I was watching the Twilight Zone earlier today, because that's what people normally do on New Year's, other than drink, eat fatty foods, and reminisce. I was watching the one with Art Carney as the drunk Santa Claus.
I remember thinking "damn, wasn't I just watching one of these marathons?" They do them every New Years' and every July 4th. So the year went by so fast that I can clearly remember the last time I was watching a Twilight Zone marathon.
2014 flew by so fast that I didn't always have time to post about it. This was one of my worst years in terms of consistency, and I'm saying that up front. However, this was one of my best years in terms of customizing. I made more customs this year than I've ever made in a year before. I just sucked at actually posting them. There are probably a ton of football customs I never got to post.
Still, it's at times like these that I like to remember some of the best parts of this year, starting with the phrase "this was the year that..." So let's get on with it.
This was the year that no Philadelphia sports team made it to the playoffs. Thanks a bunch, Mark Sanchez.
This was the year that the Topps Flagship set did a bunch of things right, but ended up pissing off collectors for doing the same twenty things wrong.
This was the year that I kept getting numerous boxes of Stadium Club and Collectors Choice from the 90's off of Amazon.com. I pulled a lot of cards of Tim Salmon. Man, people really liked that guy in the 90's.
This was the year that somebody other than Mariano Rivera closed games for the Yankees. Next year, somebody else is going to play shortstop, and that's going to kill me.
This was the year that everybody got excited when Panini announced they were reviving the Donruss brand...and then everybody ripped them a new one when they got 2014 Donruss instead. I bought a couple packs of the product, and it was bland. Like, even blander than Topps.
This was the year that a gay man was drafted by the NFL. This was also the year that a gay man was released by the Dallas Cowboys. Insert Tony Romo joke here. In all seriousness, I appreciate Michael Sam, and I appreciate his determination. I wish he would have played a game for somebody, because he's a great player, and deserves more than being a trivia question twenty years down the road. I hope somebody picks him up next year and realizes how much potential he has.
This was the year that the Royals made it to the World Series, and the Orioles almost made it to the World Series. Yet in the NL, the same two damn teams that always won it faced off again, and the Giants made it to the World Series for the third time in five years.
This was the year that Guardians of the Galaxy used music better than any movie had since Tarantino started in the biz. I swear, the scene where they land the ship landing on a murky planet, set to David Bowie's 'Moonage Daydream', gave me definite chills.
This was the year that John Rocker made me hate Survivor. And that's saying something, because Jeff Kent was on a few years ago, and he wasn't that bad.
This was the year that Topps came out with the best Heritage set in years, and the best Allen & Ginter set since 2009. So even if we bash them, they are improving.
This was the year that I didn't even go to a single baseball game. Sad, isn't it?
This was the year that I was close enough to be driven to the Super Bowl, rather than taking a flight, and watched the Seahawks play some really good football against the Broncos. From the way it's looking, they'll be back there in Arizona next year.
This was the year that neither of my two baseball teams made it to the playoffs, which is funny, because exactly five years ago they were playing in the World Series against each other.
This was the year that Topps released a Stadium Club set that made practically everyone happy, and brought faith back to this collector that Topps still had original ideas left in them.
This was the year that I went to college, in a little arts school near White Plains, NY, and started working towards my dream of being a screenwriter, all the while having a few packs of cards in my drawer on top of my dorm, ready to be opened at the end of the semester, as instructed in Sharpie marker.
This was the year that Topps released a sell sheet for next year's flagship issue...and from the looks of thing, we might be getting a pretty cool set. Only time will tell, though.
So those are the highlights of my 2014. Will next year be even better? Will I post more, or less, than I did in 2014?
I guess we're all about to find out.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Heck, a lot of people on the Reds had a really nice season this year.
Coming Tomorrow- The Rockies were awful this year, but had a few highlights.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Xander Bogaerts is one of the young stars that will matter next year if the Red Sox want to compete. Sure, nabbing Sandoval and Han-Ram sure is nice, but homegrown talent that performs well is nicer.
