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The solution

I was a little cranky yesterday as the last post and some of my comments on various other blogs probably indicated.

Yesterday wasn't an awful day or anything. It was just one of those days when I couldn't get to the cards or to blogging no matter how hard I tried. Anytime I turned around, there was always something else to do. Something minor, something harmless, but something "not cards," to do.

I find myself getting cranky in situations like this. Which isn't good, as that seems like a red light for addictive behavior. But at least I'm aware of it. If anyone calls me on it, I'll say, "I'm aware of it! I'm aware of it!" and then go back to staring at cards. See? Problem solved.

During yesterday's rant, I wrote about how frustrated I was with collecting current sets. And I AM still frustrated. That just wasn't crankiness speaking.

I'm frustrated by the short-prints, and the inserts dominating base cards, and the possibility that some base cards are more prevalent than others. The look of the product is fine, some of the inserts are fine, too. But the other stuff, well, it's time for me to end it.

I'm pretty certain that I will not be attempting to complete any set that comes out in 2012. No Topps base. No Heritage or Gypsy Queen. No Chrome. And, for the first time since 2007, no Allen & Ginter. That last one is a big one, but unless it's the best A&G product ever, I will not be trying to complete it.

I'm probably going to have some withdrawal pains when A&G comes out in June, but I hope to be immovable. I'll probably have this post and the previous post on speed dial on my phone if I start shaking when the first A&G posts start popping up.

Now, this DOESN'T mean I will stop buying packs of 2012 cards when I'm at Target or the convenience store. It's impossible for me to stop doing that. I like opening packs too much for that. And current cards are always cool. They just are. You have to sample the latest and greatest. New stuff is fantastic to look at ... always.

I've written plenty of posts recently about why I still open random packs. Here is one now. And here is another one. Oops, here's another one, too. The thrill is still there, and I don't see it disappearing. Still way too much fun.

I can't get myself to buy complete sets, whether it's a full base set or even a team set. If it's a certain team set that's not readily available, then fine, I'll order it up. But if I can complete it through trades and a few packs at the store, I'd rather do it that way. I won't order a factory set at the end of the year or any complete set off ebay. I need some sort of connection to those days when I was a kid, and opening cards the way I did as a kid is the best way I can get that connection. It keeps the collector alive in me.

But pack-opening will be for sampling this year. Not for serious collecting.

So, what will I seriously collect now that I've sworn off 2012 cards except for sampling purposes? Well, this is where this post becomes a "My Collecting Goals for the New Year" post, which I had planned not to write because it was boring to me and probably boring to everyone else.

Now it's less boring to me, and as for everyone else ... well, who cares about you?

See, Topps? This is what you've done to me. You made me write a "collecting goals" post and get all nasty about it. You, bad, bad, swarthy, monopolistic company you.

So, here it is. This is what I'll be collecting in the new year:

I'll start with the Dodgers. Got to collect those Dodgers. I'll be attempting to finish off every team set that I can find, including 2012 ones. I'll probably be trying to pick up some more Kershaws and Gordons and Kemps and Ethiers and Billingsleys, maybe even some fancy ones.

I'll attempt to finish off the two sets from 2011 that I committed to until this wave of rational thought hit me. So I'll knock off '11 A&G and the mini set from 2011 Lineage. That'll keep me busy.

But the majority of my collecting talents will go toward finishing off those sets that are more in line with the way I knew sets to be for the first third of my life.

That means wrapping up the 1971 Topps set, and attempting to get as close to finishing the 1972 and 1977 Topps sets that I can before 2013 hits.

I still don't have a '77 want list up, but it'll get there in the next month or so.

Also, I'll slowly, ever so slowly, pick up cards for the 1956 Topps quest. No plans to be done with that anytime soon.

But, if you haven't figured it out yet: my No. 1 goal will be to complete my most favorite set of all-time.

