Monday Mailday Mashup

It’s always good to start off the week with a nice mailday. Today I gladly opened two plain white envelopes with a total of 9 cards, packaged very well. One package was from a stack sale on Twitter, the other was a separate purchase. I’m in several different lanes right now collecting-wise, but that is keeping things fresh for me on a daily basis.

One envelope was full of ultra-modern cards of both Duncan and new Pacers. As a player and team collector it’s about impossible to grab everything new these days, nor does it all even appeal to me. It’s a change from the early 2000s where I wanted to get a copy of each rookie of Pacers draft picks.

For example, this is the first Duarte rookie I’ve purchased. I’ve opened some of his lower end cards (Hoops, Donruss rookies) just by opening packs, but the overload of parallels and sheer volume of first year cards has made me ambivalent about trying to pick them up.

A good comparison here is 2002-03 Fred Jones cards. Jones was drafted in similar slot to Duarte (14 vs 13), even came from the same school, plays the same position. Fred Jones has 114 cards from 2002-03 according to Let’s go ahead and add his XRC from 2001-02 and his Press Pass and SAGE cards from 2002 just for fun. That’s 37 extra cards that make the total 151.

151 total rookie year cards for the 14th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Even that was a task I’m not near complete on. In fact I just purchased two cards of his from that year that I didn’t have over the past few weeks. And keep in mind that’s from Press Pass, SAGE, Fleer, Topps, and Upper Deck.

Now it’s Duarte’s turn, and remember we’re still getting 2021-22 products even with the 2022-23 season about to start. Including his Draft cards featuring him in an Oregon uniform, we’ve got 981 cards. I counted 91 cards just from the Prizm brand alone. It’s mind blowing, and honestly I don’t think it’s going to get better.

All of this to say, I’m not fretting over trying to collect them all, I’m not even actively pursuing them. I’m trying to get back into trading which is the way I built up my collection back then, and I think it can still be effective for me now. My count of Duarte cards is at a whopping 4, and I really like Duarte as a player. His Prizm rookie seems like an important one to have, though, so I’m glad it’s one of the four.

Although I’m a big supporter of Sabonis and his game, I’m excited to watch Haliburton this season. He’s the most talented point guard the Pacers have had in years. And picking up some of his newer Pacers cards has me amped for the season starting soon. Revolution is a brand that has a throwback feel for me, even though it’s a modern set. It reminds me of 90s baseball, and I’m good with that.

I’m also good with a Stadium Club imitation in Panini Photogenic. I’d love to grab some of the 75th anniversary parallels. I’m keeping my eye out, but even the base cards are gorgeous.

A couple newer cards wrap up my stack sale purchase, and these go in my second largest player collection, which is quickly approaching being #1. It’s basically a requirement to have Prizm base and Silver parallels in my collection, especially when they are so cheap compared to his playing days refractors. The silver Prizm in particular is a beautiful card.

Now that the modern cards are out of the way, I can get to the exciting stuff, for me anyway, the 2000s Duncan inserts.

The At Large insert set from 2004-05 Fleer Genuine was 1:6 hobby packs, with memorabilia versions having much tougher odds, as was common in the early/mid-2000s. Love this design with the @ in the background. Great design that honestly looks like it could come out of a more modern pack.

The Roundball inserts from 2003-04 Ultra just speak to me as a collector. I love die-cut inserts and parallels, and I’m surprised it look me this long to grab this one. The discs were 1:12 hobby packs (2 per box) and had tougher odds for memorabilia versions.

I picked up a Granger from this set long ago. 2009-10 Panini Studio Skylines might be my favorite early-Panini era insert set. Next up are parallel and memorabilia versions I’d like to get my hands on.

Topps Stars from 2000-01 includes some beautiful inserts such as this All Star Authority, Walk of Fame, and On the Horizon, and then there’s the Finals jerseys that include my favorite Pacers. Makes it a great product in my mind. The All Star Authority inserts are 1:12 hobby packs.

With those 6 Duncans, I’m closing in on 500 unique Tim Duncan cards in my collection. There’s still plenty of great inserts from the 90s and 2000s that I’m missing, which keeps this lane in my collecting exciting. And if I want to chip away at those close to 1000 Duartes, well that’s OK too, but I won’t stress over it.

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