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.


  1. I feel there are a lot of collector's with incomplete sets with the intent to complete them. This is my scenario; Open a box of cards and put together 50% to 75% of the set, then it sits incomplete for years.

    I am starting to be more picky about what sets I attempt to build. I also look for sets that are cheaper to build. Trying to build a base set of 2017 Gypsy Queen baseball will set you back $300 if you buy boxes/packs. I cannot afford that.

  2. Boy I am in this same boat. I start so much and just can't finish it. 90's sets I really want to get done. Psych I really want to finish up