09 December 2013

documenting my 1952 topps sampler set before it's gone

while i like the idea of frankensets - serial numbered frankensets; mini card frankensets; team specific frankensets; dime box goodness frankensets - i am not working on any.  i did, however, put together some sampler sets about 10 years ago.

you see, i started collecting in 1978 as a set collector.  from that time until 2010, i completed a topps flagship set each year, along with fleer and donruss from 1981 through 1987.  i also started working on a 1970 topps set sometime in the 1980's (and completed it about 7 or 8 years ago).  i had no illusions of completing the flagship sets dating back to 1952, and was content to have some dodgers and a few other cards from those other years.

then, sometime around 2003, i had the idea to build sampler sets for all the years that i would not complete as a way to appease the set collector in me.  a sampler set would include at least one card from each team featured in the set, as well as at least one card from every subset - league leaders, combo cards, team cards, etc - as well as one card from each color (think of the 1954, 1958, and 1959 sets) or orientation (horizontal cards in a mostly vertical set, like 1952).  i put together a spreadsheet for every set from 1952 through 1969, along with 1971 through 1977, and hit the vintage bargain bins at the local card shows and bought vintage lots on ebay.  i wound up with some nice cards and completed the sampler sets in fairly short order.

in more recent years, i have completed the full sets from 1973, 1974, 1976, and 1977.  i am (somewhat) actively working on a 1971 set. and, i have just decided to complete the 1972 and 1975 sets (i was torn on the 1975 set since it is my least favorite from the decade, but not completing it would leave a large gap in my set collection).  want lists for those two sets will be up soon.

as for the other years, i have decided to break my sampler sets and only keep the dodgers from those years - it has to do with paring the collection and all - although i might hold on to the extra 1957 and 1965 cards (the only sets from those decades that i would ever try to complete).  so, i figured i should show off the sampler sets before dismantling them.

in 1952, there weren't any subsets (but there were horizontal cards) - just player cards - and there were 16 teams in the big leagues - the browns, red sox, white sox, indians, tigers, yankees, a's, senators, braves, cubs, reds, dodgers, phillies, pirates, cardinals, and giants.  without further ado, here is my 1952 topps sampler set.
so, 24 total cards, including two horizontal ones.  that is one card from each team except the white sox (2), red sox (2), and dodgers (7).  this represents less than 10% of the set, and only about 20% of the dodger team set.  i still have some work to do, even to finish off the low-number team set.

the backs have some variations represented in the sampler, too.
only one black back, but a few white backs.  no high numbers, though, which is a bit of a regret.  at least the backs are all oriented the same way.

now the enterprising young reader in you might be wondering what i am going to do with all the non-dodger goodness you have just seen.  well, i'll post later tonight about an upcoming contest in which you could win one of the 1952 topps cards from this post.  stay tuned...


night owl said...

You're one of the few collectors I know who collected straight through the mid-to-late '90s and early 2000s.

I can't imagine what my collection would look like if I was collecting at that time, too. Probably like yours I guess.

Captain Canuck said...

I was just going to place a bid on Mr Jethroe for when and/or if you break it up.... and you go all contest on us.


I'll wait.


btw, that package I was sending you may be out before xmas... but hopes are not high. It may be a new year present...

Nick said...

I've always wanted to do something with this "sampler album" idea I've seen around the blogosphere. Might have to act on that soon.

All '52s are cool, but that '52 Branca is absolutely AWESOME.