What was your most satisfying or difficult set to complete?

jflan702

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I just received a card that I had been searching for to complete a set for 14 years. As I was putting it in is place in the set, I was looking at some of the ones around it and it got me thinking about the toughest sets that I put together.

For me, the most satisfying was the 2001 Donruss set, as this was one of the first sets that had a batch of numbered cards as part of it. The Rated Rookie portion, cards 151 thru 200 were all numbered to 2001, with the exception of 2 cards. Albert Pujols #156 and Ben Sheets #159 were last minute replacements and only numbered to 500, and were redemptions. These were very tough to find, especially after a few years when they became superstars.

The other set that I just finished was the 2004 Leaf Second Edition. This one was tough because of Barry Bonds. He had 2 cards, 195 and 265, that were originally packed out, but then removed when he didn't sign his contract. I found a 265 early, but had been searching for #195 for 14 years. One finally popped up from a seller in Canada, and it arrived today, allowing me to complete it.

I would be interested in hearing about other collectors' challenges and successes. What was that last tough card that you just couldn't find?

Maybe looking back at some older sets will help everyone deal with the delay to this year's season starting.

Thanks,
 

katester44

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14 years is a LONG time! Congrats on finishing the set. I am going to look into the future and say my most satisfying set to complete will be 1969 Topps. That should be the last Topps flagship set I will need to complete. I am pretty close on 73-77 Topps, 69/70/71 & 72 high numbers will be what I spend my twilight years searching for.
 

cjay101

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2003 Sweet Spot Classic Game Jerseys. I obtained them all within 6 months except Willie Stargell, who was an SP. I never saw one for a year or so, then one was on ebay (BV was 15) and I put $100 bid on it and left for class. I lost. I finally found a guy a year or two later that had one for trade. I literally looked everywhere for that card. The guy at UD never told me the print run but said they were 'very limited'. I bet there are 5-10 copies tops.
 

togaman

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For me it was 1998 Topps TEK 8100 card set I finished back in 2004. All 90 patterns of all 90 players kept in 10 page Ultra storage binders. It would be nearly impossible to do today because back then you could directly contact other bidders on ebay and make big trades to help each other out. That door has been long closed by EBAY. I am very close on another toughie - a 2006 Topps Chrome Black Border Refractor set only missing a 221 Ken Griffey Jr #d to 549 to complete the 1-330 Black Border Refractor set and a 334 Adam Wainwright Black Border Refractor #d to 200 AU card to complete the entire 1-354 card Black Border Refractor set including all the AUTOS. My other two I have been working on for a long while are the 2012 Bowman Platinum Gold #d to 50 Refractor set BPP (94/100 so far) and corresponding 2012 Bowman Platinum Red #d to 25 Refractor set BPP (72/100 so far). Ive been hoarding 2000 Fleer Focus Masterpiece Mania cards for years putting together numerous 250 card sets with each card numbered to 300. I too am going to get back to my Topps 1962 and 1969 sets at some point.
 

camco2

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togaman -wow!! that takes some perseverance and a keen eye to do that tek set, amazing with all the patterns
i did the '09 topps chrome blue refractor set /199 (including obama)
then did all the twins rainbow set including all the rc autos of twins players in the '10 topps chrome

ps- ithink i may have that griffey '06 topps chrome black ref., i'll do some digging and get back to you
 
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togaman

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togaman -wow!! that takes some perseverance and a keen eye to do that tek set, amazing with all the patterns
i did the '09 topps chrome blue refractor set /199 (including obama)
then did all the twins rainbow set including all the rc autos of twins players in the '10 topps chrome

ps- ithink i may have that griffey '06 topps chrome black ref., i'll do some digging and get back to you
LMK about the Griffey. Thanks
 

PRosefan1

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1973 topps took me a little bit. The one high number checklist was tough to find unmarked and in great shape for less than 20 bucks. Hated to pay so much for a stupid checklist.
 

SymphonicMetal

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1973 topps took me a little bit. The one high number checklist was tough to find unmarked and in great shape for less than 20 bucks. Hated to pay so much for a stupid checklist.
Card #588. I have that number burned into my memory banks. I have been asked for that card twice in the last two months. I thought for sure I had a NM extra but cannot find it. The mystery is where did it go because I don't think I traded or sold it to anyone.

While not my oldest nor most valuable set, the 1972 Topps baseball was my hardest due to the sheer # of high numbers in it. That one took a long time to complete. Off the top of my head I think there is something like 130 high numbers and it is HARD to find just one of them much less 130 of them!!
 

