The top three priorities are things I frequently target when shopping on eBay, COMC, or 4 Sharp Corners. I don't expect them to be available for trade, and in some cases they're rarely available for purchase:
1. Peter Worrell PC. I only need a handful of cards that are not #d/10 or less. I'll take any Worrell base cards in trade, and I'd gladly pay a finder's fee for any cards on my need list.
2. 1956 Topps baseball set (PSA 5 or better) This is where most of my money goes. My mom got me started on this set and I'm going to try and finish it before my daughters start college (in case I need to sell it for tuition money.) Hopefully I'll be able to hold onto it and pass it down as an heirloom.
3. 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee hockey set (PSA 9 or better) I call this set the "Money Pit" because I've spent much more money on it than it's worth. But it's a labor of love. I'm only about 70 cards away from completing it, and it's exciting to find a card I need - especially a low pop single.
Most collectors might roll their eyes at graded singles (especially in light of recent events) and I completely understand. I think there's something in my dna that favors acquiring cards in the best condition possible, having them authenticated and placing them in interlocking holders.
That said, almost all of my other card collecting interests are free from those plastic prisons. They're easy to find and trade for. Keep me in mind if you have any of these:
4. Brett Favre PC I've got over 700 different Favre singles. My goal is to acquire 1,000.
5. Connecticut cards I collect any players and teams with ties to my home state, especially Hartford Whalers and minor-league teams like the New Haven Ravens, West Haven A's/Yankees, and New Haven Nighthawks/Beast.
6. Boston Red Sox PC My top priorities are Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Pedro Martinez but I'm always looking to add any Red Sox singles I don't have.
7. Green Bay Packers PC My peak Packer collecting years were in the 1990s, and I think it's a realistic goal to collect every Packers base card from that decade. Once that's done I'll worry about the '80s and '00s. (My wantlist is posted on TCDB.)
8. New Jersey Devils PC I don't buy nearly as many hockey cards as I used to, so I'm relying on trades and COMC to acquire cards of Jersey's team. Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, and P.K. Subban are my favorites to watch/collect; I'm always on the lookout for their cards.
Currently I'm working on about twenty sets, including a couple of oddball-ish vintage sets:
9. 1961 Golden Press baseball So far all of my singles except one are PSA-graded.
10. 1964 Topps Giants baseball I haven't committed to a full set build yet, but I pick these up on 4SC whenever I can. I've got a handful of high-grade Hall of Famers and they are fantastic.
The rest of my set builds are much more modern. I try to fill most of them through trades, and hit up COMC or the Beckett Marketplace for the rest:
11. 1986 Topps football I've traded for over 2/3 of this set on TCDB, though some of the cards I've received need to be upgraded. Here's a list of the 1/3 I'm missing.
12. 2017 Topps Heritage baseball I still need a few high numbers and a bunch of inserts. They are listed on my Heritage tab at the top of this blog.
13. 2015-16 Black Diamond Exquisite hockey This is a 30-card base set I've bought exclusively on COMC. I still need about a dozen cards, and they're SN #d to 149.
14. 2018 Topps baseball I'm close to finishing this set but I still need about 30 cards, including the Shohei Ohtani RC.15. 2018 Stadium Club baseball After busting a couple blasters I decided to start this one. I'm missing just over half of this set.
16. 2018 Topps Big League baseball I need over 100 cards to complete this 400-card set.
17. 2014-15 Panini Prizm basketball Jon Pennysleeves sent me a huge chunk of this set and I've tried to fill in the rest. Still need about 25 cards, including the Joel Embiid RC.
18. 1988-89 Fleer basketball Of the 36 singles I have, roughly half are graded. I have no real preference but PSA singles were hard to pass up at $3-4 each.
19. 2015-16 Donruss basketball After buying two retail boxes and some cheap set fillers on COMC I still need 22 RCs to complete this set.
20. 1989-90 Hoops basketball I need a dozen cards to complete this set.
In between the sets I'm actively trying to complete and the sets that I'm passively building there are two more non-set projects I collect:
21. Panini Immaculate Collection singles These are beautiful but expensive cards. All of my singles have been purchased on COMC. You can view my collection here.
22. Alex Ovechkin PC Not a huge priority for me, but as far as players who don't play for my favorite teams go, he's the one I focus on. Here's a post on my top 8 cards of the Great 8.
Then there are some lower-priority set builds I'm working on. These are sort of a last resort when I'm looking through TCDB for sale/trade lists. My wantlists are linked at the end of each.
23. 1992-93 Ultra basketball I've looked into buying wax boxes of this childhood favorite, but I've acquired so many singles through trades that It's no longer necessary. (wantlist)
24. 1992-93 Upper Deck McDonald's basketball I now have over half of the 50-card set thanks in large part to trades. (wantlist)
25. 2019 Topps baseball I haven't bought a single pack of this last-name-first set, but I got most of series 1 in a big flat-rate box of cards I purchased on eBay, so I guess I'll take a shot at it. (wantlist)
26. 2017 Topps baseball I don't like this set and I never planned on completing it, but after purchasing that flat-rate box of cards I have over 57% of the set. Not going to start a full flagship run, but it would be nice to complete five straight years of Topps sets. (wantlist)
27. 2016 Donruss football I bought a couple cheap retail boxes and ended up with just under half the set. I guess I'll try to finish it, mostly to make room in my football box. (wantlist)
28. 1993 Leaf baseball I bought a box of series 1 and made a few trades but I still need 18 cards from S1. I'll worry about completing Series 2 after I buy a box of that...
29. 1992 & 1993 Fleer Ultra baseball ...hopefully I can find Series 2 boxes of these sets, too. If not I will try to trade for the S2 singles as I've been doing with Ultra basketball.
30. 1994 Fleer baseball P-Town Tom sent me about half of this set. I might try to complete it once I've finished a few others on this list. It is quite large though.
I also have a handful of semi-dormant player collections that I don't often pursue, but I separate their cards from my main collection:
- Robin Yount
- Kris Bryant
- Trevor Williams
- Eric Dickerson
- Dan Marino
- Art Monk
- Jim Everett (for my wife)
- Trevor Linden (for my wife)
- Brendan Shanahan (for my wife)
- Jason Arnott (for my wife)
- Ryan Smyth
- Charlie McAvoy
If you have anything on this list, please leave a comment or e-mail me at sutherlandct @gmail .com or message me on the Trading Card Database (hockeydude).
Thanks for reading!