Thursday, March 17, 2016

The best way to complete a set you don't like

Sometimes I feel guilty about my blog titles. Like this one. Have people clicked on this because they expect me to provide a list of tips on how to complete a set you don't like?

Fine, I'll play along.

Here are some tips for completing a set you don't like:

1. Get somebody to send you the cards for free.

2. Ummmmm ... there is no other tip.

Get somebody to send you the cards for free! Preferably a Super Trader! One who doesn't have issues with purchasing crappy sets I don't like!

Thank you, Tony L., from Off-Hiatus Baseball, I have now completed the Dodgers team set for that horrible 2014 Panini Donruss set that spawns a new one every year, just as ugly and just as forgettable.

In fact, this set was so not on my mind that I didn't realize which cards I needed. And I didn't bother putting up a want list, so I could have gone on blissfully into the next decade without knowing which ugly card with too much border and too large of a logo I was missing.

But Tony brought me back to my roots: I am a team collector. I must collect it all, no matter how pointless.

Here are cards I needed:

The Diamond Kings card, which is a tribute to the 1984 Donruss Diamond Kings, isn't half bad. Panini's better work is with the Diamond Kings. But I was baffled by the other Yasiel Puig card here. I didn't know there were two ugly base Puigs in the set for absolutely no reason at all.

These two are shortprints -- because Panini, with a long and proud history of putting out quality baseball products, has earned the privilege of  short-printing its base cards.

But I don't care! Because the set is complete! Its destiny is now to sit in the binder as I shuffle past it repeatedly while uttering the occasional "ugh!"

Tony also sent me some other Panini goods, these from the pre-pre-rookie sets.

College cards.

College baseball is such a foreign concept in the Northeast that if I think about it for one weekend in June, I feel I've fulfilled my sports-fan quota.

Panini Contenders is actually a nice-looking set. Above are a pair of top picks for the Dodgers, who pitched for the same school last season. I believe both of them have something else in common: they've each since undergone elbow surgeries. Yay drafting pitchers!

However, I have complete confidence that Walker Buehler, the Dodgers' No. 1 pick, will recover and I will have a dozen of his cards before that rookie logo appears on his Topps card.

As an example: this is my 14th card of Corey Seager, who made his Topps flagship debut this year.

Although I don't have a lot of use for college baseball cards, these are nice, and it's cool to see an old-timer like Frank Howard in his college days.

I just wish Panini didn't use the same photo ...

... front AND back!

Oh, Panini, Panini, Panini. Only you.

Tony did send some non-Panini cards.

I very nearly tossed this into the "players who never made it to the bigs" box (yes, such a box does exist), until I happened to look at the back.

Authentic? 218 of 500? What are they talking ab ... Oh! SIGNATURE card! (*Turns card to front again*). OHHHHH! Cool!

(P.S.: Dan Melendez made it as far as Triple A in 1998, so there are degrees of "cool." But it is appreciated).

Tony has been sitting on some Dover reprints for awhile and here's the latest, a reprint of Andy Pafko's other 1952 card. Bowman didn't bother to make him No. 1 in the set. He was just a lowly No. 204.

Another mini-sized card. Tony sent a bunch of Dodgers from the 2012 Topps mini set. This is the one I needed as I'm very close to finishing the set already. Just looking for that Dee Gordon card where he's retiring Chipper Jones.

I'll end it with a 1982 Drake's card of Steve Garvey to help wash away all the Panini weirdness.

The new Panini Donruss set is out apparently, though I haven't seen it around here. I understand the base set looks slightly better, but not enough for me to care. The best cards appear to be the 1982 Donruss tributes, which of course are inserts, or something else hard to find, because by all means make the only thing worthwhile in your set difficult to find.

OK, I'll stop being grumpy.

Anyway, the point is that another team set is complete! And I didn't spend any cash to complete it!

Yay, #supertraders!


  1. I've bought two packs of 2016 Topps and it feels like two too many.

    Going with the factory set option in lieu of a 640 card need list.

  2. Which looks worse: 2016 Topps or 2016 Panini/Donruss?

    1. Topps has logos, so that will always win over Panini's annual dumpster fire.

    2. Neither of them look bad to me. 2016 Topps is no worse than middle of the pack for a 21st century Topps design, and is at least interesting, if nothing else. It's an easy "vindicated by history" candidate, ala the 2008 set. Meanwhile 2016 Donruss looks significantly better than the first two iterations, and isn't any worse about running together than any of the 2010-2014 Topps sets. The '82 fauxbacks do look like crap, however.

  3. I commend you on making it through that post without a single "Buehler? Buehler?" joke.

    There is something appealing about Dan Melendez' signature.

    There is most decidedly not "something appealing" about 2014 Donruss.

  4. Living in Nashville, Vanderbilt has been cranking out lots of top prospects and first round drafts. Still looking to obtain a Dansby Swanson card the Braves top pick.

  5. Being a Vanderbilt graduate, seeing all that wonderful black and gold on cardboard going out in packages to other collectors was a little difficult. I may have to start a few limited PCs of some of the Vandy guys, but I definitely would start one of whatever Vandy guy ends up with the Brewers.

    I'm glad I could complete that team set for you, N.O. It was a cheap set from Dave & Adams, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to get it and break it up. After looking at the cards and seeing the mindless repetition of a few players for no reason, it was actually quite pleasing to get rid of it!

    1. I'm hoping Contenders sticks around. WVU is starting to produce some better baseball talent so I'm hoping I'll get to see a Mountaineer card in the near future!

  6. I can understand re-using the Frank Howard photos. There can't be that many Hondo pictures in Ohio State gear. Would be cool if they found one of him with the OSU basketball team.

    That 2014 Donruss design is definitely ugly.

  7. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who builds sets of cards that I don't even like ;)