Friday, June 24, 2016

Completed 19 sets in one day! What's the longest you've chased a card?

I could have titled this COMC bonanza...June 22nd, 2016 is a date that is going to go down in history for me, as I completed 19 sets...and one 220 card parallel, which is just about the same as completing a major set!

I was gifted some money and instead of being a responsible adult, I put it all towards COMC's Spring Cleaning sale. The cards added to my collection will spawn several posts- some of them will even be combined with the last COMC order I made back at the start of May, the one I posted about titled "What dreams are made of". I'm getting backlogged here! But that's not a bad thing at all.

This post is JUST going to be about the cards that completed sets. It's my new personal record, and here's a collage of all 20 of them, counting the parallel, followed up by each card and some notes on each one.

This one makes me wonder, what's the longest time you've hunted one card?

For me, this one is it. When I created my paper listing in 1998, I already had all the other cards from this set. I have been actively chasing this one for 18+ years! Somebody on the Beckett forum once told me that they had it but wouldn't send it to me because it "wasn't worth the effort". (Any wonder I no longer post there?) The long hunt is finally over, and I finally got it!

1994-95 Topps Embossed #57
The first card out of the box completed 1992-93 Topps Archives. This is the first set where I completed a parallel before I completed the base set. I purchased the Factory set, which has a special gold foil logo, back in 1996. It was likely the first NBA set I ever completed, although it didn't count on my list of completed sets as it was a parallel. I had been 5 cards short on the base set for quite some time, then last year I traded for two on the Database, this year I traded for two more, and just broke down and bought this Ewing.
1992-93 Topps Archives #64
1987-88 Fleer was the second set of the "modern era" (I break it with the Star company sets) and I was one card short. This set also includes the earliest Michael Jordan card I'll ever be able to have. His Fleer card from 1986-87 and his Star cards (his TRUE RC!) are WELL out of my price range.
1987-88 Fleer #125
2010 Stealth was a nice set-every card is holofoil. I chased it extensively when it came out (in actuality, I got almost the entire set via one blaster box) and I came one card short. Buescher, who won a Truck championship just a couple of years ago, is out of the sport. I also got the third and final Salute to Dale insert card, which will appear in a near future post.
2010 Stealth #39
Honestly, I thought I had completed 2002-03 Topps a long time ago, but it turned out I was short one card.
2002-03 Topps #54
2005 VIP was a set I did a box of when new, but came up several cards short. I was able to trade for the others I needed but could not locate this one.
2005 VIP #44
2002 Stealth is another set I thought I had completed, but I was mistaken. It turned out that this was the only card I needed. I truly hate the censorship on many NASCAR sets, including every single Dale Earnhardt Jr. card produced between 2000-2007.
2002 Stealth #55
1993-94 Skybox is the second-largest set I completed that day, coming it at 341 cards. In truth, I already had the two cards I needed but they arrived to me badly damaged and it was the same as not having them.
1993-94 Skybox #182
2005 High Gear was a set I was two cards short on, and I got them both. The other card not shown was #80, a Jeff Gordon subset card. The High Gear brand is the only one where Press Pass bothered to include statistics, and when they killed it after 2008, there were no NASCAR sets that showed statistics, for the 2009-15 releases.
2005 Wheels High Gear #27
1988-89 Fleer is a set I've always liked (despite it's small size at 132 cards), mainly for two reasons- the green theme of the set (on the card backs) and when I was first getting into the NBA, they were some of the first older cards I got. While not particularly rare, the sets become much easier to find with the 1989-90 releases. I was three cards short, and I debated weather or not I wanted to finish this one- one of the cards missing was one of the most important from the set, the first Reggie Miller card. I am not a fan of Miller at all and only grudgingly spent the $6 on the card. But I did...
This is the only set in my lifetime to actually list the Knicks as "Knickerbockers", which is the proper name of the team. The only other sets to do that were 1948-49 Bowman and 1961-62 Fleer.
1988-89 Fleer #80
2002-03 Topps Chrome...this is a big one. The Chrome sets are tough, and in fact this is the first one I've completed, despite the fact that it had a run that lasted from 1996-97 through 2008-09. I was close, as I did TWO boxes when it was new, but I was short three cards. It's only a 175 card set, but it's still tough- of all the sets I've completed, this is the third hardest to complete, after 2002-03 SP Authentic (with all RC and SN subset!) and 1925 Lambert & Butler Motor Cars. There were 10 rookies in the set with versions in English and their native language, I was short two native versions and one English version, and I got them all. The 2003-04 Chrome set is one I could probably complete, as I was lucky enough to pull the big three rookies when the set was new (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade). With those three down the rest shouldn't be too hard to track down. But for now I am going to just enjoy the fact that I completed a Topps Chrome set for the first time- the next to last major multi-year brand I had never completed any years from. Ironically, the last one left is Ultra, which is my favorite brand! (Post Preview edit: I have not completed any EX sets, either)
2002-03 Topps Chrome #165 B
1994 Maxx is the largest NASCAR set ever produced, at 340 cards. As I've stated numerous times, I like large sets...the larger the better. I had been one card short now since 2010 and I finally got it!
1994 Maxx #328
This was a frustrating set to complete, because I bought a box, and came up with a stack of duplicates about 40 cards high...but was missing 4 cards. I was able to trade for three of them, but this Waltrip eluded me. Even though 1993 is the year I began collecting NASCAR cards, this is only the 2nd set from the season I've completed, and I didn't complete the first until 2011!
1993 Maxx Premier Plus #30
2010 Premium is the set I was farthest away from at the start of this set-completing bonanza. I was 11 cards short, including 7 of the 10 short prints (Cards #91-100). I got them all. I don't know why but this set really struck me when it was new, I've been a fan since day 1. A large part of that is the fact that it's one of the few sets where Press Pass actually realized that you should show photos of cars in a NASCAR set!
2010 Premium #47

