08 June 2016

When Do You Give Up On a Project?

I picked up a card that's got me asking when it's time to quit on a project. I've been picking up Members Only parallels from 2014 Topps Stadium Club pretty much since the product came out. They aren't serially-numbered, but they were seeded one per case and have a rumored print run of between 5 and 10 copies each. I've probably got nearly twenty of them, but I know for sure that I'll never complete the set, or even come close. The product has been out for a couple of years now, so not many of these show up anymore, and most of the ones that do are priced extremely high or are cards that I've already got.

That has me wondering what my goal is with this set? I guess it's just to accumulate as many of them as I can. I can't imagine I will accumulate much more than 30 of these parallels at the most, or just 15% of the base set. Maybe it's not really a question of when to quit. I probably won't stop getting these as long as I still find them interesting. I just don't have a good definition for what I'm trying to accomplish. It is fun to pick up some 'under-the-radar' super-rare cards of stars and semi-stars, because there's no way I would be picking up colorful serially-numbered Refractors of these guys for these prices, yet the Members Only parallels are just as rare as the # / 5 or # / 10 stuff on the market.


The latest addition to this collection is Dustin Pedroia, the former Rookie of the Year, MVP, and multiple-time All-Star. It popped up in my eBay feed with a reasonable Buy It Now price and I went ahead and grabbed it. The photo is decent, with both player's uniforms featuring camouflage accents. I think it's cool that Topps made sure to include the ball in the frame, lending a bit more action to the photo. Stadium Club sure has done well on the photography front the last couple of years. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing the 2016 set.

17 comments:

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    1. Yes, he is Bravely sliding in to second.

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  2. That's a good question. I've found myself asking the same thing at times about certain things I chase- although nothing nearly as tough to find as the ones you're picking up.

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    1. Well, I am 100% sure that I am not chasing the full set, so that takes some of the pressure off when it comes to finding more of them.

      It is useful to stop every once in a while, though, and question whether you're collecting stuff that you really enjoy or if you're collecting some things just out of habit.

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  3. And I thought my 1988 SLU set was going to be tough ;)

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    1. Wow, there's a guy with the full 1988 baseball SLU set on eBay with a starting bid of $255 and a full 1988 football SLU set starting at $700! That's just for the cards! If you want the full set of baseball figures you can get it for $1750.

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  4. When it's time to stop (and I wouldn't call it "giving up"), you'll know. Back in the eighties, I would pick up a T205 at a card show every now and then, if I found a nice one at a nice price. Something about the T205's speaks to me (whereas I find the T206's, for example, to be blah and ugly). I don't have a lot. Maybe 10. Even before the prices got insane, I stopped. I had enough. I love looking at them, but I don't have even a twinge of desire for more. Not saying I wouldn't buy a nice one for a buck or two (like that'll happen), but I'm not looking.

    More recently, I started to pick up 1967 Kabaya-Leaf (Japanese) baseball cards--ironically because they're so American--when I see a nice one at a good price. I've got about a half dozen of those. Thanks to Sadaharu Oh, there's no way I could ever complete a set; too rich for my blood. And I'm not paying the $30 or so they get on eBay. But I don't feel done yet. I want at least a few more. I certainly want at least one gai-jin and at least one player from each team. So no pressure, no rush, but I'm still looking. I'll know when I've got enough.

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    1. That certainly makes sense. I guess I'll keep collecting these until the supply runs out or I get tired of them. Wow, that Sadaharu Oh is an expensive piece of cardboard! Good luck on your quest to collect a type set of the Kabaya-Leaf cards. They are pretty cool. Maybe I should see if I can collect one player for each team in this Members Only set.

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    2. I'm with you, Stubby, on the T205s vs. T206s. I'm going after the NY Giants team set. Mathewson is going to be far down the road. I've only recently seen tolerable ones in the $500 range.

      As for projects, I was going to say to narrow it down to a certain subset of players (or teams) that you connect to in some way.
      There are certain kinds of cards (sets) that I figure I'll finish quickly and a few others that I consider collecting "career" goals.

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  5. Never give up,just set it aside for awhile

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    1. Lately it's been set aside a few months at a time just because the cards don't pop up all that often in my price range.

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  6. Never. I gave up on the NBA from 2006 through 2012 and I now consider it one of the biggest mistakes of my life...and I've made a lot of stupid mistakes. In 2016 alone I've added cards to at least three sets that I hadn't added any to in over a decade. I plan to keep collecting for the rest of my life and I will just see what I can add to the collection...it doesn't even really matter to me what I add, I just love cards that much.

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    1. I feel like I missed out on a whole lot during my break from collecting, which lasted roughly from 2000 to 2013. I don't plan on stopping entirely. I just sometimes feel myself asking, "Why?" when it comes to some of my projects.

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  7. To quote a line from Galaxy Quest: "Never give up, Never Surrender!"

    The fact that you were able to get the card featured in this post alone, tells me that you might be able to get further along in the set than you think. There are a lot of Red Sox collector's out there, and yet, you were still able to get one with potentially that low of a print run. Next up...Jeter!

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    1. I liked Galaxy Quest. I need to re-watch it some time. If the seller had put it up for bid I probably wouldn't have won this card, but it was a Buy It Now with a price in my target range, so I snapped it up probably within an hour of the listing going live. I don't think Jeter is going to happen for me unless I pull it from a pack!

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  8. Julie from A Cracked Bat was nice enough to send me Helton's Members Only card from 2014. But that's my only one so far.

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    1. Helton had a nice card in this Stadium Club set. The Members Only parallel for it is quite an acquisition!

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