I consider completing any Heritage set to be far more effort and money than I would ever get back in enjoyment, so I just buy packs and see where it gets me, then fill in the Mets and Orioles, as well as the various players I collect.
This year, as I’m thinking though things I’ve never completely thought out before, I thought it might be good to define what I consider to be a complete set… That is, the base set minus the cards I have little or no interest in. With the parallels and short prints which are pervasive in this hobby, I think that the “Good Enough For Me” set is something that casual collectors should strongly consider… We just need a better name for it.
So, what am I leaving out of my “Good Enough” set? First off, I ignore all the short prints which don’t fall into Mets/Orioles/PC’s. That’s 68 cards right there. League Leaders are ugly, but I will save the cards with Jose Reyes and Mark Reynolds and ignore the other 8. The 2012 Rookie Stars cards are a farce; I’ll save the one with Chris Schwinden and forget the other 19. Leave out the World Series cards, that’s 7, and the multi-player cards without players I care about, that’s 11. I’ll go for the Mets and Orioles team cards and leave out the other 10. Am I right that there’s only 12 team cards? There were 20 teams in 1963, did Topps only do team cards for 12 of them?
OK, math time… 500 – 68 – 8 – 19 – 7 -11 – 10 = 377 cards in the “Good Enough For Me” set. That’s well within my tolerance, and my budget.
Obviously, the “Good Enough For Me” set would vary by person… A Cardinals fan is not going to ignore the World Series cards; if you like the multi-player cards or have a thing for floaty heads, then you’d keep them. I want the manager cards, but I can competely understand others wanting to drop those.
Just like it’s up to you which sets to collect or which inserts to collect, it’s also up to you which cards within a set you collect. Throw off the manacles of corporately-imposed set structures! Be your own man (or woman)! Let your freak flag fly! Like the Isley Brothers sang in 1969: It’s your thing, do what you wanna do. I can’t tell you who to sock it to.