Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You Complete Me: day 5

Previously:  day 1day 2day 3, day 4

As I sit here watching the Tigers hopefully even up the ALCS, (welcome back, Mr. Cabrera) here's a look at the last of my You Complete Me packages:

The final envelope came courtesy of SportLots.  This particular seller took his sweet time to ship it, making me think that part of the order would get cancelled, in which case I wouldn't have been terrible disappointed.  It finally shipped over the weekend and arrived on Tuesday, ending my series of wantlist-filling packages.

This one again contained a single card:  Tom Glavine's 2001 Donruss Rookie Reprint (#d 1978/1988) which reprints his 1988 Donruss RC. This card's arrival leaves my wantlist for the set at two cards:  Don Mattingly and Andres Galarraga.  As I've requested before, please let me know if you have these as I'm highly motivated to get this set done--it's easily one of my favorites.  If it's of any motivation to y'all to help me finish it, your reward will be my scanning it for a future post.  You wanna see these, right?

Total You Complete Me stats:

  • Packages:  13
  • Total cards:  155
  • Sets added to:  20
  • Sets completed:  18
This was definitely a fun project.  It's not the first time I've nabbed large groups of cards from either SportLots or COMC, but that doesn't make the result any less entertaining or fulfilling.  After spending a nice chunk of cash on boxes and singles, I'm glad to say that I put some towards finish some of my sets, especially the older ones.

While I didn't necessarily intend it, I ended up focusing on my older baseball insert sets this time.  I did get a few base sets done, both in baseball and football, but my most important purchases were definitely inserts.  I think I'm most proud of finally finishing up the 1996-97 Topps Mantles, the oldest set (not including my search for a couple complete sets) on my wantlist.  Similarly I was glad to stop procrastinating and get the 1999 Topps Nolan Ryans done.  My best-designed set I completed this time was the 2011 Bowman's Best group while my favorite set overall, as mentioned a million times, was the 2001 Donruss Rookie Reprints, one I hope to finish before long.

While I feel good about polishing off the Mantle reprints, the base set I'm happiest to have knocked off is 2003 Topps Total.  It's 990 cards worth of blood, sweat and hours spent on SportLots and it was one of my biggest accomplishments this time.  Still, 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites is a great looking set and I think some of you are going to enjoy seeing it scanned up here soon.  While the other sets I completed don't rank as highly on my list, completing 18 overall allows me to feel like I got off my ass (which is funny since I was sitting the whole time other than putting them away when they arrived) and did something.

Getting it done really was no small feat; there was a lot to consider because I used two different sources for cards.  With COMC I first had to make sure going with SportLots didn't make more sense, then I had to do my best to bundle things into lots so I was more likely to get offers accepted.  That did pay off because I was eventually reasonably happy with my grand total, plus I got a bunch of (soon-to-be-posted) PC cards, sometimes from the same sellers who filled the set wantlists.
SportLots, as usual, was a little more involved due to the site's spartan interface.  While the site generally works well, searches are pretty slow and many tasks take much longer than they should.  Add to that the fact that you have to do your own legwork to work out the best deals on bunches of cards and you'll find that using this site isn't for those short on attention spans or patience.  Still, it's definitely the best place I've found to buy large numbers of less common set-fillers from pretty reliable sellers.  I've used them a couple times now and I can see myself making another run at some of my set wants before long.

I hope you've enjoyed this project as much as I have, and I also hope it's inspired some of you to put some of your time and collecting money into your own wantlists--don't be like me and procrastinate for 15 years or more before finishing up some of your sets!

Stay tuned for a couple posts covering the COMC PC stuff very soon; I've just been sick and also kind of busy with a surprising string of Michigan sports luck the last couple weeks.  Still, I promise to get those up soon, then show off some of my newly completed sets so you can see the fruit of all this labor.

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