We moved into this home last September, and I claimed an unfinished closet upstairs for my cards. I've been working to get organized since the move, and I'm there (for now). Here is over a year's work of organizing:
Here is every card I own, minus one binder that's in our master bedroom closet, just for the sake of space. No loose cards lie anywhere. No stacks of cards are placed randomly in boxes. Each card is in its place. The only exception you see is the stack of cards on the left, but those are pulled as part of an ebay lot and are ready to ship. All my PCs are in binders, along with select sets and frankensets. Other sets and all my trading fodder are in shoeboxes. I'm proud of my work, and as I type, I'm about four days in to my self-imposed embargo without handling a card. Now my supplies need to be stowed away. I have penny sleeves, team bags, and top loaders shoved all over the place just below the picture.
Since I'm done with my cards for the year, now is as good a time as any to recap my collecting for 2017. First, I didn't set any collecting goals, but I did declare that my focus would be to add to my BYU collection. As the calendar turned to 2017, my BYU football collection was a paltry 105 cards. I have to admit; I lost focus a little bit. I did make a couple of BYU only purchases, but I didn't add as much as I would have liked. My collection now stands at 185, so that's a total of 80 new BYU cards added.
Instead of BYU, I found myself focusing on set-building. Again. Even though last year I swore it off. I've decided that sets have a place in my collection, and a fairly large place at that. So let's take a look back at the sets I've completed in 2017. Some of them I started this year, but most of these sets have been years in the making. I'll run through these in reverse chronological order, and share the final card I acquired to complete the set.
2017 Topps: This is first time I have ever completed a flagship set. I'm working on Update to polish it up, but as far as the cards that have continuous numbering, this set is complete.
Final Card: I'm not exactly sure. I didn't keep track.
2017 Topps Heritage: I've never completed Heritage either, and I really wanted to get it this year. One of my main reasons was the fact that I knew it would have a World Series subset, and it would feature the Cubs, of course. I like the burlap, too. Once again, this is only the base set. I didn't even attempt the SPs. As far as I'm concerned, they're just gravy and not necessary to complete the set. I don't have the budget to chase them down just to say I've completed the set. That may be sacrilege, but I'm at peace with it.
Final Card: I bought this set off ebay. They are all the first and last card.
2016 Topps Perspectives: This 25-card insert set took me two seasons to build. The significance of this set is that it was built entirely through trades. I didn't crack a single pack of 2016 Flagship; I just saw the set on the blogs, fell in love with it, and went to work.
Final Card: #P-1 Andrew McCutchen
2015 Topps Update Pride and Perseverance: Here is another insert set I completed. I love reading the stories on the back of these cards.
Final Card: #2 Curtis Pride--I thought it ironic that the last card missing from my Pride set was Curtis Pride.
2015 Topps Update Whatever Works: This is another great subject for a set. I love baseball's quirky superstitions, so it makes sense that I would be drawn to an entire baseball card set devoted to its quirky superstitions. This set was tricky. Somehow my wantlist got messed up, and I ended up acquiring duplicates of some cards instead of the cards I actually needed. It's all fixed now, and the set is complete.
Final Card: #12 Justin Verlander
2014 Panini Contenders: **Disclaimer** This is not the complete set with all of the rookie autos. This is only the base veteran set. I bought three retail boxes of this back in 2014 and pulled so many dupes that I still didn't have the 100-card base set. I do know.
Final Card: #100 Adrian Peterson
2013 Panini Prizm: This one should have been done last year. I thought I had it. Then I realized that I had two copies of Saints running back Mark Ingram and none of Saints running back Darren Sproles. Oops. I rectified it early this year.
Final Card: #143 Darren Sproles
2013 Topps Strata: I bought a hobby box of this in 2013 and ended up with a good starter set. It wasn't my favorite design, but I had enough that I decided to just go ahead and complete it anyway. Note: the football version of Strata is not a high-end product, like baseball Strata became. This is a middle-range product with an "just okay" look to it.
Final Card: #45 Michael Vick
1995 Collector's Choice: This set was 20 years in the making. I started it when I was 13. Then I went on hiatus for almost two decades. When I came back, I decided to finish it off at last. Some of the cards I had to chase down were really familiar because I had lost some through the years. I've got them all back and then some, and this set from my childhood is done.
Final Card: #246 Bryant Young
1988 Topps: This is my crowning achievement for the year. Earlier in 2017, I decided to chase this set for sentimental reasons. It was the first set I ever had in my collection, the one that started it all. I'd never really considered putting the set together until this year. It turned out to be easier than I expected. So many 1988 cards came my way in trades. I found out one of my LCS's had a monster box full of them and the owner was willing to sell them to me for a nickel apiece. The one card I was worried about was the iconic card of the set, Bo Jackson's rookie. I found it on ebay in November for just $4 and snagged it.
This wasn't the last card I needed, though. I thought this one would take me longer than it did.
Final Card: #285 Lawrence Taylor
For those of you keeping track at home, I finished off 10 sets in 2017, seven base sets and three insert sets. I added 80 cards to my BYU binder, and had a whole lot of other cards join my collection. All of those cards are safely stored in binders or BCW shoeboxes. I'm ready to begin the new year. And I'll ring it in without my cards. But when Christmas break ends next week, I already have some boxes I bought off ebay to bust. Since it pleases my wife, I can wait until then.