My lifetime topps project – part 1

2 03 2010

Hello, this is my baseball card blog. For the purpose of this blog / project, please see the next post. If you would like to read some of the background, see below.

In the past 6 months, I’ve started collecting baseball cards again after being an on-and-off collector (mostly off) since 1995. I’m doing so in Columbus, Ohio, but I originally hail from Cincinnati – so I’m a big reds fan, and a bigger Ken Griffey Jr fan. The years I collected cards as a kid were primarily two periods. From 1986-88, I pretty much bought a bunch of Topps cards (the wood-grain 1987 set was my likely my most frequent purchase). I also remember buying the ’88 Score set when it came out, and my brother’s friend swiped my Bo Jackson dual card right out of the factory box.

At the time, Eric Davis was my favorite player. Chris Sabo was right up there as the ROY and our representative to the all-star game at Riverfront – which I attended with my dad. The Reds seemed to get 2nd place every year with Pete Rose as their manager. Full disclaimer – I loved Charlie Hustle growing up. Hometown hero, all-time hits king, non-stop hustle, blue-collar living legend. Today, I hate the guy. That may be for a later post. I also loved Rickey Henderson, so I was strangely torn during the 1990 World Series – which I also attended with my dad for game 2.

Anyways, when I picked collecting back up from 1993-96, Upper Deck had changed the hobby, and I loved their cards in comparison to all the others. 1993 was a big year hobby-wise: three of the five big baseball manufacturers at the time came out with super-premium sets that had face values around $4-5 a pack. I remember Topps Finest seeming completely untouchable, as its price per pack was going for more like 20 bucks than the suggested retail. Fleer came out with the super-thick Flair set (I did buy a number of packs of this). And Upper Deck came out with what is probably my favorite set of all-time, SP Authentic.

This was the scene when I came back to the hobby; my mother and brother and I went around to card shows. My brother was a fan of Barry Bonds, and he also collected Leaf. My mom would buy up Roberto Alomar cards just to keep busy while we ran around the shows. I decided at the time that my goal was to buy every single Upper Deck baseball card in existence. Consider the time-frame: in 1992, this would have been an attainable goal. In 1993, the new sets coming out made it more difficult for a 13-year old on an allowance and lawn-mowing money. I remember when Collector’s Choice came out in 1994, the full-set Gold Signatures being introduced at 1 per box pretty much smashed any thought I had. So what I settled on is what I’ve been doing since I sort-of left the hobby in 1995. My overall collecting goal has been to collect each year’s SP Authentic set. This became more and more difficult when they started including numbered cards in 1999, so I’m collecting it as I can. I’ve also always tried to put together the base upper deck set, though I really didn’t do this from ’96-’08.

So that’s my background as a collector. I’m still trying to fill those goals, but will do so a little bit more slowly now, as a new idea has popped into my head…


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