My MO is to be working on a 'primary' project (likely a vintage set) while having others churning in the background. Those secondary ones are usually just my long term PC searches. That's pretty much where I am at the moment. Truth be told though I'm spending most of my time on a project that isn't directly hobby related but certainly will effect my collecting. More about that at the bottom. First things first.
Here is my primary project right now:
1970/71 Topps Basketball
I'm enjoying the ride on this one. It's challenging without being impossible. I'm in need of 32 cards to complete the 175 card set. Plus I'd like to nab the Checklist Two variation. I've got the biggest names knocked off, at least in terms of their regular cards. I need a few All Star cards and some second tier stars. The rest of what I lack are mostly short-printed common players.
I was happy to pick up a very nice Wilt Chamberlain last week. It was significantly less expensive than other examples in similar shape. Patience pays off.
In the same transaction I grabbed these two. The Championship Series cards which land at the end of the checklist command a premium about equal to a semi-star card. May be because NY and LA stars appear on the fronts.
My secondary, ongoing projects:
T206 Baltimore Players
Here's a word to the wise: If you get your checklists from the 1977 edition of the Sports Collector's Bible you are likely going to end up disappointed. Trust me on this. Years ago I wrote down six cards from Bert Sugar's book into my wantlist thinking they were the Baltimore Orioles represented in the iconic T206 set. Over the course of a few years after I began looking I was able to acquire all six. Turns out that there were nine! I only found this out recently. Luckily none of the three Orioles I was missing were stars or otherwise hard to find.
I hope to complete this small group of cigarette cards in the next few months.
This card, the 2011 Topps 1952 Black Diamond Pierce autograph card, is an example of that sort of thing. It's probably the most costly of the lot and I shouldn't have picked it up but whatcha gonna do? I don't know how collectors who chase some of the more popular players deal with stuff like this.
Other player collections...Elston Howard, Johnny Callison, Bob Moose, Juan Pizzaro, Connie Hawkins, numerous Orioles and Baltimore Colts players and several more are all checklisted to one extent or another. I poke around at card shows and online and add things that I come across but none are complete nor am I confident that my checklists are even accurate. That's a long term project.
After ignoring many of these collections for awhile I checked a few of my eBay saved searches recently and found this Bob Moose ARCO collectible. It's an 8x10 photo and I like that the back mentions his no-hitter that I witnessed at Shea Stadium in 1969.
Non-Sports Sketch cards
I've set this aside for the time being. Every few weeks I check eBay for Batman and Mars Attacks sketch cards but not much has surfaced that looks nice (and affordable enough) to go after. I won't call these 'complete' but I am satisfied with what I currently have. The same can be said for my pins and postcards. I'm in a holding pattern at the moment.
Fantasy Sports Collection
I have been running a fantasy football league for college friends and some new arrivals since 1980. I've been playing fantasy baseball in multiple leagues for about the last seven years. Every player I've ever 'owned' on all those teams is represented in my fantasy baseball or football binders. Sometimes I've had to make my own custom cards, sometimes I've bought custom ones on the net. But the vast majority are actual cards and my goal is to have as many different sets represented as possible.
The only current cards I seek out are those of my players. This '18 Heritage card of Alex Colome came in my only pack of this year's Topps I've bought. It will push out his '17 Topps card since I have a bunch of those in my baseball binder.
Over on the football side I'm always looking for cards of players who are now represented by those custom cards. A real card, even a throwback always bumps a custom. But I doubt I'll see Elton Veals or Kyle Mackey for example in a Donruss or Score set anytime soon.
With this year's baseball draft coming up in a couple of weeks I'll be back in the market for singles of my players. I wish I had the internal fortitude to wait until the season was over and nab each one in a single transaction on COMC. Not happening I'm afraid. I'm too anal. I need a card of the guy I picked up on waivers NOW! The good thing is I've stockpiled a 400 count box of current players so hopefully that'll cover most of my players.
My next project:
I told myself I wouldn't take on another vintage Topps baseball chase after I finished the 1970 set. And I'm not sure I really will. But the itch is still there. I recently picked up a small '62 Topps lot. through a collector I know via an online forum. The cards are in 'collectible' condition (for me that's VG or better) and came pretty cheaply.
Even in my weaker moments when I was thinking about a new project I hadn't really considered the '62 set as a goal. It's not terribly popular (but that might make it more easily obtainable). Plus I was leaning towards 'bookending' my '59-'60 run with either the '57 or '61 set if and when I did give in to my urge. I also considered doing the '1966 set to commemorate the Orioles first title.
If I do take on the '62 set I have a decent head-start. I have the Orioles of course, some stars and dupes of guys in my PCs. Plus I have the starter lot now. Darrell at the hotel card show has plenty of these in his bargain bins and always cuts me a good deal. My secret weapon though might be my friend Bobby who has a boatload of all the early '60s sets and could probably be persuaded to sell me some dupes. His cards are in remarkable condition.
My over-riding and most urgent project
Organization and re-claiming space!!
I mentioned above that I've run a fantasy football league for almost four decades. This fall we will play our 39th season. For most of that time I printed and saved all sorts of statistical stuff. Sometimes it was for or five pages a week or more. That's not counting draft and transaction histories, rosters etc. And until about 2007 or so I produced, printed and mailed a weekly newsletter to all the owners. And I've kept every single scrap of it in binders. Those binders took up multiple shelves and I had more sitting in the top of my closet. I finally decided enough was enough.
A few weeks after I retired in December I began a long term project to get rid of it all. I pulled all the binders, culled out the multiple copies of some stat sheets I kept and began a huge scanning project. I'm turning the whole mess into digital format. I tried out different .pdf freeware programs and have settled on a good one. Each season's paperwork is going to become a single file. It's slow going but I'm making headway. I have ten seasons of paper scanned, saved digitally and then tossed in the recycling bin. I have other seasons through 2004 in manila folders under my desk and ready to scan. It's amazing what reducing a dozen 3" and 4'' binders to one thumb drive and one remaining binder will do for your shelf space.
That space and those binders will be put to good use. All my PCs and sets currently in boxes will be put in sheets and bindered. That is something that is long overdue. I also plan to combine the digital files that all this fantasy stuff has generated since we went fully online in 2008 into single .pdf files. My goal is to finish this all by the end of the year.
That's it for my hobby project update. Apologies if you fell asleep halfway through and hit your head on the keyboard.