Set building and set completion

Spring cleaning seems to be a hobby thing as well. This year I’ve seen a bunch of guys express a desire to streamline their collections and offload sets and set builds which are eating up storage space but provide them no joy. This is a good thing. A lot of us have a lot of cards in storage that would make someone else much more happier and routing those cards to the correct person makes everyone happy.

Steve/Cardboard Jones was one such cleaner and when he mentioned what he was getting rid of I pinged him on 2014 Topps since I’ve been trying to build that set for a while. I was half expecting just a pile of cards to go with my existing pile of 2014 cards but Steve actually went through my search lists and sent me only cards that I needed.

No I’m not going to scan them all but I continue o enjoy this set. he design is a bit of a mess but it’s also mostly ignorable. Photo is big. Names are readable. And the photo selections do a good job providing the splash of color which the design is missing.

There are also a lot of photos, especially of celebrations, which look like the kind of thing Topps would short print nowadays. It’s really nice to see these as just regular base cards and serves as yet another reminder how the optimization around variant images has really hurt the quality of the base product.

Anyway I’m down to needing only 10 cards on this set build now (current status is on my search list page).

42 Mariano Rivera
123 James Paxton
133 Xander Bogaerts
342 Brad Miller
358 Christian Yelich
401 Felix Hernandez
424 Jose Ramirez
496 Jose Abreu
657 Corey Hart
659 Ervin Santana

Paxton, Bogaerts, Ramirez, and Abreu are all rookie cards.  Yelich is a first flagship. I don’t expect any of them to be expensive but the market can definitely be stupid here.

I also went though and put together a list of cards which are currently in a different binder (mostly Giants or Stanford). I don’t need these to feel complete on a set build but it’s always nice when there are no holes anywhere.

8 Coco Crisp
399 Hector Sanchez
423 Marco Scutaro
442 Angel Pagan
446 Tim Hudson
537 Madison Bumgarner
607 Jed Lowrie
615 Drew Storen

Actively looking for these? Not really. But they’re nice to have in hand if I’m looking to gang a few cards on to a Sportlots order.

Steve also noticed on my set building search list that I was one common card away from completing 1994 Topps. The bulk of this build was actually another spring cleaning pick up a couple years ago. Despite dropping 1994 cold turkey I decided that completing the set would make a nice bookend on my 1986 set as a way marking my childhood collecting years. Plus it’s got a lot of fun photos.

Joey Cora is a weird one to end up with as the last card but sometimes that’s the way things break.

As with 2014, there are a couple of cards which I’d kind of like to get doubles of so that I can have them in different binders. One of these is Stanford, the other is a Giant.

237 Curtis Pride / Shawn Green / Mark Sweeney / Eddie Davis
433 Dave Burba

Thanks so much Steve! I’m glad I could put these into a good home.

🎶One of these kids is doing his own thing🎶

A surprise bubble mailer from Steve Cornell arrived last week. Well sort of a surprise. He’d given me aheads up saying that he was sending me some team set help but I still never expect a bubble mailer full of cards.

I especially don’t expect this kind of star power. The League Leaders cards are of course part of my searchlists. Since I only collect Giants cards these cards also represent the only cards of other stars I have in my collection.

So this is not only a huge bite out of my 1964 team set but it also represents my only vintage Koufax or Spahn card. Add Marichal to the mix and this represents a heck of a pitching lineup. And yeah despite the title of this blogpost Jim Maloney was pretty good too.

This is more like what I was expecting. The 1987 Topps set was my first set of cards. I didn’t know about the Traded set at the time and never picked it up later. As a result I’ve been looking for the 1987 Traded Giants. Not urgently—these fall into the category of cards that are overpriced online because it’s just not cost efficient to ship them—but it’ll be nice to cross that set off the search list.

These two cards leave me with just the Chris Speier on my search list. I have to admit that I fully expected Matt Williams to be the last one. Thankfully neither of these is an awful airbrush job. Both cards though are perfect representations of the typical portrait or action image I grew up seeing.

Six 2000 Topps cards leave me with just one card on my searchlist. Kind of. I’m missing a Barry Bonds card that has like a dozen different versions all with the same number. Ugh. I hate that kind of crap so I’ll just consider this complete as it is.

This design gets a bad rap because it falls in a run of ver similar-looking designs. I don’t hate it. I do think it would be better of the border and foil stamping were replaced with plain paper. I’m also not the biggest fan of the way Topps is using transparency effects here. Still, these images are zoomed and cropped well and some, like the Kent, are very nicely timed.

Eight 2003 Topps means I’m just missing the three Barry Bonds cards. I’m very happy to have the team card and it’s nice to have the stats on guys like Lofton, Durham, and Worrell who were key parts of that 2002 Pennant.

I hate the blue borders on this design and really wish they were white. A shame since otherwise these are very nice looking cards. It’s nice to have decent portraits mixed with the action images even if many of the images are extremely similar to each other.

The last cards in the mailer were these two from 2015. I actually had the gold parallels of these but I wanted the base cards as well. The Heston No Hitter card demonstrates the weirdness of doing highlights in the Update set since when it ends up getting paged with the 2014 World Series highlights.

The Romo card is one I really like since it has the special championship gold jersey which is also one of the only times in the last couple decades that the script Giants has shown up on the home whites.

Very cool Steve. Thanks!

A pair of Giants

It’s funny. When I was going through my childhood collection I discovered that I’d gotten complete team sets for 1989 Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Upper Deck. Except that I totally missed Upper Deck’s Final/Extended high number series.* Oops. I’ve since accumulated a couple of the ones I was missing but Trevor Wilson and Charlie Hayes were the last two I needed.

*To be honest I don’t remember this series in 1989 at all.

A couple days ago this pair of 1989 Upper Deck Giants arrived courtesy of Steve Cornell. Thanks Steve! Random PWE mailings are the best. Even though both of these cards are kind of derpy it’s great to be able to scratch a set off my Giants Searchlist 30 years after the fact.

I should’ve paid more attention to my collecting interests as a kid. Giants team sets excited me. Oddballs—especially food issues—were my jam. But I never fully embraced that and so there’s lot of bycatch and filler that I need to go through.

I much prefer my modern collecting where I have much more clearly-defined projects and getting a pair of commons like these two excites me because they complete a team set that takes me back to that 1989 season and all the things I did as a Giants fan that year.

The Trevor Wilson also reminds me of the early 1990s when he was still one of those end-of-the-roster guys who got dragged out on community service duty.

Every Last Homie

When Robby T recently sent me a bunch of Giants cards, Steve (@cardboardjones) got the corresponding batch of Mariners cards. I joked on Twitter that I was missing only five OPCs and that he probably had three of them because they looked like Mariners cards.

It turned out that I was right. However, Steve, while he definitely blogs about Mariners cards, was not looking to complete that team set so he generously offered to PWE me the three “Now with Giants” cards.

Late last week the three cards showed up in my mailbox. They look out of place with the rest of the Giants cards but I like it this way since it suggests the logical extension of my current team set collecting project.

I’ve currently been collecting Giants team sets and paging them alphabetically by last name. It’s a perfectly fine way of capturing the roster but I’m planning on changing things up so each year depicts the Giants lineup. One page of the typical starters (plus manager or team card), another of the pitchers, and then the rest are substitutes.

When I start doing this I know I’m going to end up wanting to acquire the cards of guys who are missing (starters at least) even though they’re not depicted with the Giants that season. That’s going to result with a few random non-Giants cards on the pages—very much like these OPC pages look now.

Thanks Steve! Only two cards left now.