Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wrigley Roster Jenga's Year in Review

Congratulations to everyone reading this - you're less than 24 hours away from officially surviving the tumultuous year of 2017.  Was this 365-day period really any more troublesome than any other? I don't know - but, between the political upheaval, natural disasters, violence, culture wars, etc. it sure did seem like it.   Here's hoping that 2018 is the start of a brighter future.

That's enough being negative, I'm sure a lot of good stuff happened too.  For me, personally, 2017 brought me marriage to my beautiful wife, a cozy new apartment, a much needed career-switch for my bride, the engagement of my father-in-law to a wonderful woman, and high school graduations by a pair of my sisters, among other positive happenings.  Furthermore, seeing as this is a baseball card blog, it would be quite remiss of me not to mention that this year provided a bountiful boon to my treasured Cubs All-Time Roster Collection.

All told, since January 1st, 2017, I've added 51 new names and faces to my marquee binder.  Let's review, in the order of their addition:

                    Brett Anderson                           Doug Clemens                  David Shean                       

Jim Gleeson                            Billy Myers                            Billy Rogell

Gordon Massa                          Bill Johnson                           Jeff Cross

Dylan Floro                          Eddie Butler                            Ian Happ

Pierce Johnson                      Seth Frankoff                             Frank Secory

Mark Zagunis                      Victor Caratini                    Jack Leathersich

Jose Quintana                    Les Sweetland                 Joe Stephenson

Jimmy Johnston                    Ray Harrell                   John Ganzel

Billy Maloney                 Bill Bradley               Jake Weimer

Johnny Bates                  Jake Buchanan                         Red Lynn

Dick Culler                     Ralph Hamner

Alex Avila                         Justin Wilson

Rene Rivera                          Dillon Maples                    Mike Freeman

Leonys Martin                       Jimmy Adair                       Jen-Ho Tseng

Johnny Hudson                                 Ed Sauer                             Lloyd Christopher

Bill Faul                             Footer Johnson                     Rube Novotney

John Pyecha                           Vern Morgan                    Tyler Chatwood

Brandon Morrow                     Drew Smyly                          Steve Cishek

John Flavin                                         Ray Prim                               Walt Woods

Names written in light blue indicate players that were also added to the Cubs all-time roster as I added them to my binder - in other words, player transactions.  I was able to keep with almost all of these live edits this year, except noted staring contest champion, Taylor Davis; to paraphrase Meatloaf, 21 out of 22 ain't bad.  So, if you see an extra TD lying around, please feel free to drop me a line.

Fifty-five seems like a significant amount of damage for just one calendar year.  For comparison's sake, last year was the only other year in which my record keeping was reliable enough to determine my 12-month progress; in 2016, I was able to cross off an additional 58 names from my "need" list.  Thus, my progress was minimally stunted in the year of the fidget spinner, but not significantly so.  I'm quite happy with what I accomplished with my CATRC this year.

Besides plain completion numbers, I was able to land some big fish this year, including 11 cards that I would consider to be super vintage (pre-1950), create a pair of custom card TTM successes, make my very first trip the National Convention, and establish a personal connection with oddball card producer, Carl Aldana.  Plus, it doesn't hurt to close out the year with what is, by far, the best month for readership that this blog has ever experienced.  This December, Wrigley Roster Jenga has had nearly 9,500 views - a 2,000 count increase over November and more than double the next best month in the blog's history.  We're definitely closing out 2017 on a high note!

All in all, 2017 was a very big year for my baseball card collection and blogging.  I want to take this moment to thank all of you out there who read my ramblings and, for some reason, continue to come back for more.  Thank you for trading with me an sending out packages as random acts of kindness.  Thank you for writing your own wonderful blogs which supply me with endless hours of enjoyable reading material.  Thank you for helping to create, foster, and be a part of a phenomenal community of supportive collectors - without this outlet, I would have finally taken up residence in Crazy Town years ago!

The world might be a mess, but this community has provided me plenty of hope and served as a welcome distraction throughout the chaos of 2017.  If baseball card bloggers ran the world, I think it would be a much better place.  Here's hoping things begin to straighten out in the year ahead and 2018 has a much much different overall tone.

See ya next year!