I am now fully immersed in the...

...run up the mountain that is the Monster. (Borrowing from the name of the Metallica documentary, I refer to my latest collection as Some Kind Of Monster.) The first time around, I was condition conscious and went after some really nice examples of Hall of Famers.

But this time, I am pushing for quantity over quality. And I could really care less about condition.

But even so, I often accidentally fall into really nice VG-EX cards that are being lumped in with the beaters, and for hardly any additional cash whatsoever.

What has always been daunting to me is the sheer quantity of cards required for completion. But when you eschew quality of cardboard and player, the quantity part takes care of itself pretty quickly. In a few months of trolling the B/S/T threads on Net54baseball.com and an occasional hit on ebay, I have managed to accrue about 300 new T206 cards, virtually all for under $20 -- and many for less than $15 or even $10. Indeed, I am now less than 200 cards from completion. While I need almost all the HOFers and Southern Leaguers, I only need just about 70 commons now. When I get those knocked off, then the Monster will become a much more manageable beast.

While it is certainly fun to collect HOFers, they are a slower collection. Given that patience has never been one of my strong suits, I think going the commons route has really helped me this time around, because I can see quicker progress.

Also, one of the things that makes collecting T206 so hard is the constant temptation to sell. If you've got a few mid-grade HOFers, they are easy to sell for $100+ as singles. But low-grade commons take a lot more effort to part with and the return is obviously much, much lower. My low-grade T206 commons collection actually makes it harder to just cut bait. It creates its own disincentive to sell.

The Monster may want me to quit, to be sure, but it hardly cares for my approach here either. In this way, I sort of feel like I am sneaking up on the Monster. In a few acquisitions, I'm sure he'll turn around -- "What?! You again, eh?!" -- but for the time being, he sits silently, unconcerned that I am anywhere nearing completion. I have him right where I want him!!