Did you ever have one of those moments where, seemingly out of the blue, you suddenly have a thought like “What if I were to…”?
I had a tiny little epiphany like that on my way home from work last night… I was pulling into my driveway, not really thinking about anything in particular, singing – to use the term loosely – along to whatever was playing on my iPod, and I suddenly said “What if I made a ‘Frankenset’…?”
Allow me to take a step back and explain…. I’m about three years into the process of organizing and purging my collection, and while I’ve made good progress, I’m not really where I’d like to be. Part of my issue has involved the sets of the 1990’s.
Taken decade-by-decade, the 1990’s are probably my least-favorite decade for baseball cards (and possibly for baseball in general). I’m pretty Old School, and the Nineties saw the emergence of foil and “shiny” and parallels and other “innovations”, cards were still being overproduced and often garish… Everything went crazypants and often not in a good way.
…And yet I still have way more cards from the 1990’s than from any other decade. There were many manufacturers churning out many sets, packs were still cheap enough that “what the heck” purchases were common and – most significantly in my case – I spent the first half of the decade as a working adult who didn’t really “have a life”, which left me with plenty of time and resources to devote to buying packs of cards.
I’d sometimes thought about just getting rid of all the cards from any sets that I don’t love, but I like the idea of having at least one complete set for each year, not even so much to have a complete set but more that I would have something I can view in a sort of “This is what baseball was like in this year” way. I tried approaching it from a “one set to rule them all” standpoint, but it often didn’t work out for me. There are years where I already have multiple complete sets, and there are other years where I can’t really say that I love any particular set.
So here’s where the mini-epiphany comes in… It suddenly occurred to me that I should pick one particular year from the 1990’s, create a ‘Frankenset’ for that year and see how it works out for me. With the exception of team and player collections, I could create a binder containing one card of each player on each team, and then purge the cards which were left over, regardless of which set they come from.
I could also have a extra few pages for cards that don’t fit into a particular team, or that are just too awesome or weird to get rid of, like this one…
Doing this could also give me a new angle on repacks – If I pulled a card like this, of a player I don’t collect on a team I don’t collect and from a set I’ve never collected…
…instead of immediately putting a card like this into the “Outbound” box, I could see if it’s better than whatever Darrell Evans is already in the 1990 binder.
Right after my mini epiphany – well, right after I pulled the car the into the garage, kissed my wife and fulfilled my “just home from work” obligations – I spent some time considering which years have A) Excessive bloat and B) No sets to which I have a particular emotional connection. I ended up with 1990 and 1994 as candidates. By rough estimate, I have well over 2000 cards from either year, far too many cards for someone who’s trying to streamline his collection.
1990 has the disadvantage (so to speak) of having been hit by the purge already – I’d purged Donruss a while ago, and I recently purged Fleer. If I’d started this Frankenset before, I may have kept some of those Donruss and Fleer cards, who knows.
On the other hand, I still have complete sets of Score and Bowman and a nearly-complete set of 1990 Topps, plus a fair number of Upper Deck cards. Consolidation into a Frankenset should still get rid of many hundreds of cards.
1994 has yet to be hit by a purge, but most of my cards are contained within two sets: Topps and UD Collector’s Choice… both of which I like, but neither of which I love.
I also have a fair number of Score, but again, it’s a set I like but don’t love.
…Anyway, right now this is all big talk from me. I’ve never created a ‘Frankenset’ using any theme, so I wonder if there’s more to it than what I’m thinking.
Many of you have done the ‘Frankenset’ thing before. Do you have any suggestions on how I should approach this?
Are there any rules I need to think through before I start on this?
Is there anything I need to make sure I do, or make sure I avoid?
Do any of you have opinions on whether I should start with 1990 or 1994?
I’d love to hear what you think!