Let's be realistic here. I am never going to finish 1952 Topps. That Mantle card is not in my budget. Even if I won the lottery, I still wouldn't drop that kind of coin on a baseball card.
But, I do believe I can finish a large number of these sets. In fact, here is my progress after about 7 years collecting.
I stop at 1979 because that was the last set I was exposed to in my youth and the Topps sets after 1980 don't really appeal to me aesthetically (1983 is okay, but that is really about it.)
The chart above is slightly misleading. I have completed 1974. Sort of. I am one card short of the master set. I have all the checklists and traded series, as well as all the Washington Nat'l League variants. The one card I don't have is the San Diego large print variation of card 599. I have never got it because it usually sells for over $30 and I have a hard time paying that much for what is essentially a nondescript common. But, I probably should get over that.
Anyways, my main focus at this time is 1970 and 1972. I hope to finish at least one, but ideally both, in 2018.
2. 1960 to 1963 Fleer Baseball Autographed Sets
This didn't start as an autograph project. I always liked 1963 Fleer and decided to build it. That led to building 1960 and 1961, even though I am not enamored with their design. On a lark, I sent a couple '63s out to a signing and off we went with trying to rebuild that set in autographed form. As that project slowed, I decided to extend the project to the earlier Fleer sets.
Here is my progress to date. Note that many card subjects in 1960 and 1961 died prior to the set being issued, so I measure progress against the number of cards of players who were living when the sets were issued:
3. Player Collections (Paul Blair and Johnny Antonelli)
I am up to 124 unique Paul Blair cards and 62 Johnny Antonelli. There isn't much left to add to these. There are a couple O-Pee-Chee Blairs I need and I still need a Jello Antonelli. I am sure there are some regional issues out there yet unknown to me. There are number of unlicensed issues that basically consist of cut autos in card form. They are generally issued in small numbers (I hate artificial scarcity and will not reward it) and they generally don't ever feature actual photographs of the actual person. So, I don't collect those.
4. Various Modern Sets that catch my fancy
I pretty much avoid modern sets. As I have said, all the variations and short print artificial scarcity just ticks me off and I'd rather focus my limited funds on vintage. Occasionally though, a modern set will cut though the noise and interest me. Here are the ones I am (sorta) working:
- 2009-2011 Tristar Obak.
- 2000-2004 Fleer Greats of the Game. I don't include 2006, because it was the first GOTG set after Upper Deck bought out Fleer and, frankly, it had absolutely none of the charm of it's predecessors. In fact, it has no charm whatsoever
- 1991-1994 Conlon. The first three years are complete.
- 1993-1994 Ted Williams
5. Various Vintage Oddballs
I actually have more of these than I expected. My approach to collecting has been to maintain focus on a small number of priorities. That is what I thought anways. It is true, in a sense, since I still place much of my collecting effort on only one or two Topps vintage sets at any given time and the Fleer autograph project. But, dang, I've got a lot of things open.
- 1959 Fleer Ted Williams
- 1961 Golden Press
- 1968 Topps Game
- 1970 Kelloggs
- 1978 TCMA The 1960s
- 1972 Sunoco Football Stickers
- 1974-75 Loblaws Hockey Stickers
What I am listening to: The Perilous Night by Drive-By Truckers
I completed my 1974 master set about 6 years ago when I stumbled on a large San Diego for under a buck. It's not mint, but for a master set I didn't much care. It's an easy enough variation for sellers to overlook, you never know when you'll run across an affordable one.ReplyDelete
Good stuff. I'm really impressed with the signed Fleer effort.ReplyDelete
It makes me smile that you have 300+ cards from 1968 and only a handful from 1969. And I'm jealous of your 1956 Topps progress; I'm only at about 36%. Good luck with the '70 and '72 sets, hope you're able to complete them by the end of '18.ReplyDelete
Got a great deal on a '68 start set. Plus, I am not all that fond of 1969.Delete
A 1952 to 1979 run is quite the challenge. 283 out of 342 1956 Topps cards is really awesome! That's definitely my dream build.ReplyDelete
Pretty sure that Koufax and Mantle will be the last two I need to complete '56. Not looking forward to that.ReplyDelete