Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Incompletionist

I've never really considered myself a completionist.  If I were, my day-to-day life would probably drive me crazy.  I chose teaching as a profession, and in my view, I will see very few completed projects at work because I look at my work as human development and most people don't peak at the age of 14.  At least, I hope not.  As a result, I never see all of my labors come to full fruition.  Sure, there is a project here or there that I can consider complete, but the focus of my work is to simply help add to the building that is an individual's understanding.

Part of a set I'm working on completing.

At the same time, I feel great satisfaction in making and achieving goals.  One of my hobbies is building things and DIY projects around the home.  I do love the feeling that I get when I can step back and say, "Look what I've done!"  The drawback here is that there so much I want to do and do little time and money to make all the home improvements I would like to make.  Sometimes I start them--thinking somehow that will make it so--but I take my time completing them.

A random subset I decided to own: 1993 Upper Deck "Berman's Best" nickname cards.
My card collecting tends to reflect this duality of tolerance for never-ending projects and satisfaction in reaching the finish line.  On one hand, I love to pick up random cards and sometimes I buy packs just for the fun of seeing what's inside, with no real intent to finish the set or no expectations of scoring a big hit.

Mini-Collections and PCs
I have many PCs and mini-collections that will never be "finished."  I'm so all over the place that currently only 2 players in my collection have topped 100 cards.

BYU team collection
I consider myself a team collector, but my Packers and Cubs collections aren't huge.  Sometimes I get bored with team collecting, if I'm being honest.

Some sets I'm working on
 Then there is the part of me that likes to complete sets.  I usually select one or two base sets and an insert set from each sport that I try to complete.  However, my budget just doesn't stretch far enough for me to make really good runs at everything.  The result is a long list of sets that I'm working on that will probably never be completed.

Like my DIY projects, my card collection proves me to be an incompletionist.  Incomplete projects that I'm "working on" seem to be found all over.  I anticipate that my wantlist will keep growing and growing and I'll have sets that are on the list for years and won't get finished, all the while more current sets will garner my attention.

Throughout this post, I've been showing off cards from various collections, PCs, and sets I'm working on.  This 2013 Opening Day set is not complete for me, as I've mostly been trying to complete it through trade.  I love the celebrations and action on this cards.

 These additions brought my Topps Update Whatever Works set closer to completion.  I've been working slowly on this since 2015.

No, I have not been working on 1993 Fleer for 24 years.  It's an old set, but I've only been working on it since finding a box on the cheap about five years ago.  (Here we have 2 BYU players featured--Gouveia and Oates--and a really good photo of what appears to be a Hail Mary.  It does seem like an odd choice for the receiver's card, though, as the play was evidently unsuccessful.)

1988 Topps has been a pet project this year, and here are some notable card for me.  Rogers and Rozier both won the Heisman as collegiates.  Timmy Smith put together arguably the most remarkable Super Bowl performance ever.  The rookie who barely played in the regular season stepped up and set a rushing record against the Broncos on the biggest stage.  Bosworth was one of the biggest rookies in the set, and Bosa has a son who is pretty good player in his own right.  Too Tall Jones was a favorite of mine from the moment I learned about him.  I wish I had gotten to see more of his career, as it was coming to an end by the time I was old enough to know who he was.

Finally, I have some various sets I'm working to complete.  Luckily for the Astros, George Springer didn't get that deer-in-the-headlights look in the World Series.

The impetus for the post was the fact that I had some scans from a few TCDB trades that I wanted to post, but there was so much variety in there that I had no idea how to tie it together.  And then I realized. . .  that sounds like my collection.  So many interests, so spread out, so incomplete.  But I must be enjoying it, because I haven't tried to cut it down yet.   Big thanks to TCDB users hundmatic, mhart55641, rodine, and goskins for the great trades.  I received these and others from these great users and traders.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Keeping Things Updated

I really didn't intend to buy Update this year.  I had already collected the complete Series 1 and 2 and I figured I had spent enough on Flagship.  But there is a part of my collection that needs update.  Rookie of the Year award winners make up a large portion of my collection, and this year's awards will go to two big time players.  Big time, at least, in the sense of the current prices of their cards.  Overall, this year's entire rookie class is pretty big time.  When I saw the number of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger cards in the Update checklist, I figured that my best bet to collect those cards on the cheap would be to get a few packs of cards. Since my goal was to get as much Update base as possible for as little money as possible, I calculated that fat packs were the way to go.  So after going the entire month of October (and most of September, for that matter) without purchasing new cards, I picked up a few packs of Update, hoping to get as much of the base set as possible, and really hoping that I wouldn't have to buy Judge and Bellinger rookies separately.

Obviously, Update has two major draws: rookies and traded players.  Personally, I believe that Update should only contain players with this designation.  Here I have some of the better rookies for my collection.  Gurriel had himself a pretty good postseason, though he did make a few waves after his home run off Darvish in the World Series.  Brugman may not have a made a name for himself yet in the Majors, but he did play his college ball in Provo at BYU.  The two Yoan Moncada cards came back-to-back in the same pack, and it exemplifies what is wrong with Update.  First of all, Moncada's rookie debut card appears in 2017, though he debuted in 2016.  Second, Moncada was traded since that debut, and as a result, appears with a different team.  So one player has two cards with two different teams in the same.  Not only that, but the rookie debut took place a year earlier.  If I ran the show, Moncada would have one rookie card in this set.  The Rookie Debut could be an insert set or something.  Or, better yet, the rookie card in Update could simply put the date of the debut, if the debut date is so necessary.

