It's always a great feeling when you're putting together a set and you've passed the half-way point.
Until then, it's all up-hill. Especially when it's an older set. It's not like you can go to the corner store, buy a few packs, and luck into the remaining commons.
I've been slowly putting together an ungraded, low-grade 1956 Topps Baseball set. It's a great set because the design is top-notch, it contains an unbelievable number of superstar Hall-of-Famers (except for Stan Musial), and it's possible to find most of the needed cards with time and patience.
Today, I received an eBay lot of cards from an American seller which put me over the half-way mark. The set has 340 cards plus 2 un-numbered checklists, so 342 in total. I now have 183 cards in the set! Only 159 to go!
As you can see, the cards are low-grade. But these three cards above book for $525 in near-mint condition. I was able to get these three plus about 10 more for only $50.
I felt low-grade was the way to go from the beginning.
Graded cards by PSA cost too much. If I purchased ungraded cards in great condition, I'd always be worried that they'd be fake. But with low-grade cards, there is a sense of security. I don't mind if my New York Yankees Team Card has extremely soft corners or if my Duke Snider is full of creases. In the grand scheme, I'm pretty damn happy that I own these cards. Period!
I still have some big names to acquire. Hank Aaron. Sandy Koufax. Yogi Berra. And lots of commons.
On the bright side though, I've already got The Mick!