Friday, March 22, 2013

Gold in them thar hills

I've had a desire to collect "some" parallel sets for decades.  It takes a concerted effort to finish off a set with cards that were distributed one per pack at best.  In comparison, it's easy to finish a set of regular cards with, what should be, a statistically equal distribution of cards. The early 90's brought this type of insert in full force.  Topps Gold in 1992, 1993 and 1994 with a somewhat limited version in 1995 with the Cyberstats inserts.  Leaf Black Gold in 1992.  1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond.  These are my people, these are my sets.

The early sets got more of my attention, most likely due to the novelty of the idea.  At the time, they seemed to come in packs even less than stated.  You open a box of cards and end up with a few hundred regular cards but only a handful of these precious parallel cards.  They held a good value at the time but as with any product, once the new years edition of cards was on the shelf, those became yesterday's news.  And at that time, new product was coming at a fast and furious pace as the market was getting flooded with cards from everyone under the sun.

But still, these are part of my first tier list of wants.  Not everyone looks for or collects these.  There are those that may have a few hidden here and there, so finishing these off is that much harder.  I've purchased collections of thousands of cards to find these stuck somewhere in a box between the regular issue cards.  But really, it takes more than a handful to make a dent in the completion of these sets.  The market just isn't there anymore for overproduced early 90's cards, even if it's the slightly less quantity version you seek.

There were attempts at duplicating these sort of insert sets.  Ultra Gold Medallion, Stadium Club First Day issues, and even Allen & Ginter minis, etc.  But as these came to be, the novelty had worn out its welcome to me.  Do I like these newer parallel cards, yes.  Am I looking to complete any of them as a full set, no.  At least not anytime soon unless I can find hundreds in one transaction.  But I am looking to complete the first few sets.  You can never forget your first, can you?  Even if it's a first few.  They all hold a special place in my collection.  Easily found, already known to be in exact order waiting for the next one or twenty to join the rest.  Already with a list that is dying to be consolidated and to ultimately become extinct.

Yes, the roids were going strong these years, so I guess it's only fitting that they get little attention today.  Pumped up regular edition cards with a little PED splashed across the front.  And as the Bonds of the world get to be on top with HR numbers as these do with value in comparison to the regular set, what do people want more than finish the regular set.  We still like the Maris' of the world.  A little rough around the edges.  But solid and timeless.

The marvel was once shining upon these stars of the collecting world.  You can't turn away from the glitter even if you want to.  Yes Big Mac, you did hit the HR to pass Roger, but once the next batch of andro hit the shelf you were relegated to the back end of the box.  I ask, one per pack...could it be done?  Can you complete that 700+ set at that pace?

So I take my message to the people.  Who out there can help me with my pursuit or obsessive compulsive behavior, if you must?  Anyone?  Bueller...Bueller...

To see my want lists for these or other sets....


  1. i've got a fair amount of topps gold and 1995 cyberstats. also 94 and 95 ud electric diamond. do you have a list of what you need?


  2. I'd probably be able to help you out too. I just need a list of what you are looking for and I can start digging.