As of tonight, I finally have all of the Dodger base cards from 2011 Allen & Ginter.
My collecting self from about two years ago is absolutely in hysterics, laughing at my sorry ass right now. If you've been following my blog the last few years, you know that I have completed the entire Allen & Ginter set by November, or by early December at the latest, the last three years.
This year it's taken me to January to even finish off the Dodgers. And I'm still working on that full set.
The most antagonizing part of this uncompleted work are the base cards still on the want list. Forget the short-prints. I still need a couple dozen base cards to eliminate this thing.
This is the part that gets frustrating -- more frustrating than finding that rare card to finish off your player collection, or finding that elusive insert, or finding that short-print. Because these are BASE CARDS. They should be readily available.
I am convinced, that when I collect a set these days, that all base cards are not created equal.
I've already written about my theory of secret double-printing. I'm fairly convinced that Topps double-prints cards in a set and tells no one about it. I pulled another Chris Iannetta A&G card today. I've lost track how many that makes now. Eight? Nine?
Yet it's seven months since A&G arrived on my store shelves and I'm just now pulling card #226 of Andre Ethier.
It can't be chance. I'm not convinced. Not when endless cards of Austin Jackson and Aimee Mullins and Eric Jackson fall out of my packs of A&G.
In fact, I'm thinking that there are levels -- tiers -- for base cards in A&G and probably Heritage.
There are the cards that show up all the time. The Gregory Infantes of A&G.
Then there are cards that you see frequently, but not enough to find irritating.
Then there are the cards that you go months without seeing, even though you buy your fair share of packs and blasters. In many cases these cards seem to be less common than short-prints. I have duplicates and even triplicates of some A&G short-prints. But they all came before my first Ethier card.
I wish I could put a number or ratio on this. I don't even know for sure if Topps produces more of its base cards than others. But it sure as hell seems like it. The thrill of the chase? The chase is seeming less like a thrill and more like a confusing spin through a house of mirrors.
Just another reason not to collect 2012 cards.
You're finally doing it, Topps. You're finally killing the set-collector in me.