Inside the Pack: Hobby Goals for 2020

I’m not big on making resolutions at the start of each year in my personal life; I find that they often fall by the wayside and I end up disappointed a few months into the new year. I do, however, make hobby goals each year. These encourage me to stay active in and excited about the hobby, but if I fall short, there’s no sense of personal failure. Last year, my main goals were to acquire an early-career Jackie Robinson card, display some of my favorite vintage cards in my office, and go to more local shows. The first two goals I excitedly met, but I fell short on the last one. So, here are my top 5 hobby goals for this upcoming year:


  1. Go to more local shows. Like I said, this one didn’t make the grade last year, so I’ll start with it again this year. I often get excited about going to smaller shows in my general area, but when the time comes to go, I convince myself it won’t be worth the time. When I do go, I’m usually wrong, as I often find things well worth the effort and energy at the show. My bias against smaller shows has likely prevented me from unearthing some good finds, so I want to make more of an effort to get to more shows this year.
  2. Get more active on Twitter. There are tons of great Twitter accounts about the hobby, producing great content (blog posts, podcasts, etc.) that I typically miss. The only reason I know this community of Twitter users exists is that I hear people talking about it sometimes! I typically don’t do much hobby talk on social media since much of it is centered around breaks and razzes that I typically avoid, but I’d love to consume the other content that’s out there. (If you know of any hobby-related Twitter accounts worth a follow, please comment and let me know!)
  3. Introduce someone to the hobby. Last year, my friend sort of happened upon the hobby and became a collector, but, as I wrote at the time, only of Allen and Ginter cards. While I’ve made friends in the hobby, I’ve never successfully introduced a friend from outside the hobby to collecting. Having this friend get into collecting was thrilling and exciting for me, as I had a new person to talk to about hobby-related things and I got the opportunity to see the hobby through fresh eyes. I’m hopeful that, between my friends and, as they get older, their children, I can find another person to introduce to card collecting.
  4. Create a more focused collection. A few weeks ago I wrote about how sometimes, just by virtue of having acquired a card, I felt the need to keep that card in my collection even if it didn’t really fit. It’s one thing when those cards evoke a strong memory, like the ones I mentioned in that blog post, but it’s another when I acquire a card with the specific intent to sell it, then decide to keep it. This happened recently with a 1932 Sanella Babe Ruth card I purchased. The price was good, and it was hard to resist, and I saw an opportunity to make about $50 on it. While I’ve always wanted to own a Babe Ruth card from his playing days, this card was probably top on my list of Ruth cards I had no desire to own: it’s oversized, you can’t see his face, and it’s a German issue from the year that the Nazi party became the largest party in the German government. (Just seeing the font on the back of the card makes me a little uneasy.) But, I got the card in the mail, and thought to myself, “Why would I sell a Babe Ruth card I got such a good deal on?” Now it sits on display in my room. At the same time, I passed on one of my white whale Duke Snider cards, an actual collection I have, because it sold for a few dollars more than I was willing to spend. I need to focus on buying things that actually fit my vision for my collection, and selling things that don’t (in order to get more money to buy things that do).
  5. Go to the National. I’ve already got my room booked, but until I book the non-refundable flight, it isn’t “real” yet. I had a room booked last year, but ended up canceling and going on a trip with my wife instead. Trips with my wife are great — but the National is the National! This year I’m committed to going, setting up with my friends, and buying plenty of new things for my collection.


I’d love to hear some of your collecting goals for 2020. Comment and let me know what you achieve this year!

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