Collect what you enjoy. So many times I think we have a tendency of forgetting that when it comes to this hobby. I know I have and I've regretted it. Case in point, over the past year I've purged my collection of three projects that I decided either didn't fit into my collection or that I just wanted to fund purchasing something else. Those three projects were the 2015 Topps Update All Star Stitch set, the 2015 Topps Strata Shadowbox set and the 2008 Votto Rookie collection. The first two weren't a big deal, but getting rid of my Votto rookies....what was I thinking?! Once those cards left my collection I knew I had made a huge mistake. I decided a few weeks back that I would decide to pursue not only 90 different Votto cards once more, but also the All Star Stitch and Shadowbox set as well. I really like the design of those cards and I need to remember that when it comes to collecting I should acquire cards that I like. Also, I need to remember that when it comes to collecting, this is a marathon and not a sprint. The greatest joy I get in this hobby is when I complete a project that has taken years to reach the finish line. I've added links to the pages I've created for these projects and I know that these projects will keep me busy in the years to come.
With COVID still raging around the country, I'm hopeful that things will get back to "normal" later this year. I'm scheduled to get my second vaccination this Wednesday and by the beginning of May our household will be completely vaccinated. I've been wanting to purchase a mask for my man cave for quite some time but never got around to it. That changed last week when I found this listed on eBay. Granted it's no N95, but I think it's a fantastic addition and it's red! Now I just need to find a place to put it. I'm thinking about placing it with the various baseball gloves I've acquired but not sure yet. On the card front, I've been working on a couple of projects and I'll probably post an update soon about what I've been doing but for now make sure you keep wearing a mask in public.
The cards are on their way. Each year I head over to eBay and pick up a Reds team set because I don't feel like spending money busting packs trying to build a single team set. That's just too expensive and I end up with a ton of cards and inserts I don't want. Besides, there are a lot of projects I'm working on and I would rather the majority of my funds go towards acquiring cards to complete those projects instead. Luckily for me, Topps only included one short print in series one that I needed for my set, the Joey Votto card pictured in the post. That too is on it's way to my house and hopefully will be in my binder before the end of the week. I'm glad that Topps decided to include a border in this year's design. To me, the base set should have a border. Save the full bleed photos for Stadium Club. I just don't care for all the transparent boxes on the front of the card. Still feels a little too much like Bowman for me. That and the fact that there are so many rookie cards in Series 1. Maybe if the name was a little larger I would be more of a fan of the design.
This year has been for me, and many, a tough year to get through. It's almost as if it's the year that wasn't...but was. From March through December it just felt as though I was living in some parallel universe where nothing was the same yet it seemed that everyday was a repeat of the day before. Almost like the movie Groundhog Day, but on PEDs. I just kind of wandered through this year in a haze and it's been reflective in my hobby as well. Sure I was able to put together this year's Topps Cincinnati Reds flagship set. I'm grateful that there weren't any super short prints for me to chase. But other than that I didn't really collect much. That being said, I did start on one more 1991 Stadium Club set this year. While I have the baseball, football and hockey sets from 1991 as well as the baseball pre-production set, there's still a couple of Members Only sets I would like to get but those are small potatoes compared to what I'm building right now. I was able to purchase a huge lot of press proofs a few months back. In fact, the lot I purchased was the entire series 1 set with the exception of Rickey Henderson. Luckily I was able to track him down on comc as well as the hall of famers and rookies in series 2 so now I just have commons to chase. Since I'm two thirds of the way done with the set I'm hopeful that sometime next year or perhaps 2022 I'll be able to wrap it up. The difference with these proofs compared to the regular stadium club cards is that there's no gold foil and no UV gloss protection on the card. It's almost like an empty stadium club card. Personally I think they're great and it's been a fun project thus far to chase. Here's hoping to a Happy New Year to us all. Hopefully 2021 will make us smile again like Tony here.
September, I guess you could say, would be called the Rose month for me. I spent the majority of last month tracking down various Rose cards for my Pete Rose PC. I was able to get 65 cards, of course 60 of those cards belonged to the 2011 Leaf Pete Rose Legacy set. The other 5 cards came from 2013 and were all Pinnacle cards. Two of those were the Clear Vision inserts and the other three were the Die-Cut Pete Rose Hit King inserts. I'm still disappointed with myself for getting rid of my Pete Rose PC a few years back. I think I was just getting burnt out of the hobby and decided to downsize. Regardless, I'm slowly reacquiring cards that I let go but I'm being more selective on the Panini products. There are some that I'm just not a fan of and I won't buy them (at least not anytime soon) when there are still a ton of oddball issue cards from the 70s and 80s that I'm still trying to track down (Kelloggs, Hostess, Drakes, O'Connell & Sons, etc.) I did notice that when I finally updated my PC collection on TCDB that I'm now the #1 Rose collector on the site. Not sure how long that will last but it's nice to be king of the mountain when I was in the #25 spot just over a month ago.
Earlier this year I decided to chase the 1993 Topps Finest set. Although I never saw those cards for sale in 1993, I thought it would be a great set to chase. Topps first iteration of chrome cards would be a nice addition to my collection, or so I thought. In 1993 I purchased about a dozen "packs" of 1993 Fleer's pristine product "Flair". I thought it was ingenious for Fleer to package their cards in a little box, to have those cards wrapped up in cellophane inside the box and then have the outside of the box cellophaned as well. I did own the set at one time, but got rid of it. Anyway, after I completed the 1993 Topps Finest set I just couldn't get into it. Maybe it's because I never bought any packs of the stuff. Maybe it's because I appreciated the photography used in the 1993 Flair set, or the slick UV gloss coating each and every card. Or it could be the thick card stock that almost makes these cards impossible to put in a 9 card page. Regardless, I sold the set about a month ago and picked up another 1993 Flair set with the Wave of the Future insert set as well. I don't know what it is, but it seems like as I get older I've started appreciating the different sets that Fleer released in the 90s and early 2000s. I miss the day of Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss, Fleer and Score. Now it's just Topps and Panini and it seems like the cards that are being released now are looking like a rehash of the previous year's design. Maybe I'm becoming the proverbial Grumpy Old Man as I get older. I don't think I'm asking for much when I say that I want some ingenuity when it comes to the design of cards. Maybe, just maybe, I'm longing for the good ole days of collecting cards.
When it comes to autographs I always prefer the on card type instead of sticker graphs. For whatever reason, I feel as though an on card auto was perhaps handled by the individual who signed it instead of a page of stickers that someone signed and sent back to the manufacturer. Case in point, Pete Rose has a ton of autographs out there. Many of these autographs are in Leaf products and many of these (especially his Living Legend autos) are sticker graphs. Don't get me wrong, I won't pass up a Rose autograph if the price is right, but sticker graphs are a dime a dozen and I'm willing to shell out more money for one that isn't. This 2014 Leaf Q is a perfect example. Did I pay more that I should have, sure I did. But I really like the card and I love the fact that the auto is ON CARD. There are a few other Leaf Q on card autographs I would still like to chase down, but those can wait for another day.