Friday, October 13, 2023

You can never have it all (a COMC order)

Once in a while, I foolishly wonder if there can really be that many more cards I need floating out there in the universe.

The plain fact is that I do have a lot of baseball cards - I'm at north of 90 binders(!) as we speak, not to mention the boxes of other frankenset/non-sport/miscellaneous stuff I've accumulated scattered around my room. To anyone not involved in the hobby, it'd appear that I am 1) insane, and 2) kinda close to having everything I want by now, right?

Whether I'm insane or not is up for debate (isn't collecting a minor form of insanity?) but as for the second concern, the answer should be obvious - I've barely even scratched the surface of having all the cards I need!

I may take it to the extreme with my 924 different projects, but most card people seem to understand that there is always something else to collect, something that'll make us say Ooh, I need that!

Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the COMC orders I seem to regularly post around here, the most recent of which landed on my doorstep earlier this month. I admit that every time I click "send" on a large COMC pile, I have that weird thought of wondering how much is left on the site that I still need. (Spoiler: I've since bought so many more cards on there that I'm almost ready to have another order shipped to me.)

Chasing minor league issues of guys I collect (Mookie Wilson!) is a task that itself could take a lifetime, but that's not even including the weirdly cool cards of people like Frank Verdi whom I've never heard of (could the photographer be any further away?).

While my mini-collections are fairly expansive at this point, I'm constantly finding new ones I need - including Topps Now exclusives and GQ variations that Topps prints just to annoy me.

And while I'm proud of the numbers my bigger player collections have grown to, what I own is a small percentage of all the Konerkos and Gwynns out there (if I'm at 5 percent of either guy's total cards, I'd call it a win).

And all this is to say nothing about oddballs - I try not to think about how many of these I'll never know about.

Instead, I try to focus on the ones I'm somehow lucky enough to discover - like a weird McDonald's oddball of Dime Box favorite Karim Garcia, and my first Don Zimmer Rays card!

A second Zimmer here with that tough (Senators!) Archives SP - I paid a touch over $5 for it, which is almost unheard of for a modern card around here.

Food issues carry an extra special place in my heart, which made stuff like a Domino's Al Kaline and other odd McDonald's oddballs a prime part of this order.

COMC always manages to suck me into the bottomless pit of Topps Throwback Thursday - I've bought so many of these over the years, and yet a big stack seems to wind up in every order.

(How great is that Buck O'Neil?)

Other Topps online exclusives that have me wondering why there isn't more stuff like this in standard pack-issued sets.

Seriously, I'd buy the daylights out of a Negro League set if I saw one at Target.

I've said it many times on the blog: magazine covers on baseball cards are an absolute godsend, and I want them all.

Don't believe me?

...still don't believe me? about now?

I stumbled upon a seller unloading these Topps/Sports Illustrated mashups on the cheap (most of 'em were a buck a pop), and as you can see, I had myself a field day.


I've always liked the Topps 206 brand, and while I hate that these are online-only the cards themselves are neat - can't resist a good Steve Carlton Cardinals sighting.

(And another weird Don Zimmer!)

I continue to be a sucker for cheap photo variations despite thinking said photo variations are wildly unnecessary. 

(RIP, Brooks.)

Even if by some wild fantasy I was able to acquire every US-branded card I ever needed, that would leave the loads of foreign-issue stuff I'll probably never see.

My love for BBM is well-documented, but I also discovered a fun mid '90s "Line Up" Venezuelan Winter League brand with this COMC order that I didn't know about (cool Ozzie Guillen double dip!).

A few neat horizontals here, including a rather intense Venezuelan double dip and my first-ever card featuring all three Alou brothers.

I'm by no means a Manny Ramirez collector, but that photo variation was too fun to pass up.

SSPC only had one major release, and I don't even own all of those I need yet, which should tell you how far I am from conquering the entire baseball card universe.

Nolan Ryan and Pete Rose bring me a couple steps closer to finalizing my '76 SSPC wants, and I tracked down other offshoots with the '75 Gaylord Perry sample and a neat '78 SSPC Don Baylor. 

I acquired my first Dodger Bell Brand card at this year's National, and I liked it so much that I immediately wanted another one.

Thankfully, an affordable Frank Howard presented itself in the COMC archives one afternoon, and I managed to couple it with a weathered '69 OPC Hondo for a song ('69 OPCs seem harder to find for some reason).

These are both bizarro-world cards from the '78 Burger King set and represented gaping holes in my binders.

Fergie was a "Keep Dreaming" need, and a particularly painful one given that the cheapest copy I could find online for a long time was over $20 - but out of the blue, a $4 copy popped up on COMC one day, and here we are.

I have an unspoken agreement with myself to try and track down one "big" card with each passing COMC order, and this '60 Frank Robinson certainly fit the bill this time around.

Like Fergie, this one had been on my "Keep Dreaming" list for a while. Thanks to a little paper residue on the back, I was able to nab this copy for a whopping $10. Another vintage Goliath slain!

As I said earlier, I'm not even two weeks removed from the arrival of this order, and I'm almost ready to have another one sent to me. So, no - I don't think I have to worry about not having any cards to chase. 

Or maybe I'm just insane, I don't know.


Johnnys Trading Spot said...

That's my kind of crazy!

Chris said...

Sweet '60 Frank Robby there! Your 'big finish' vintage cards are always fun reveals to read.

I love the "Manny Being Manny" variation too. Such a unique card for a unique all-time character and hitter.

It's great that you have such a wide variety of collecting interests. I just sent away for an order at COMC yesterday and it was a struggle to find cards I wanted. Ended up overpaying for a '90s insert I needed just to clear out my cash :/

Elliptical Man said...

Steve Carlton magazine cover, Julio Franco McDonald's, Frank Robinson.

Crocodile said...

That Frank looks great, and I like those BK versions, which is yet another set I need to set collecting. Insane? Only to the uninitiated.

Mark Zentkovich said...


Xavier Higgins said...

Terminator Ricky is on my Radar, Those are Legend SPs as opposed to Photo 📸 Variations, your ability to acquire well/gently loved vintage gems 💎 is to be applauded 👏

Mike said...

My favorite Antiques Roadshow appraiser, Nicholas Lowry (poster guy in the loud suits) said of collecting "there's always room for something else" right on!

Billy's Back and Freak New Year win it!!

Shlabotnik Report said...

A number of these cards fall into the "Dammit! I wish I'd found that on COMC!" category :-D

Jafronius said...

Excellent pickups!

Nick Vossbrink said...

Whoa. Score McDonalds! Those were impossible to find a couple years ago.

night owl said...

Yeah, none of us are ever going to be "finished."

Favorites are those SI covers. I'm only collecting the ones from the late '70s, but they're all pretty cool. Like the Burger King cards, too. I can never get to all the ones I want.

gcrl said...

great deal on the bk fergie! i picked up that same dav zimmer card for my retired number collection since i think it's his only card as a ray. can't wait to see what you pick up in your next order!

GCA said...

This is the fun of player collecting. And you tend to hit on several of mine with each post like this.
Now I have to find a McD's Franco too. And I'll have to check on that Mother's Baylor.
COMC has a great selection of the minors cards, but a lot of them are more than I deem reasonable. I wait for the ones I want to be at $3 or less most of the time.
I gave up trying to catalog all the Online only releases for my PCs. I have a page on my wantlist site that is basically dedicated to stuff like this but it's so hard to manage....
Some great finds there. I wish my stuff would sell faster so I could pick out another batch on there myself.

Jon said...

I think that there is only a finite number of cards left out there for me, but I still don't think that I ever have to worry about getting them all; or even a large percentage of them.