The Waiting Game has made me come full circle on Project 2020

Just a few months ago I sat in front of my computer going on and on about how great Project 2020 was. It really was a joy to wake up each morning wondering which two cards we would see released through the Topps web site.

I admittedly entered the series not completely understanding it, but luckily I joined early and picked up the iconic — for this series — Mike Trout by Ermsy and the Ken Griffey Jr. by King Saladeen direct from Topps. Every day afterward was like an art appreciation class — I got to tap into my senses and determine if a certain card “moved me.”

Then the hype train came and I began looking at things slightly differently. Instead of looking at things with my art appreciation goggles on, I began to look at them as a bit of a FOMO situation — a fear that if I did not grab anything that remotely pleased me, then I might have to chase it later at a much higher price. This is not to say I do not enjoy the cards I have purchased, rather this is admission that I bought many more cards than I really should have.

For a few weeks we know how hot that series was. Trout by Ermsy reaching $3,000 and Griffey by Saladeen eclipsed the $2,000 mark, and many more — including many that I own — continued to fetch nonsensical coin. It was literally like Topps was printing gold and consumers were lining up each day to grab some at pennies on the dollar. Many went head over heels and bought multiple copies every day hoping to see continued huge cash returns; personally I stuck to one copy for most cards unless I saw there was an opportunity to gift a few to friends and/or family.

So when the bubble burst with the Keith Shore Griffey, I didn’t worry too much. I was still into the cards for my personal collection. However, what happened right about that time was Topps had to adjust its shipping dates due to increased demands, and the Shore Griffey (and Joshua Vides Nolan Ryan cards also released that day) completely overwhelmed the system. Shipping had already been behind due to the COVID-19 issues impacting manufacturing and shipping — and I was OK with that; I preached and continue to speak of patience — but the newer delayed times really started to hit home several weeks later as I continued to make purchases and the delivery envelopes stopped arriving. And even though I knew a delay was coming, it was hard to rationalize spending the money each day when the reward (delivery of a physical card) was still a long ways away.

To some degree I say the delivery delays have hampered my enjoyment, but I should clarify that this doesn’t mean I don’t still like the cards or the project as a whole. In fact, what the delays have done is really make me more critical of my purchases — which to some extent is a blessing in disguise.

When you jump into a collecting project — whether it be Project 2020, or decision to PC a player, team or a certain card — there can be a tendency to be blinded and stubborn. And for some of us, this could mean forcing an issue — do you really need all of the cards, or are you OK with just owning the ones you really like? It’s a personal question with no right or wrong answer.

At this point, I’m still buying Project 2020 — even though I’ve got like 50 cards that have yet to be delivered. I’m still a fan of much of the artwork, and I absolutely feel the need to buy every version of certain players or every release by a certain artists. However, I also find myself operating from a slightly different point of view, which is a bit more in line with my original perspective: Buy the ones I actually like, not the ones that I sort of like and fear I might have to pay more for later if I change my mind.

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