Friday, April 03, 2015

2012 Topps: The Set that Forced Me to Reevaluate Everything About my Baseball Card Collection (w/ Trade Bait)

I started getting back in the baseball card hobby world a couple of years after I graduated from college.  Not surprisingly, that lines up with the time that I got my first "real" full-time job (and thus the first time I had any disposable income in my life)!  Beginning in 2007, I started buying a few hobby boxes with the goal of completing sets.  I also used eBay and trading (though my Nachos Grande blog wouldn't begin until a year later).

From 2007 though 2011, I collected a lot of sets.  Topps Heritage, Topps' flagship, half of what Upper Deck put out at the time, etc. It was a lot of fun - but it also led me to having a huge want list as I would struggle to track down the last few inserts or short prints for just about every set that I attempted.  In fact, in the year 2015 my want list STILL has a bunch of stuff from 2006-2011 on it!

Looking at 2011 specifically, I went all in on the 2011 Topps flagship set.  I collected the entire base set plus I'm still working on the entire diamond parallel set (remember those)?!  I also collected a bunch of the different insert sets - so much so that my 2011 Topps set has to be spread out across a pair of 3" binders!!

That brings us to the next year:  2012.

The actual design of the 2012 base set wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't nearly as nice as the 2011 set.  The surfboard design of 2012 didn't work out for me (and that was only compounded by another couple of years of "wavy" set designs by Topps).  I think the photography is certainly passable but I don't think 2012 was a standout year for card photographs either.

However, it wasn't the base design that made me reevaluate my collection.  It was this:

Each stack represents a different insert set from 2012 Topps / 2012 Topps Opening Day.  And that's just what I ended up accumulating via trades/repack boxes/etc.  The sheer multitude of inserts kept me away from 2012 Topps...not to mention how many of the insert sets were basically rehashes of the previous year's set.

And, I'm pleased to say, was a true revelation for me.

I couldn't collect everything.

Key word:  couldn't.

That's right.  I had to learn that it simply wasn't possible - even with eBay (and later my blog) to help track down missing still wasn't possible for me to collect everything.  Even worse, I quickly learned that I wouldn't have room to store my cards if my collection kept growing at the same rate it did from 2008-2011!

How well did I learn?

Looking at my binders on my bookshelves - from 2008 - 2011 I have 19 binders full of cards!  From 2012 - 2015, I only have seven binders (though I should have eight since I haven't yet had a chance to put my 2015 Topps flagship set in a binder).

That's approximately a 50% reduction in collecting habits - something that I'm actually quite proud of.  Furthermore, by focusing on less quantity I've mostly been able to improve my collection's quality.  Since 2011, I have spent a lot more time focusing on completing sets that I've already started...and I've also begun the process of paring down my collection a bit!

Speaking of paring down, all of those piles of inserts and other cards you saw in the earlier picture?  Well, since I'm not collecting any of the 2012 Topps set, many of those don't have a home in my collection.  What I did was take out the ones that fit into some of my small player a few cards that might find their way into a different project of mine...and the rest I am going to make available for trade.

In fact, let's do it now - if you happen to want any of the following cards from 2012 Topps / 2012 Topps Opening Day, let me know!  I'm going to keep the cards out for a few days but the cards that don't get any takers will then be filed away in my team boxes that I use to fill out various trades/group break packages for people!

2012 Topps / 2012 Topps Opening Day / 2012 Topps Updates for Trade:

Gold parallels:
151.  Chris Davis - Orioles #0042/2012
218.  Kyle Hudson - Orioles #1576/2012
479.  Johan Santana - Mets #1449/2012

1987 Minis:
TM-5.  Howie Kendrick - Angels

TM-7.  Joey Votto - Reds
TM-38.  Chase Utley - Phillies
TM-39.  Jay Bruce - Reds
TM-39.  Jay Bruce - Reds
TM-39.  Jay Bruce - Reds
TM-100.  Johnny Bench - Reds
TM-110.  Asrubal Cabrera - Indians

Gold sparkly parallels:
19. Yonder Alonso - Reds
US225.  Josh Lindblom - Phillies

Gold Futures:
GF-8.  Aroldis Chapman - Reds
GF-15.  Mark Trumbo - Angels
GF-47.  Jacob Turner - Tigers

Gold Standard:
GS-3.  Paul Molitor - Twins
GS-44.  Alex Rodriguez - Yankees

Golden Greats:
GG-66.  Albert Pujols - Cardinals
GG-83.  Harmon Killebrew - Twins

Topps Cut Above:
ACA-19.  Robinson Cano - Yankees

Timeless Talents:
TT-17.  Joe Morgan / Brandon Phillips - Reds

Superstar Celebrations:
SC-5.  Joey Votto - Reds

Classic Walkoffs:
CW-1.  Bill Mazeroski - Pirates

Golden Moments:
GM-45.  Joe Morgan
GM-46.  Dustin Pedroia

BB-7.  Ken Grifey Jr. - Reds

On Deck Preperation:
ES-16.  Joey Votto

Mound Dominance:
MD-1.  Tom Seaver - Reds
MD-15. Dwight Gooden - Mets

Shiny card (maybe only available in the cereal boxes?):
MBC2.  Willie Mays - Giants
See any of the above cards that you'd like to acquire? Check out my want list and make an offer!


Adam Kaningher said...

That is a ton of insert cards. I've never seen that "A Cut Above" set before.

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