Collecting baseball card sets is my primary focus. As I have discussed before in a previous Blog Bat Around, I am a completist, so the main enjoyment I get from collecting is completing sets.
I have completed Topps flagship baseball sets from 1964 through 2017. I must confess though that for about the last 30 years, I have just bought Topps factory sets as my primary focus has been building vintage sets rather than building current sets through opening packs. While I miss the enjoyment of building each year's current set, I would rather focus my efforts on vintage cards.
Sets I am currently working on: 1960 & 1963 Topps
I've got about 1/2 of the 1960 set completed, and I'm down to only needing 6 cards for the 1963 set. Unfortunately the cards I need for '63 are guys named Rose, Mantle, Aaron, Mays, Koufax, and Clemente, so I'm afraid I'm going to be stuck at needing 6 for a while.
In addition to Topps, I also collect all other brands that were issued in the 1980's (Fleer, Donruss, Score, Upper Deck), and have complete sets for all of those brands up through 1991.
As for the sets that I have completed, I am still working on some of those sets in terms of:
Upgrades - from the sets I built in the 70's, there are still some cards like checklists that are marked, and cards that are not in the greatest condition that I am working on replacing. I'm also trying to improve cards that are terribly off center.
Errors / Variations - for the sets that I have completed, I'm trying to go back and build master sets that include all variations.
And finally, I am also purchasing 1990s sets - my goal is to have every major set issued from each year that I am collecting. Right now I'm trying to fill in the gaps in sets that I don't have from the early 1990's. That includes trying to put together all the insert sets as well.
Given the over production from the era, it is pretty easy to find some great prices on sets from this time period. In many cases though, the shipping costs more than the set. Once you add in the cost of a binder and pages, I end up spending more on the set than it is worth, but I enjoy being able to look at my cards in binders. If the cards are all packed away in boxes, then I never look at them, so I am progressively working my way through the sets that I have and putting them in binders.
Realistically, I think I will stop this project of completing all sets for a given year towards the end of the 1990's as there are just too many different sets by late 90's that I'll never be able to complete (and will never have enough room!).
One project that I have taken on where I am actually building some sets from the 1990s are 2 parallel sets - 1994 Score Gold Rush and 1994 Pinnacle Museum. I was able to pick up some lots for each of these sets, and have enjoyed trying to build them a few cards at a time.
Now we get into the items that are the inspiration for this blog!
I've always loved all of the different Fleer items with team logos, as evidenced by all the different sets I've covered on the blog.
Sets I am currently working on:
1969 Baseball Pennants and Stamps - This is one of my favorite Fleer issues given the multiple logos on each sheet. I'm down to only needing 2 sheets, but these things are almost impossible to find.
1967 Baseball Emblems and Fact Cards - These are much harder to find than the 1968 versions. I still need quite a few 1967 patches and fact cards.
1960 - 1962 Fleer Baseball Decals with Red Backs - Another Fleer variation that is very hard to find. Still trying to find a couple of teams.
1976 Iron Ons - I'm a few teams short of completing this set as well.
In addition to collecting baseball sets, I also collect football cards. I've got complete Topps sets from 1966 though 2015 when they lost their license.
My next goal would be to collect the 1965 Topps set, but given that set contains the Namath rookie, I've decided instead to work on the 1964 - 1967 Philadelphia Football sets.
Sets I am currently working on: 1964, 1965, and 1966 Philadelphia (1967 is complete)
I love oddball sets! Oversize cards, posters, coins, stamps, stickers - I want them all!
My most recent completions were the 1971 Topps Coin set, the 1989 Topps Talking Baseball set, and the 1988 - 1990 Topps Big sets.
Sets I am currently working on:
1971 Topps Greatest Moments - I'll probably never finish this one as the SP cards are ridiculously expensive, but I love the look of this set.
Topps Sticker sets - 1985 & 1986 Topps Baseball, 1985 & 1986 Topps Football - I'm trying to finish complete runs of the Topps Baseball and Football sticker sets from the 1980s.
1982 Kellogg's Raisin Bran NFL Posters - Need a few more teams to complete the set.
1970's Food Issues
As a kid growing up in the 1970s, the Kellogg's and Hostess sets were a great way to get additional cards since Topps was the only game in town. I have fond memories of checking the backs of Hostess products looking for cards I needed and always wanting more Frosted Flakes to get another card for my set.
I've been able to finish a complete run of the Hostess panels from 1975 - 1979.
I've completed 1972 - 1983 Kellogg's.
I haven't started 1970 or 1971 yet, but they are on my list to start working on.
I also have the 1970 Kellog's Football set, but need to start the 1971 set.
My interest in basketball is limited to the Topps sets from the 1970s and early 1980s.
I've completed 1973-74 through 1979-80.
I'm currently working on the 1980-81 set, except of course I need the Bird/Johnson rookie.
Wacky Packages - Wackys were the first thing I ever collected. Before I'd ever seen a baseball card, I had been gotten caught up in the Wacky craze. I blame the checklists that came in every pack for making me the set collector that I am today.
I've been able to complete the original 1st through 15th Series, as well as reissues and most of the All New Series that were released since 2004.
Sets I am currently working on:
Wacky Packages 16th Series - The ultra rare 16th Series that most people at the time of its release were never aware of. Most collectors never knew about the series until Topps did reissues in 1979-1980 that had stickers that people had never seen before.
I've only picked up a few of the stickers in this set so far. They typically sell for at least $50 a piece, so this is another project that is probably going to take a very long time to finish.
Topps Evel Knievel - I was fortunate that this limited Topps issue was released where I was growing up. I was at just the right age to get totally swept up in the Evel Knievel mania. I had the toys and my friends and I would set up ramps to see how many Tonka trucks we could jump over on our bikes. I'm down to needing only 2 cards to complete the set, and have about half of the stickers.
Topps Beatles cards - I have always been a huge Beatles fan, so naturally I would be interested in collecting Beatles cards. I'm down to just needing a few to finish a complete run of all the Topps Beatles sets.
Charlie's Angels - How could I not collect these growing up in the 70's? I've got the card sets, but still need some of the sticker sets.
Star Wars - Same situation. Have all the cards from the original 5 series, just need to finish off the sticker sets.
Card Related Items
In addition to cards, I also collect wrappers and the boxes the cards came in. My goal is to have a wrapper and the box the cards came in from every set that I have collected from as far back as the 1960 Topps set I am working on through the end of the 1980s and the wax era. I've got quite a ways to go with this project.
Once you start getting into the 1990s with foil packs and the explosion of sets, it just becomes too much to try to collect.
There is much more I would like to include in this review. but I think I'll stop here as this is getting pretty long, and covers my main focus areas of collecting. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!