Saturday, January 11, 2014

First You Complete Me post of the new year is a big one

You Complete Me is already back for 2014, so you know what that means:  I completed more sets!  I should note that quite a few of these cards arrived in 2013, but I waited until now to show off everything now that their sets are finally complete.

It took multiple purchases from Sportlots, COMC, and eBay, but I can happily knock two more sets off my baseball wantlist:

2002 Upper Deck Victory Update:
I needed 15 total cards, all of which you see here.  Four of them came from Sportlots, but the real story was the 11 I landed on eBay.  One seller had all but one I needed for $1 apiece (plus shipping) as it turned out I had JUST missed out on the Finley.  Fortunately he found that one in another box and threw it in with the others while also accepting my request for a small discount; see that?  Not everybody on eBay sucks!

Victory is one of the three 2002 UD Rookie Update sets I've been chasing, with Honor Roll and Ovation being the other two.  I finished up the minuscule Ovation set a while ago but am still chasing three from Honor Roll.

Still, Victory is the story today.  2002 Victory ended up as a 660-card set, and Update comprised 110 cards of that.  #s 551-605 are generally traded players and guys that didn't appear in the original iteration while 606-660 are the Rookie subset you can see above.  The rookie class isn't terribly inspiring as the best of the group are Jose Valverde and...Aaron Cook, I guess?  Maybe Freddy Sanchez?

Victory was a decidedly low-end product but that didn't mean it wasn't interesting to collect.  I was more hooked by the fact that it was an update set anyway, and just didn't realize how difficult it might be to find some of these in the future!  No matter, now it's done, and I'm one happy collector.

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites:
Regardless of how small my set wantlist was at the time, this was my favorite set I hadn't yet completed.  I own a few other years of Topps' Archives/Fan Favorites offerings and I sure as hell wasn't going to skip this one.  Again, Sportlots furnished most of the cards thanks to, I believe, three sellers.  One of them shipped my cards only for the USPS to lose them (what a shock), but he was good enough to get me a refund, and I was able to grab the same two from a different seller.  COMC had a better price on the Ozzie Smith and possibly one other card I can't remember.

When all those arrived I was left needing just one card.  But I couldn't find it on COMC or Sportlots, Beckett's Marketplace prices with shipping were laughable (plus it's Beckett--screw them, even if the sellers aren't really affiliated with their nonsense), and eBay was hit or miss.  Thankfully, waiting until this month worked out as I got some free money in eBay bucks and didn't have to pay a dime of the $3 shipped for #107, Walt Jocketty--the former Reds and Cardinals GM.  Don't ask me why it was so hard to find, I have no clue!

Like some of the other versions Topps made, this was a great looking set.  I don't believe many of these were done as straight-up reprints, so most of the time you get a player on a random previous Topps design.  In the positive column, Topps made the numbers on the back easier to see, incorporating them as they would have appeared on the original design.  My biggest annoyance continues to be Topps mutilating the multiplayer rookies, making them into awkward single-player versions like the Ryan and Schmidt above.  Honestly, if they were going to go that route, why not use hindsight to make versions that include other stars that didn't appear on the originals?  Whatever, we all know Topps doesn't care.

This was one of my larger recent projects as I had to acquire a crazy 46 (of the 142) cards to complete the set.  Still, based on some of the stars and others included (a new Jim Abbott!  That awesome '75 Bench!) it's great not only to check off another project, but have something else fun to look at.

And then there's the best result of this flurry of purchases; want to see what's left of my baseball wantlist?  Here it is:

2002 Upper Deck Honor Roll Update: 131 179 185

Did you miss it?  Wanna see it again?

2002 Upper Deck Honor Roll Update: 131 179 185

Yep, I literally have one set missing three cards on my set wantlist.  I can't remember it ever being this low, and now that I'm focusing more on player collections, I think that's a fantastic development.  That's not to say that I won't add to it once again in the future, but I can almost taste the awesomeness of a completely empty list, which now becomes a major goal for the year!


  1. That is the first horizontal Victory card I have ever seen - holy shit that looks horrible.

    1. Yeah, doesn't really make sense, now, does it? Another example of a horizontal card done very poorly, with the text running perpendicular. WHYYYY?!