Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back/Looking Forward

  I have never really said it much before, but I am glad to see this year come to a close. During the past twelve months we experienced the deaths of my dad's wife and of my beloved grandmother, as well as the historic collapse the Braves experienced in September. We saw our oldest son graduate high school, our middle child begin drivers training, and our daughter-well, there's always something when you have a little girl in the house! I did get to see the Braves live for the first time since '93, as we vacationed in Seattle this past June-that was without a doubt one of the highlights of 2011. As far as the collection goes, I knocked out quite a few dozen off of my Braves' Topps team sets, as well as add to my Chipper and Maddux PC's. The 1977 Topps set has been a fun project, and I am perhaps 20 cards from completing it. I had my sights set on acquiring more vintage cards of Hall of Famers, but I picked up far fewer than I had expected to.

As the calendar is about to turn to 2012, I thought it would be fun to look back at a few of my favorites from the past year. Please feel free to comment on what your fave's were!!
   **Note:  I will try to limit the choices to that which was released during 2011.

Favorite Card Designs- (tie) Topps Kimball Champions & Allen & Ginter's Minis
 As I have stated before, I'm not a real fan of the Allen & Ginter standard-sized cards; but I love the minis,  and the Kimball Champion minis inserted into this years Topps were absolutely beautiful. If I were to work on any other set(s) besides the 2011 base Topps set, one of these two would be my choice.

Favorite Movie-The King's Speech
  Yes, it was released in the U.S. during 2010, but I didn't see it until this year. With superb acting, cinematography, screenplay, and the musical score, what's not to like about it?

Favorite Album and Song- Gillian Welch's The Harrow and The Harvest / "Scarlet Town", from same album
  There's nothing more American than baseball, and no one is better in the Americana music genre than Gillian Welch. Released eight years since her last studio album, The Harrow and The Harvest once again contains the dark themes found on Welch's other works, as well as the hope for redemption in the middle of brokenness. Welch and partner David Rawlings are top-notch musicians and storytellers, whose music isn't easy to classify. If her name isn't familiar, but you have seen the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? then you will have heard her voice, as she contributed vocals to the songs I'll Fly Away and Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby (as well as serving as an associate producer for the soundtrack).

Favorite Book- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
 This book was actually released towards the end of 2010, but again, I didn't get to it until this spring. It is the true story of Olympic runner and WWII POW Louis Zamperini, whose will should have been crushed a hundred times over with what he experienced between 1943-1945. Despite beatings, starvation, and imprisonment, Zamperini, by the grace of God, made it back home-only to discover his struggles were not over with. Hillenbrand, the author of Seabiscuit, is a masterful writer, and I will be looking to read her future works. 

  Looking ahead for 2012, I would like to continue adding to the Maddux and Chipper collections- and possibly adding one or two other players to my collection, blog more consistently, and continue working on my Topps Braves collection (which I am missing about 300 cards from '52-'03). One thing I might try is to keep track of the cards I am able to mark off my list-it might be fun to see how far I've come by the end of the year.
  I hope your New Year is a safe and happy one, and that the coming year is a successful one for your collecting endeavors (not to mention family, work, etc- you know, the ones that really matter!)



  1. I hope you have a safe and positive 2012... now I'm off to see if I can find a copy of The King's Speech.

  2. I hope the troubles of 2011 are all behind you and 2012 is a great year!