Have you ever stopped to consider your greatest collecting fear?
Maybe you haven't. It's not exactly anything you want to think about in what's supposed to be a fun hobby. Fear should never enter any room filled with cards.
But if you reflect for a moment, I'm sure you can think of the big fears that most collectors have, even if they exist only in the deep dark recesses of your brain. The two biggest ones I can think of are: losing your entire collection in a fire, or having no one to take on your collection after you die.
Happy topic, right?
But those terrible fears are too distant for me to keep me up at night. I operate on a more day-to-day level because it's more realistic. And for me, the greatest realistic collecting fear I have is that I will have some significant hole in an easy-to-complete set that I thought was completed ages ago.
This is why it drives me crazy when I discover some card that I needed that I think I should have had already. For example, Spiff of Texas Rangers Cards sent me some Dodgers recently and the above 2015 Heritage card fell out.
This card didn't look the least bit familiar to me. But I checked my want list and the card number wasn't on it -- which usually means I have it already. But I checked my binders and, sure enough, that card was not in the binders.
My want list screwed up. And when I figured that out, the fear swelled in side of me. What if I went the entire year not knowing that card was part of the set? What if I went years without knowing that card was part of the set? What if I am all done collecting -- I have officially declared myself finished collecting forever because I have collected everything I want to collect -- and somebody points out that my 2015 Heritage Dodgers team set is missing the Dodgers team card? What would happen then? WHAT? Shame, ridicule, removal of my collecting badge?
You can see how ridiculous this fear is, right? My ultimate fear will never happen because I will never be done collecting. And because I'll never be done, all I need to do is find the missing card and acquire it. Problem solved. Fear absolved.
So, I'm working on this. No longer will I be disgusted if I discover that I need a card from a set that I thought I had long ago. No longer will I be disgusted for needing a card from a set that I thought I should have acquired long ago.
For example, this card. Also from Texas Rangers Cards. This is an insert from 1993 Fleer Ultra, a set in which I figured I had put to bed all of the Dodgers years ago.
But, in fact, I need this card. I've never seen it before in my life.
The fear wants to knock on the door now and say, "Hello! Remember me? You should have HAD that card by now!"
But I'm ignoring it. I'm glad I have this card and that's all there is to the story. In fact it's a day for celebration, not fear. Yay! A card I needed (whether I knew I needed it or not)!
Here is another card I needed. This comes from that UltraPro set from 1996 in which the nine individual cards form a Mike Piazza puzzle (pro tip, Topps: make your insert sets divisible by nine).
I need three more cards from this set, I believe. Cards 2, 4 and 7. And the fear has no effect here, because I'm never under any illusion that I'll complete any team set from the mid-1990s.
Thanks for these cards, Rob, as well as these cards:
There is no deadline on completing sets.
Complete them when you like, whether it's the most available, junk waxiest set ever made; some obscure insert set from a brand no one collected in 1998; or late 1940s Bowman.
This isn't work, this isn't school, this is a hobby.
Throw that clock away.