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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gettin' My Act Together 2009 - Part 1: Focus

Ok, new year means resolutions. Even Spike Jones thinks so.

You guys don't want to hear about the 'start exercising' 'call my dad more' 'quit eating deep dish pizza and cheesecake for breakfast' kind of resolutions but I will share my card collecting goals for '09. I'm not even going to look at the ones I did last year, 'cause I know I didn't do very well. I'm going to keep it simple this year. First thing I want to do is get some focus.

I like building sets. That has been established. Thing is, I want to collect EVERY set. I've got 50 years worth of sets all over the place and there's at least two dozen more coming out this year that I'll be distracted by. If there's one thing for certain, it's that it's impossible to collect everything. So, I've decided to concentrate on a few sets and once I knock them out I can go on to the next. I've chosen one set for each decade except for the '80s where I'm going to work on three at a time. The goal is to knock 'em out and then move onto the next set instead of trying to complete every set all at the same time.

So here's the sets. First off is three from the '80s because really, there is no excuse for me not having every set from the 80's completed already. I could buy outright half of the sets from that decade with the money I spent on my box of 2008 Allen & Ginter. Like I said, I would get really close to one set, then the calendar flips and I get distracted by a bunch of shiny new stuff. So here's the three to focus on, one from each of the Big Three.

1983 Topps

This is the set that really started off my addiction. It's still one of my favorites of all time. It looks great, has an awesome rookie class and includes the 1982 division winning Braves. I actually completed this set in 1983, but some of it went by the wayside since then. Once this set is complete, I'm taking out '86 Topps.

1987 Donruss

This is my favorite design from Donruss, I always liked those little gray baseballs on the sides that showed you exactly how off center your card was. Like '83 Topps, it also has a pretty hefty rookie class. This was also the first full box I ever bought from a hobby shop. I always assumed I had the full set, but I'm missing a few here and there. 1983 Donruss will be next on my list when this is complete.

1984 Fleer

It's odd, but I never got into this set when I was a kid even though I loved '83 Fleer. I wasn't collecting as much in '84 though and packs became much harder to find around then too. It's a really solid set though even though the huge rookies were saved for the update set. Gotta love the crazy photos they used though. I bought the contents of most of a box of this stuff from a friend in the late '80s after he gave up collecting so I'm not that far from a set even though I never bought a single pack myself in '84. After this is done, I'm going to complete '87 Fleer.

I'm not going to specifically focus on any sets from the '50s or '60 because this project is about completing the sets and one of those sets will take years unless I just focus on it exclusively. I'm pretty sure you readers out there don't want this blog to become "The 1956 Topps Blog" so while I will always be on the lookout for Vintage stuff, I'm not putting it in my main focus for this year. The '70s is completely different. Once the difficult high series cards were done away with in 1974, Topps sets became entirely completable. The only difficulty is with the rookies and between prices falling and the fact that I love Tiptons, I'm counting any Topps set after 1974 as one I can complete if I just get my butt in gear. the one I chose to start with is....

1979 Topps

Why 1979 Topps? I'll be honest, I was not a big fan of this set when I was a kid. 1980 Topps I liked. 1978 Topps I liked. 1979 didn't do much for me for some reason even though I got lucky and found a brick of cards that was stuffed with stars one time. I've grown to appreciate the elegant design now, and the fact that I am much closer to completing this set than any other one from the '70s makes this a no brainer. Really, the only challenge I'll have is the Ozzie and I'll be able to find that easy. Once this is done I'm going to get ambitious and tackle 1974 Topps.

I'm a little less enthusiastic about working on my '90's sets, but I'm going to at least plan for it now that I'm in a set building frenzy. The '90s is when cards really first started to no longer be about the sets anymore but there's still a bunch of great sets to put together from that decade.

1991 Topps

The last real Topps set, as far as I'm concerned. Chipper's rookie is in there for Pete's sake! 792 cards, real cardboard stock, a solid Toppsy design and a boxed Traded set tacked on afterwards. I just picked up the Traded set from D&A so now I just need to pick up the few stragglers from my set. I haven't actually figured out which ones I need yet, or if I need any at all. It's entirely possible I've completed this set and forgotten about it. If so, they next set in my sights will be the utterly fantastic 1993 Upper Deck set.

There are a lot of sets from the new millennium I'm chasing. Heritage and all of the retro sets immediately come to mind. I'm going to be laser focused on two in particular though... One base set and one parallel set.

2006 Allen & Ginter

I've got the '07 and '08 sets, now I need to finish '06. This set drove me crazy. When it first came out I absolutely loved it, but hobby box prices almost immediately zoomed way out of my price range. It didn't help that I was going through financial difficulties in the fall of '06 either. I was able to pick up some loose packs and a few blasters from Target, but once the eBay sellers realized they could make a neat profit on blasters, they evaporated rapidly. Still, I got a decent amount of the set and I should be able to complete it if I buckle down. I'll definitely be chasing the '09 set so it would be cool to have all four completed by the end of the year. After I complete this one, I think I'm going to attack the 2007 Goudey short prints.

2003 Topps205 mini set

If you think I'm nuts over Allen & Ginter, you should have seen how loopy I got over Topps205. T205 is my favorite tobacco card design and I loooooooved the minis from this set. I bought multiple boxes of Topps205 and pestered the local hobby shop owner for every boxtopper bonus of 20 cards in a little box. I am really close to completing this thing but I haven't paid attention to the set for a few years once singles started drying up at shops and on eBay. Time to finish the sucka.

I'm working on the want lists for each of these sets and I'll let you know when I've posted them to the sidebar. I'm still busy with giveaway packages and a a couple of other trades so I'll do a seperate post once I'm ready to start trading. That's enough to think about today, I'll continue on with my 2009 plans tomorrow.


Ryan Cracknell said...

Let me know when you get you 2003 205 Mini wantlist together. I have a bunch from when I went gangbusters on Series One so I have some extras.

dayf said...

Once I get all the want lists finalized I'll be doing a post listing them all. there's still some work to do though.

JRJ said...

That '79 set will be awesome. I don't know why, but I like the 79 set.

night owl said...

I love almost all those sets, especially the 1983 Topps (completed) and 1991 Topps (will work on completing some day). I've never gotten into 1979 Topps either, but perhaps one day I will. 1974 isn't too tough to complete, unless you're going for all the Washingtons. And Winfield rookies are easy to find.

I don't get everyone's fascination with 1987 Donruss. But I didn't collect much in '87 either.

dinged corners said...

Of course, you are insane. But we might be able to help with a couple of these sets--looking forward to your lists.

Joey said...

That seems to be a well laid out plan. It will be impressive when you reach these goals for 2009.

Good luck and I'll be watching for the updates.

Scott C. said...

You have inspired me. I have a ton of unfinished sets myself and I think it's high time I finish some of them off. I'll be curious to see how you make out over the course of the year. I'm sure when your lists come out I'll be able to help some too.

GCA said...

I have all the 80-84 sets (bought them or made them when they were new), and have finished 74-79 since returning to the hobby in '03. I see sets like the T205 as being harder to find then the vintage ones, but that's probably just because my local shop has tons of 70's. I got the '87 Donruss set for $3 there...

dayf said...

Those were two of the most fantastic spam comments I've ever gotten. I almost feel bad that I deleted them forever.

Cuyahogabend said...

I've just discovered the T205 and T206 sets myself. Doubt I'll ever seriously go after a complete set, but I've bought a few small lots on eBay to put in the mini binder we started after seeing your A&G mini binder post.