Monday, December 31, 2018

Year in Review: Overall

So, I've already discussed some of the exciting growth in specific areas enjoyed by Section 36 in 2018. Whether it was with titleholder interviews, or visits by other celebrities, or social media opportunities, or the Section 36 Suite itself... specific places within Section 36 had wonderful years.

But, what about just generally? How did the blog perform in 2018 at just being a blog? How did I do as a blogger? As a collector? I'm not going to pretend you actually care...but here we go anyway!

In 2018, this will be my 182nd post. That's more than I made in 2017, so that was nice to see. It also keeps right in line with my “every other day” goal. It's not a set schedule I try to keep, just a general amount of output. If it's three to four times a week, that's where I'm heading...even if those three posts are on consecutive days. As long as the posts are quality posts that people might actually enjoy!

In 2018, those posts almost always included an interview on Friday. Hopefully you've been enjoying all the visits from celebrity Red Sox fans (or, at least baseball fans). I think they're a lot of fun, and enjoy hearing input from those types of fans. If you enjoy them too, that’s wonderful. If you don't, hopefully once a week isn't too intrusive. Because, looking back, it's actually been almost once a week. With the 39 titleholders that visited, and the three New England Patriots Cheerleaders, and the three Red Sox wives/fiancé that makes a total of 45 visitors in 2018. Amazing! Out of 52 weeks, that's just about max. Especially considering I could have posted visits the last two weeks, but I didn't think it was fair to them to post the visits over those holiday weekends. So, 45 out of 50 is an amazing percentage. Hope I can keep that up.

The Section 36 store also had a great year. More people keep buying shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, and whatever else. I'm always humbled whenever a sale goes through. Hopefully you've enjoyed all the pictures people have sent in wearing their gear. With any luck, both sales and picture submittals will increase in 2019!

Persoanlly, as a collector, 2018 saw me accomplish a long standing goal. I have been “working” on completing a 1975 Topps set for years now. Things went well in the beginning, but slowed down a bit as things tend to do. I was able to get a good jump on it buying lots off eBay. Since there hasn’t been a particularly local card shop or show that carried 1975 in a while, the Bay has been my go-to method. That worked pretty well when I was buying 100 commons at a time. The bulk rate and shipping discounts made it worthwhile. But once I got down to needing 50 or so, it got trickier. The chances of finding a single lot with multiple cads I needed were pretty low. And, the cards left were slightly more expensive. So, the idea of buying a single Lou Brock for a couple bucks and then adding a couple bucks worth of shipping for each card was annoying enough to grind me to a halt. And there is sat for way too long. Suddenly, a week or two ago I got fed up enough to just want to finish it off. So I finally checked out COMC. I wasn't really sure how it all worked, but other people spoke so highly (and often) about the site that I logged on. As I'm sure you all know, I was able to find all the cards I needed at a reasonable price (since condition barely matters for this set) and pay a flat shipping fee for them all. It was so easy and perfect that I'm ashamed it's taken so long. So, expect a “completion” post about the set in the future.

2018 was also big from the blogging perspective to help me find my voice or my place in this wide world. Sometimes I find myself wondering what exactly the point of my blogging is. Especially with all the success of the interviews. I wonder if Section 36 should do those full time, like a talk show of sorts. Would at be easier to fit them in? After all, my in depth Red Sox writing is sometimes few and far between. But, I've come to realize that I was thinking about it wrong. I am a Red Sox fan. I like talking about the team, and about collecting their memorabilia, and going to their games, and talking with their fans. All of that is what it means to be a fan of the reigning World Champs. Just because I don’t discuss WAR on a daily basis doesn't make this a bad blog. Nor does it mean that I can't discuss WAR every now and then. If the people I interview aren't exactly diehard Red Sox fans, that's ok. They can still talk about the type of fans they are. It's called a Red Sox fan blog for a reason. Because it's by a fan, about being a fan. Whatever type of fan that is.

Hope that's OK with you.

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