Thursday, September 24, 2015
Another year, another team set
Every year since 1977 -- with a few years off in the '90s/'00s -- there is one basic objective to the card collecting season:
Complete the Dodgers team set.
That has been a goal ever since I was 11 years old. (I collected cards for a couple years before '77, but I don't know if finding all the Dodgers in the set was a conscious thought then). It was the only collecting goal some years. And other years, it was a comfort: "well, at least I've finished the team set."
As my collection grew more advanced -- and collecting in general grew more advanced -- there were other goals that sometimes overshadowed the team-set goal. But I still have always felt a sense of satisfaction when that team set is complete.
On Sunday, I bought a hanger box of Series 2 Topps. And in that cellophane brick was this Jimmy Rollins card. It was the last card I needed for Dodger completeness. Even though I get a lot of help these days from other bloggers with completing the team set, it felt good to pull the last card.
So now I can show them all here:
Blue is a beautiful color.
As usual, the team set is its own little alternate reality. Because of printing deadlines and player transactions, you always get players who are no longer on the team when you pull the card. That's why the team set says that Matt Kemp and Jimmy Rollins are on the same squad, when they never actually played together wearing Dodger blue.
Anyway, let's break down the good and bad of the 2015 Topps Dodgers team set:
Favorite card: Clayton Kershaw, base card. I know I harp on how too many of Topps' shots are close-ups, but this one works.
Least favorite card: Anything with Brandon League on it. That blue glove is going to waste. Hopefully this is the last year that I have to collect him.
Dullest card: Adrian Gonzalez. How many times do we have to see that shot with him?
Biggest surprise: Josh Beckett shows up on a checklist card with Don Mattingly.
Second biggest surprise: Andre Ethier has a decent card.
Most welcome card: Joc Pederson has officially graduated from Bowman to Topps.
Least welcome card(s): I like Kershaw a lot. I don't need four cards of him in the team set -- two of which are almost identical.
I realize that I could just go and buy the team set on ebay once when Series 1 is released and once when Series 2 is released. But, for me, there's not much fun in that. I like to stick to my roots, and those roots are collecting the team set through pack buying and trades.
And it keeps me connected to the thrill that I felt when I completed that 1977 Dodgers set.
And that 1978 Dodgers set, and that 1979 set, and the 1980 set, etc, etc.