Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Frustrations of a Set Collector

My collecting roots are in set collecting.  To me there is nothing quite as fine in this hobby than getting that last card that finishes a set.  Lately I haven't had too much joy in the Series 1, 2 and Update releases of Topps as I just buy the jumbo hobby boxes and get a complete set. However I still enjoy the chase of finishing up the insert sets.  I should have my Series 2 insert want list up soon, I only have 2 more sets to chase after.

I am in the perpetual state of trying to get organized (again).  I have mentioned many times about my great purchases on Sportlots but I am also a seller there.  I typically turn any earnings into more cards on the site so I look at it kind of like trading.  I list up all my duplicate cards on the site to potentially sell but it also gets me a nice checklist of what I have to trade.  I only can pull that inventory by year/set or by players but it is still a nice fringe benefit to have a checklist from the site.  I have been try to get my duplicates that aren't yet inventoried up on the site over the past couple weeks and filed away in my 5000 count boxes.  Through this process I have been working around a large stack of 300ish cards from 2011 Topps Pro Debut.

I wracked my brain and couldn't recall exactly what went down with this set.  I spent about 20 minutes checking through my boxes of sets in progress and those completed. I have a nice list I keep of sets I complete and it wasn't listed but I didn't recall trading and purchasing singles either.  As a set collector, making my want list is one of the first things that I do.  So I think I have finally unraveled the mystery and recall what happened.

I believe I bought 2 boxes of this product, one a few days after the other.  Past releases were issues in sets of 220 cards, this one has 330.   I sorted my two boxes and realized that I was quite a bit short of the set and had a nice stack of duplicates (unfortunately no extra Harper).  I was frustrated, put the stack of cards aside and never even made a want list.  Today I finally made the list and am 57 cards short of the set.  The set collector in me really wants this one complete.  Practically it is going to be very challenging/expensive.  I have seen very few blog posts of 2012 Pro Debut so I would bet the readers of this blog don't have many 2011 Pro Debut cards lying around.  A new box of this stuff is about $45 + shipping on line.  I may check with my LCS to see if he wants to give me a deal to get rid of his inventory.  Even if I buy all the singles on Sportlots at 18 cents apiece, that cost plus shipping is more than I want to pay - very frustrating.

Lets take a look at some of the cards of this set.  The design is quite familiar to collectors of 2011 Topps products.

Here are the two most desirable guys in the set.  I like the usage of the minor league teams and logos, it is fun looking at names like the Blue Rocks, Spikes, Jammer and Cyclones.  For the most part the photography isn't epic, look at these two cards.  We have a power hitter in Hosmer practicing bunting and an odd angled Harper photo although I do like the eye black.  The Harper has the Pro Debut logo in the corner since this was his first year card, Hosmer was in last year's set.

Here are a couple more cards of players who have risen to the big leagues.

There are blue and gold parallels that come in the packs that are serial numbered to 309 and 50 respectively.  Here are the ones I pulled:

The only inserts in 2011 Pro Debut were of the All Star teams at A, AA and AAA. They each have the same basic design with just the color banner and the lettering in the banner changing by level.  Here is a sampling of each insert set.

I also pulled some 4 autos and 4 GU out of the boxes. I believe most of those have been traded with my best being a Trout relic card.

The set collector in me is taking over, and I think I am going to need to go after this.  I have posted my want list under the tab at the top. If you happen to have any of my wants, drop me a line and lets make a trade.

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