As I promised and overhyped and promised some more, the stragglers of my set completion bonanza arrived today. Here, then, is a look at what a few hours on Sportlots, COMC and eBay did to significantly shrink my set wantlists, as I finished the following sets:
*NOTE: some sets are accompanied by scans, but they may not include every card I needed, just a select few
1996 Sportflix: well, it only took me about 15 years to put this one to bed....
1996 Ultra Series II: I bought a box of these way back and, again, it took me a long time to get it done. No plans to build Series I--I'll either buy a set or get rid of Series II.
1997 Fleer: Just a fantastic looking set, definitely one of my favorites. Hooray for a new Tram!
1998 Pinnacle Mint Bronze Cards: I only needed one freakin' card (Jose Cruz Jr.) but I had a hard time trading for it anywhere, so on my wantlist it sat.
1998 Score Rookie Traded: Same as Pinnacle Mint, different player.
1998 Studio Portraits 8x10: No scan of the last four I needed (which started this whole process, actually) as I'm going to do a gallery of them soon! I originally was going after these with my eBay bucks, but Google searching led me to SportLots and the rest is history.
1998 Upper Deck: A spiffy looking set that lacked only four cards, but included some of the more expensive needs on my list. A couple of those came from COMC.
1999 Skybox Thunder: I randomly won a box of this set from Beckett way back, and for some reason, though I didn't care for the look, I chased it anyway. I just probably wasn't motivated to finish it thanks to its lack of appeal.
1999 Topps Series II (set 2): I think I got an extra box of just Series II a while back, or had a bunch of doubles or something because I had most of a Series II set. Of the pair of cards I needed, the Sosa was definitely more expensive. Remember when these were huge?
2000 Fleer: Just needed the Big Hurt, no problem thanks to Sportlots.
2000 Ultra: Kind of a cool looking set, if not much of a standout for me.
2000 Upper Deck MVP Set 2: I'd needed this Richie Sexson forever but just couldn't find it easily until now. Good riddance.
2001 Donruss Retro 2000: You either love it or hate it. While it didn't make for an easy-to-complete set (along with the Retro 99s), I thought it was a fun idea. Of course I still needed the Ripken.
2001 Upper Deck: One of my favorite UD sets for some reason. Definitely a good rookie year (Pujols and Ichiro, of course).
2002 Donruss Rookies: I needed a scrub and...Cliff Lee. COMC to the rescue! I love Donruss' rookie sets, and I'm glad to have this one done.
2002 Topps Total Award Winners: The base set was fun to chase so I busted a lot of packs and of course pulled a ton of the various inserts.
2002 Topps Total Total Topps: These too. I think in doing so I'm working on a master set, but I could be wrong. I do still need help with the base set!
2004 Bowman: A year or three ago I found a guy on eBay that wanted, I think, $1 for a pair of these (why would I want two?) plus a ridiculous shipping fee for two cards. Screw that! SportLots gets another one done.
2004 Fleer Hot Prospects Draft Edition: Got a load of mid-'00s Fleer packs on eBay a few years ago, which covers the next few sets as well. I liked the look of this one for sure and now I'm rewarded with another completed set.
2005 Flair: Not quite premium but not plain either--just right.
2005 Fleer Patchworks: Solid, if unspectacular, base set.
2005 Skybox Autographics: The facsimile sigs are kind of cool.
2006 Topps: I either finish Topps flagship sets quickly or let them linger for a long time--no middle ground. Hooray Rich Hill rookie!
2007 Topps: Willie Randolph completes this set for me finally!
2010 Bowman: A pair of cards put this one to bed--now on to the Prospects, Draft and stuff!
2001 Topps: Yeah, that took quite a while considering I did buy the box that year. I slowly chipped away at it, but it still took a while. A-Train RC!
2007 Bowman: Interesting note here: this set is the reason I went back for seconds on SportLots--I thought I had included Le'Ron McClain's RC in my first purchase, but I missed it. So I went back and snagged it, and since I needed to make shipping and the overall purchase worth it, I completed a few more sets, which worked out nicely. Breaston RC!
2008 SAGE Hit: I'm not sure how I still needed one of these, but I was happy to knock it off the list for sure.
2008 Upper Deck Rookie Exclusives: I almost bought another blaster of these, but since I only needed a handful, I just completed one set by hand instead. Great looking photography, and I picked up a Jake Long I didn't have.
This has nothing to do with set completion, but it's an appropriate time to mention that along with my 2002 Donruss Rookies Cliff Lee from COMC, I got the seller to include this:
In case you weren't counting, I completed 40 sets thanks to these purchases, which totalled about $80 shipped at Sportlots, $15 on COMC and $2 on eBay. While I prefer trading and hope to complete some of my remaining conquests that way instead of throwing money at the problem, in this case, every penny was worth it. This simply made an enormous dent in my wantlist and helped give me more focus on that instead of buying useless blasters/boxes.
Thanks for looking, and stay tuned for the aforementioned gallery of '98 Studio 8x10s, a trade package from Tim of the GSNHOF, and more. Now if you'll excuse me, I have 40 sets worth of cards to put away in some sort of organized fashion....