Friday, January 12, 2018

Center cut

As a somewhat obsessed set collector, I am aware of the pattern that arises when accumulating cards from a set with series.

I've completed the 1971 and 1972 Topps sets recently and both of them are known for getting more challenging as the series increase in number. Because I have limited means and the people I trade with have limited means (the rich collectors aren't wasting their time with sets, or if they are it's something from eons ago). So that means the last cards that I need for the set usually end up being high-numbered cards and stars.

My latest project is the 1973 Topps set and although it isn't as difficult to complete as '71 or '72, it does feature tricky high-numbered cards and plenty of stars. I know that trades will yield lower-series cards and lesser stars. That's perfectly fine. I don't expect anything different.

But for some reason I have this obsession with making sure that THIS TIME I won't leave all the high-numbered cards and stars until the end.

The most recent card show I attended, I tried to pick up a few 1973 high numbers. When I shop online for '73s, I am starting to scout out stars rather than "cheap deals." Then, maybe, just maybe, the very end of my set-collecting journey won't be such a grind.

Meanwhile, I gladly take whatever people want to send me. Recently, reader Dave sent some 1973 Topps needs as a thanks for the Greatest 100 Cards of the '70s countdown. Woo-hoo! I don't do countdowns for cards, but this is an unexpected bonus!

The vast majority of the cards were center cut, meaning they came from between numbers 200-400. I was quite happy with this, because even though they aren't high numbers, they are from an area where I was sorely lacking.

Let's see a few:

There were a few outliers in the package, as I quickly close in on finishing up the first couple of series.

But the vast majority were center-cut beauties.

The '73 want list has been cut down quite nicely, and I have you to thank.

But I have to get cracking on those high-numbers and star cards.

You set collectors understand. It's just something I have to do.


  1. I send you a few cards every so often but I still feel like I am getting the better end of the deal as a faithful NOC reader!

  2. I've never noticed how much Jose Cardenal's "batting" glove looks like an actual winter glove on this card.

  3. Ugh. 1973 has a high series too? Glad I made the decision to buy this set instead of build it. Now if I could only find an affordable set to purchase.

  4. Hehe I'm only a team collector and I've been doing the same thing regarding stars and high numbers. It's just much more fun for me to spend a little money and cross a bunch of names off the want list.

  5. 1973 is a good set and a welcome relief after that gaudy 1972 set. The downer about collecting whole sets is having to pay a similar amount for high numbered commons as you do for stars just because there are limited quantities.

  6. I've had really good luck getting high numbers from Greg Morris Cards on EBay. He does a fair amount of set breaks, so there is usually at least one of each year each month. My rule is to bid about 30-35% of book value on NRMT and 25% on EX. I'll bid on 50-60 cards each time and usually end up winning anywhere from 2 to 10 cards. It's slow going, but it doesn't break the bank either.