Is Less Truly More?

According to Beckett Media, Jose Canseco has 423 recognized cards from his first five years of baseball (’86-’90). The lowest number of any year was 1986, the first year licensed cards of Jose were released. The highest is 1989, the year that celebrated Jose’s M.V.P. season.

To put those numbers into perspective, let’s look at Marlins superstar, Hanley Ramirez. Although Hanley is a much better all-around player than Jose ever was, he lacks power and the star appeal Jose had in his prime. How would he do against those years of “Junk Wax”?

From 2005 to 2009, which is still incomplete … Hanley has 3,007 Beckett-recognized cards. The lowest count came from the first season his cards were produced not counting Minor League releases, 2005. That year, 81 cards of Hanley were produced. In 2008, card companies produced 1,475 cards of Ramirez.

As for cards produced before entering the Majors, Jose has just three. To be perfectly honest, I wish he had more. Ramirez on the other hand has 61 Beckett-recognized Minor League issues. When you think of the potential Hanley has at such a young age, 61 cards doesn’t sound too bad.

Collectors constantly bash the 80’s and early 90’s era and label releases from that time as “Junk Wax”. Still, out of those 3,000+ Hanley Ramirez cards, just how many feature original, well thought out designs and how many are just worthless, run of the mill parallels and 1/1’s that flood the market?

Today, it’s impossible to ever collect 100% of any player’s cards due to there being so much. The sad fact is that even back in those five year’s of Jose’s career I pointed out, it’s also near impossible to collect all those cards. In fact, I know of only two collectors in twenty years that own all cards of Jose from ’86-’90.

So which era do you prefer and why?

The Best of 1990

59 thoughts on “Is Less Truly More?

  1. I think the problem today is the endless number of inserts and parallels. If you just collected a player’s base cards it’s probably only 15-20 per year.

    When you talk about the late 80’s, keep in mind that this was a period of great change in the hobby. 1986 was for the most part a fairly normal year, but you added a new company each year after that (Sportflics in 1987, Score in 1988, UD in 1989, Leaf in 1990). Even during that era, if you only collected a player’s regular issue cards, you’re still at a manageable number (probably 5-10 per year). However, there were also lots of experimental sets that a star like Canseco was almost certainly in (Topps Big, Topps 5×7, Fleer Star Stickers, Donruss Action All-Stars, Topps Mini, etc.).

    When you look back, you realize that one of the reasons that cards from the 50’s and 60’s hold up so well is that there simply aren’t that many of them. Players like Mays, Mantle, and Aaron probably have no more than 70-80 cards each total for their entire careers, often less than a modern player has for one year.

  2. There are just way to many cards being produced right now, and it is a good thing and bad thing. For player collectors it is impossible to get everything, which is bad, but we can pick and choose from a lot of good stuff, which is good. With products at different price points and target markets, there is a lot of variety out there for different consumers. What is bad, is that there is no single release that provides definitive, or particularly memorable cards. I think less is more, personally, but the variety that the current climate market provides has made the offerings much more interesting, if not more frustrating for player collectors like you and me.

  3. I definitely prefer the early years of the 80’s and 90’s. Rickey actually has had more cards produced since he was retired then when he was playing. That being said, he hasn’t had a major card release since 2007, and I just found out yesterday that he’s included as one of the Topps U&H variations, so I’m pretty excited!

  4. Once again, why is it a “problem” to have more cards of your favorite player to collect. Just because they get produced, does not mean that you HAVE to buy them.

    Some people only want base cards, or cards from a certain mfg or product.

    Some people like that Topps Tek offered 90 different variations for their player.

    This is the same topic that keeps getting beat to death for more than a year now. Honestly, who gives two shits. Collect what YOU want, and leave everyone else the hell alone.

  5. First off, the “Junk Era” is considered the Junk Era because there were hundreds of thousands of copies of each card, thereby making each one plentiful and essentially worthless, or junk.

    The fact that Hanley has 1,500 cards in 2008 alone just goes to show that companies are making different-looking cards of the player, although some use the same exact photo. Also, we have to consider that each card has multiple variations – refractors of different colors, die-cuts, serial numbers, relics and press plate versions.

    As a team collector who likes cards, I love the current era because there is lots to collect. As an adult with real responsibilities, the current era is also troublesome because the economy of the hobby is greatly skewed. It’s a no-win situation for the pocketbook.

