Featured Cards: 2007 Upper Deck #520, Zach Segovia; 1912 Hassan Triple Folders (T202), Sherry Magee & Charles Dooin — “Donlin Out at First”
Last week, the collection passed 19,500 cards. Given the amount of product that Topps & Panini will likely issue this year, reaching 20,000 by year’s end seems inevitable — even if I don’t purchase anything other than 2014 releases as they hit store shelves. Having started this blog in May 2011 in anticipation of adding card #14,000 to my collection, it’s quite mind-boggling to me that I will have expanded the collection so much in such a short period of time.
It just so happens that the start of this blog coincided with a steady improvement in my finances which allowed an explosion in the size of my collection. The primary driver of this massive growth resulted from my back-filling most of the product released from 2004 through 2010. While I have never stopped collecting at any time in my life, budgetary constraints during that period forced me to be very selective in what I was adding to the collection. Of the 5,500 cards I’ve added during the past three years, I don’t know exactly what percentage comes from that seven-year period, but it’s clearly more than half. I know this because I do know how many cards issued from 2011 through the present I’ve added: 2,039. That actually overstates my keeping up with ongoing releases because when this blog started, I already had, at an absolute minimum, at least 100 cards that had already been issued in 2011.
But not all of the remaining 3,400+ cards come from the ’00s. The final driver of this growth was related to my decision in 2004 to drastically cutback on my purchase of new product. In addition to that change in how I collected, I needed to sell a significant amount of the vintage portion of my collection — in particular, cards predating Topps’s standardization of card sizes in 1957. I replaced most of those cards with reprints and tried to make do with them, but they just weren’t the same. However, the same financial freedom that allowed me to pick up so much of the material from 2004-2010 also allowed me to start rebuilding the pre-1957 portion of my collection. Sadly, that is still very much a work in progress, and I’m starting to believe that I will never again own a few of the complete team sets that formerly resided in my collection. However, I will persevere — over the past few years I’ve gotten lucky and obtained some great pre-WW II cards at surprisingly low prices, and it’s certainly possible that similar fortunate pickups are in my future.
Looking forward to #20,000, I’m certain that I’m going to want to pickup something special once I’m in sight of that milestone. What that card might be is still very uncertain. I know I’d like for it to be a notable pre-WW II card or an extremely short-printed modern insert, but when the time comes, it may very well be something a simple as a common 2014 — especially if it comes as part of a complete Phillies team set of the newest release.