What is the most difficult set of the 1960’s to complete?
As you know by now if you are a reader of my blog, I have been working on a complete Topps set quest from 1951 to present. I have been doing this for about 25 years now. I was asked the other day which set of the 1960’s was the toughest one to complete. For me, it is an easy question since the only set I haven’t completed of the 1960’s is the 1961 Topps set.
At the time of this blog post, I am currently 39 cards away to complete this monster of a set. So why is it so difficult? It is because of the hard to find and expensive high numbers. The high numbers (cards 523-589) were produced in lesser quantities than the rest of the set. The lowest valued card in the high number series books at $30 and the highest valued card books at $500 (#578 Mickey Mantle AS -- shown above). Of the 39 cards that I need for my set, 10 of them are star cards and the other 29 are out of the high number series. I would like to complete this set soon so I can say that I have every set from 1959 to present but this is one set that just takes time to complete.
If I were to rank the 1960’s sets in terms of difficulty to complete, here is how I would rank them along with notes as to why:
1) 1961 Topps (high numbers, three regular Mantles, and a couple of Mantle subset cards)
2) 1962 Topps (high numbers, wood grain borders hard to find in nice condition)
3) 1967 Topps (high numbers which includes tough rookie cards of Tom Seaver and Rod Carew)
4) 1963 Topps (Pete Rose RC!!)
5) 1960 Topps (two Mantles, older set, loaded with stars)
6) 1966 Topps (tough high numbers – especially Choo Choo Coleman and Grant Jackson)
7) 1964 Topps (not too tough to complete in low grade, Mantle is always tough)
8) 1965 Topps (same as 1964 – not too tough to put a low grade set together)
9) 1968 Topps (Nolan Ryan RC!)
10) 1969 Topps (Mantle’s last year – not too hard to complete, especially in low grade for those on a budget)
So what do you think? Which set do you think is the toughest to piece together? I would like to hear from you so please let me know.