Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: The Year in Review

Odd year, this one.

I began 2018 literally banging pots and pans and drinking champagne, and tonight I'll end it seeing They Might be Giants at Philly's Theater of Living Arts. Obviously a lot changed in 12 months. I'll say that I never would have gotten into TMBG if it weren't for an influential card-blogger.

Then, as I went to write this, it occurred to me that this is the end of the tenth year I've had this blog, and this is the tenth consecutive year-end post I've written for it. For shits and giggles I looked back at the first one of those I wrote. It's...definitely indicative of my age, as a fourteen year old. Obviously I've gotten better at this sort of thing.

Like usual this time of year, I'll look back on the year that was, by sharing tidbits of the collecting, sporting, and living worlds, all of which beginning with 'this was the year that', as if we'd need to separate them from other years in the future.

This was the year that one of the biggest home run hitters in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton, was traded to my team. And he did pretty well for himself.

This was the year that Topps improved on their flagship set only minimally. The inserts, on the other hand, have a ways to go.

This was the year that the Raiders' gradual departure from Oakland was converted to a swift 'get the f--k out', thanks to the lovely people of Oakland. Now we appear to have a homeless football team, for the first time since arguably the '95 Browns....or the 2007 Browns, who spent most of the offseason hiding in Drew Carey's house.

This was the year that the best movie of the year was an animated Spider-Man movie, and the most buzzed about Oscar favorite was a posh costume drama directed by an absurdist Greek auteur.

This was the year that my girlfriend and I took a trip to Yankee Stadium, thanks to our college being generous to its senior class, and got to see the Bombers take down the A's in extras, thanks to a Neil Walker walk-off.

This was the year that rock and roll seemed dead, and everything new made an attempt to sound old, and the only sign of mainstream success was a cover of a Toto song by Weezer.

This was the year that I got back into card-show attending for the first time in a while, with recurring trips to the White Plains show and Philly Show. Definitely going back to the latter next year.

This was the year that I didn't go to a Phillies game. And after August, I wasn't missing much.

This was a year that my dad spent a ton of time convincing everyone that The Marvelous Ms. Maisel was the best show on television (it wasn't far off).

This was the year that Topps Stadium Club continued to be unrivaled in its excellence...though a little set called Topps Big League came very, very close. 10 packs for 10 bucks, exceedingly collectible, fun inserts, and decent collation? I want to go to there.

This was the year where my family and I undertook a MASSIVE road trip, hitting minor league affiliates of the Pirates, Tigers, Nationals and Yankees, and knocking the major league parks of the Reds, Tigers and Blue Jays off my list, bringing me to 15 overall, the halfway point. Next up? not know. I might just stick to ones I've been to for now- return visits to the Bronx and possibly DC are in order.

This was the year that Wes Anderson put out an adorable movie about dogs, Steven Spielberg made a cool movie about nostalgia, and Ron Howard directed a Star Wars movie that didn't need to exist.

This was the year that Gritty.

This was the year that Panini perfected their frankenset, Chronicles, and I...should have gotten more of it. It's not an A+ product, but I enjoyed it for what it was, sort of like 08 UD Timeline.

This was the year that after years of trying, and years of failure, the Philadelphia Eagles FINALLY won a Super Bowl. And their was much rejoicing. Plus...with the sneakiness of this birds team, they may make a run at a repeat, which, while low in probability, isn't impossible.

This was the year that Andrew McCutchen got to play for my team. Next year, he'll play for my other team. Good to see his priorities are in line.

This was the year that I graduated from college and subsequently started a real, difficult job. And it's been going smoothly so far.

This was the year that the best team in baseball happened to be the Boston Red Sox. And nothing could stop them from taking it all.

This was the year that I met the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy. And he did not disappoint.

This was the year that we lost Stan Lee, and I don't think we as a species will ever recover.

This was the year that I marked ten calendar years blogging and doing customs. Which is a nice accolade, I think.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy New Year. Keep doing what you love. I certainly will try to.

Now if you need me, I'll be belting out all the words to 'Don't Let's Start'.

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