Monday, April 8, 2013

The Space in Between

Over the weekend, I began the process of organizing my Fleer cards. I started with such high hopes of continuing on my quest to complete every flagship set of the Big 5. I already have all of my Donruss wants online, and I was gearing up for a run at posting my Fleer wants. 

Then it hit me. Why am I doing this? Is this for myself? Is this for my children (Like they'll even care about 1991 Fleer)? Or am I just doing this because it’s there? 

One moment, I am elated at my progress in completing sets and anally organizing my collection, and the next I am left with the bleakness of desperation. For lack of a better term, I am lost in the space in between happiness and despair. 

This moment occurred when I had finished sorting every Fleer card I own by year and subset. I was about to begin organizing by card number, when I noticed that I was severely lacking Fleer in every year after 1991. From 1992 to Fleer’s demise, I probably have at most 10% of a complete set for each year. This made me question whether or not to even bother posting a want list because it would be so much easier to just buy the set, and put the doubles into the trade pile. 

Then I wondered why even complete these sets at all? I was an active collector from 1979 to 1994 when the market priced me out. Do I really care if I have the Fleer sets from 1981 to 2008? Same question goes for Donruss, and Score and Upper Deck. The only sets I’ve ever really been interested in completing were Topps sets, but that point is nullified by the fact I cannot afford to complete a set from prior to 1973. 

This is all compounded by the fact that I just dumped $150 on new storage boxes that included 50-660 count boxes and 50-800 count boxes. And let’s not forget the total overhaul of the closet that cost me about $100 in lumber, bracing and brackets. 

After my year long hiatus, I hit this blog running and was determined to share my thoughts and I guess have my voice heard. Add to this the fact my LCS went out of business and I ended up with a metric ton of cards that I frankly do not know what to do with. 

I guess I can look at this "problem" in three ways:
  1. Organize the cards I have and worry about the “end-game” later; 
  2. Organize the cards and continue to post want lists for sets I’m not even sure I want to complete; or 
  3. Organize the cards and possibly head into player collecting, (which is completely foreign territory for me) and put the rest up for trade/sale. 
 What are your thoughts?


Ryan H said...

Sounds like it hit you kind of like it hit me too. I got super organized and then started to wonder: "What is it all for?". I guess that's why I slowly started to sell off most of my complete sets...

JediJeff said...

I hear you and your struggles. For me, when I got better focused on collecting, I decided what did I want and what didn't I want. If I didn't want it and it didn't thrill me, out it went. If I like it, then I am focused on completing it.

To help you (maybe), let me ask you this: Are you a "cpmpletionist"? Do you have to have everything? If so, then you have answered your questions. If not, then which sets do you like? Complete those.

I have dang near complete 90 Score set and a couple other junk wax - I don't care about them. I don't like how the set looks, so out it went. Same is true on other sets that I had better than 50%. But there are sets I have low amount of cards, but dang the set looks really nice. So I am going to complete them.

baseballbrent said...

Do what brings you happiness.

Speaking for myself, I found happiness in simplifying my collection. I set short, medium, and long term collecting goals. Whatever doesn't fit in any of my goals, must go.

Wilson said...

I like to get everything I have organized first by entering it online, then I can peruse by "Cards I Don't Have" and add individual cards to my wantlist, or the rest of the set if I'm close and/or like it that much. Of course, it costs nothing to put a card on a wantlist, except having enough to trade for it.

So, in short, I'd go with option 1, especially because both 2 and 3 include option 1 as a prerequisite. Maybe some clarity will come as you do that.

Anonymous said...

It was just a couple of months ago that I was in the exact same position you're in.

My advice is to go with #1: Organize what you've got, and as you're going through your cards just think about which sets truly brings you joy and which don't. I think you'll find that once you finally get comfortable with the idea that you don't HAVE to do anything, that your collection is whatever you want it to be, then you'll have your answer.

I also think you'll surprise yourself at least a little bit with some of the decisions you make.

Good luck, and enjoy the journey!

Jeff said...

Organize them and worry about completing/not completing later. I consider myself a set collector, yet most of sets are uncompleted, and its not a big deal.

The whole point of having the cards is being able to pull out the box and look through it. Its kinda like going back in time to the particular year they were made. If its not completed? oh well.

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