1975 Topps m-m-m-m-m-iiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see, I acquired a few recently (I always have to compare them to the regular-sized card so people can see that they are actually mini-sized). These all came from Steve of The Greatest 21 Days. I always say that receiving '75 minis in a trade is probably the best kind of card that I can receive. And it still holds true. 1975 minis never, ever disappoint. They never cheat on you behind your back. They're always there when you come home. ...

Oh, wait, that might be something else.

This probably gives me close to about 160-170 mini cards from the '75 set. Not a lot, but certainly enough for me to create a want list for them.

Most of the cards are in pretty good shape. Some dings, some scrapes, but nothing that stands out among the rest of my minis, many of which are holdovers from that first year I collected in '75.

I may upgrade these and some others in my collection (the red on the Pat Kelly card may be crayon or it may be BLOOD -- which is a little disconcerting). But I'm in no hurry. Mission No. 1 is to collect as many cards in the set that I can.

My favorite cards among the group that Steve sent are the Buck Martinez card (any mini of a card that I remember pulling from my childhood is automatically fantastic), the Jeff Burroughs card (my brother had the Burroughs mini when we were kids), the Giants mini (only because the back is not checked off because who in the world would want to search for Giants cards?), and this Sonny Siebert card (because it's worn like the way we wore down cards as kids).

A collector collects, the saying goes, so that's what I'll do. But I'll collect on my own terms. No artificial short-prints. No inserts getting in the way of what I'm really trying to do. Ordering cards online may not be considered "traditional collecting." But there has to be a compromise between what Topps is doing to us set-collectors and just buying the whole set and being done with it.

This is my compromise. Buying a few cards online and trading for the cards that I want, trying to keep the spirit of collecting as I know and like it, but not surrendering to the current world of collecting that Topps has created.

Perhaps buying a pack of 2012 product here and there will draw me back into exactly what I'm trying to avoid. But I don't think so. This is a feeling that has been coming on for over a year. Perhaps trying to have the best of all worlds will be too difficult to achieve. But I doubt it. I've seen other collectors do it.

So, that's my solution. My collecting goals.

With a whole bunch of '75 minis mixed throughout.

I tried my darndest not to make it too boring for you.


Definitely not boring! A great read. Who doesn't love 75 mini's? Communists? No, I bet even Commies love the minis.
AdamE said…
Try for your minis. They have a weekly auction that usually has some 75 minis in it. There are also FREE cards in his auctions if you can find them. The free ones are usually TMCA cards but you have to search around for them.
Anonymous said…
Chase vintage and pick up the odd current card if it strikes you as interesting? Sounds precisely like what I'm going to do!
Johngy said…
Holy shnikey...that reminds me I have a mini package here waiting to be sent. Sorry for the delay. It will go out this week.
Another awesome post!!! I have been working on a post related to your last one, but the 27 Edwin Jackson cards I pulled from A&G keep on getting in my way...
I admire your decision on not building sets from 2012, but I will say on record that I think you will change your mind on either Topps or A&G... You buy a few packs, pull some nice trade bait and you see ALL the base dupes that other bloggers are willing to give away and before ya know it you are close to filling a set...
The last factory set I bought was in 1987 and I haven't made that mistake again. I don't wanna buy sets that someone else put together - that takes the fun out it. I used to hate that about the traded set. No chance for dupes, no reall excitement.
I will say that when I got pack into collecting in 2007 I ONLY bought Heritage. In 2008 I only bought Heritage. By 2009 the SP BS got me so frustrated that I swore it off. I did collect 2010 (thanks mainly to generous traders) but I got off the stuff in 2011 all together.
All that said, I don't know if I will be able to resist the design in 2012.
Like ya said, we are collectors, we collect. We get cranky, but we love our cards.
jacobmrley said…
Commies love minis!

oh, 75 mini wantlist? i'll be at a show next week, my first card show in 2 years.
Hackenbush said…
I knew I should have copy-written "A Collector Collects".
I am down with the mini...and the plan.
Kbrewster/90 said…
I think you should change your blog logo to this:

You are the sage guru of baseball card collecting and revered by all.

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