2010 Legends is a set that really made me very angry when it was new. More than half the set is made up of current drivers. I saved up to buy a box, (They sold for roughly $150) and my autographs were: Kurt Busch, Brandon Bernstein (both active, Bernstein is not even NASCAR!) and the only thing that saved it, the one card I wanted most out of the set, Ernie Irvan. Even so, I was so unhappy with this box, and set, that I basically walked away from NASCAR cards for a while, and concentrated solely on non-sports for the next year or so. Of course, it came back to kick me in the rear, because the 2011 Press Pass set is one of the few they actually got right, and by time I found that out they were off the retail shelves and hard to find.
I was two cards short, and I did not want to see this set at the top of my list of Sets Close to Completion, so I did it...even though one of the cards I was missing is of an active driver, not a legend. I did not buy another box of Legends after this, even though it was produced up through 2013.
2010 Legends #10
Bowman's Best was, I believe, the second Finest-style set, after Finest. It and Topps Chrome were both added to the NBA family in 1996-97, but my memory is telling me that Bowman's Best was released first. I didn't yet keep records of when I added cards to my collection and my Beckett collection is missing somewhere in storage, so my memory could be wrong. I completed the 1996-97 set when it was new (luckily, I was able to get the big rookies before they got really expensive [Kobe, Iverson, etc]) The 1997-98 set, which this one is, was 1 card short after a friend gifted me the other card I needed in January 2015, without knowing that I needed it!
1997-98 Bowman's Best #32
I also completed 1999-00 Bowman's Best from the same package! I was 4 cards short, so it was really just pure luck that the last one I needed that came out of the box was Elton Brand, my all-time favorite player!
1999-00 Bowman's Best #101
1997 Press Pass ActionVision was a concept I really liked, even if it does not translate well to scans. They were clear plastic cards, and when you turned them, the image would move. The set was only 12 cards, issued in single-card mini-boxes. I was 2 short, and got them both- plus the Bobby Labonte promo I didn't even know existed! I am going to try and take little movies of each of the cards but I don't know if it will work, and I don't want to hold the post off until I can find out, so for now just take my word for it that this image shows Dale Earnhardt's #3 car crossing the finish line to win a race at Daytona. At 12 cards, this is the smallest set I consider listing as an officially completed set. It was pack based, and it took me 19 years to complete it, so yes, for sure it counts. The technology used to make these cards was never used again, to my knowledge.
1997 Press Pass ActionVision #3
1995-96 Hoops is a very special set to me, as it was the 2nd NBA set to enter my collection. It's also the first NBA set I was conscious of having an insert from, and I consider the specific card to be my first NBA insert- even though I know it was in fact NOT, as 1995-96 Fleer included an insert in every pack. This set was also the first one I got a coach card from- Jim Lynam of the Bullets. I am a BIG proponent of coach cards. This is a 400 card set, the largest of those I completed on 6/22/16. I was 6 short. One of my long-term goals is to complete every base set of 1995-96 (well, to be honest, every year, but I'm talking realistically here) and this is one of the key sets to me.
1995-96 Hoops #120
While this one does not count on my official list of complete sets, it's still a major accomplishment. It's the 2009 Press Pass Blue set, which is 220 cards, and was issued one per retail pack of both series 1 and series 2. The 2009 set is the largest one Press Pass ever produced, and is available in 5 versions- silver foil, which is the base card (Completed in 2015), Red foil, which is Factory Set exclusive (Completed 2013), Gold foil, one per hobby pack (I have 56 of 220) and Holofoil, serially numbered to 100, of which I have 26 of 220, which is my personal best for any serially numbered parallel from any subject, not just NASCAR. If I eventually complete all 5 versions, that will be 1100 cards. With the 3 versions now completed, plus all the inserts, (and I have a lot of them!) this set is already the largest in my NASCAR collection with over 700 unique cards. I got roughly 90% of the blue parallels from the NUTS forum.
2009 Press Pass Blue #92
That's it from the sets I completed from this COMC bonanza. There will be at least two more posts in this series, probably more. And typing this one up gave me an idea for another topic to post, which will require me to do some actual thinking (gasp!) but it's something I've never really thought about before...stay tuned, because I will probably not post that one until sometime in July.

