Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hobby bucket list

A few days ago, Billy from Cardboard History wrote up a bucket list of achievements he would like to accomplish in the hobby.

Now, I've been aware of "bucket lists," since it became a concept but I've never given it much of a thought, in the hobby or in everyday life. I'm not much of a traveler and every person's bucket list seems to contain some version of "see the world." In fact, I'm very much of a realist and wild flights of fancy don't enter my mind too often.

Normally, if I was going to devise a hobby bucket list, I might say, "complete all of the Kellogg's 3D sets of the 1970s" or something a little time-consuming, but fairly achievable. But after seeing Billy's list and some of the, shall we say, "ambitious" items on his list, I decided to take my hobby bucket list in that direction.

If Billy's goals can include starting a card company and convincing card companies to include a player from every game in their sets, than I can dream big, too.

Let's see what I'd wish for if wish's like these really came true.

Find buybacks for all 660 cards in the 1975 Topps set

I continue to operate as if this is something I will accomplish. But in my mind, I know it's not possible, not until I see confirmation of buyback cards for some or all of the high dollar-cards in the set.

However, I'm still continuing on that path. I'm one-third of the way done and I just added a few more the other day. I will not stop until I know I've tracked all I can.

Attend The National at least once

This may not seem so unobtainable to those who have been to The National multiple times, but it's starting to seem that way to me.

I was supposed to be at next week's National in Cleveland. It would be my first one. I had targeted it for at least two years as it was finally at a site that was fairly close and convenient. However, I didn't connect the fact that my daughter would be going away to college this summer, and how much preparation that takes. Then my mother fell and she's been dealing with health issues since. Then another family member went to the hospital last weekend. She's out now but we need to keep an eye on her. There is just too much going on right now to be cavorting in Cleveland.

So, I have no idea when my first trip to The National will happen. But it will happen.

Create my own custom cards

I fully admit I could do this tomorrow if I wanted.

I have lots of ideas for custom cards. Tons. And if they were executed correctly, they would be marvelous. But I can't get myself to devote the time and the money and the equipment to making them. I simply have too many other interests to add this to the list. This is an activity that falls under "when I'm retired."

Acquire the Bart Shirley-Grant Jackson 1966 Topps card

I have been obsessed with this card since the moment I found out it was selling for extraordinary amounts even though it wasn't short-printed, rare, or featured a star player. But I guess I'm not obsessed enough because a short trip to ebay tells me that if I wanted to spend $150, I could have one.

Someday I will want to spend that amount -- despite the fact it shouldn't cost nearly that much -- and I can cross it off my bucket list.

Acquire all of the 1952 Topps Dodgers

I have never considered making a realistic effort to achieve this. I know that the last 100 cards in this set are prohibitive and there are an abundance of Dodgers in those final cards. But for the first time about a week ago, I looked at the price of one of those Dodger cards. It wasn't anything I wanted to pay, but I was pleasantly surprised about the price. And it made me put this on the bucket list. You never know: I didn't think I'd own a 1955 and 1956 Jackie Robinson when I started this blog.

Own a decent number of 1914 Cracker Jack cards

Not even my pie-in-the-sky bucket list will allow for owning a Cracker Jack Joe Jackson card, but I would like to have at least a handful of these cards. It will fulfill a wish I had as a young collector.

I first saw the 1914 Cracker Jack set in some hobby catalog. It was a full-color page because the bright red backgrounds sold me on the cards instantly. Unlike the tobacco and other caramel cards of its day, the Cracker Jack cards caught my attention. They were bigger and brighter. It's my favorite design from that time period.

Create a web site for every card set

I'm several months away from wrapping up the 1985 Topps blog, which would be the completion of my third card set blog. I have no desire to start up another one and I love the idea of having just one blog to write.

I also like this idea: Devote a blog site to every card set. Maybe it's just one page with background and links. There are sites that do this already, like baseballcardpedia, but I think it could be more visually interesting if it was done in the style of set blogs.

How far would I go with this? I'm not sure. I know baseball. Anything after that would need lots of research, but I like the idea more if it includes sets from other sports. (This sound like another "when I'm retired" project).

Write a book about cards/the hobby

I've toyed with this for several years, never getting far.

But I'd like to write a book that is somewhat similar to my blog. I have no desire for a hard-hitting book, like "The Card" or "Card Sharks". Reporting is part of my day job. But if I could update some blog posts and add some more, make it lighthearted fare that people would read, somewhat in the vein of the Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum book but not like that at all (because who could do that?), then that's what I'd like to do.

The stuff about crystallizing a concept and finding publishers and promoting the book sounds like way too much work, which is why I haven't done a thing.

I hate to put off everything until I'm retired because I know people who waited until retirement and then they didn't have one. If I want to achieve any or all of these, I'm going to have start long before then anyway.

So, anyway, that's my bucket list right now.

And, as a realistic person, I'm quite happy if I don't achieve most or any of those.

You're looking at a guy who completed the 1975 Topps mini set. To this day, I still think there's no better bucket list item than that.


  1. Whenever you decide on which National you're going to, lmk. It would be my first too.

  2. That's a great list. I think it is more realistic than mine. It seems like attending the National is on a lot of our's; it made Fuji's list as well. It's safe to say if I ever come across any 75 buybacks in my local dealer's boxes, they will be making their way to you.

  3. With everyone wanting to attend the National I suppose I'm very lucky I managed to do than in 1984. I imagine today's national is a very different beast, but it was pretty cool to go nonetheless.

  4. Bart Shirley/Grant Jackson sells for $150? I'd love to read about this card's story. Is this another 90F Jose Uribe thing? As for the book... I hope you do it. There just aren't enough baseball card books out there. If you wrote one... I'd be first in line to buy it.

  5. Best wishes for your mama, I hope she’s back to normal soon.

    I’m in a similar boat with the National. Each year I say “maybe next year, but then it doesn’t happen.


  6. One of my most familiar dealers told me that he knows the guy who has been hoarding all the Grant Jackson RCs. He's from New York, and apparently just has too much money and time on his hands, so he picks a card like this (maybe it was a little short printed originally?) and corners the market on it. I think I saw his table at a National one year. He had about 40 of them all laid out in graded prisons. Had a few raw ones that were way off center, but still wouldn't come down below three digits. Thanks for corrupting the hobby.

    I need two of them eventually ~ one for the GJax PC and one for the set which I'll probably build last of all the 60's.

  7. Funny thing is I haven't made a dent in the '75 mini set, that probably should be a bucket list item for me.