Birthdays and Christmas time have become a time for me to pick up some of the more expensive items on my want lists. I decided it's more fun to give my wife a list than to spend a whole month's worth (or more) of my hobby budget on a single card. This year was a little different, however.
For the first time since probably 2010 (I re-entered the hobby in 2009, between Christmas and New Years) I did not get any cardboard for Christmas- but that's okay. I was in need of a new coat and didn't even make out a list (I did, however, get a box of Ultra Pro binder sheets from my daughter).
Now, before you start to get too sympathetic, let me clarify something. I did get money as gifts from other family members, as well as an end of year bonus at work, which I have set aside a certain amount specifically for cards. And since I have resolved to go back to working on a complete run of Topps sets that date back to 1977 (the first year I bought any significant amount of cards), what better timing? I have a decent amount of cash infused into my hobby budget & now I'm like a kid (or an adult) who has no discipline when it comes to stretching that dollar.
The first thing I sought after was a lot of 1980 Topps cards. Despite having bought a ton of these cards when released, I have very little today (yes, the teenage years saw me give away all of my cards to a younger cousin). In fact, other than my Braves team set, I don't think I had any others prior to this purchase.
The 1980 Topps set came out prior to me becoming a Braves fan. Before that, I followed the Mariners most closely- being that they were here in the Northwest and all. My favorite player at the time? Julio 'Won't You Let Me Take You On a Sea' Cruz. I guess I liked him because he was a smaller middle infielder, like myself. Julio didn't have much power and wasn't a high OBP guy (nor hit for a high average), but he did make contact, had a good glove and was a good base stealer. In other words, he wouldn't have been appreciated much in today's game.
Do I regret not asking for cardboard from my wife this Christmas? Not at all. With the frigid weather we have had of late, the coat has come in real handy. Of course, I guess I could have always burned cardboard to stay warm... No, I think things turned out just fine.