968 and 1970. I now need neither. My Nolan Ryan career Topps flagship run is complete! My 1968 card is a PSA 1, but at least I have one now. The 1970 is an SGC 70/5.5. I picked both up in March.

8. Get an Ichiro or Masahiro Tanaka autograph.

I found an affordable Ichiro autograph in March from the Leaf Best of Baseball set, and just a couple weeks ago I got a Ma-kun autograph (#5/5!) to cross him off the list too!

9. Add 3 MLB figures to my player collections.

In March, I found a Charlie Hough bobblehead and a Miguel Cabrera figure. And in October I got a 1988 Starting Lineup of Julio Franco. Of course, I still need many more.
10. Get my Japan set want list down to 100 sets.

This is one last-minute goal I can check off the list. I think I cleared off about 35 this year, and now I'm down to 84. Several sets were deleted. Others were complete except for SPs or insert sets, or complete only as SPs/inserts, and I have no real interest in building the other side. And I managed to finish several sets as well!

11. Add at least 3 Calbee or BBM sets to my collection.

I picked up five sets: 1994 BBM was completed in May, and I found 2005 BBM 2nd Version back in January. March brought me 2007 Calbee, in August I finished 2013, and I found the entire 2011 Calbee set in November. I'm two cards away from finishing 2004 Calbee, too.

12. Complete the following tasks:
  • Organize my Japanese single card collections.
  • Organize my Japanese player collections by year.
  • Order MiLB cards needed for Japanese MLBer and Player Collections.
  • Order non-sport cards needed to finish off sets.
  • Reformat my Japan Type Collection spreadsheets. 11/20
  • Update/print labels for the Japan Type Collection, and apply labels to cards.
  • Update MLB Archives list for 2018 11/13
  • Update MLB Type Collection for 2018 11/24
  • Update MiLB Type Collection for 2018 11/23
  • Verify Japanese MLBer list 11/13
  • Verify NPB Foreigners list 11/13
I didn't get the cards ordered, and I never got a chance to print labels. Printing would require me to be home, which didn't happen very much in 2019. I was just lazy when it comes to ordering the non-sport and minor league cards. But I got all of the 2018 and 2019 updates done in the middle of November, which means I don't have to do them next year. And I also updated the awards for 2019's recipients in Japan and the US.
13. Organize my complete set lists.

I went through my main list in October and pulled out the specific collections. All of the want lists stay on the same spreadsheet, but set runs like Allen & Ginter and themes like USA cards are now easily tracked on another sheet like I do for my flagship sets.

14. Create some custom cards.

I wanted to actually print cards, which I didn't do. I made card fronts for a lot of sets I wanted to do, though I haven't made any card backs yet.

Only two goals were complete failures this year, and four goals were satisfactorily completed, though not completely met. Eight goals were 100% met, four goals passed, and only two failures. Not good for an air traffic controller, but good for a hobbyist.

What will I try for next year? Tune in next year to find out!


  1. I’d say you nailed it. If there weren’t some of those hard-reaching goals out there, it might be hard to get extremely motivated. I like your list, I may have to borrow some of your ideas for my 2020 hobby resolutions.

    1. Take all you want, I'll make more! I already have, actually... the 2020 goals post will go live tomorrow. Ambitious goals can be very motivating, but some of the longest goals get pushed to the back burner as new short-term goals and mini-goals come up. It's a balance.

  2. Sounds like a successful 2019. Just curious... you only need 3 more Pokemon cards to complete your collection? Is that a specific year? Or the entire run of sets?

    1. My collection is one of every Pokemon, so it doesn't matter which year, set, etc. I have several stickers that come with Pokemon bread, and lots of the trading card game cards. I'm not sure why it's been so difficult finding these three specific Pokemon. Two are babies, which may be why, as I guess they have fewer cards overall. And one is a legendary or mythical, I think. It's one of the newest ones.

      I have "discovered" a lot of the variations, like different forms, though I haven't decided whether it's worth it to try to collect them too. That's another 200 cards, give or take, to add on to the newest generation I need to look for as well.

    2. Oh... I see. This sounds like a cool project. Best of luck with this. Hope you're able to catch them in 2020.

    3. Gotta buy em all! Chinpokomon!

  3. > 5. Get team cards for Japan Series and World Series teams.

    > I never tried to do this. My first real failure of a goal for the
    > year. To be fair, these don't really exist in Japan for what I want,
    > so I might need to make customs.

    There's a handful. BBM included team photos for the winning team in the Nippon Series sets from 1991 to 2000. And I know there's a Calbee card from the monster 1975/76 set showing a team photo of the 1975 Champion Hankyu Braves. But yeah, not sure cards exist for the other 59 champions...

    Need to find some of those BBM Women's Baseball cards!

    1. I've used team checklists, team photos, and other special cards from BBM and Calbee to match up with the 1991 to present. And I'm literally staring at that 1975 Champions Hankyu Braves card right now, which I had accidentally put in the wrong file.

      What I am missing are a lot of the teams from 1985 and back. I've actually been able to use some of the anniversary sets to fill in a few of the gaps, but many anniversary sets commemorate periods in each team's history instead of specific accomplishments. (I should be able to get 1985 Lions from the new Time Travel set.)

      What I am happy to accept is an appropriate team logo, but I can't justify to myself spending 50 yen on a 2000 BBM team checklist card to represent, say, the 1950s Yomiuri Giants. Plus there's the Flyers, Robins, Orions, Braves... those team names don't exist anymore.

      I need to find an accurate checklist of those BBM GPBL/JWBL cards.