If you're dumb enough to be a team collector during, oh, the last two decades or so, then you know the feeling of always being behind, always trying desperately to catch up, reaching one destination and then suddenly discovering there are many more miles to go.
Topps' habit of issuing product after product, month after month -- and they're merely the only one to blame now, Upper Deck, Fleer, Pinnacle, etc., all did it -- keeps collectors, particularly team collectors, on a perpetual hamster wheel, paddling and paddling and never getting anywhere, never coming up for air.
It's like that every year. And it seems to get worse, what with the growing number of inserts and variations and online cards.
But this year might be different.
If you have been adventurous enough to take a trip to a Target or Walmart or maybe an actual card shop, you know that the card aisle is stuck in time. Ever since Gypsy Queen was released in March, nothing else new has hit the shelves.
Release dates have been pushed back. Warehouses and printing facilities are closed. No new cards, except for those online things, are being made.
I'll repeat: No new cards are being made!
Team collectors, you know what that means? You might be able to complete a 2020 set, base, inserts, everything without any other sets getting in the way! Imagine. Collecting in peace. An actual sense of accomplishment without Topps dropping a stack more papers in your inbox while exclaiming GET BACK TO WORK!
That actually makes me a little excited about 2020 Dodger cards for once!
I needed something. These cards are getting more and more boring every year as I get deeper and deeper into stuff from the past that I really like.
But just think:
Having the time to complete the 2020 Dodgers Opening Day set! I have now completed the base Dodgers. And if I wanted to go after the inserts that remain, I can do so at a somewhat leisurely pace without Big League or Series 2 or Stadium Club beating down my door.
I have the time to grab all the Dodgers from sets that bore me, like Panini Donruss. I can even be confident about chasing down the zillion Donruss parallels and variations and not feel ridiculous feeling that way.
I could even go after all the Dodgers stickers -- something I never bother to do -- because it's not like there are games to occupy my time.
I could chase down team sets from last year's products, like Gold Label, a set I didn't even bother to put on my want list because Gold Label was too confusing the first time it came out in the late '90s. Nostalgia is a bizarre thing.
The thing is I COULD do all those things ....
... But I don't know if I will.
Ever since venturing to the nearest card outlet became an invisible minefield, I've been enjoying shopping for cards online more and more often, and what I choose to select during those internet moments is not modern in the least.
Kind of ironic isn't it?
When there finally is an opportunity to take a breath, and grab all of the year's team set needs without the threat of a crapload of new sets delaying my completion of the earlier sets, I don't much care about the year's sets anymore.
And, no, that doesn't mean I'm just going to buy the whole team set of everything. I don't do that.
All of the above very current Dodgers came from Kerry of Cards On Cards. That's how I prefer to get current cards, in blog trades such as this. And when the card outlets open back up again, I will be trudging there again because I still, at the very least, need to get trade fodder for my fellow collectors.
And when we're buried in releases once again, I will remember "good 'ol'" 2020.
When for a period, we really could collect them all.