Coming Tomorrow- Eventually I'll post the Reds' customs.
Coming Later: Two of the few impressive Red Sox this year.
When you pick up two of the biggest stars on the market prior to the season, you don't go in expecting to finish in last in the league. Yet, that is exactly what the Arlington Rangers did.
I'd say it was sad, as it kind of was, but this team was the Yankees' real postseason nemesis the past few years. I don't think anything's justifiable, but it was a bit relaxing that the Rangers had a down season while teams like the Orioles and Royals did well. Of course, the Yankees had a down season as well, but still.
Elvis Andrus, now that every run producer on his team is gone, save for Adrian Beltre, has become one of the more impressive players on the team. He's a nice shortstop, and hits pretty well.
Coming Later: The Rays had an alright season, but lost a lot of their huge stars. Their highlights are on the way.
The Pirates had a pretty nice year that was cut a little too short for my tastes. If I ran the world, they would have gotten past the Giants at the Wild Card level, but unfortunately that didn't really happen.
Cutch had a pretty nice season as well, even if it wasn't as awesome as his 2013 season. Still, it's McCutchen. How do you not love him?
Gerrit Cole had an impressive sophomore season, even if it was marred by a brief minor league stint. He was great for my fantasy team.
Coming Later: The few Rangers that didn't make Rangers fans want to turn on the Cowboys games this year.
It's been ten years since I've really said this, so I can polish this off: "man, the Phillies sucked this season."
It pains me that the team's gone downhill the way they have, and it pains me that Howard and Rollins aren't performing at their highest levels.
The good news is we always have Jonathan Papelbon to argue with umpires and occasionally nab saves.
Coming Later: A few standouts from the Pirates.
Ian Kennedy was a strong, if serviceable, starter for the team this year.
Later on today, I'll be posting a ton of other teams' customs, so keep a lookout for them while you're waiting for your family to get here, or while you're waiting for the Chinese food to arrive.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
It was a hell of a year to be an Orioles fan, wasn't it?
These guys were inches away from a World Series, and I was pulling for them to make it. I guess the Royals were playing a little better at the end there, but that doesn't detract from the fact that the O's had a kickass year.
The guy above will be playing for the Mariners next year, but he was the O's' best offensive producer in 2014.
Coming Tomorrow- I might post a bunch, as it's Christmas and all, but look for the Padres to start it off.
When a set comes out that you've spent most of the year clamoring about its golden days, and when that same set gets some of the most glowing reviews you've seen in a while, the only logical step is to get a box of it yourself.
Unfortunately, 2014 Topps High Tek was a bit too pricey for me. So instead I got a box of 2014 Topps Stadium Club.
Let it be known that I was super-excited to break this box, ever since I ordered it from Amazon. I'd seen most of the blogosphere break numerous boxes of the stuff, and share their favorite bits of photography from it. And I saw how outstanding this product looked, and got even more excited.
I broke this mini-box two days ago, and I'll say, without spoiling anything, that it outdid my expectations.
It's also a really nice photo of him. Sure, it falls into the category of 'subdued action', like a lot of current Topps, but making it full bleed, as Stadium Club was intended for, certainly helps the action.
I'm a bit confused as to why the border color is red, rather than black or yellow, but I'll let it slide.
Now...brace yourselves, folks. What I'm about to show you is one of the biggest pulls I've ever gotten out of a pack. It's not even the box's guaranteed autograph. No, it's better. Bigger, even.
So yeah...two packs in, I've already got a nice hit, and I still haven't gotten to my auto. I'm in a great mood.
But the other four cards in the pack would be all legends.
The pack didn't have an insert, but the Babe is a one-per-minibox rainbow foil parallel, which isn't numbered, but still pretty nice.
I'm still not complaining though. This was a fantastic box, a fun one to pull, complete with an amazing hit and really nice base cards.
I might be getting another box of Stadium Club, in some capacity, soon enough.