2017 Overall Grade = B
2018 Overall Grade = A-
This year I set out to accomplish 12 collecting and hobby goals. I knew it was ambitious, but I thought most of them could be easily achievable....I wanted my trophies and to get my "A" grade.
Goal #1: Finish Editing and Print the 5th Edition of my Sumo Menko and Card Checklist Book - Grade "D"
- I really thought I was going to be able to knock this goal out of the park, but the workload of my job prevented me from putting forth a valiant effort here. Plus it seemed like every time I turned the corner I was getting new sets to catalog and the backlog of unchecklisted sets grew. I did make a dent in editing, but I still have a large dent that I need to conquer before it is ready for print. This goal will carry over to next year for sure. Not a complete failure since I did get some stuff done, but below average for sure.
Goal #2: Update this Blog's Content and Publish 75 Posts - Grade "D"
- This goal kicked me in the butt as well. I was on the correct glide path to make 75 posts, but could never get in a rhythm the second half of the year. It'll be pure luck if I can land 61 posts for 2019. I had planned on publishing 6 times a month, but that quickly got derailed once we moved. Plus, I never got around to editing the material in this blog to spice it up and make it more user friendly. I did add some additional sections to the blog and felt like I kept it somewhat clean so, again, not a complete failure, but below average for what I had planned.
Goal #3: Add 5 New Cars to my 1973 Calbee Set - Grade "A"
- I made a "serious" dent in this set this year and was able to add 5 cards to the most expensive sumo set out there. This set will cost the average collector at least $3000 to complete and cards rarely come up for under $100 per card. I am now sitting at 13 cards...a whopping 36% complete. The more expensive cards are the second half of the set...cards #19-#36. Scored an "A" here...I'll drink to that!
Goal #4: Expand the Checklists for Sumo Wrestling Telephone Cards - Grade "C"
- I was able to make a small dent in this and was even able to card out a section in my book for this new CT series of cards. However, prices continued to detract me from being a serious telephone card collector. At an average of $15 per card, these cards couldn't tempt me to pull the trigger all that often. Although unique, I doubt I will be able to expand the checklists much over the next few years even though this is an underappreciated genre of card collecting. Considering how huge the telephone card craze was in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s, these cards still carry cost premiums that don't make sense for my pocketbook.
Goal #5: Expand the Event-Signed BBM Sumo Card Checklist - Grade "A"
- I'm not going to lie, I "cheated" here. A fellow sumo card collector, Paul, has done almost all the legwork. Once we figured out where these cards were getting printed, signed, and distributed, Paul was a hound dog in trying to compile the checklist. As I mentioned before, I can't believe that BBM can produce these really awesome event cards, yet use sticker autos for their main BBM releases. These gold ink versions with embossed seals are really sharp. Paul will get all the credit in my book for compiling the checklist, but we now have captured the information for posterity!
Goal #6: Earn 1000 points on the Trading Card Database - Add BBM Sumo Wrestling Checklists - Grade "D"
- Gah, I thought this one would be easy, but it was hard to find the time to scan and get things organized. I'm at 674 points...not much progress was made this year....but I did make some progress so not a complete failure. I feel like this could be a worthy goal in 2020, but we'll see. I do have some ideas to boost my numbers as I'd really like to get to the 1000 point mark and attain Level 7 which I think would open the door for me on expanding checklists.
Goal #7: Start a YouTube Channel with BBM Card Box Breaks - Grade "A+"
- I really had fun with this one and I hope to get back into the swing of making videos. Before we moved back to the United States, I was able to publish several of these videos a month. Now I haven't touched the recording equipment in months although I do have the setup all ready to go in my house. Maybe I'll make a video or two over the holiday break. Checkout my SumoMenkoMan channel. Hopefully I can restart adding new content sooner than later.
Goal #8: Add 5 New Sumo World Magazines to my Collection - Grade "A+"
- Boom, nailed this one. I am down to needing only 28 more magazines to have the complete run from 1973-1999. Plus I was able to add more post-2000 magazines although I am not focusing on those and only picking them up if they happen to be a good price. These are pieces of sumo history that shouldn't be forgotten....and they are definitely fun to read....although really hard to come by on the secondary market!
Goal #9: Finish my Yamakatsu Bruce Lee Series 1 Set, and Add 5 More Cards to Series 2 & 3 Sets - Grade "A+"
- I did it! I finally finished my 48-card Series 1 set and am down to the final 9 cards for Series 2 and 32 cards for Series 3. I was able to pick up handfuls here and there so felt really good about this goal. I didn't think I was actually going to knock this one out, but splurged a little and slightly overpaid for the last two cards. Oh well, it is complete and now I can sit back and enjoy it while I whittle away at Series 2. Bruce Lee is no joke and you never finish collecting until Chuck Norris tells you to stop.
Goal 10: Maintain Google/Yahoo/Bing Search Engine Rankings for Sumo Card(s) Menko - Grade "B+"
- This one was a really fun on to go back and see how the search engines adjusted to my blog and blog traffic. Last year's rankings are in brackets [ ]. Stayed #1 on Yahoo and improved on Bing, but lost ground on Google.
Sumo Card: Bing #2 [#7], Google #6 [#9], Yahoo #1 [#1]
Sumo Cards: Bing #2 [#2], Google #4 [#2], Yahoo #1 [#1]
Sumo Menko: Bing #1 [#2], Google #1 [#1], Yahoo #1 [#1]
Sumo Wrestling Card: Bing #1 [ #2], Google #3 [#1], Yahoo #1 [#1]
Sumo Wrestling Cards: Bing #1 [#1], Google #2 [#1], Yahoo #1 [#1]
Goal 11: Add Additional Cards to my Brandon Laird and Yuta Tabuse Player Collections - Grade "A"
- Thanks to Fuji and eBay, I was able to beef up my two player collections, although these days it is hard to find any new Laird cards except for Japanese ones, but the Tabuse cards are still pretty plentiful. Laird did rather well with his new team, Chiba Lotte Marines, and led his team in homers. Tabuse is still with the Tochigi Brex and leading the East Division. The season is halfway over and the next season of BBM B.League cards will soon arrive at my doorstep. I think if I would have added a small handful more of these, I would have reached the A+ pinnacle. Whoop!
Goal 12: Add 10 additional Cards to my Airport Trading Card Collection - Grade "A+"
- Last year around this time there were about 125 known cards in the master set of Airport Trading Cards. As of right now, there are 153 known cards and I am now down to needing only 14 more. Every year the checklist expands, but I manage to hold my own.....some of the older cards are almost impossible to find no doubt. I'm not sure I will ever be able to collect them all, but who knows!
There you have it. With some solid "A" grades and some significant "D" grades I feel like I earned an overall Grade of "B" in 2019! Not bad. Had I knocked out some of my higher goals this would have pushed up into the B+ range...maybe even A-. Oh well, there is always next year for sure.
2019 Overall Grade = B