What’s Next for Collecting in 2022? Well, I’ve Got an Idea.

While I don’t have 2022 collecting goals, I do have a solid idea of what I’ll be chasing this year

Everywhere you look, collectors are setting up their goals for the new year. I’m not sure I’ve ever set collecting goals in a particular year and, if I have, I don’t think I’ve given much thought to them beyond the first week or so.

So, yeah — I won’t be doing that this year, either. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have an idea of how I want my collection is going to continue to evolve this year. There’s one thing in particular that I’m going to try to focus on.

For this collector, 2022 is going to be the year of the gum card.

Now, trust me, I’ve got all sorts of other things I want to do. With 113 of the 121 cards in the E90-1 American Caramel set, I’m getting really close to putting that one to bed. I’d like to make more progress on several caramel card sets I’m working on, including E90-2, E90-3, E91, E92, E93, E95, E96, and E101, all in various stages of completion. I’d also like to make good progress on my run of the four 19th century Champions sets (N28, N29, N162, and N184) where I’m roughly 55% complete.

I’ve got about 20 other sets I’m working on, too, including a handful that are only a few cards away from completion.

But what I really want to do is work on several gum sets from 1933 through 1941.

Those cards aren’t necessarily my favorite ones. My true preference is probably for cards that are a bit older. But they are the ones that have generally gotten the least attention. And that’s sort of a shame for two reasons.

First, with prices spiraling out of control, I’m not sure which ones will ever be complete. Just a few years ago, you could buy low-grade Babe Ruth Goudey cards for about $500-$700. Those days are long over now with most starting around three grand. And considering Ruth appears in the 1933 Goudey set four times, well, you get the idea. The idea of forking over $12,000-$15,000 for those cards simply doesn’t seem too appealing.

The other reason I’m a little bummed I haven’t started working on these sets with a bit more effort is that they’re just really great cards. I love the nearly square-shaped design. I love the pictures. And I even love the nuances such as the thickness of the cards that make them more durable than the earlier tobacco and gum cards. I also love the variety. In that short nine-year span, you’ve got the Goudey artwork, the full-scale black and white Play Ball cards of 1939 and 1940, and you’ve got the 1941 Goudeys with an assortment of background colors. There’s all sorts of stuff to be had.

It’s not as if I’ve ignored these cards entirely, mind you. I’ve already fully built the less daunting 1935 and 1936 Goudey sets. I’m missing only Joe DiMaggio’s high-number card for 1941 Play Ball completion and only short a handful of cards for the 1939 Play Ball set. But there’s plenty of goals to achieve when it comes to 2022 for me.

The top priority at this point are those two Play Ball sets. But finishing those won’t be cheap. The DiMaggio 1941 Play Ball card is almost always over $1,000 these days and among the six cards needed to complete the 1939 Play Ball are another Joe DiMaggio card and the Ted Williams rookie, which starts roughly around $2,500-$3,000. But I really plan to complete both of those sets this year.

While I’m out looking for very low-grade examples of those cards, in between I’ve got plenty more affordable stuff I can chase. I’m only about halfway complete on 1933 Goudey and will be looking to buy up inexpensive low-grade commons there. 1934 Goudey is even less complete as I’m about 40% done with that one. I’m 1/3 of the way on Goudey’s iconic 1933 Sport Kings set and the 1934-36 National Chicle Diamond Stars set is about 40% done.

I’m essentially in the same boat in the 1938 Goudey set (halfway done but missing most of the big names) and 1940 Play Ball (same as 1938 Goudey status). I need plenty of commons in all of those sets and while don’t think I’ll finish all of those sets in 2022, it’s time I put a sizable dent into those.

1941 Goudey is going to be a focal point for me, too. I only have a handful of those cards making up about 20% of that small set. However, while commons aren’t cheap (usually starting around $15-$25 each), the set is small enough and lacking the super expensive cards found in most of those other sets. It’s one that realistically can be built without too much trouble.

Finally, I may even dip my feet into the 1941 Double Play waters. That one does have some big names, too, but looks to be fairly manageable. I’ve only got a couple of those, however, and it was not a set I anticipated building. If I found a large enough lot all at once, though, well, I’m not ruling it out.

I have little doubt that my collecting is going to be all over the map in 2022, just like it was in 2021. Last year, I continued the set building but really got more into non-sports cards and buying up singles that I simply liked. I also got more into boxing cards while expanding my reach into more soccer, cricket, auto racing, aviation, and more. Oh, and pre-war autographs and cabinet cards were another area of exploration for me last year.

But if there’s one ‘goal’ I want to set at all, it’s to really make good headway on the numerous gum card sets I’ve begun.

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