A quick history

29 03 2008

Donruss and Fleer entered the hobby in 1981, and so did I.  Somehow as a six year old I managed a good start on all three sets, and continued to pursue this goal through 1985.  After that, I stuck mostly with Topps (since it had the history) and Fleer (accessibility and my first completely hand collated set), then added Score in 1988 and Upper Deck in 1990.

In 1989, I added my first hockey set (Topps, of course), and in 1990 I chased the ProSet and Upper Deck sets, too. 

In 1991, I gave up the baseball cards.  That was the year that the number of releases began to explode, and I knew I could not keep up.  In 1994, I gave up on hockey cards as well.  The 1994-95 Upper Deck release was too pricey, and as a new college student, I had better things to spend my money on.

In 1989, I bought up hockey cards like they were going out of style.  They were everywhere, and I ripped pack after pack in the Upper Deck release desperate to put together the set.  I also chased the Black Diamond, Topps, and MVP sets from that year.  In 1990, I added Be a Player Memorabilia and Topps Chrome, and picked up Retro and Be A Player Autos here and there as well.   It was too much.  I burnt out, bought one box the following year, and gave up altogether once again the following year.

In 2005, I started once more.  Upper Deck hockey.  The hype.  The Crosby rookie.  I was back in.  In 2007, I added Topps baseball, but couldn’t justify getting the Upper Deck set.  It didn’t seem fair to the once mighty Topps. 

So why did I leave and come back?  Well, in 1991 there were too many releases and none of them were worth a thing.  I had so many 1989 Donruss cards at one point that I made a kite out of them for a math class.  A box kite.  It was one of only two out of the class to actually fly.

They hockey cards were just harder to find.  I went to school in southern Indiana, not a hot bed of the winter sports in general.  There were a glut of sets on the market, then, too.

In 2000, I got tired of the short prints.  I still hate them.  It’s an attempt to create artificial demand for a product.  Sadly, there’s no real way to avoid them when it comes to hockey sets.  So I stick with the Upper Deck base set only.  It’s too bad they can’t limit the Young Guns tag to players who are actually Young Guns.  And at a later date I may go through and catalog the number of players who are in that subset one year and completely missing from the set the next.

As for baseball, well, I’m on the fence.  Topps is the cheaper alternative, but I generally like the look of the Upper Deck cards better.  This year I’ve got a box of Topps that I’m steadily opening (I’ll post something on it later, even though most have already moved on) and I was psyched to find a bulk lot of Upper Deck on ebay relatively cheap.  Except the box got damaged in transit, and I salvaged about a hundred of them.  I’m currently hunting for a cheap box so I can put this set together as well. 

The rest of the sets, the Heritage and the Black, the OPC and the Cups of the collecting world do nothing for me.  They aren’t the stalwarts I collected as a kid.  They seem tacked on by the companies in an effort to make more money.  I realize they must exist in the market to keep the companies alive.  But I don’t have to enjoy them myself. 

So there you go.  Thanks for walking through that with me, and if you want to help, email me at hand collated at gmail dot com.  I should have some wantlists up shortly.

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