Inside the Pack: Reviewing My 2020 Hobby Goals

At the beginning of each year, I set some hobby goals for myself in lieu of making New Year’s resolutions. This year, I shared them here on the blog, much like I’ll do next week with my 2021 hobby goals. But for now, it’s time to look back at my 2020 goals, check some things off, and identify where I fell short. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, several of my goals didn’t happen through no fault of my own.
We’ll start with my biggest success: creating a more focused collection. This year I purchased an extremely large collection – the contents of a former card shop – and had a lot of opportunities to keep cards “just because.” Instead, I stayed focused, and sold the cards like I intended, and used some of the money to buy cards that actually fit my collection. (I turned base Lebron James Topps and Bowman rookies into PSA-slabbed 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson and 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards, and although both are trimmed, they’re beautiful, and they’re the real deal.) At the same time, focusing my collection also meant expanding my collection. I’m starting to run out of affordable Jackie Robinson cards I need, and I’m starting to run out of any Duke Snider cards I need. I started collecting the 2006 Fleer Nickname Greats autograph set, and I also expanded my collection to work on acquiring one PSA-graded card of each pre-war Hall of Famer. All of my purchases this year fit one of those categories, and I’m proud of that accomplishment.
My other success was introducing someone new to the hobby. A longtime acquaintance of mine – someone I’ve actually never met in person, but played with in online simulation baseball leagues for 15 years – sent me a text towards the beginning of the pandemic. He’s a Washington Nationals fan, and I had posted a Nationals 1/1 card for sale on my Instagram. He started asking me about what the 1/1 meant, which turned into a lesson on parallels and the state of the hobby. He ended up buying it from me, and I sent him a couple dozen other Nats cards from various sets, including inserts and parallels, so he could see what he liked. Within a few weeks he had purchased a PSA-graded T206 Walter Johnson card on ebay. That escalated quickly.
My effort to get more active on Twitter garnered a mixed result. I definitely was more active on Twitter. I followed some accounts and even did a little buying and selling on Twitter, a first for me. But I never got as active as I’d imagined. I have difficulty getting followers and there are still some Twitter-specific hobby things I’m still figuring out.
Sadly, my last two goals failed miserably, but again, this was out of my control. My most important goal this year was to go to the National in Atlantic City. As I said when I set the goal, “I’ve already got my room booked, but until I book the non-refundable flight, it isn’t “real” yet.” Well, I never got the opportunity to book the flight, and I ended up having to cancel the room, because the National got delayed, then canceled altogether. My other goal was to go to more local shows, and again, this plan was thwarted. I was off to a great start this year, going to shows in Jacksonville and Orlando, and even had plans to go monthly to the Jacksonville show with two friends. Then Covid-19 came around. Now I’m way down the priority list for dealer space at the Jacksonville show, and two new shows in Orlando and Clearwater have popped up but I haven’t gone yet.
Next week, I’ll set some new hobby goals for 2021. Happy New Year!

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