30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, September 14, 2020

Old School Set Build

When it comes to collecting, I feel like I'm sort of an outlier or irregularity.  Most of the card bloggers I know enjoy set building.  It's entertaining, fun, challenging, and delivers a feeling of accomplishment when you're finishedMe?  I prefer to just buy one already completed.

I like to think it has to do with saving money, but down inside... I know it's about me being impatient.  I don't like things being incomplete... yet I'm too cheap to just pay top dollar for singles I need for set builds.  That's why I'll just buy complete sets when I can afford them.

A while back, I purchased a box of 1988 Pacific Legends Series 1 baseball from Dennis (Too Many Verlanders).  The goal was to eventually purchase a 1989 Pacific Legends Series 2 box off of eBay, but I haven't been able to find one in my price range.

My solution?  Buy a completed set on eBay for under $10The kicker?  It actually contained both Series 1 and Series 2 sets.

However... as you can see from the title of this post... I did sit down, bust open a box, and build a set.

Yesterday I opened up the 1990 Pacific Baseball Alumni Team Legends box that Ryan (SumoMenkoMan) sent me a few weeks ago.  Afterwards I sorted them into stacks by tens and built a hand collated set.  Finally I inserted all three sets into 9-pocket pages for easy viewing.  A good old fashioned set build.

By the time I was finished, my back was getting a little stiff from sitting on the floor... so I didn't have time to scan everything and write a in-depth review of these three sets.  That being said, I did want to at least give you a snapshot at the differences between them:

1988 Pacific Legends Series One #40

Each series contains 110 cards.  The first two sets have identical designs, but the Series One cards feature a yellow and gray card back, while the Series Two substitutes the yellow with blue.

1989 Pacific Legends Series Two #220

Series Two starts off with card #111 and runs through #220.  I originally thought that the 1990 Pacific box continued the series, but that turned out to be untrue.

1990 Pacific Baseball Alumni Team Legends #59

This set features a slightly different design on the front and a very different design on the back.  Plus... Pacific restarted the numbering at #1.  I'm not 100% sure if there were any players in both the 1988 and 1989 Pacific Legends sets, but I know for sure that there were familiar names from those two series in the 1990 set.

That's it for the set analysis for today.  This post has run its course.

If you're interested, I have plenty of duplicates from my 1990 box break.  The collation wasn't very good and I was only able to build one complete set.  However I do have two partial sets.  One I'll probably break up and use for my binder collections and the other I'll send out to Dennis since I know he has an appreciation for these cards.

Thanks Ryan for providing the wax box for me to openThank you Dennis for motivating me to grab these sets.  And thank you Phungo for this very cool post card:

The front features the famous 1976 Topps bubble gum card where he's representing the Brown and Gold instead of the Brewers.  He wrote a nice note and included this Kurt Suzuki sketch on the back:

Thanks again Phungo!  Keep up the amazing artwork.  Okay... here is today's question of the day:

What's the last set you built completely by opening packs and trading away/for duplicates?

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. I've actually never completed a set from scratch. I'm actually working on a couple right now, but as they're both vintage it will probably stay for that way for a while.

  2. I'm not a set builder. Came close to 1987 Topps baseball just through packs. But I'm much more interested in custom sets or subsets now.

    Joe Jackson was originally a pitcher. But he broke a guy's arm with a pitch, so nobody wanted to bat against him.

  3. I completed 2007 Topps mostly through packs, but I also spent a fair chunk of money at a LCS to fill in gaps... and then immediately had buyer's remorse. :-)

  4. Awesome, I've been looking forward to you posting this! Thanks for setting aside some dupes for me!

  5. I actually completed the 2019 Topps Holiday set earlier this year by buying a few boxes and trading for what was left! It's my first hand completed set since I collected heavily in the 90s!

  6. It's difficult to say, since blogging began because blog trades and gifts have helped me complete stuff like 2015 Topps (flagship and traded), the 2019 Topps Holiday set, a bunch of the A&G sets, etc. But I did buy packs of all of that stuff.

    Pre-blogging, the last set I completed through pack purchasing (almost all rack packs) was 2006 Topps.

    Re: Pacific sets. I'm gathering as many of those cards as I can. Not super into it but I'll be happy to take any dupes.

  7. I like completing sets - it's part of the enjoyment of organizing that is a big part of the hobby to me. I am a patient person though and can wait as long as I need to in order to get that final card or two for a set, as long as I do get them eventually.

  8. I am totally with you on the quick route. I want it now. At least that is how I am doing it these days. I did however build the 2019 TSC the hard way, and it was expensive.

  9. I love this Pacific set. There are some great pictures on these cards. That Reggie Jackson card at the top is one of them. Last set I put together by packs and trades? Maybe the 2015 or 2016 Topps set? Maybe earlier.

  10. 1980 Topps. At some point after I returned to the hobby, I realized I was reasonably close and didn't need any major rookies. (The only really big rookie in the set is Rickey, and I had that.) Finished it last year. I might have a shot at doing the same thing with 1979.

    And, thanks to you, I'm quite close to completing that Donruss Hall of Fame Heroes set, too!

  11. Last sets I completed were the 1974 and 1976 Yamakatsu Pro Wrestling sets. I still have a bunch of sumo and Japanese sets that I don’t know if they are complete or not since there is no known checklist.

  12. So long ago I can't remember.I have been a set guy for 51 years, it is so much easier/cheaper to buy factory or hand sorted sets so that their are no loose ends.

  13. I had gotten away from set collecting for some time then came my love of 90s back and here I am chasing endlessly sets

  14. A very unique bubble post card. Did Phungo make this postcard? Will you put in a good word for me and I'll see if I can trade something for another one.

  15. gtt - have fun with those vintage sets and let us know when you're finished

    elliptical man - 1987 topps might have been the first set i ever built by opening packs. if it wasn't, then it was 1986 topps. wow. didn't know that about mr. jackson. i just thought it was cool to see a card of him.

    dennis - you almost have a complete set. maybe missing 10 cards?

    matt - nice congratulations! i love that 2019 topps holiday set. i built the relic set, but cheated and bought the base set.

    night owl - yeah... blogger gifts mixed with pack breaks definitely blur things a little for me as well. the dupes are yours. i'll send them your way as soon as i send dennis his partial set.

    crazie joe - i used to be way more patient... and focused on the organizing aspect. these days, i just want to add them to the completed list ;D

    johnnys trading spot - yeah, the price is the thing that usually convinces me to just go out and buy a complete set. if money wasn't an issue, i'd probably just buy a bunch of boxes and start ripping.

    the snorting bull - Come to think of it... I'm pretty sure I built the 2015 Topps series 1 set by busting packs. Maybe. If there are any Pacific leftovers, I'll send them your way

    brett alan - wax pack hero just wrote a post on that 1983 donruss hof heroes set. you might be able to reach out to him and see if he has any extras.


    sumomenkoman - not knowing if a set was complete or not would drive me nuts. that's how i feel about the 1998 donruss significant signatures set. there are some cards that beckett lists, but i've never actually seen.

    sg488 - yeah. i made the switch to buying completed sets a few years ago. less fun, but it's cheaper and there's instant gratification

    sport card collectors - yeah, you are the king of set building. i can't keep up with all of the sets you're building, but i enjoy it when you're able to finish it and you show it off

    friend11 - i think it's a printed postcard... but the suzuki is an actual sketch. i just reached out to him on twitter to thank him and mentioned that you're interested in one. i'll let you know if he gets back to me.