Way back in 2013 , I chronicled my desire to build the entire 220 card set of 2013 Topps Chrome Baseball with a twist: Not only did I want to build the full set, I wanted to build it entirely of blue parallels which are numbered to /199.
I’m happy to say that I achieved that goal two years ago during my blogging hiatus when I finally hunted down Madison Bumgarner. I sat on 219 cards for almost a year before the Bumgarner card finally popped up an eBay saved search. I’m a huge fan of that eBay feature.
Last week I pulled the set out and went through it card-by-card. Man, there are some memories in here. It was hell of a journey that took a lot of time and effort. To commemorate the journey, let’s hit on some random thoughts.
There were some cards that are a steal for the price, looking back:
- #1 Mike Trout
- #25, Hyun-Jin Ryu RC
- #65, Didi Gregorius RC
- #78, Nolan Arenado RC
- #179, Aaron Hicks RC
There were cards that I paid way too much for, looking back:
- #12, Manny Machado RC
- #57, Jurickson Profar RC – ouch
- #73, Trevor Rosenthal RC
- #138, Yasiel Puig RC – This was the most expensive of all 220 cards. I remember all the “mania’s” around certainly players when it comes to collecting (Darvish, Tanaka, Ohtani), but I think Puig-mania takes the cake. A lot of THREE of these cards sold for $7.50 on eBack in June. Brutal.
- #220, Bryce Harper
There are things about this set that make me really sad:
- #104 Roy Halladay, #88 Tyler Skaggs and #32 Jose Fernandez left us at way too young of an age.
- Christian Yelich did not have a base card in this set, only autos. It was his rookie year.
What the hell happened to:
- Evan Gattis?
- Allen Craig?
- Robbie Grossman?
- Mike Olt?
- Mark Trumbo?
There are some bonafide future Hall of Famers towards the end of their careers:
- #10, Derek Jeter
- #34, Felix Hernandez
- #68, Paul Konerko
- #79, David Ortiz
- #100 Miguel Cabrera
- #168 Alex Rodriguez
Now that the set is six years old, we have a very good idea of what these 220 players careers look like. The rookie class is strong with names like Machado and Arenado, and the Trout card has the “All Star Rookie” trophy stamp on it, so that boosts it’s value. Because of that, I sent these three cards of the Beckett for grading. Grading was never my plan necessarily -- but I guess that’s kind of the point of building a set and then holding onto it: Looking back and seeing what's changed. Digging up memories and preserving value.
I’m hoping the three cards come back with decent grades and further add to the intrigue of this set. Either way, I’m excited to place the set back in storage and pull it out in another two years.
This was a huge challenge but it's been fun and rewarding to build it up card by card through trades, hobby shops, COMC, and eBay.
What do you think? Should I try something similar again?