A Huge Collecting Benchmark

You know, when you start a player collection or a team collection, you never really plan to actually finish it.  Sets can be finished.  Retro player collections can be finished.  Modern stuff is nearly impossible.

Of course, it helps to impose some restrictions.  That’s why I don’t collect anything that has a print run lower than 50.  If that serial number is 49 or less, I don’t want it.  I’ll keep it if someone sends it or it’s pulled from a pack, but my thinking is that there are probably at least 50 people in the US collecting any specific player (or their associated team) and so the competition is too much to be worthwhile.  And obviously only one person can own the 1-of-1s.

Longtime readers have heard this all before, but I say it again to set up this next part.  I collect Carlos Marmol and using that criteria I need 160 cards to have a complete collection.  Progress over the past couple years has been slow, but at least no one has made new cards to add to that total.  As part of an unspoken resolution, my goal was to try to make significant progress on that want list in particular.  I’ve pretty much tapped out COMC (they have stuff I need, but priced way too high for my liking), and trades have slowed down since it’s mostly rarer stuff left.  I haven’t tried some other avenues like TCDB or justcommons/cardbarrel yet, but my next stop was Sportlots.

I’ve sold cards on there for years and I have a lot of credit built up because I haven’t been cashing out and also I simply never bothered to buy.  So, in April I went on a little buying spree and used Marmol as my main focus.  I found sellers with decent shipping prices that had cards I needed and then bought a stack from them of my main six players.

When all was said and done, I was at 119/160, or 74.38%.  My July autograph ebay win put me over the edge to exactly 75% complete.  That’s pretty amazing.  It’s crazy to think that just a few more cards will get me to 80%.  Maybe I’ll get there later this year.  We’ll see.

Top of his game

A couple of these are not too exciting visually, but are for me.  You can’t tell but this is the gold foil version, which is a thing that exists

Sadly, his last All-Star game

This is also the gold foil.  Not a fan of the subtle parallels, but at least it’s not a sparkle.

Love this picture

I owned this at one point, then returned it to Topps with the rest of the giveaway set for quality control issues.  They didn’t have anymore and sent me other stuff instead.  So, I bought this copy for less than a quarter.

Trying not to laugh

ToppsTown.  Oh man, I forgot about that thing.  These were everywhere and overabundant.  This particular one is from Opening Day – the last version I needed.


Some people still price these code cards as if there’s an active prize someone can win.

Not part of the code…or is it!

I even have most of the minis, which is an accomplishment in and of itself!

I like this black border better

And this was the last Ginter mini I needed for Marmol.  Need an 2009 OPC one (not Tobacco sized) still.

Bring it

Parallels are a big part of what’s still missing.  I was hoping that maybe this would come in a trade but I guess not as many people bought those Wal-Mart blasters

Fist pump for progress!

Here’s another Walmart blue.  Checking the list, I need the 2010 Walmart black.

Two times!

This collection is golden!

Oh, ok! One more fist pump!

With this huge benchmark down, I’m looking at the next possible one on my list and I think 50% of a Ryan Dempster collection is feasible.  I’m at 210/506, which is 41.50%.  It’s a fun thing to think about.  If you want to help in my quest, take a look at my want list pages and I’m sure we can figure out a deal.

2 comments to A Huge Collecting Benchmark

  • Tim

    I have player collections, but my main focus is the collecting of Indians cards. But for player collections, I will pick up cards either through packs or in dime boxes. My top player collection in baseball is Cal Ripken Jr and I have several hundred of his cards. Now in football it is Jerome Bettis and I am closing in on 1000 cards of him.

  • sanjosefuji

    Congratulations on reaching that benchmark! 75% is amazing. Don’t think any of my player PC’s are even close to the 50% mark. Maybe Kurt Suzuki? Nah. Probably not.

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