I knew I was close, but it turns out I was closer than I thought. Back in late 2015 I wanted to know how many people I had in my collection. I had the stats for the NBA and NASCAR, but not everything else- the other sports and non-sports. So, I spent more than a week going through all my cards that were non-NBA or NASCAR and making a listing in Excel. I was above 8000 but I don't remember the exact number. I crossed 9000 early in 2016 and with the cards from the other three sports that I was given in 2016, pretty much every one was a new person.
I thought I began 2017 at 9920something. But I forgot the 1995 Traks Valvoline set, which covered the history of auto racing- giving cards to many early drivers, and covering a lot of early Indy car drivers, missing from my collection otherwise. This set needs to be discussed further, and I will, but with that 101 card set, I knew most would be new people for me- about 1/6th of the set is the only card ever made for the people it shows.
It did the trick! My total number of people in my collection is now at 10,012. Unbelievable!
Here's person #10,000:
Since I've made it my goal to get as many different people
into my collection as possible, the number has gone up and up, and
now...10 thousand different people appear in my collection.
64 different sports are covered in my collection, plus non-sports, with the NBA leading the way with most people, which should not be much of a surprise as the NBA collection takes up more than half of my collection totals. Most of those 64 sports come from the Olympic and SI for Kids sets, which I decided to label the person by sport instead of simply "Olympics" for example.
I only counted real people, IE, no characters. Each person also had to get a card by themselves, no shared cards, team cards, league leaders, etc.
I'm amazed and thrilled by this...this is a big deal. I am not going to stop though. My goal is still to get as many different people represented in my collection as possible, and now I have hockey to chase as well. I am not sure it's totally accurate- I just found somebody missing from the list who I have three cards of, so human error- especially considering which human we're talking about here- is very much possible. (Niklas Sundstrom was the person I missed)
To me, this is such a big deal that I could pull a Michael Jordan autograph tomorrow, and this would still be more of a thrill to me.
Someday I hope to know exactly how many cards I have of each person, but that's years and years in the future...
I think I'll celebrate by opening a pack of hockey cards that I got this past Saturday or two, the same day I hit the milestone.