As we begin to countdown the final hours of 2014, I decided to countdown my twenty most memorable sports and hobby related moments of the year. It wasn't easy ranking these and to be honest, if I ranked them tomorrow... the list would probably change.
But as I type up this post, it currently looks like this:
#20: Major League vs. Bull Durham
Topps celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Major League by producing two special sets: 2014 Archives insert set and an online exclusive 5x7 set. Both of these sets are pretty awesome... even if they left a few of the key characters off of the checklist.
A few months later, I picked up another baseball movie card set. This one featured Crash Davis instead of The Wild Thing.
#19: My Newest Project
Earlier in the month, I made a major hobby decision. I decided to build the 1988 Kenner Starting Lineup baseball card set. It's definitely going to be challenging, but when it's finished it'll rank up there with some of my favorite sets.
#18: Duh-Duh, Duh-Duh... Wilson!
It took me a couple of years, but I finally added a Russell Wilson autograph to my collection. Isn't this card a thing of beauty? Who knows if the patch is legit... but in this case it doesn't really matter. I love this card.
In January I stumbled across a guy with some early 50's Bowman baseball cards. I ended up grabbing a handful of them for a reasonable price. It's these kinds of purchases that make flea markets worth while.
#15: It's A Buyer's Market
2014 was a great year for me in terms of crossing off cards on my Top 10 Wantlist. It started back in January when I finally added this 1984 Fleer Update Kirby Puckett rookie card. I have wanted this card for over twenty years and thanks to a soft market, I finally own it.
#14: 2014 Stadium Club
Every few years, a set comes along that really catches my eye. This year's Stadium Club is that set. If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn't spend $200 busting four boxes to build my set... especially since complete 200 card sets sell for under $40 on eBay. But I had a lot of fun ripping into packs and sitting on my family room floor sorting cards.
#13: Custom Box Building
Earlier in the year, I decided to build my very own box of 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball and was very happy with my results. The project didn't stop there. Since then I've acquired over thirty different on-card autographs from this set.
#12: Epic Collapse
Unfortunately there are some painful moments on this list too. Two of my favorite teams fell flat on their faces this past year. The San Jose Sharks had another solid regular season which ended in them being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. And the Oakland A's had the best record in baseball heading into August only to find themselves getting bounced after losing to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Wild Card game.
#11: Random Act of Kindness
It's hard to believe that Upper Deck has been around for a quarter of a century... but 2014 marked their 25th Anniversary. They celebrated by sending collectors random acts of kindness. Chris Carlin and I emailed each other about a surfer suggestion I had for their Goodwin Champions product. A month later... the above Kelly Slater on-card autograph arrived in my mailbox. Thanks Upper Deck!
This past Sunday the Seattle Seahawks beat the St. Louis Rams and the Green Bay Packers took down the Detroit Lions. These two victories locked up the top two seeds in the NFC. What's the special occasion? It's only the fourth time that both the Packers and the Seahawks have won their divisions in the same season... and it's the first time my two favorite teams are the top two seeds.
#9: My 1st 1909-11 T206 Philadelphia Athletic
Back in January, I was on the receiving end of a "Pay It Forward" project. It started with Daniel over at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop. He helped Corky over at Pack War reach 100 followers. Corky ended up paying it forward by donating this awesome T206 card of Doc Powers. He also shared this cool story about how Powers was the first major league player to pass away from injuries suffered during a game.
Oh... and just in case you were wondering... I paid it forward and sent a package to Wes over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk and by the looks of it... he's probably sent hundreds of pay it forward packages this year.
#8: A Very Special Trifecta
Tony Gwynn is my all-time favorite athlete and the sole reason I'm a San Diego Padres fan. I've been collecting his stuff for years, but this past year I added three very cool items to my collection. Rest in peace Mr. Padre.
#7: A Pair of Epic Signatures
My favorite autograph set is the 1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures. I'm a huge fan of the overall design and the on-card autographs. Unfortunately some of the autographs in this set are very expensive, so I probably won't be building it anytime soon.
However, I was very fortunate to cross off two more cards from my Top 10 Wantlist this year when I purchased the Tony Gwynn and Ken Griffey Jr. cards from this set.
#6: Cardboard Camaraderie
A huge part of blogging for me is meeting new people who share an interest in sports cards. This year marked the lowest number of posts on my blog since my inaugural year. But thankfully there have been a bunch of new blogs who have taken the blogosphere by storm. Four that immediately come to mind are: Matt @ Bob Walk the Plank, Brady @ Yadier Molina Baseball Cards, Tony @ Off Hiatus Baseball Cards, and Zippy @ Cervin' Up Cards. Keep up the excellent work!
It was also cool to acquire two rookie cards of fellow bloggers: Jeremy @ Topps Cards That Never Were and Wes @ Jaybarkerfan's Junk.
And I also wanted to send a special shout out to a few people who don't have blogs, but have supported many of our blogs (and collections) over the years: Mr. Hoyle, schwood, Kerwin, Uncle Tiny, ucffans, hayn, and all of the other people over at CCW who read and comment on my blog posts. Domo arigato!
#5: The Greatest Hockey Card
All sports cards were not created equally. The fact is... some cards are bigger than others. Some are rarer than others. And some are more beautiful than others.
Last week, 1967ers over at Diamond Cuts and Wax Stains sent me a 1968-69 OPC Gordie Howe and it's hands down the most beautiful hockey card in my collection. Thanks again Chris!
#4: You Never Forget Your First
Before I collected baseball cards, I collected Star Wars cards. I've never forgotten that and for the past three decades, I've wanted to own the complete five series 1977 Topps Star Wars set. Back in September, I decided to dive in and purchase a complete set off of eBay. I can't wait to write up a post on my purchase, but I'm still looking for the 55 card sticker set that goes with it.
#2: The Drought Is Over
I've been a Seattle Seahawks fan since 1981 and after thirty-three years, they've finally won a Super Bowl. They don't seem to be as dominant as last year, but I still think they have a decent shot at becoming the first team in over a decade to repeat as champions.
And wrapping up my countdown is a final farewell to a four guys who have had a direct impact on me, my favorite teams and my favorite hobby: Tony Gwynn, Bob Welch, Jerry Coleman, and Sy Berger. Thank you for the memories... you guys will never be forgotten.
2014 has been one heck of a year. It's been filled with many ups and downs, but thankfully the "good" outweighed the "bad".
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to check out my blog and leave comments. I hope all of you have a wonderful 2015. Stay safe and party responsibly. Happy New Year's Eve and sayonara!
I apologize if I left anyone out of this post. Believe it or not, I started skimming my 2014 posts at 8:30 this morning in an effort to do some research for this post. Five hours later, my brain is officially fried... and I just realized that there's probably a bunch of other cool moments I've left out. The good news is that I can truly appreciate the amount of effort some of our fellow bloggers go through on a daily basis when they create their epic posts. See ya next year!