One aspect of card collecting that I still enjoy is the thrill of filling a set. Player collecting, and especially team collecting, can feel infinite. There are often hard to find singles out there for even the most obscure players, making a complete collection nearly impossible.
Sets are finite. Sets are fun. The Trading Card Database makes tracking set progress very easy, and I've definitely become more of a set collector as a result. I've even finished off a handful of insert sets I wouldn't have pursued without TCDB.
Once a set build crosses that 50% meter it becomes very difficult for me to abandon ship. There are outliers, of course.
I've mentioned that I'm one card away from completing 2016 Donruss Football - and that one card is Dak Prescott's Rated Rookie card. Spending $25 (or more) for a non-numbered RC of a Dallas Cowboys quarterback is not my idea of fun. Neither is spending $50 (or more) for a Carey Price rookie card to complete the 2007-08 Black Diamond hockey set. I've gone this long without it, what's the rush?
Both these sets are over 99% complete. The only other "so close" set in my collection is 2013 Topps baseball.
I currently have 654 of the 660 cards in the 2013 Topps set, good for 99.1% completion. Three more singles are on the way via trades, though one is an upgrade. Once received I will need four cards: Mike Trout, Mike Trout, Mike Trout, and Manny Machado's rookie card.
If I had started this set build three years ago, the Trout singles wouldn't have been an issue. I probably could have crossed them off my list for $10 total instead of $10 each, which is what they'd cost me now.
A user I've traded with on TCDB had one of the three available for trade. I asked about it and got this reply:
My 2013 Trout has been in a top load since out of the pack. I doubt we could come up with anything for that. The things I would consider would be...The 1972 Aaron..
Obviously the Aaron would be an even trade if yours is not in Mint condition.
Technically my '72 Aaron is not in "mint" condition.. but I still can't imagine a market where this equals this:
And now you know why I'm about ready to retire.
As for this jerk .. forgive me for not rushing to pay $5-10 for a rookie card of the guy who ended my favorite player's career.
Moving on from sets I don't want to complete to a set that can't be completed... the primary reason I bothered to place an order at COMC in 20021 was to fortify my All-Time Teams frankenset. COMC was the one place where I could view the exact scan of the card, which was crucial for purchasing vintage singles of middle relievers from the 1950s:
There are only 23 Marv Grissom cards to choose from, and this was pretty much the only standard-sized option (aside from the bland '58 Topps issue) I'd be happy paying $2.10 for any '57 Topps single in this shape. Elston is a high number and cost just $1.57 - which had me worried that there was some flaw I couldn't see in the scan. If there is a crease or scratch line on this card I still can't see it.
This might be the only non-playing card of a player in my All-Time Teams collection. That is, Hughie Jennings is clearly well past his playing days in this photo - yet I'm adding it to my Barnstormers page because he's not doing that derpy "Ee-yah!" dance for once.
I added two Frankie Frisch Cardinals cards to my COMC cart because I couldn't decide which one I liked better. What do you think: Licensed McDonald's oddball, or unlicensed serial-numbered Crystal parallel?
The American League binder is now complete. The National League binder is missing a pair of players.
New York Giants shortstop George Davis has 49 cards. More than half of them are 100-plus years old. The only attainable singles are: postcard, wrong team, and wrong George Davis. And then there's Reds pitcher Noodles Hahn. The first time I checked, Noodles had three or four cards. He now has eleven, but this playing card is the only modern item that would work for my frankenset.
Wait a sec... Noodles has a bobblehead?!? They couldn't have included a card inside this box?? Sigh..
Two more to go...
Thanks for reading!