Keeping up a tradition I began in 2019 and continued in 2020 and 2021, I’ll use this post to highlight the the top changes and additions to my collection this past year.


I came into the year with two different sets a very feasible card away from completion (ah, and a few others a very unfeasible card away).

  • 1951 Bowman Dodgers (minus Pee Wee Reese)
  • 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats (minus Babe Ruth)

I was able to complete each of these fairly early in the year, which of course for a collector is both good news and bad news. The good news is obvious enough: Hooray, I completed my sets! But the bad news? Oh no! I completed my sets! Now what?! (There’s even a term for this in psychology: arrival fallacy.)

Well, of course the thing to do is to come up with some new collecting goals, and I daresay I accomplished this in spades. Looking back, no regrets, but yeah, I went a bit overboard.


I entered 2022 with 13 of the 27 Brooklyn cards in the T206 set. If you’d have asked me in January what success would have looked like, I probably would have imagined adding 4-5 more cards. Instead, I made it all the way to 26 out of 27, missing only the very tough Bill Dahlen card.


I suppose there were a few different directions my tobacco itch could have steered me–T207 Brown Backgrounds to name one–but ultimately the answer was west. Inspired by the wonderful posts of my friend and neighbor Mike, I decided it was time to add some Pacific Coast League cards to the collection, specifically the Los Angeles Angels and Vernon Tigers. The 1909-11 T212 Obak set, even at the team set level, is something of its own Monster, but I’m approaching it–for now at least–as a set where I’d love to have some cards, which is of course very different from “collect them all!”

Keen eyes might notice the Pop Dillon card in the bottom row is in particularly bad shape–really, they all are!–but I’m treating the excellent scissors work as a feature not a bug. On a related note, it’s liberating to collect some cards where you care zero what kind of shape they’re in. Truth be told, I have several other collections that I wish I’d started this way.


As the year went on, my friend John made more and more progress on his collection of Cubs team sets, 1957-2015 or so. (That’s when you know someone’s a true Cubs fan, by the way. Collecting every year but 2016?!) Well, one day the admiration turned to inspiration (or maybe just jealousy) and I bought a lot of about 150 Dodger cards from my buddy Dave. While the cards went back as early as 1958, I quickly figured out that the 1950s and 1960s were a tad unrealistic, not only for the obvious reasons like Robinson and Koufax but for the less obvious ones like Ken McMullen’s rookie card. This led me to focus on the 1970s, which were not only simpler but also much more connected to my own experiences as a young Dodger fan growing up in L.A.

As of a few days ago, there were only two cards on my want list, both of which I presumed I’d tackle in 2023. How could I have known my buds would surprise me on Saturday with the toughest of all 1970s Dodger cards? So here I am now, a 1972 Ron Cey away from completing the decade. I’ll clarify that at the moment this just means the Topps flagship sets. While I do have both years of TCMA (1976, 1978), I don’t have any of the Hostess or Kellogg’s cards beyond Steve Garvey.


While the 1933 Goudey set is one of my favorite sets ever and of course the Dodgers are my team, it somehow never occurred to me to collect the 1933 Goudey Dodgers set until the aforementioned John completed similar for the Cubs. Truth is, I didn’t even know how many cards there were and how many of them I had. As it turns out, my collection stood at 4 out of 13, that was the bad news, but luckily I already had the two best players: Hack Wilson and Lefty O’Doul. By the start of October I was up to 6. That’s when my SABR Chicago bud Sean stepped in and we made a deal for all seven of the cards I still needed. Wow!

Of course, you can never have too much of a good thing, right? So of course I’m now working on the decidedly easier 1934 Goudey Dodgers (current status: 3 of 6), and (again thanks to Sean!) making steady progress toward my favorite series of the 1933 set.


Here’s a category I don’t mention often since it’s rare I add anything new. Somehow though, 2022 was a banner year for this collection. Not only did I nab a complete set of 1924 Millhoff “Men of Genius,” but I managed to add THREE Isaac Newton cards I didn’t already have. (A typical year for Newton is zero.)

Finally, I added a couple other cards of Professor Einstein and my very first card of UC Berkeley legend Ernest Lawrence, with whom I also share a (long ago) personal connection.


While team sets were the year’s theme, several of my player collections enjoyed some highlights while another one downsized significantly.

  • Carl Hubbell – I just love Carl Hubbell, and I’m a sucker for the man’s cardboard. His two cards I coveted most were his 1933 Goudey horizontal card and his1933-34 Goudey Sport Kings card. Well, the good news is I added both, along with a few others. (Thank you, Chad, for the 1936 S and S Game card!)
  • Mel Ott – My big two Hubbell additions came at the expense of my once proud Mel Ott collection. Ultimately I realized I couldn’t afford to collect both players, so the math was pretty simple: I liked Ott and Hubbell about the same amount, but one guy’s cards cost half the other. So yeah, some sad goodbyes to some Ott cards, though I did add his 1933 Goudey (thanks, Sean!) amidst the broader purge.
  • Clayton Kershaw – This was the player collection that went the proverbial zero to sixty in 2022, though the exact numbers were more like 6 to 314. Though I have a handful of cards in the $20+ range, this is mostly a collection where my average pickup is under a dollar. It’s nice to have at least one thing I collect where I can add a couple cards and not even think about the dent to my wallet. Though I don’t aspire to “Hobby gatekeeper,” I will say if I ever became Hobby czar I’d absolutely recommend every collector find joy in stacks of cards worth virtually nothing.
  • Hank Aaron/Dwight Gooden – Though these are my main two player collections, the needle barely moved on either, largely because there’s almost nothing left on either want list. What I did do was add several post-career cards of each, which I always enjoy even if I don’t actively pursue them.
  • Steve Garvey – My big addition here was the OPC version of Garv’s RC. Count me among the collectors who enjoy the 1971 OPC backs greatly, so this was a $10 very well spent. I also finished my run of Hostess and Kellogg’s and picked up the complete set of 1979 Post Raisin Bran.
  • Dave Hoskins – Looking back on the year, it may well be that the three biggest additions to my entire collection were with my Dave Hoskins PC. At the beginning of the year, I picked up a team-signed ball of the 1952 Dallas Eagles. This was something not even on my radar and probably more deserving of a museum than a basement bookshelf. Later in the year I tracked down his impossible 1952 Globe Printing Dallas Eagles card! Finally, and unbelievably, a fellow SABR member (coincidentally named Dave) sent me a SIGNED photo of Hoskins with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League!


If there’s a lesson from 2022, it’s probably that I’ll end up chasing things in 2023 that aren’t even on my radar today. Still, if I go with the knowns, I’m probably looking at the following.

  • 1972 Topps Ron Cey RC to complete 1970s Dodgers run.
  • Handful of additional T212 Obak Los Angeles Angels and Vernon Tigers
  • Adding to (and maybe finishing) Steve Garvey OPC run
  • 1934 Batter Up Hack Wilson
  • Finishing 1934 Goudey Dodgers

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll complete one of my three big Dodger sets missing the ONE key card: T205 (Wilhelm), T206 (Dahlen), and 1955 Topps (Koufax). If so, I guess it’s sayonara to my Cuban Mel Ott card!