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Hobby Chatz

Now that we’re a few months into 2024, I’ve taken the time to reevaluate how I want to spend my year in the hobby and how I’ve continued to progress with the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. It’s been an up and down start in terms of accomplishing what I set out to do at the beginning of the year but progress is being made as I look to ensure I continue enjoying the hobby as a whole.


To start, a brief recap that I got back into the hobby in 2018 and that really accelerated in the past few years as I made my foray into professional life. 


Now in 2024, I set four goals out at the beginning of the year: pare down my collection as a whole, focus in on soccer, begin to evaluate the future of my Tim Anderson collection and, the hardest one of all, stop making impulse, low-return retail purchases when I go to buy myself household items. 


So far, it’s been a mixed bag of results. Let’s take a look:


Pare down the collection


This is something I’ve had to do for years and I’ve been doing an alright job but it has been frustrating to see the low return on most rookie cards that were printed post-2020 card shortage. One thing that hasn’t changed: basketball cards sell very well.


As with any sales venture that’s largely online, data input has been the most time-consuming part of this process and I wish I had the budget to pay someone else to do this for me. Regardless, my baseball card collection is slowly decreasing in volume but not at the speed I’d like. 


This part of the process was always going to be the most burdensome but it has been a joy to find a few gems hidden among stacks of Topps rookies from the past few years. 


Focus on Soccer


So this was always going to be an easy change for me in 2024 since my day job is covering soccer in Chicago.


In terms of focusing on reporting on soccer and collecting, it’s become abundantly clear that the card companies are not using their card subjects as marketing tools in efficient manners. Every time I ask a player if they’ve ever received a card of theirs from a manufacturer, I get some form of “nope but it would be so cool if they did.”


So there’s clearly work to be done in expanding the soccer trading card marketplace.


In terms of collecting, I’ve not added an abundance of cards because individuals are often coming from overseas and I’m generally not trying to increase shipping costs on cards that aren’t even worth three figures. 


That and the decrease in MLS Topps Now products in 2024 has firmly kept me away from the buying side of the soccer card market. 


Evaluate the future of my Tim Anderson collection


This one has been the hardest for me. 


Tim Anderson’s personality and joy while playing baseball helped bring me back into the sport as a fan a few years back. Now, he’s on the Miami Marlins and my team (for now), the Chicago White Sox, are dreadful. 


Anderson’s card market took a major hit in 2023 after his horrendous season with the Sox and he is a bounceback candidate in 2024 with the Marlins.


I’m hoping he has a major bounceback because these cards have been harder to move than I expected…


No more retail


Blaster boxes and retail hanger packs are so dangerous. You walk by them on your way to grab toiletries and then you see them staring at you as you go to pay for your essentials.


For the most part, I’ve done a solid job of avoiding retail purchases until I had a nice work week and saw a mega box of 2024 Topps Series 1. Naturally, I only got about $35 in value from the cards in the box (not terrible) but I spent the rest of the week seeing how I could’ve better spent my money in the hobby.


Say no to retail packs in 2024!


Adieu


See y’all next month.


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