  6. As a team collector I preferred it when there were more companies producing fewer sets. At least that way when you were collecting the tens to hundreds of a player the cards had more variety.

    Now when collecting Ichiro, Griffey, etc. I feel like I’m just collecting the same looking card over and over again.

  7. I totally agree that it was easier to collect a player 20 years ago than now. There are just too many products out there as card companies think they can come out with a new product every month to entice collectors.

    Hard to say whether that’s better or worse though. If you’re a set collector, it’s worse, but if you like being able to bust a new product every month, it’s better. Could you imagine what it would’ve been like to have 10 Topps products come out in 1989? Every kid would have lost their mind!

  8. my problem with nowadays is the over-produced high-end stuff (which kinda doesn’t make any sense). so, if i’m a hanley collector, and someone else who’s a hanley collector has a 1/1 topps printing plate, that means i will never own that printing plate (unless that collector gives it up), right?

    i love the oddballs of the 80’s and 90’s, when the mlb and the players association gave out liciensing like candy to everyone from gas stations to grocery stores. i prefer that “junk” to a magenta printing plate.

  9. I prefer the older stuff. Today’s market not only has too many products, there are so many darn parallels, short prints, printing plates, ink color variations, etc. to keep track of. I have looked at Beckett’s card count for some players and when I saw the # of records found, I couldn’t believe it. Then as I looked over the list, I realized that out of 60+ “cards”, only five or six would be base cards while the rest were parallels or meaningless “hits”.

  10. Mario, you asked for opinions. I gave mine.

    This is the same conversation over and over again, with people who think they know what and how others should collect.

    This hobby is what you make of it. I have 100’s of Andre Dawson cards. There are 100’s more that I do not own, because I don’t care for them. If I did, I would buy them, simple as that.

    I honestly wish there were more new Dawson cards being made, and am excited that he is going to be in Tribute and Sterling later this year.

    I just don’t understand this constant perception that more sets and products is bad. Why? If you are a set collector, and Topps puts out 30 sets next year, does that mean you have to collect all of them? Every product made by every mfg sells out from their end every year. So somebody is buying them, be it a distributor, online retailer, hobby shop, or collector/wax buster.

    Buy what you want, and don’t worry about the rest.

    This is a fucking frivilous hobby, yet people worry so much about how other people choose to go about it. I don’t get it.

  11. “while the rest were parallels or meaningless “hits”.”

    Meaningless to whom? To you? Good for you. Somebody else enjoys them.

    “my problem with nowadays is the over-produced high-end stuff (which kinda doesn’t make any sense). so, if i’m a hanley collector, and someone else who’s a hanley collector has a 1/1 topps printing plate, that means i will never own that printing plate (unless that collector gives it up), right?”

    He wanted it, he bought. If you want it more, bid more.

    This is the kind of shit I’m talking about.

  12. Who is worried? You and a few others are the only ones who ever get worked up all the time. In fact, you have left negative comments for almost 100% of product previews this year.

    There are probably thousands of Jose Canseco cards I do not own and will never be able to. Does that keep me up at night? Hardly. I enjoy writing and discussing collecting ways new and old.

    Apparently others do too.

  13. my problem with nowadays is the over-produced high-end stuff (which kinda doesn’t make any sense).

    How does it not make sense?

  14. Mario. I get worked up because it’s the same thing over and over again on here.

    “There are too many products”
    “There should be more for the set collector”
    “High end is garbage”
    “High end is only for gamblers looking to make a quick buck”
    “People shouldn’t collect “x” product”

    If I make a negative comment about a new product, that is because it is my honest opinion about said product. If I like something, I’ll say that I like it. If I don’t like something, I usually give a reason why, in my own personal opinion, I don’t like it.

    Even if I don’t like something, I don’t tell people they shouldn’t collect it.

    That is my beef. Many, many people on here telling others what their opinion should be, and what they should and shouldn’t collect.

  15. Charlie,

    Most if not all collectors that were in the late 80’s early 90’s collected players. So when you look let’s just say Ken Griffey Jr. In 1989 there were 12 cards released, as time went on 12 went to 20, I’m talking DK’d, Finest, odd ball shit. Today, almost 75-100 cards are produced of Griffey each year, and most are in high end products. You can go to the bay and get cards cheap, but you look at the total price for that player per year. In the 80’s simple 3 or 4 cards and you were done, today it doesn’t stop. If you are a player collector it doesn’t make sense, you will spend more money for a collection that will never be completed.

