Inspired by “Blog Bat Around” blog posts by the brilliant minds at Night Owl Cards, The Collective Mind, The Shlabotnik Report, Cardboard History, $30 a Week Habit, Not Another Baseball Card Blog and others.
Being a low-budget set collector, I try to keep my collecting wants pretty simple but like most card collectors, the collection can still get pretty huge. Most of my sets are incomplete but I’m pretty sure most of them are at least 80% complete. As I slowly inventory these cards and others, I’ll post wantlists and trade lists on the “Wantlists” and “Trading Block” portion of the blog. Eventually, all of these cards will make it out of their 800-count boxes and into binders. The cards/items featured below are from my collection. Although most of the card images I use feature the Los Angeles Dodgers, I am not a team collector nor a player collector (ain’t got time for that, unfortunately).
If I had to guess, Topps flagship baseball comprises maybe about 60% of my total collection. I have incomplete Topps flagship baseball sets from 1969 through the present (except for 1971 of which I have none). Besides flagship, the only other Topps baseball cards I have are some 2002 Topps Total (very low priority) and 2018 Topps Heritage (82% complete–very high priority).
Along with the usual base cards, I like to collect the error/variation cards, inserts, parallels, autos, relic, pre-production cards and even wrappers (which will also go into binders). I don’t really expect to obtain every single parallel/insert/relic/auto set (unless I get a huge raise in pay) but it would be cool if I could complete a few and maybe even complete a master set. There is one recent trend in insert cards that I am not excited about and that is buyback cards. I have a handful of them and those will go on on the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block in the near future.
1981 introduced new baseball cards by companies other than Topps. I was curious about this fresh new product and bought plenty of Fleer and Donruss baseball cards along with Topps. I have incomplete Fleer (or Fleer Tradition) sets from 1981 through 2006 (except 1994). As for Donruss, I still need to finish the 1981 through 1993 sets and the 2004 set. Score did not have as long a run as Fleer or Donruss but I did manage to collect near-complete Score sets from 1988 to 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1998. The only Pacific product I’ve ever collected was the 1980-83 Cramer Legends and Pacific Legends in 1988 and 1989. I even have some 2000 Skybox Dominion baseball cards (a 300-card set released by Fleer that I may yet complete).
As with Topps, I like to collect error/variation cards, inserts, parallels, autos, relic cards and wrappers from Fleer, Donruss, Score and Cramer/Pacific Legends. I also like the stickers and puzzle pieces included in the packs of these cards.
Food Issues and Oddball Sets
I’ve always been attracted to the not-so-easy-to-collect cards from cereal boxes, packages of cookies, other foods and even nearby restaurants. These “food issue” oddball sets were plentiful late last century but are almost nonexistent now. I suspect that for most companies it’s just not economically desirable to include baseball cards with their product. Still whenever I walk into a market, I make it a point to visit the cereal aisle to see if I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a cereal product with a free baseball card packed inside. Generally I try to avoid the factory sets and store sets such as the ones from KMart, Toys ‘R Us and Kaybee. So here are the food issues and a couple of other oddball sets I’d like to complete some day (listed chronologically):
- 1970-82 Kellogg’s
- 1983 Donruss Action All Stars
- 1987 Ralston Purina
- 1987 Topps Nestlé Dream Team
- 1988 Nestlé
- 1989 Topps Cap’n Crunch
- 1990-92 Jumbo Sunflower Seeds
- 1990-92 Post
- 1991-97 Denny’s Holograms/Grand Slam
- 1991-93 Jimmy Dean
- 1992 Score Proctor & Gamble (I have several original cello-wrapped packs of this 18-card set)
- 1993 Hostess
- “National Trading Card Day” cards from various years
Topps and Other Football Sets
My football collection consists mainly of 1969-74 and 1976-79 Topps (all near-complete, I think). I also have a complete set of 1970 Kellogg’s football (purchased via mail-in offer in 1970) and a few 1971 Kellogg’s also. Rounding out the football card collection is 1989 and 1990 Pro Set. As I get around to inventorying my football sets, I’ll be putting the dupes in their own football section of the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block, along with a few other random football cards from other sets obtained from NPN (No Purchase Necessary) offers or from other collectors over the years.
The only two non-sport card sets I think I’d like to complete are the 1992 Lime Rock MAD Magazine (Series 1 & 2) and 1992 Pro Set Dinosaurs. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that MAD Magazine and the 1991-94 ABC-TV show Dinosaurs are two guilty pleasures of mine–gotta love them! Most of us enjoy MAD Magazine for its iconic satire of pop culture. Conceived by the late Jim Henson of Muppet’s fame, Dinosaurs was a rather under-rated sitcom/satire featuring the voice talent of Stuart Pankin (from HBO’s classic “Not Necessarily the News”), Jessica Walter, Sally Struthers, and Kevin Clash (Sesame Street’s Elmo). Other periodic Dinosaurs characters were voiced by Sherman Hemsley, Michael McKean, Christopher Meloni (from “Law and Order SVU), Tim Curry, Michael Dorn, Robert Picardo, Dan Castallaneta (aka the voice of Homer Simpson), Jason Alexander, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Buddy Hackett, Jeffrey Tambor and Tony Shalhoub. Good times!
So there you have it. The scope of my collection may be rather limited compared to other collectors but it’s more than enough for me. This is why I’m proud to say that I’m never bored. Along with following the Dodgers, managing my fantasy baseball teams and writing this blog (oh, and maintaining a relationship with the fiancée), I always have something to occupy my non-working quiet time. Will there ever be a light at the end of the tunnel? Stay tuned…