If you follow my blog, you will know that my ultimate goal is to have a complete Topps set run from 1951 to present. I am still quite a ways away from this near impossible feat but every day I inch a little bit closer. I started this project 13 years ago back in 2000. At that time, I had just completed a very rare insert set of 1997-98 Topps Stadium Club One of Kind basketball cards. Each one of these 240 cards in the set was serially numbered to 150. It took me three years to complete this set and I remember the great sense of accomplishment of completing it. I knew I was the only person in the world to have a complete set of these. However, after completing this, I wanted to take on an even bigger challenge but wasn’t sure exactly what that was going to be. I started out by collecting Topps baseball complete sets. It didn’t take me long to have complete sets from 1988 to 2000 with the help of some great trades. I kept inching my way backward by selling some cards in my collection and then buying the rest of the sets in the 1980’s. I then decided that I should collect a Topps set from every year since I was born – 1971. After selling off a bunch more cards through eBay and some great trades from friends locally and on the internet, I was able to get a complete set run from 1971 to present in about two years. With this goal completed, I began to set my sights on something much bigger – a complete set run from 1951 to present. In order to do this, I ended up selling off everything in my collection with the exception of my Topps sets. Doing this allowed me to buy a lot of partial sets from the 1950’s and 1960’s. With the help of some great websites out there like The Bench www.thebenchtrading.com, I was able to trade my duplicates for cards I needed. I also created my own web site which is still in operation today to help me with this quest: www.mytoppscards.com
Here is my current want list as of June 18, 2013:
A friend of mine, who has a complete Topps set run from 1955 to present, decided recently that it was time for him to sell his collection. This was great news for me since he was willing to break up his sets and sell singles. The condition of his sets average EXMT-NM whereas mine average a strong EX. He is very aware of what his collection is worth and although he is very willing to help me, his card prices aren’t cheap. However, I find them to be fair and comparable to eBay in most cases. I have bought several from him including this beauty:
He has agreed to let me make monthly payments to him for cards I need. This is great for me as I no longer have to go on EBay to buy cards. However, this is bad news for card shop owners and retail outlets as now all of my card money goes to my friend. I have done some calculations and at the rate I am going, I should have a complete Topps run from 1955 to present in about 5 years. I haven’t figured out how long it will take to get the 1951 to 1954 sets but my guess right now is around the year 2035, which is about when I am set to retire. So, what will I do with my sets then? Pass them down to my son? Sell them and cruise around the world? Well, I haven’t really thought about that but I am sure I will when that time comes. What do you think I should do?