  16. JL,

    There were 1,760 Beckett-recognized cards of Ken Griffey Jr. produced in 2008.

    Nearly 12,000 produced in total.

    Also, almost 1,200 certified autographs.

  17. SO WHAT?!?!?!?

    You don’t HAVE to buy them all.

    There are 1000’s of Dawson cards that I will never own. Do you think that takes away from my enjoyment of the ones that I do have? Why would it?

    Have you all lost sight of the fact that we, as a hobby, collect pictures of men on cardboard? Get over it already. I’m done. This is a no-win situation.

  18. Charlie, SHUT UP!, we get it.
    These posts are created to make you think, not over-think.
    You are over thinking the whole thing. He is not trying to tell you how you should collect, he is asking which method of collecting you prefer and if you like more or less cards to collect, state your opinion and move on.
    This is not a Waxheaven v. Charlie subject, it is a collecting subject.
    That being said, I have refocused my Canseco collection towards Base/parallel/inserts and it is damn hard to get even close to 80% full completion of a player’s full Beckett checklist. Donruss and Pacific are the two main culprits of overproducing parallels. Pacific has colored foil parallels that never end.
    On that note, I have to say that collecting a player that does not get much love in the hobby anymore, tracking down and finding an older insert or parallel to add to my collection is very fulfilling and as long as there are more Canseco cards out there to collect, I will be hunting for them for as long as it takes.

  19. Charlie,

    Nobody on here tells anybody else what to collect. We state our opinions about the topics Mario posts about, but no more than that. We argue for and against various ideas and opnions, but we never tell anybody else what to do.

    Realize that a lot of us think that the hobby is in deep trouble and are trying to figure out how to improve it. And one of the main concerns of late has been that manufacturers seems to be producing too many similar products that are bereft of any new and innovative ideas, are overpriced, and which do not provide good value to the collector. If you don’t want to be a part of that discussion, fine…then just don’t post. But don’t pop up on every thread just to tell everyone else just to shut up.

    Mario posts these topics because he wants to generate discussion, not stifle it!

  20. “This is not a Waxheaven v. Charlie subject, it is a collecting subject.”

    Bryan. This is exactly my point, and my comments have nothing to do with what Mario is saying in his entry.

    These posts are created to elicit responses from readership, and moreover lately those responses are “opinions” on what people should and shouldn’t collect, and I find it completely unneccessary.

    I personally feel that player collectors who enjoy a wide variety of cards get a bad rap here, even though Mario is one himself.

    The fact that you guys think I’m all worked up and angry about this is hilarious. I’m sitting at my desk, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and typing my opinion onto a blog about sports cards.

    I’m not cursing and banging on my keyboard and punching my monitor. I’m just passionate about my opinions, and frankly am getting kind of tired of the sma eold rhetoric here. Mario creates entries here asking for opinions, and usually Gellman and I are 2 of the few who speak up to defend player collectors.

  21. I forgot to add to my last post the fact that Gellman is constantly called derogotory names on here for his opinions and his way of collecting.

    Do you think that is OK?

    Or is that just people giving their thoughts about sports cards?

  22. Charlie,

    It’s never ok to bash someone, I have heard on many occations the bashing against bloggers. I like the fire and passion that the sites give. With this topic, it is fustrating to think that a player in 2008 has over 1700 cards produced. When I started collecting in 86, I collected Van Slyke, in 90 I collected Canseco. In 1999 when I saw a 1/1 Canseco Auto go for over 2000.00, in my heart I knew that I could not have the master collection. It did not stop me from collecting him, but he retired in 2001. Since then many many release, I had to stop. Not because of the thrill of the hunt, rather was it worth the chase. I think it comes down to if you are a player collector having a collection and possesing each card is a thrill, but when in one year you have to chase 1780 cards, it’s no longer fun.

  23. I like the older era, just because it was from a time when you really had to work on your collection. Back then, mail order was even a big deal. Nowadays, if you want to find something, you jump on ebay and you find it without much problem.

  24. I personally think between all the sets and parallels/inserts in each set, they’ve basically made it impossible for both set and player collectors. Even within a given product/set they’ve made it pretty impossible to get all a players cards. I don’t have a problem with that per se, especially when it makes sense for a product like Chrome, but in general it detracts for the entire collecting experience.

  25. Why is it bad Sammy?

    I am genuinely curious about this.

    Why do you HAVE to have EVERY card?