PRosefan1

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Card #588. I have that number burned into my memory banks. I have been asked for that card twice in the last two months. I thought for sure I had a NM extra but cannot find it. The mystery is where did it go because I don't think I traded or sold it to anyone.

While not my oldest nor most valuable set, the 1972 Topps baseball was my hardest due to the sheer # of high numbers in it. That one took a long time to complete. Off the top of my head I think there is something like 130 high numbers and it is HARD to find just one of them much less 130 of them!!
Yah, I put my 72 set on the back burner.
 

bbctrader

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Two for me:
#1 Complete run of NY Yankees base Topps (any having a Yankee in it) from 1959 - present. Started in earnest in 1986 and didn't finish until 2 years ago with a '63 Mantle. Most are at least Ex+/NM. The one bummer was the Pete Rose RC. Just not ready to cough up 1-2K for Pete and Pedro Gonzalez LOL so I settled for one of the reprints (for now)....
#2 The Mantle HR History Set - have all 536, with the 400's being rough of course.
Closing in on 67, 71 and 72
 

bblair_2002

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Right now it's 1972 Topps. Many difficult high numbers and every show I go to,I pick off 15-20 at a time. I only started this set 4 months ago and 65% of the way there so I've got time.

It took me a little over 4 years to complete the 2011 Topps/Topps Update Diamond Anniversary set. Already had the Trout,but it was the lesser players that gave me fits.

I'm also 13 cards short of 1973 Topps and like previously stated,card number 588 is still on my wantlist lol.

Most satisfying sets to complete were these:

2011 Topps/Update Diamond Anniversary (w/ HOF SPs)
2011 Topps/Update Cognac (w/ HOF SPs)
2012 Topps/Update Gold Sparkle
2013 Topps/Update Emerald
2014 Topps/Update Red Foil

These were all massive sets and the 2011s were over 1,000 cards by themselves.
 
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dubby25

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Mine would have probably been 1992 Leaf Black Gold and 1993 Topps Gold. These may not be too tough now, but this was all done before internet, so there were a lot of packs and shows to get what I needed. Not to mention, I was only 13, so had limited funds and transportation.
 

Steelers8873

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This isn't a set but I have been chasing around a couple cards I can't seem to find and the one I do find from time to time is usually a bit much asked for the card and the other I simply cannot find and starting to think I never will one is a 2005 Upper Deck Rookie Debut Football Derek Cameron Wake which is his one and only RC and he's definitely going to the Hall & the other card I can't find is also football and recent which is why it's baffling and frustrating I am looking for a 2020 Green Press Proof of Sean Taylor I have all the other press proofs but for some reason I can't find a green one to save my life.
 

zlw1

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2001 Fleer Autographics.
I started in 2001 and finished in 2018 or 2019. So, 17-18 years?

Hardest to find
1) Wily Mo Pena... Last one I needed took 17-18 years to find one for sale..only have seen 3 copies of this card.
2) Bernie Williams... Took 12 years.
3) Scott Williamson... only have seen 2 of these
4) Chipper Jones... only have a seen a handful
5) Greg Maddux.. same as Chip.

I found 2 Randy Johnson /50, bought both. Cannot find a regular non serial
I cannot find the Pedro Martinez, and apparently they made a gold version only. Although no-one can confirm it exists or not.
 

abothebear

Prospect
2
1934 Gold Medal Foods World Series
This is a set I accidentally discovered when I won the Ducky Medwick for under $15. My card budget is extremely low, but the idea that I could chase a pre-war set in my price range was planted (until then I had very little knowledge of pre-war collecting). And the set is only 12 cards, they are of my two favorite teams, and it is packed with stars (5 HOFers). It is a scarce set, but their is surprisingly little demand for mis-30s black and whites. Patience was the key. It took me seven years, but I was able to nearly complete it with a couple scrubs in the mix, then I won a lot that had several upgrades I needed and then some. So the last step was also a huge win. I was able to sell my extras and a few other 30s cards from the big lot so my average price paid per card was pretty low. The Fred Marberry was my toughest to find. I think I only saw one auction for a Marberry in those seven years (it had major paper loss on the back).
 

mechjo16

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I’m still trying to finish the 2008 upper deck masterpieces red border set. This is Year 14 for that one. I never would of imagine it taking this long. There not even numbered. 🤦‍♂️
 

7timecy

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I’m still trying to finish the 2008 upper deck masterpieces red border set. This is Year 14 for that one. I never would of imagine it taking this long. There not even numbered. 🤦‍♂️
I got a handful of them, what #'s do you need. I need a password to look at your site. LMK DG
 

dragonslayer913

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for me its the 2005 Topps Turkey Red w/variations completed the set without buying 1 pack or box completed the entire set with making trades here on the bench
 
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