Yeah, I'd say it's about time for me to write this one, and kiss 2016 goodbye. While it was a good year, I don't think I'm the only one that just wants it to end.
This year, if nothing else, was kind of insane. A ton of things that should never happen period just kind of happened this year, and we all sort of assumed it was the norm now. This was a great year for baseball, a good enough year for card-collecting, and a nice enough year for this blog- while I was a bit over-reliant on customs this year, I was getting my biggest numbers in history by the end of the year, though I don't know whether to thank you or the bots for that one.
Like usual around this time of year, I'll go back and recount some of the events that happened this year, each starting with the phrase 'this was the year that...', although, knowing how infamous 2016's probably going to be, I doubt I'll really need to distinguish much.
This was the year that I collected more Stadium Club than Flagship Topps. I don't regret this, by the way- Stadium Club was the best set of the year, and possibly a more rewarding collecting experience than Flagship.
This was the year that too many famous people from the last few decades died. I think David Bowie's death hit me the hardest.
This was the year that neither of my teams made the playoffs, yet the World Series was, for the second year in a row kind of, between two teams that I particularly enjoy.
This was the year that I just started stockpiling MLB caps, just wearing one whenever I needed to wear one, keeping the rotation heavy. My most recent acquisitions are caps from the Tigers and Twins, and I'm still building.
This was the year that Marvel released two movies, and DC released two movies...and Marvel's two were just miles ahead of DC's two...and yet the pattern still remains the same for the distant future.
This was the year that football returned to Los Angeles This is quite possibly the only memorable thing about the Rams' 2016 season though.
This was the year that I attended three baseball games, in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and my hometown of Philadelphia...and all three home teams won, even if the Pirates and Phillies weren't doing great. I still think I'm the good luck charm, for the second year in a row. Yankee game and Spring Training coming next year.
This was the year that Topps FINALLY did something about Topps Archives, and made it one of the more refreshing and inspired card releases of the year.
This was the year that Radiohead, Weezer and Green Day put out really nice albums...and it somehow wasn't 1995.
This was the year that I spent two weeks working a job in Pittsburgh, and managed to make a pilgrimage to PNC Park, Heinz Field, University of Pittsburgh, the columns at Carnegie Mellon where they shot the fight scene from The Dark Knight Rises, and, most importantly, Primanti Brothers.
This was the year that I voted in my first election.
This was the year that Panini put out a few card products that didn't really garner my interest, especially after the last straggler, Matt Wieters, made his way to Topps.
This was the year that Billie Joe Armstrong, James Taylor, JK Simmons and Aubrey Plaza were on baseball cards.
This was the year that Jon Snow was alive, Glenn was alive (at least for a few months), and everyone, everywhere was obsessed with Eleven and the eggo waffles.
This was the year that, for the third time, I went to a Super Bowl, this one in San Jose. The game was pretty tense, the halftime show was pretty awesome, and Peyton Manning deserved to go out like that.
This was the year that the National was on my coast for the first time in four years...and you better believe I went. I stuck to dime boxes, but it was still a fruitful show.
This was the year that I came within one card of completing the 1990 Topps and 1992 Stadium Club sets. I blame Nolan Ryan and Jose Mesa.
This was the year that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, with Bill Murray and Craig Sager in the audience. Miracles never cease.
This was the year that the Cleveland Cavaliers FINALLY won the NBA Championship, leaving a sulking, saddened Steph Curry to go back home to his mansion and previous championship.
This was the year that I went to the Executive Building of the White House. The actual reason for it wasn't as good as the fact that I got to say that sentence.
So, that was 2016. Not so bad, eh? Lots of good amongst the bad. I guarantee that 2017 will have a ton more of the former. We'll be bragging about it all a year from now.
Have a Happy New Year, everybody. Keep writing and keep collecting.