I have mixed feelings about the All-Star cards.  On one hand, I love the All-Star Game, so I like having the year's participants chronicled.  On the other hand, I'm not sure I 'd miss them if they were removed from Update.  The Home Run Derby cards, however, can go.  In fact, I think Topps could make a pretty good insert set of the Derby, instead.  It would be a fun topic, a solid checklist, and would remove the bloat from the base set. 

Of course, I'm always happy to get Cubs, and Ian Happ was one of those hot rookies I'm glad to get my hands on.  It just so happens that all the Cubs I pulled belong in this set, too.  A couple of rookies, a newly acquired player, and a card featuring an event from the current season. 

As for the inserts, these are the ones I am keeping.  I'm really not a fan of more rookie reprints, but since I'll probably never obtain the originals, I'll hold on to these.  The Heroes of Autumn is nice looking set, in my opinion.  The grayscale leaves on the border just look classy to me, and there are some classic names in the checklist.

Here are some more inserts that I don't plan on holding onto.  Some of these have already been claimed in trades.  I'm strongly considering keeping the Bregman simply because the play where he nailed Greg Bird at home in the ALCS is etched in my mind.  It's a gold parallel, by the way.  I didn't even realize that at first.

This may only seem odd to me, but I pulled a photo variation of Miggy.  It's numbered as part Series 1 on the back.  What the?  I don't understand, but it's a cool card, nonetheless.

Overall, I like the concept of Update.  A small set at the end of the year to sweep up rookies and roster moves that couldn't be put in Series 1 or 2 is a good thing.  But this year's update set has some major flaws, in my mind.  There are some traded players that are missing.  (I'd point out Chris Taylor, but it seems like I've heard that before.  If I could just remember where. . . )  There are a gazillion cards of star rookies like Judge and Bellinger.  I, for one, can do without having so many cards of one player.  Give him a base rookie and maybe an All-Star card.  That's all we need.  If it were up to me, the set would be around 150 cards, all rookies and roster updates, with maybe an All-Star subset.  The rest can go.  But then, I probably wouldn't stay in business because I wouldn't be able to sell as many packs of cards with such a small set.  So what do I know?

I do know one thing.  I bought several packs, thinking that the price per card in a pack was going to be better than what I could find on the secondary market, especially for Judge and Bellinger.  There are 3 Judges and 5 Bellingers in the base set.  They make up almost 3% of the set between the two of them.  I didn't pull a single one.  It appears that the odds were not in my favor.

An Update on Update

Before I published this post, I ventured out for another fat pack.  I'll throw some scans of my spoils in this post while I'm at it.

A couple more Cubs in this pack. I may be appreciative of an Ian Happ card, and that uniform is beautiful, but the Rookie Debut seems superfluous.  Just put the date on his base card and give him one card!

This is what belongs in Update: players in uniforms that don't look familiar at all. 

These cards also belong in Update.  I love the name Rookie.  I love owning the rookie of Rookie.  I love that he and Magneuris Sierra are the beginnings of an All-Star name team. 

Here are a couple inserts that are up for grabs.  Anybody want them?

But here is the piece d'resistance, the very reason I'm posting this cards today as a postscript to the post.  I just couldn't wait to show off my Ryne Sandberg SP variation and Cody Bellinger insert.  I collect Rookies of the Year, and this is the first card I have of Bellinger.  (Note: I still don't have a base of Bellinger or Judge for the set.)  Great looking cards here.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Black Friday Contest

Hey everybody, I just joined the Black Friday Contest being put on by Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts.  I'm sure most readers of my blog already know about this, but Jon is offering to use his COMC store credit on behalf of one lucky winner.  Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Does It Get Any Crazier?

It's well-documented on this blog that I'm a Cubs fan.  I'm not an impartial observer, so when I say that last year's World Series was one of the best ever, you can take that with a grain of salt.  But last year we saw lead changes, both in games and in the series, and an epic extra innings Game 7.  Of course, the outcome was the best I could ever hope for, so it was extra sweet and exciting.

This year was something else, though.  Sure there were lead changes galore.  The series went the distance again.  But this one felt weird, not necessarily great.  The late game lead changes felt like wild and crazy, one-off occurrences.  Then they happened again.  But the craziest thing happened tonight.  Lance McCullers's stat line was a microcosm of the strangeness of this World Series.  Lance McCullers HIT more batters than he struck out, but still left the game with a 5-run lead, and wasn't awarded the win.  That's insane.

I was pulling a little for the Dodgers, but I'm still okay with a Houston win.  As of the writing of this post, the MVP award has yet to be awarded, but my money is on George Springer.  A few years ago, I thought I would be collecting Springer as a Rookie of the Year, but he didn't make quite the splash I expected.  I still think he's one heck of an exciting player.  I'll show a couple of my favorite Springer cards as I give my congratulations to the Houston Astros and their fans.

Custom mini, big series for George Springer. He certainly took his opportunity to shine.  Enjoy it, Houston!  No city needs something like this more.