Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blog Bat-Around: My Current Projects

This is my first Blog Bat-Around.  What am I working on?  Here's a look at most of my current collecting projects.
    1972 Topps Bob Gibson.
  1. Collecting a 1972 Topps Set.
  2. I've posted about this a few times now. I have never, thus far, collected a vintage set, but I always wanted to. This past October, I started on the 1972 Topps set. This is partially in honor of the 1971 Pirates championship team. I already had a handful of the Pirates (including Clemente and Stargell) and a couple of the World Series subset cards, plus a few more players. I am currently at about 33% complete.
    1959 Topps Curt Flood.
  3. Collecting a 1959 Topps Set.
  4. This project is in its infancy. When I got my collection out of storage this past summer, where it had been since 1994, I had exactly one 1959 Topps card: a young Harmon Killebrew. I then decided I wanted a good card of Curt Flood, and chose his 1959 card. Next, I thought of 1959 when adding another pair of Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn cards. I decided that I kept choosing 1959 for these things because I really like the set and would like to have the whole thing. So, my current goal is to pick up three 1959 Topps cards per month, until the 1972 set is complete, and then really work on the 1959. I've added a few more in addition to those I just listed, but I'm still at about 1.5% or so of the complete set right now.
    My recently purchased complete 1979 Topps set.
  5. Purchasing some complete sets.
  6. I don't think that I need to personally assemble all the complete sets I get.  As a teenager, I got a Christmas gift one year of a 1981 Fleer set, and another year of a 1984 Topps set.  I've written several times recently about my recent purchase of a 1979 Topps set. I plan to buy a handful more: 1978 Topps are the oldest cards I saw before I started going to card shops; a neighbor across the street was a year older than my brother, so he had some from 1978. The oldest we had in my house were from 1979. So, I'll look to get a 1978 set to go with my 1979. Then, 1981 Topps made a big impression on me, too; I love the design with the caps. I actually think that reading the team names off those caps is how I started to learn to read. While I started seriously collecting in 1987, and have several thousand 1987 cards, my collection is spottier before that. I'd like to fill the gap a bit with a 1986 Fleer set. I'm also considering adding 1986 Sportflics to my list, and I may add a couple of Score sets that I'm missing, too. I expect I'll get these complete sets from my list this year, just getting one at a time here and there off eBay, with 1978 Topps being next on my list.
    1940 Play Ball Jimmie Foxx.
  7. A small PSA-graded collection.
  8. When I was collecting 1987-1994, there was no card grading that I was aware of. For many of the oldest cards I've been buying, I like the idea that someone has authenticated the cards, so there's less risk of getting a counterfeit of something valuable. I bought a storage box from PSA that they say holds about 60 graded cards. So my goal is to get 60 graded cards, either by buying them already graded (with a goal of PSA 7 for most of them), or by sending a few cards that I already had in to be graded. I think of the cards in this sub-collection as representing who I am as a collector in one box. So far, I have 22 PSA-graded cards, and I have two set aside that I plan to send in for grading.
    Recently acquired 1981 Topps Fernando Valenzuela.
  9. Filling in the front of my main binder.
  10. When I started seriously collecting in 1987, I was 11 years old, and there were other kids in my neighborhood who started seriously collecting at the same time. We each got a binder that we put our best cards in.  The contents of that one binder are still central to my collection. When I resumed collecting this past summer, I did buy a few more binder pages, and I've been buying cards to fill them in. The front of the binder features my favorite Topps (flagship) cards from various years, then similar for Donruss, and then for Fleer, and a few Score, Sportflics, and Upper Deck. With the pages I added, there are about a dozen openings still in the front.  The Fernando Valenzuela rookie card above took one of the new spots.
    Recently acquired 1975 Topps Mini Gorman Thomas.
    Recently acquired oddball: 1962 Post Roberto Clemente.
  11. Filling in the back of my main binder.
  12. The back of the binder is mainly for oddballs, but also for players that I find interesting but who lack the star power of players in the front of the binder (example: Gorman Thomas is in the back). I have about 20 spots left in the back, and I'm working on filling them with cards from sets that were unrepresented in my collection previously. For example, I recently showed some 1962 Post cards, the above Gorman Thomas is my first 1975 Topps mini, I just bought some Ziploc cards I'll be showing soon, and I have some Rawlings/Yoo-Hoo cards in my COMC account.
    1983 Milton Bradley Mike Schmidt.
  13. Some small player collections.  The collectors I knew in the 80s/90s didn't organize their cards by player collections.  Purchasing cards on the internet makes it much easier to pursue a lot of different cards of one player than it was in the 80s.  So, I decided to put together small player collections for some of my favorites: Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, John Candelaria, Tony Pena, Lee May, Rickey Henderson, Eddie Murray, George Brett, Dave Parker, Manny Sanguillen, Harold Baines, and George Foster.  I'm not trying to get every card of any of these, or a certain number of cards, or anything.  I'm satisfied that my Candelaria, Pena, and May collections are big enough at present, for example, and for the rest I just want a few more cards to fill out my pages at this point.  
So, that's what I'm doing, more or less.  Thanks for reading!


  1. I can send you 90% of a 1986 Fleer set. I just made one myself from a monster box full and have enough for a couple more. Also probably have some for your player collections too.
    Email at QAPLAGCA at yahoo dot com