Monday, November 30, 2015

2011 Topps 'Before There Was Topps' Insert Set: #BTT1-BTT7

Here's a cool little insert set to complement the 10-card 'History of Topps' insert set that came out with 2011 Topps.  Although not perfect, this insert set quickly highlights the major card sets manufactured during the first half of the 20th Century.   

In reverse order, this set outlines my vintage card collecting interests before Topps completely took over as the #1 baseball card company.  The 1948-1955 Bowman sets are an important complement to my early Topps collecting interests.  The 1939-1941 Play Ball sets represents the next major period of card production before Topps/Bowman.

The reason I called this insert set near perfect is because the Play Ball card should have included the 1940-1941 sets just as it did for the Bowman card.  The same goes for the Goudey card, which should say 1933-1941 (or at least to 1938).  Although I have not yet begun to collect Goudey, it's next up on my list.  This insert set is pretty much a roadmap to vintage card collecting.

1969 Topps Seattle Pilots Team Set

What's that?  Where have I been, you asked?  Well, I've been really, really busy....busy collecting baseball cards that is.  I ended my stream of posts just before the World Series began with my two September predictions on the brink of battling for this year's trophy.  I was in the middle of discussing the best of the "boom era" theme, encompassing the Topps sets manufactured between 1987-1992, when my collecting frenzy began.

So, what did I do?  Well, I went on a baseball card shopping frenzy.  Let's see.  I got about 20 vending packs (500 ct.), 11 wax boxes (540-612 ct.), and multiple jumbo packs (90-100 ct.) of "boom era" wax.  Talk about practicing what you preach.  I ripped every one of those packages, upgraded my personal sets, built new sets, and organized the rest for sale on Ebay.  I also purchased additional complete sets of 1982 and 1983 Topps at a discount for upgrades.

During this time, I discovered, which I signed-up for and then listed my entire collection online.  That led to 6 trades, which helped me finish off a few extra sets, as well as build upon my existing vintage sets.  I also discovered, which I signed-up for and made 5 separate orders of vintage commons for as low as 18 cents a card.  This added 100's of new cards to my 1960's collection.  Things are finally starting to settle down a little as I transition towards Christmas shopping for others.

The next set in line for my completion is 1969 Topps, which consists of 666 cards if you count the two variations.  I'm now missing only 53 of those cards, so the slow countdown begins.  The top three cards missing from my '69T set are Mickey Mantle, Nolan Ryan, and Bobby Cox.  The rest are mostly commons.  Completing this set would represent my first pre-1970 set, although I'm also very close to completing '68T, '62T, '54T, and '50B.

My 1969 Topps binders are now in what I call "set formation", and I'm starting to see team sets get completed.  Today, I completed three team sets: Seattle Pilots, San Diego Padres, and Montreal Expos.  Previously, I had only completed the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers team sets.  This is the fun part of getting close to set completion that I've been experiencing since piecing sets together beginning with 1973 Topps (the rest I just bought complete).

As an unfortunate Seattle Mariners fan, I've chosen to showcase my newly completed Pilots team set to give you something to look at besides these words.