While in pursuit of every CC Sabathia card that depicts him as a Milwaukee Brewer, it is not at all uncommon to concentrate all of one's efforts on the somewhat-difficult-to-obtain relic and parallel cards. When this is the case, the common base cards sometimes fall by the wayside. As a result, I have not yet obtained two early-season base cards. Until now.
2009 Upper Deck Goudey #112
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum #54
A short window of availability necessitates this practice. Within the first week or so of a product's release, I found that several copies of low-numbered cards pop up on the secondary market. For a completist, this is a double-edged sword. You have to get these cards as they are available, but you will pay a premium for them. By waiting, the price almost certainly will be lower, but you become unsure if the card will indeed be up for sale. Base cards, however, will be around forever. In fact, The McLaughlin Group covered this topic a few weeks ago. Below is an illustrated transcript, abridged because of rampant profanity.
McLaughlin: Issue one -- Topps baseball cards is rapidly approaching its sixtieth anniversary, and starting in 2010, the company will be the only kid on the block. No Upper Deck, no Donruss, not even beloved Fleer could take the heat, and now they're all out of the kitchen. In this new landscape, does this spell the certain demise of the base card? Set-builder, Eleanor Clift.
Clift: I don't see any reason that Topps will stop producing a card set that caters to the casual-
McLaughlin: Pat Buchanan! Is the base card dead?
Buchanan: President Obama's policies virtually guarantee that children will no longer be able to afford-
McLaughlin: WRONG!!! Monica Crowley! Children: Backbone of the hobby or merely an excuse trotted out by old-fashioned purists against anything remotely modern?
Crowley: I think it's unfair to label collectors with a bent towards traditional foundations of the hobby as-
McLaughlin: Mort Zuckerman! Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. Should Topps include a stick of gum in every pack of cards?
Zuckerman: John, I think we've gone completely off-topic here, and I can't believe that you're advocating for the inclusion of-
McLaughlin: On a Doomsday Scale from zero to ten, zero being absolutely chemically, physically, and spiritually impossible, ten being a metaphysical certitude, how likely is it that Topps stops producing base cards within the next five years? Mort.
Zuckerman: Two. Topps will not stray from its bread and butter.
Clift: I'm going to say nine. Nobody buys cards for anything anymore other than the autographed cards. Base cards are dead.
Crowley: It's a three, John. Fundamentalist collectors will lobby for-
McLaughlin: Pat Buchanan!
Buchanan: I have no idea, John, so I'll say five. I'd also like to take this opportunity to announce my intent to again run for pr-
McLaughlin: The answer is ten. Jerseys, bats, and buttons will become the de facto base cards once skin relics are introduced late next year. This will hasten the gradual phasing out of all conventional base cards with complete elimination taking place by the start of the 2013 season. Bye-BYYYYYYE!