    What is wrong with enjoying the ones you are able to obtain? I would probably leave this hobby if I could just log on and buy every single card I have ever wanted all in one fell swoop. I love the fact that every week, and practically every day, there is a card on eBay that I have never seen before.

  26. Charlie, for some of us who began collecting in the 80’s and early 90’s… our goal was to get every single card.

    I know for a fact I am not alone in this. It’s the same reason you see people state the percentage of a player’s card they own.

    Also, the URL is Completist for a reason. I loved the idea of owning every single card of a player but after 1992, it sort of became impossible.

  27. Interesting topic, Mario!

    I am kinda in the middle, as I have large Don Mattingly and Evan Longoria player collections.

    For Mattingly, I’ve limited myself to just collecting the cards from his playing career, the last of which were produced in 1996. So it is very realistic to collect all of those cards, since there were no low-numbered parallels, printing plates, etc. Still, there are some cards that have been VERY tough to find and very expensive to obtain. The chase and the satisfaction once I actually get a card that I’ve been trying to find for years is a great experience.

    For Longoria, I try to collect as much as I can (2006 – present), but I ignore all printing plates and 1/1’s. I think the key to collecting a current player is to focus only on what you can reasonably acquire. I know that I’ll never get every single card of Longoria that was ever made, and I don’t want to. I’m perfectly happy just trying to get the cards that have 25 or more copies out there, with a few super rare ones in my collection too.

    For player collectors to be happy nowadays, I think it is absolutely necessary to establish limitations on what you’re going to try to collect. There is no way that any sane person should try to collect EVERYTHING, including printing plates and 1/1’s. You’ll never succeed. Instead, focus on what you like, and what you can reasonably obtain (based on cost and availability). And if you do that, then it can be very fun and rewarding to be a player collector.

  28. Vintage cards hold up value due to them being reconizable. 25 years from now, 3000 out of the 3007 Hanley cards from the past few years will be long forgotten. Meanwhile, the single Topps cards from the 1950-80s will still be collectable. If Topps really wanted to save the hobby, it would only have 3-5 products next year!

  29. Mario, I’m a couple years older than you, and I did start collecting in the late 80’s. Even then, I didn’t have EVERY Dawson card out there.

    I guess I just don’t understand the ravenous compulsion to have EVERY card.

    Oh, and for the record, my personal feeling is that those collection percentages are kind of pompous. I don’t see the need for it personally.

  30. Charlie,

    Stating one’s opinion is very different from telling somebody else what to collect or do. For example, I have repeatedly stated my opinion that most of the relic and autograph cards being produced today will lose value in the future because in most cases there is no limit on future supply (i.e. nothing is preventing the future creation of more relic/auto cards), while demand will slowly fade as today’s players retire and new players become popular. However, I have never told anyone that they should not collect these cards, only that I think doing so will prove to be unwise financially.

    Two very different things…

  31. Realize that a lot of us think that the hobby is in deep trouble and are trying to figure out how to improve it.

    The HOBBY is not in deep trouble and will never go away. The INDUSTRY may be different, but is not in immediate jeopardy. Get that idea out of your head.

    Either way, Charlie is right for the most part. Variety makes this industry great, and there are many people who are here because of that reason alone. If there are 12 million griffey cards, its no sweat off my back, ill just go after the ones I want. The fact is, if you are condemning the practice of producing lots of cards only because you cant collect them all, you really have been in the wrong hobby for the last decade or so. Things have changed from the 80s for a reason, and I am SO glad they have.

    Also, I guarantee you would hear twice as many complaints around if there were less cards than if there were more. The people who post on here represent a ridiculously small sliver of target market, and you can see why just by looking at the general landscape of what is produced. If the general populace were different, more towards the people here, you would see more of a shift in that direction. So far, its been completely the other way, and its because that is what the super-majority of collectors enjoy.

  32. Free agency changed the game and card collections. At first, people only cared about players that they knew, mostly from the home town team. Then people cared about sets. Now people care about individuals that have a particular flair.

    It will all change again as the market will start to care about how close they can actually get to the game itself (forget relics and signatures, I am talking about rare inserts to win an entire cap or jersey or to win a personal meeting with a player). I think that is where the hobby will be in the distant future.

  33. Relics are meaningless?!?! That’s news to me! I still love ’em – send ’em my way if you don’t want any. The way I see it, any certified auto I’m gonna pull out of a product in my price range is going to be crap anyway, and something I can likely get TTM or in person.

