Monday, March 18, 2013

I talk a good game

I assembled my 2013 Topps cards in order by card number today. Normally, for sets that I am not attempting to complete, I throw them in a stack and don't worry about organization. If I'm feeling particularly frisky, I'll sort them by team because it makes it easier to retrieve cards for trades.

I only sort sets by card number if there is the potential for me to try to complete the set. But this time the stack looked particularly high, and I wanted to know how close I was to finishing off Series 1.

I'm 61 cards away.

Yeah, I know. Just 61. For a set I'm not completing. Because I'm mad at Topps. In the so-called Year of Vintage.

I don't know what to say. I keep pulling these rack packs out of the car. I don't know how they end up in there.

But to be serious, I'm still not planning to complete the set. I'm still disgusted at Topps (but we'll have to live with them a little while longer). And I still say it's the Year of Vintage.

So why -- I asked myself -- do I have all these 2013 cards in my possession?

It really wasn't difficult for me to answer. Here are the four reasons:

1. This year's flagship is better than last year's flagship.

You can define "better" however you want. I most frequently define "better" by card design. I like the 2013 set a hell of a lot more than I like the 2012 set. It has more character. It's more whimsical. It's memorable. That aside, the photos are just as good and the foil is more readable.

With all of that, I'll be damned if I don't have as many cards for the 2013 set -- a set I like -- as I do for the 2012 set -- a set I don't. (Why I have to show my appreciation for a set through sheer volume is a topic for another post).

2. Parallel fever.

Yup. Topps got me. I don't have to say again how much I like the parallels in this year's set. I've only mentioned it a dozen times already. It's true, I'm one of those brain-dead collectors who grabs a package of cards I don't need for the pretty parallels. I admit it. I'm not ashamed. I like beautiful things.

The basic blue and red parallels are far superior than they were last year or any of the previous years. The emerald parallels are a terrific improvement over the gold sparkle things. I haven't been lucky enough to find a pink or camo or black or blue steel or silver slate parallel -- somebody please set up a respectable card shop somewhere near me -- but they all look smashing.

3. No money honey.

The card season begins just as more demands are made on my wallet. Outside of August, February and March are the worst possible time for buying cards. Expenses, commitments, short months, birthdays, all of it conspires against my collecting habit.

Where it's most felt is in my ability to make purchases online. Whenever I buy cards online, I almost always buy in bulk. I must accumulate a fair amount of cards to make the purchase feel worthwhile. That adds up to a semi-decent amount of cash and some necessary saving. But I can't do this in February and March. What I CAN do is buy a rack pack once a week.

4. I love to rip packs.

I will never not love this. I have devoted entire posts to this topic. I will never be a collector who says "I don't rip packs anymore." Wow, I'd feel so sad if I heard that coming out of my mouth.

I know all that stuff about how pack-ripping is the least effective way to getting what you want to collect. It's still not going to prevent me from ripping packs. It is one of the few true ways to take me back to the way collecting was when I was a kid. It is one of the most fun aspects of the hobby. To me, it IS collecting in many ways. It is a joyous occasion.

All in moderation, of course.

And those are the reasons that I am 61 cards away (probably less after I re-check the stack of dupes) even through buying packs as aimlessly as I am.

This probably doesn't mean much in the larger scheme of things. As I begin to have cash for other cards, 2013 is probably still going in a box at the end of the year. Vintage, team and player wants will take priority.

But after looking at what I've accrued, I know I won't ever be able to convince you that I don't like modern cards.

I may talk a good game.

But I'm still a collector in 2013. And I like beautiful new things in 2013.

Yup, it may be the Year of Vintage.

But Topps has still got me.


  1. You had me at "in order by card number". That is a beautiful thing and music to my ears. I'm too lazy to do that.

  2. See I would have taken the completely egotistical slant.


    5) As the two-time reigning blog of the year. I realize that you peasants read my site more than any other and you wouldn't know whether to like a set when it comes out if you didn't read my opinion. While I would prefer to only collect vintage this year, I consider it my public service to educate the masses forthwith.

    What's life without having a little fun.

  3. The Orioles Wild Card card makes me smile!

  4. I do like that Topps has a million parallels. It makes a binder page look sweet and it keeps me chasing all the different Dodgers. Now if only I could muster enough courage to enter a Toys R Us to get some of those purple parallels.

  5. raises hand.

    the single 12 card pack is a good way to go if you want to avoid inserts. not so good if you have a predilection for cards of purdy colors.

    raises hand again.

  6. If you tell me the numbers of the 61 cards you're missing I'll see if I have any of them and send them your way. It's not like I'll ever do anything with the big stack of dupes I have anyways.

    P.S. I have the Josh Beckett Silver Slate Blue Sparkle (or whatever they are being called) as well I'll put aside for you.

  7. I have about 600 dupes as well.. if you have a list I will happily ship you some.

  8. I'm not really looking to complete the set. If I do, then I'll feel compelled to do the same for Series 2, and I don't want to do that.

    Thanks guys.