Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Drawing the line at 1993

As a team collector, I've already written off current sets as something I can complete. There's no way I will get all of the Dodgers from sets that are issued today. It's a parallel-insert-SP insanity world, and until it all blows up, I will never be able to cross off the last card and exclaim "DONE!"

It's been that way for a number of years now, which is why team collectors make little deals with themselves -- "OK, I'll collect the whole non-parallel set and I'll be finished" -- to keep from going broke and insane.

I have no hope of finishing off the Dodger team sets from probably the last 20 years. I'm not going to even try. Oh, sure, I'll act like I'm trying by obtaining all the cards I can from the mid-1990s through the present, but really, I'm not trying. Ignore that happy tune that I'm singing. The lyrics are dark, dark.

For real hope of completing team sets, I have to go to the cards of my childhood, some of the sets preceding my childhood, and, yes, junk wax sets.

The junk wax era, which I define as 1987 to 1993, is what I consider the last hope for team collectors. Therein lies sets that you can actually complete. Sure, there were parallels and inserts issued during that time, but they weren't issued at a soul-crushing pace.

Maybe I'm overly hopeful about my junk wax mission, but I won't be happy until I've crossed off every Dodger team set (except maybe for that mammoth Target one) from between 1987 and 1993.

It just seems doable. While the sets issued after '93 seem impossible.

So when I get a card like the 1992 Studio Heritage Series Darryl Strawberry from The Junior Junkie, that's worth a celebration. I feel like real progress has been made instead of just another drop in the bucket.

I like this card. I think this is what the first Studio sets should have been. The matinee idol-Olin Mills shots have always made me squeamish and also established a precedent for some of the most horrific cards of the 1990s. But sticking with a baseball uniform, a retro uni from 1944, is something I can collect.

And you should have seen how happily I deleted the words and numbers off my want list. More junk wax needs, out of my life.

Most of the other cards that the Junior Junkie set were from 2014 -- you know, that year for which I can't even complete a base set, let alone get worried about parallels and SPs.

Here they are:

One of the finest looking sets of the year. Finest is really living up to its name this time. But it's a set filled with parallels. I will never be able to complete the team set.

My first look at this year's Bowman Chrome. This is also chock full of parallels. I've never been interested in BoChro or could figure out why it's relevant, but at least this year they did this:

The stats are in graphic form. That gives Bowman Chrome a reason for being. Well ... at least my interest was captured for a couple of minutes.

Not a card from this year, obviously. It's a 2001 Private Stock jersey card of Todd Hundley.

It's my first "hit" of Hundley's and recalls the unpopular blue "alternate jerseys" that the Dodgers wore back then. It's kind of funny how collectors want color in their jersey swatches, but a lot of fans still want to see their team wearing white at home and gray on the road.

So, anyway, the highlight of this package was the Strawberry.

I'm sure I'm not being realistic about getting all the Dodgers from the junk wax era. A five-minute tour through my want list would probably kill the dream forever.

But for now, I'm coming for you, 1987-93.

Just the Dodgers now. Don't be sending me any 1990 Donruss.


  1. I'm with you. I couldn't agree more. I will never complete any of the modern team sets. I love getting them in trade.. I dnot even have want lists made for them. Don't know if I ever will

  2. I'm still in the basis to accept all that comes my way. Of course I collect some teams and some more specific players/situations. But I don't go for all the colours in the set of a card. SPs I don't quite understand the concept none other than make you pay lots of $ in eBay to get the card.
    The feeling of not accomplishing a complete set because of the SPs is something that goes against the collecting feeling.

  3. I have contemplated concentrating on just 85 and 86. Send like two years that are possible to knock out every team set and still have lots to chase. Many many tiny oddball sets but nothing expensive.

  4. The Studio Strawberry is the only Strawberry in my collection. Truly cool insert series!