In my three decades in the sports card hobby, I have mainly focused on buying single cards of players I enjoy watching or think have investment potential. However, recently I have been considering the merits of constructing full sets. The idea of a long-term, focused goal is appealing to me. In addition, in the modern sports card era, where there seems to be a new product release every three days, the concept of developing expertise in something static from a specific year sounds refreshing. Finally, individuals, who have spent years or even decades tracking down cards from a set they have grown to love, report that there are few things in the hobby that bring greater joy and fulfillment than completing a project of this nature.
Below are four post-1990 sets I would consider completing if I had unlimited time and money. In selecting these sets, I considered eye-appeal of the design, star power of the checklist, and collector demand.
1993-94 Topps Finest Basketball
Number of Cards: 220
Key Rookies: #14 Toni Kukoc, #189 Anfernee Hardaway, and #212 Chris Webber
Key Hall of Famers: #1 Michael Jordan, #2 Larry Bird, #3 Shaquille O’Neal, #11 Reggie Miller, #21 David Robinson, #39 Robert Parish, #74 Clyde Drexler, #76 Hakeem Olajuwon, #87 Isiah Thomas, #140 Gary Payton, #163 Dominique Wilkins, #164 Dikembe Mutombo, #165 Patrick Ewing, #173 Dennis Rodman, #176 Chris Mullin, #181 James Worthy, #200 Charles Barkley, #201 Alonzo Mourning, #208 Scottie Pippen, #215 Karl Malone, and #219 John Stockton
Following the popular launch of 1993 Finest Baseball, Topps followed with a basketball edition for the 1993-94 NBA campaign. This is one of the most vibrant sets ever produced and has become extremely popular over the past five years. Admittedly, 1993 was a weak draft class, but the legendary veterans included in this set more than make up for the low rookie star power. 1993-94 Finest was one of the first sets to include refractors. This concept was clearly a hit with collectors and is still around today.