Thanks for reading!


  1. BIG blog post! I remember how irritated you were with Legends.

  2. Nice! The longest I have waited was a year on set completion. That's only because I was chasing my one card through pack busting lol. It was an Sp and I didn't have internet at the time or an LCS

    1. I remember those days...I completed 2002-03 SP Authentic with all the autographs and SN subset cards before I had an ebay account let alone anything like COMC or SportLots. Hard work but immensely gratifying to do it. Completing a set from retail packs is tough!

  3. Congratulations on completing so many sets! I collected NASCAR back in the 1990's, and 1994 Maxx was one of my favorites.

    If you define "chasing" as "intending to get some day", then I've been chasing one particular rookie card for about 40 years. I finally found a copy within my budget on COMC, and I'll feature that as soon as *my* box arrives (which will be a little while, as mine hasn't even shipped yet).

    1. Congrats on that one! Part three of this series is going to include some of the Truckin' cards I got from you via COMC :)

  4. nice. I'm not a basketball guy, but 19 is one hella impressive.

    also love seeing NASCAR getting so much hobby love. I need to get back into it soon.

  5. How about a very late comment? Congratulations on completing the 87-88 Fleer set! I consider that to be a pretty big accomplishment. I know people are always going on and on about the 1986-87 set, but I think I might be in the minority, in that I have always liked 87-88 set more. And yet, I still haven't even completed it.

    1. I do too. I like 1988-89 even more. I doubt I'll ever complete 1986-87. I just can't justify spending the kind of money it would take to get a Jordan. It's not even his true rookie card. I still need one of the other big ones from the set, but I can't remember if it's Barkley or Olajuwon I'm missing. I have not looked at my records for the set in quite some time. I am 4 away from it, that much I know. I still remember the day I got the Jordan from the 1987-88 set, it was pretty memorable, even though the card is in poor shape. I was able to upgrade it later but the original still hangs around my collection due to it's memory prodding every time I see it.