When I was doing some early-year goal setting for the collection, I thought that rather than focusing on one or two sets, I’d try to do a little of everything at once and build mass across the vintage binders. Last year, I tried this by picking a focus set each month and trying to nail down five nice examples. This failed because you can’t really predict what sort of things will show up and in what order.
This year, I simply set the goal that I want to find five nice cards from each hockey set between 1952-53 and 1962-63 (I also picked one set that is a personal favourite and set a target of 15 by year’s end). This way, serendipity can govern the process, as it does anyway.
Case in point, a whole whack of 1957-58 Topps hockey came up for grabs and in one swell foop I ended up with nine of them. I wasn’t expecting nine, but they all came in under book, so I don’t mind. It’s a Bruins-centric lot, but they’d been avoiding me for some reason, so it’s about time I nailed some.
After their first effort in 1954-55, Topps didn’t bother with hockey for a couple of seasons (I suspect licensing issues, but I’ve never seen it explained). This meant that when they did come back in 1957-58, their set was heavily laden with rookies. (Parkhurst, who also sat out 1956-57, didn’t have rights to US teams after 1955.) This lot doesn’t have any of the biggies (Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, John Bucyk, Norm Ullman), but has a number of the second-tier guys, including Don Simmons, Jack Bionda, Larry Hillman and Andy Hebenton.
With this lot in hand, I’m suddenly at 53 of the 66 cards in the set. I’m debating whether this now means I should target it for completion or stick to the original plan. It would be the first 50s set I’d have finished since the late 1980s.