Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Making sure it's dead

If things went right, I'm at the ballpark tonight. But I haven't forgotten about you, dear readers.

I'm here virtually to talk about a nasty habit that I've gotten into lately. It's tormented me for much longer actually, but it seems to have cropped up in a much more frequent and frustrating manner.

It's the assumption that I've already completed a team set, when I actually haven't.

Of course this is easy to do, what with all the inserts and super short-prints that litter sets these days. But I'm not even talking about that. I'm talking about the plain, old base team set.

Some of you might remember my horror over last year's Topps Dodgers base set when I realized long after I thought I had finished it that I was missing the Mark Ellis card.

Well, guess which card I needed to complete this year's base set?

Yup. Mark Ellis again.

Fortunately, it emerged from the pile of 2013 Topps Series 2 that Dave sent me. And I realized instantly that "Hey! I need that card!" So I went to the want list, crossed off Ellis' #615 and noted that it was the last card that I needed according to the want list.

Yes, according to the want list.

I wasn't going to fall for that trick again. I had to make sure that set was really dead.

I immediately went to the team checklist online and cross referenced it:

9 - Dee Gordon Got it
16 - Andre Ethier Got it
22 - Clayton Kershaw Got it
56 - Joe Blanton Got it
77 - Kenley Jansen Got it
99 - Paco Rodriguez Got it
158 - Chad Billingsley Wait, do I have that? Umm ... yup -- Got it
182 - Randy Choate Got it
191 - Chris Capuano Got it
219 - Josh Beckett Got it
228 - Adrian Gonzalez Got it
242 - Matt Kemp Got it
263 - Ted Lilly Got it
295- Brandon League Grrrrr! ... Got it
306 - Jerry Hairston Got it
314 - A.J. Ellis Got it
487 - Hanley Ramirez Got it
519 - Zack Greinke Got it
594 - Carl Crawford Got it
615 - Mark Ellis Got it
645 - Luis Cruz Got it
661 - Hyun-Jin Ryu Got it

Yup. They're all there. Captured, finished off and mounted in the binder. Dead.

On to the next set:

2013 Heritage completion was a collective effort between Brian from Play At The Plate and Pat from Hot Corner. Actually, I should throw in Lonestarr from Life And Baseball Cards, too, as he supplied the Zack Greinke card.

Those were the three cards that were missing AFTER I had already declared my 2013 Heritage Dodger set completed, with all of the short-print cards accounted for, too.

But somehow I had overlooked three regular old non-SPs in Gordon, Cruz and Greinke.

I blame this increasingly frequent embarrassment on a hectic life and a decreasing interest in modern sets. In short, my brain just doesn't care as much about what's on the store card shelves currently as much as it once did.

Fortunately, there are people out there that know I still NEED to have my Dodgers complete. So first Lonestarr responded with Greinke and then Cruz followed from Pat and Gordon from Brian.

And off to the checklist I went:

14 - Rookie Stars, Josh Wall/Paco Rodriguez Got it
30 - Chad Billingsley Got it
39 - Brandon League Arrrrghhhhh! Got it
51 - Kenley Jansen Got it
81 - All Stars, Matt Kemp/Clayton Kershaw Got it
88 - AJ Ellis Got it
101 - Don Mattingly Got it
120 - Josh Beckett Got it
149 - Zack Greinke Got it
154 - Dee Gordon Got it
180 - Carl Crawford Got it
200 - Clayton Kershaw Got it
310 - Mark Ellis Got it
373 - Ted Lilly Got it
374 - Luis Cruz Got it
427 - Andre Ethier Got it
442 - Hanley Ramirez Got it
450 - Matt Kemp Got it
472 - Adrian Gonzalez Got it

Yes! Dead and gone. Excellent.

But Pat sent me another card that made me whip out yet another checklist:

 I had kind of lost track of my Opening Day needs (remember, so many sets, so little time), but the Ramirez card set off the little mouse in the back of my brain, that rang the bell that said, "was that the last card you need for the team set?"

Not trusting that mouse who has been sleeping on the job entirely too often lately, I ran for the checklist again:

11 - Hanley Ramirez Got it
45 - Clayton Kershaw Got it
46 - Zack Greinke Got it
60 - Carl Crawford Got it
86 - Brandon League Guuuuuuuh! Got it
87 - Adrian Gonzalez Got it
100 - Matt Kemp Got it
153 - Andre Ethier Got it
192 - Josh Beckett Got it

Phew. Dead. Dead. Dead.

Even though there are still a bunch of inserts, parallels and other nonsense to chase, I felt pretty good about myself. Three team sets are in the books.

Pat sent me a couple of other cards:

Here is one of the Opening Day inserts now. Supposedly I need only one more Dodger insert. But I won't declare it dead until I see that headstone.

This card from Pat means I'm done with the non-SPs for 2013 Archives. But I know I still have the SP Dave Lopes card to go. THEN, I'll double-check the checklist. THEN, I'll declare it dead -- when the last shovel of dirt is on that set.

Meanwhile, Brian set a whole bunch of "This Is Absolutely Not Base" Goodness that was great to look at and eased my mind because I didn't have to re-check a checklist.

Here it is:


I know I have checklists for some of these inserts/parallels but not for others. That probably drives some of the people I trade with crazy, but I can't possibly put up checklists for all that stuff. I don't even know some of it exists!

I look at inserts and parallels more as treats. Sure, I want to complete them, but every year I don't, and I don't lose sleep over it.

Plus, it's nice to have some cards that I don't have to race toward a checklist to make sure I have finished it off.

That's what the base set is for -- guilt, worry, fretting, waiting until the closing credits to make sure that hand isn't going to try to pull you into the grave.

But the Dodger sets for 2013 Topps, Heritage and Opening Day are DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, I'm telling you.

Ding dong DEAD!

Thanks for killing them off.


  1. Doesn't that suck? It seriously a crappy feeling to think you're done with a set... only to realize that you're still missing a card or worse... cards. Glad you were able to knock off those team sets.

  2. HAPPY NIGHT OWL APPRECIATION DAY!! For all those celebrating (like me), please send Greg a pack of 2013 Allen & Ginter!

  3. I know it's way early but I was curious if you saw the preview of 2014 Topps Heritage that's using one of your 1960's favorite designs.

  4. I hope you're not relying on Teamsets4u as your online checklist... I did for awhile. But it is missing soooooo many cards I kept going through what you did.

  5. The state of team collecting in 2013 is becoming difficult for me. Sadly, some of the cards that you have shown appear new to me. I don't think I have even seen all of the Dodgers in Gypsy Queen yet this year.

  6. Always glad to help out. I used TeamSets4U as a baseline for starting my team checklists and it was helpful, but certainly not complete. I'm always running across stuff I don't have on a checklist.

  7. @steelehere ~

    Yes, I saw the '14 Heritage preview the other day (as well as the '14 Topps preview today). Heritage looks good as it's tough to make a set with that design look bad, but I won't attempt to complete another Heritage set until at least 2020.