My Collecting Goals for 2021

In an effort to minimize distractions I am posting here publicly my collecting goals for the 2021 year. The purpose is to help me prioritize my collecting goals, does this mean that I will not relapse into another distracting episode? No. It does not. You know how it is.

But it does mean that when I do find myself veering off to left field I can get back to dead center and this time sooner than later. My goal is to continue progressing in these five areas of my collection. I consider this an absolute must in an effort to progress so here we go in descending order:

5) PSA Set Registry: Top 100 Cards of the ’80s by Mike Payne

ripken jr 82 topps 21 frt

This is a fairly new set registry and I was really excited about it because it’s right up my alley so I opted to hit the delete button on my Pro Football Hall of Fame Modern Rookie Players Set Registry, I’ve been trying to improve this one for a couple of years but it never has taken off.

Baseball being my primary sport of choice and starting my collecting career in 1981 I was long anticipating a set registry like this one for quite some time.

In January 2019 Beckett Baseball Publications released a Special 1980s Issue in which Mike Payne gave collectors his Top 100 Picks. Collectors quickly reached out to PSA and pleaded with them to start this registry. PSA answered that request in the summer of 2019. You know I had to jump on board with this one for sure!

As of the date of this post, I am 26.0% complete and rank 60th. Note: I am not using inventory that is assigned to other set registries.

4) 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game – Autographs

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Blyleven Auto.

At the turn of the century when the concept of on-card autographs was fairly new, Fleer took the hobby by storm with this 93 card set. I remember specific card shows that were buzzing with collectors in search of these cards.

To this day on-card autos carry a lot of weight within the hobby, it’s a concept that is here to stay. And I thought to myself how cool would it be to have a complete set of this hobby heavyweight. So I made it a collecting goal.

I only picked up four of these in 2020. As of the date of this post I now only have 27 of the 93 cards needed for this set.


3) PSA Set Registry: Michael Jordan Basic Set

Living in the Chicagoland Region and being a card collector/dealer 20-30 years ago I know first hand the impact Michael Jordan had on the hobby. His heroics shouldered the NBA and the hobby of basketball card collecting to new heights.

For a decade we watched every game, and at every Local Card Shop or Card Show, there were swarms of collectors always looking to buy, sell or trade his cards. Jordan cards dominated the price guide pages.

His retirements, returns, and baseball ventures only seemed to reignite the fever of his collectibles. I’d seen nothing like it, then or now. For more on Michael’s dominance and his rookie cards check out my post here Michael Jordan.

I reignited my Jordan collection in 2017. I wanted anything and everything Jordan but I quickly realized that the Michael Jordan Master Set in PSA’s website has over 4500 required items listed.

So I downshifted and decided to start with the Michael Jordan Basic Set; the number of required items is 72, much more manageable. I had to remind myself that card collecting is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash.

My biggest challenge has been finding cards already graded. There seemingly becoming harder to find, especially the newer cards, when he was with the Wizards. For these, I’ve been purchasing them through COMC in raw condition.

I’ll typically purchase three of any one particular card. Once I get them, they are carefully reviewed then submitted to PSA for grading, only then can I include them into the PSA Set Registry.

As of the date of this post, I am 77.78% complete and rank 17th out of 72 collectors. I made the biggest improvement on this set registry in 2020 nearly doubling my completion ratio. Time to hit the gas on this one, it’s been a primary collecting goal for several years now.


2) PSA Set Registry: Roberto Clemente Basic

1966 Topps #300 Roberto Clemente PSA 7

The reasons I PC Roberto are: he hits close to home because my parents are from Puerto Rico as was Roberto. They had much admiration for Roberto and I remember oftentimes having long discussions about him.

I remember as a kid going to my cousin Eddie’s house and looking at, seems for hours, his 1972 & 1973 Topps Clemente cards. As a collector, the nostalgia is too great to not collect this icon.

Roberto’s hobby status is up there with Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and or Hank Aaron. For more on Roberto and his rookie card check out my blog post here Roberto Clemente.

I had to tread lightly here because collecting this type of caliber player will cost a fortune. The Roberto Clemente Master Set in PSA’s website has 238 required items that would fall into the 10’s of thousands of dollars to put together.

I have opted to collect the Roberto Clemente Basic Set which entails 20 required items. As of the date of this post, I am 40.00% complete and rank 147 out of 207 collectors.


1) PSA Set Registry: (Baseball) HOF Players – Post War Rookies

Frank Thomas 1990 Leaf #300 PSA 10

Rookie cards of Baseball Hall of Famers still remain my primary focus. I’m content with the progress I’ve made with this registry in 2020 but I’m really going to double down my efforts this year. As of the date of this post, there are 108 required items that make up this registry. I am 43.52% complete and rank 196th out of 481 collectors.

2021 will be the fourth year I take this approach. It’s always been whatever I felt like collecting at that moment and perhaps that caused impulsive purchases that did not fit into the overall scope of what I wanted my collection to look like.

I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with collecting whatever you want, the hobby gives us that flexibility but I’m at the point with my collecting that I want to focus my efforts and resources on a project.

And this I believe will help me take the necessary steps to make my collecting goals happen, and of course, I will have to use wisdom as I wrote in my post Being a Wise Collector.

So here’s to 2021! Happy New Year!

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.

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