I had this card in my COMC cart for a few months. It was mixed in with several other cart cards that contained the usual, modern Dodgers needs, set needs, vintage quests, etc.
Not long after placing it in my cart, I began to wonder if I had the card already. It sure looked familiar.
It took me weeks to look for it in my binders and when I finally did, I didn't see it. But that doesn't mean anything. It could be in a stack of cards that hadn't reached the binders yet. It could be anywhere, really.
I checked my card inventory on the computer. It wasn't listed there either. "OK," I thought. "I must need it."
Then, a little while later, something happened.
I decided I'm done obsessing over modern Dodger cards.
I'm not going to do it anymore. No more fretting about this insert or that parallel. No more worrying whether the latest set is represented by a want list on the blog. No more making extra trips to the store to look for the most recent releases.
It's too much. It's too much to be a team collector now. Topps makes too many sets and then not satisfied with that, it makes inserts, and then not satisfied with that, it makes parallels, and then not satisfied with that, it makes variations, and then not satisfied with that, it makes online-exclusive cards. I don't have time for this. And, quite frankly, although I really like seeing what's new on card shelves, it's not why I'm collecting.
So, I went back into my COMC cart and removed the Yasiel Puig Hot Streak card. Then I removed just about all the Dodger wants that I had in there, most from between 2015-18. Then I added a couple more cards that I really wanted and hit "SHIP!"
It's about time I narrowed my focus, to stuff like this:
This is one of the cards I landed to show on Black Friday because I don't shop on Black Friday. This is where I'm shifting my focus. It's not much of a shift. I've always been a set collector and a lover of 1970s cards. I'm just going to concentrate on it more.
Stuff like this. My unrealistic pursuit of a complete 1975 Topps buyback set. I added 10 more cards from my pre-Black Friday COMC order. Take a look at that Fergie Jenkins masterpiece. If I didn't think 1975 was that long ago, this card will convince me otherwise.
When I featured the above buybacks on Twitter, it then landed me two more buybacks from someone who lives just an hour away:
These both happen to be cards I know from my childhood very well.
This brings me to 256 cards from the 1975 Topps set in buyback form. I'm still getting them for prices I want to spend, so I haven't reached the difficult period yet.
So this is the stuff that makes me happy, instead of chasing down every Dodger from yet another Topps late 1990s reboot. It's not nearly as exciting pulling a Dodger from a Topps Gallery rack pack from Walmart as it is to get these:
(Fred Lynn had a mustache with the Red Sox?)
Delighted with those.
This gets the 1976 Kellogg's quest down to 26 needs. There's still Rose and Reggie left, but most of the others are uninspiring folk like Clay Carroll, not that any 1970s card is uninspiring.
Those purchases left room only for a couple of more modern Dodger cards.
This one from 1992 Pinnacle, because who's going to look for a card of Donald Harris in search of Dodger cards?
And this one from 1989 O-Pee-Chee, because you can't have enough cards of Gibby's home run.
But that was it. And that's the way the pattern is going to trend. I will become even more of a set collector and less of a team collector.
Does that mean I don't want your Dodger cards anymore?
No it does not. I still like Dodger cards and will take just as many as I always have. I'm just cutting down on the brain effort it takes these days to collect a team.
I will still make team want lists, just not as frequently. I will still go to stores to buy random packs and thrill over the Dodgers I pull. You'll still see that on the blog. I don't think I will ever just go buy a team set of the latest release online. That doesn't seem like collecting to me, and I'm simply not that interested in modern cards to buy a team set in one shot like that.
No, most of my online shopping from now on will be only for what I want most. That will be vintage, old oddballs, Dodgers from back in the day and whatever sets that catch my fancy.
It's time to focus here.
Yesterday, while sorting some cards for my Dodgers Opening Day binder (yes, you didn't spend your Thanksgiving this way?), I breezed through one of many stacks of Dodger dupes. Not even a minute in, this card fell out of the doubles pile:
That was the sign.
I was making the right decision.
Time to focus and stop worrying whether I have my 46th different insert card of Yasiel Puig.