Someone I have only ever heard about via the grapevine e-mailed me back in September (yes... this blog is still living a month behind reality). I'm accustomed to seeing his name pop up on blogs from time-to-time associated with generous and vintage-filled trade packages. I apologize in advance if you attempt to scroll down this post prematurely as you will find no vintage here today.
Instead, Mr. Haverkamp reached out to me about how he has been collecting Allen & Ginter minis since 2012 when he discovered Mike Schmidt was included in the checklist. What followed was a fairly straightforward swap of minis in which Mr. Haverkamp hit my wantlist in the years that I simply wasn't collecting.
2008: I graduated high school in this year; holy crap, that's scary. I had already started working at my LCS at this point so I was able to get some 2007 Ginter, but not much (since high schoolers tend to be poor). I had almost no access to 2008 Ginter when it first came out as that would have been just as I was heading off for my first year of college.
When I got what I have: I purchased 2 or 3 hobby boxes of 2008 Allen & Ginter in 2011. The rest of the set I have obtained solely through trades/single card purchases.
2009: I honestly don't remember much that happened in this year of my life; it is not one I particularly recall with too much fondness. I do know for sure that I was not collecting baseball cards.
When I got what I have: I have only ever purchased a single hobby box of 2009 Allen & Ginter. I did, however, obtain a handful of discounted blasters over the years. Again, most of my acquisitions have been through trades.
2010: The start of my junior (and also my favorite) year of college came with a ton of life changes as well. I worked a lot within the school-year and had an internship over the summer as well. This was the year that I really learned that I had, what many would call, "disposable income". For the most part, I was responsible with it and put the majority of it towards my schooling, but this would also be the first year where I starting poking around the baseball card hobby. It just so happened to coincide with the year that the Braves started to nose-dive into irrelevance. Perhaps the start of me collecting was a subconscious way to deal with the Braves being bad.
When I got what I have: There are only two years of Allen & Ginter of which I have never opened a hobby box: 2006 and 2010. The reason for 2006 is probably fairly obvious... I started aggressively collecting this product between 2011 and 2012, and even just by that time hobby boxes from 2006 were out-of-this world expensive. While they weren't $350 back then, they were still far more than I was willing to pay (probably in the $250 range).
As for 2010, I had a bit of a misunderstanding. I've posted about the "World's Most Obnoxious Set" before and I knew I wanted to acquire some of it. I had set aside some money to spend on 2010 Allen & Ginter, and had enough to either buy 2-3 hobby boxes or a bunch of retail. I thought retail would be the way to go since I could get some of those retail-only World's Biggest cards.
I bought blasters... a lot of them.
I unfortunately got none of the cards I was looking for, but later found out that the special insert set only came in gravity feed retail packs. It was certainly a bummer, but I also got the blasters for $10-$11 a pop since I bought them in bulk.
Those were the years that Mr. Haverkamp decided to tackle my mini want lists. He especially loaded me up with minis from 2008, which happens to still be my favorite year for Allen & Ginter, so I greatly appreciate that!
In some other news this week, it has been announced that Beckett has acquired Zistle, an online card organizing/trading tool that I frequently use. While one could see the writing on the wall from as long as a year ago, I'm still fairly upset hearing this news. I used the site mainly to attempt to keep myself organized and help keep my want lists up to date. I've even used the site to trade with other non-bloggers. While I certainly don't have my whole collection cataloged in their database, I pretty much had every Allen & Ginter card I owned in there. 15,401 unique entries.
I have no idea what Beckett's plans for the website's future are going to be, but their track record isn't all that good in cases like these. The above Benjamin Franklin was probably the last card I'll have ever updated on that site.
Perhaps I'm being pessimistic... if someone out there used/uses a site similar to Zistle and has had success with it, I'd love to hear it! In the meantime, thanks for the trade and checking out my blog Mr. Haverkamp!