  34. Charlie said: Oh, and for the record, my personal feeling is that those collection percentages are kind of pompous. I don’t see the need for it personally.

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Gellman said: The HOBBY is not in deep trouble and will never go away. The INDUSTRY may be different, but is not in immediate jeopardy. Get that idea out of your head.


  35. I’m a bit turned off by the 20 different versions of the exact same card that goes on today.

    But one thing I really prefer about the junk wax days versus today was the variety of players available. In the junk wax days with giant sets, there were a ton of players available. For example, if you were a Dallas Cowboys collector, you could get almost the entire starting lineup offense & defense, punter, kicker, and coach. Now if it’s not a superstar at a glamor position, good luck finding a card.

    I understand that the role player in a sport won’t make you money on your cards, but isn’t there a place in this hobby for the fielding shortstop or the above average left tackle?

  36. Charlie/Gellman…its not a problem with the inserts/parallels/number of producrs per se, its more a crappy product/inserts for the sake of low numbering combo problem.

    The best way I can articulate it is with the Panini Prestige product. The on-card signed draft cards and the manu-patches auto (and there are at least 3 parallels here) are nice, but do I really need 4 different numbered prestigious picks jersey parallels for the sake of “exclusivity”? I guess there are collectors for those cards, but the lack of price differences between the various runs say to me people really don’t care.

    It’s more of a bad product problem. I fully realize there will always be inserts/parallels (and when done well…Topps Chrome/AllenGinter) it works exceeding well, its just that so many of these releases see seem lazy and put togther to jam as many low numbered parallels as possible to create “value” when the base set is basically worthless.

  37. Charlie,

    I don’t think it’s a compulsion, really. Before baseball cards I collected Transformers (G1) and wanted every single toy. It’s part of the fun. Sure, I had 20 but I wanted more. I wanted ever single character.

    I came back into The Hobby after ten years away expecting to be able to do so but was in for a rude awakening after a few weeks of browsing eBay and message boards.

    I wish I had every single Jose Canseco card, not to brag but to feel like my collection is complete or close to it.

  38. > If Topps really wanted to save the hobby, it would only have 3-5 products next year!

    Not true. More collectors would then complain of the lack of variety. Also, the manufacturers wouldn’t make as much money.

    >I’m a bit turned off by the 20 different versions of the exact same card that goes on today.

    Me too. Parallels are the biggest cause of this. If only we could eliminate the insane amounts of parallels.

    > But one thing I really prefer about the junk wax days versus today was the variety of players available.

    Me too. Topps and UD base come close. Topps Total was also good.

  39. gellman >> i meant that a 1/1 card can’t be considered “over-produced” cuz there’s only 1… but it seems there are so many products with so many 1/1’s that they are kinda over produced, so it’s a funny dynamic to me.

    take 09 topps. aren’t there several 1/1 printing plates (diff colors) for every card in the set? that seems a bit outta control, but by no means does it bother me. 🙂

  40. >Not true. More collectors would then complain of the lack of variety. Also, the manufacturers wouldn’t make as much money.

    There will always be complainers. Even if there are 20-30 different products, people would still complain that their niche was overlooked. I’d much rather have 3-5 quality products than 20-30 niche products that are trying to please every single collector. Plus, having 3-5 products a year would hold up better in the long run.

  41. and as a player collector, how do you draw the line… “i’ll only collect the cards i care about”? what does that mean? isn’t the point of collecting a specific player to obtain all his cards? you may never get them all, but is there a point you would stop/be satisfied?

    of course we all collect within out economic means, i love cecil fielder cards, and there’s a 06 co-signers auto with him and ryan howard (gee, thanks topps). by no means can i afford this card, but if i had the money i would buy it 4 sure. i couldn’t imagine

  42. The hobby will never go back to when there was only 4-5 cards of one player. Being that it has been 12 years since the first relic cards had been introduced, it was only nature that the hobby would evolve over time. I don’t think it is so much complaining about the product, it’s that no matter what, no one is going to be 100 % happy. High end collectors want the hits, budget collectors want the price, it has to be met in the middle some where. If you pay less that is what you are going to be getting, if you pay more you will get the quality. As far as the 1980’s and 1990’s go, different time different type of collectors. Having one player reguardless if it is 1/1 or a copy #’ed to 25, if you collect Canseco you want it period. A few people keep making the issue you don’t need every card, but that is what collecting is about, or was about, finding someone you like and collecting them. Dawson, Petterson, Canseco, bottom line is how much do you want to shell out.

