Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Perhaps My Most Challenge Insert Set is Finally Complete

Have you ever started down a path collecting a set or going after a card quest and regretted it, maybe even gave up?  For me that has happened a few times.  Last year's Topps Archives is an example.  I still have a want list up with the SPs but they are not real easy to find on the secondary market and when they do appear they are way too expensive.  One of the most challenging sets I have actually completed was the original back parallels to the Cards Your Mom Threw Out from 2010 Topps.  This set spanned all 3 series and ended up being 174 cards (yes I completed the regular and original backs totaling 358 cards).

Back in 2005 I decided that in addition to building all the Topps Flagship sets, I would chase the insert sets as well.  Until 2014 that Original Back set was the biggest obstacle had faced but I feel that 174 card set was trumped by a 30 card insert set titled Future Stars That Never Were.  The concept was to take a rookie or 2nd year card of past superstars and redesign them with a Future Stars designation.  If I recall, you only pulled one or two of these in each Jumbo box and they didn't appear much on eBay, Sportlots or COMC and when they did, the prices were super high.

At the release of 2015 Topps, I still needed about half the 30 card set and that bothered me.  I considered abandoning it but I was on a 10 year run of finishing insert sets.  There had been a few cases where I punted however (the Bonds, A-Rod and Mantle Home Run History sets come to mind), but in the end my set quest gene and the fact there were only 30 stinking cards in the set made me continue the quest.  I found a few reasonably priced cards and after a short time and some cash outlay I was down to 6 cards.

I was at the 6 card mark when I sold my Henderson Alvarez Heritage Throwback card, and decided that in addition to the sweet Willie McCovey auto I purchased, I would try and finish the set.  I found a Willie Stargell card for a little more that I wanted to pay but pounced.  I hadn't seen a Chris Sale for weeks and then a saved eBay search showed 2 pop up on the same day.  I was able to get one for a very reasonable price and was down to 4.  Around the same time the same seller listed 2 of my needs, Randy Johnson and Don Mattingly.  I used the Buy It Now feature and was excited that I was down to 2 cards.  I signed onto COMC and found the last 2, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, and thought I was done.  However, this challenging set threw me one last curveball.

When the package arrived from the Johnson/Mattingly seller, the card that came out was a Topps Supreme Daisuke Matsuzaka.  I contacted the seller and found out he sent my cards to Taiwan and a card to me that was destined to go to the far east.  I got a refund and returned the Daisuke.  The seller told me he had requested my cards back.  My confidence was shot but I decided to wait it out.  My patience paid off last week when my COMC order with the Mays and Aaron and the package with the Johnson and Mattingly arrived on consecutive days to complete the set.  After this long, arduous and costly quest complete I thought I would show off the set in its entirety.  I suspect you will share my feelings that some of these designs work and other are pretty bad - but I am stoked my set is complete.

So here it is in its entirety:

Feel free to share your thoughts on which designs you think are the best and worst.


  1. Very cool set! I had never heard of these but now you've given me a new Boggs card to chase. Congrats on completing this one, must feel great.

  2. Your patience in seeing this out to the end has to be commended!

  3. This set has interested me in a "so bad it's good way". Some of the designs are alarming. Put anything on the '83 design and it's subtraction by addition.

  4. Very nice. I think the Ozzie is my favorite.