  43. IGNORE the “i couldn’t imagine”

    and by the way, this topic is apparently still relavent. just look at all the comments and heated debates. there are tons of topics in the news, both political and in the entertainment world, that are “beaten to death” on a regular basis but people still tune in and weigh in… with out saying things like “who gives two shits”, cuz obviously you do charlie, or else you wouldn’t have left several comments. 😉

  44. i just went to charlie’s blog. his dawson collection, especially his high-end stuff, is just stupid. and by stupid i mean amazing.

  45. The sad fact is that many collectors come at things from a selfsih persepctive.

    For example “I would like to own every card produced of a player, therefore they should limit the number of cards produced of them each year.”

    or “I only like collecting base sets like the Topps, so Topps should focus on this and not produce so many different sets.”

    or “I only like high end, so why doesn’t Upper Deck focus putting more value into these products”

    or “All of Topps high end sucks, like Triple threads and Bowman/Topps Sterling sucks. Topps should give up on producing high end.”

    The joy of the card market today is that there is a variety of quality products people can buy. If you don’t like something, DON’T COLLECT IT. It’s that simple. Stop telling others how they should collect by stating your “opinion” (and this isn’t directed at everyone who has commented above) and stop having a go at people who collect something you don’t like, or collect in a different manner to you.

    It should be pointed out that Gellman, while he may be correct on some things, can be a bit of a hypocrite. Whenever someone even remotely has a go at the type of cards he collects, like high end products such as Exquisite, he gets all up in arms about it. Yet a significant proportion of his blog is directed at having a go at people who collect cards he doesn’t like, such as Triple Threads. Maybe you should focus more on you own collecting habits Gellman and give up insulting others collecting habits and others may do the same!

  46. I think there is nothing wrong with all of the different brands and hundreds of cards per player per year. I only get angry when Topps or Upper Deck decides to use the exact same picture of a player from brand to brand or year to year, that’s just flat out cheap and lazy.

  47. Charlie is being a tad hypocritical. When Mario or anyone says they want to have every card, that’s their perogative. Why are YOU getting so worked up about THEIR opinions and preferences?

    Joe Collector: I want all Frank’s cards. It’s hard to get them.


  48. You can make all the parallels, relics, autos, high-end stuff you want Topps, but give me a decently priced base set (i.e., $1 for 15 cards) and you’ll get my business again.

    I only collect Topps sets, and can ignore the other crap (my opinion, don’t shoot!). I have my favorite 75 Topps set, but I can live without a 75 mini set.

    Priorities. Set priorities.

  49. The thing that bothers me is 5 different colors of the same relic card. For example you take a “Coolest Players in the game” relic of Torii Hunter and you make 1000 of these cards. You Call 500 of them “Coolests Players in the Game” and it is un numbered. You then produce red, green, blue, purple, and black parallels numbered to 250, 100, 50, 25, and 1. I personally would not want to have all five of these cards much more than I would want to have just one

  50. I started collecting in 1986 and I was a set completist. I wanted to collect every major set each year, which in the ’80s to me meant: Topps, Donruss, Fleer, then Score and then Upper Deck – base set and traded/rookies set. Basically 2 sets per company per year.

    Then in the early ’90s, there was Stadium Club, Ultra, Leaf, Bowman, etc. and I tried to keep up. I remember thinking in either ’91 or ’92 that this wasn’t feasible or even worthwhile anymore. There were too many sets and not enough rookies of interest. Think about the ’90 and ’91 rookie classes, not a lot of value there. Anyway, if you think that’s a lot of sets then, look at now. It’s impossible.

    So now i do collect what I like. I still strive to collect the base set of Topps each year (but no other company) and I try to get the traded set, too, though I am lagging behind in that area. While it can be fun to see new cards of players I like, the competist in me is frustrated because it’s a task that cannot be completed (at least not easily). It’s also ridiculous that our favorite players from our youth have more cards produced since they retired than when they were actively playing.

    To answer the original question, I prefer the old days because it was easier to be a completist and KNOW that you had one of every major card of a player/set. Today that just isn’t a realistic reality. Yes, you can be content to collect just what you like, but there’s always something missing, always something more that you could have. As a kid, I felt a sense of accomplishment each year when I finally had each set and traded set for a particular year – then I could put each in binders and enjoy looking at each season’s rookies, stars and teams. But I love baseball cards and I’m still here.

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