If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my 51 years on this earth, it’s this: our plans can- and often do- go awry.

I had scheduled a week off in late May for a two-day stay in St. George, UT and three days in Vegas. But an unexpected family crisis with one of the couples we were going to meet up with caused a change of plans. So, we cancelled the vacation and decided to go to my mom’s place in the mountains for a couple days. The rest of my time off would be spent doing a number of outside projects around the house. So of course once we got home from my mom’s (where the weather was beautiful) we had cooler, wet weather with lots of wind. So much for my projects.

House and yard projects aren’t the only ones that can take an unexpected hit. Hobby projects often have their own obstacles to overcome: costs, availability, being sniped on that hard-to-find item. And being one whose primary card project is to collect one card of everyone who’s played in at least one game for the Mariners, I’m particularly vulnerable to the hard-to-find minor league cards of guys who didn’t have a major league card, or who don’t have one with the team. There are times when I wonder if this project will ever be complete. And who wants to start something and not complete it?

Two of my most commonly-used resources for acquiring these hard-to-find singles for the A-to-Z project, eBay and COMC, are becoming more and more difficult to utilize. This probably is not news to you but there are a number of eBay sellers who feel the need to charge $4+ shipping for cheap cards; others like to charge astronomical prices for singles. COMC, on the other hand, is still undergoing a lot of internal issues, causing months(plural)-long delays in shipping. I have an order I’ve been waiting on since February or March (with an August delivery date) and I’m not spending another dime until they get it together. Anyway, I have found some of the much needed minor league cards on the TCDB website. Problem is, for those cards that are actually available for trade on the site, my trading material is pretty thin and I often can’t find a match. This was the case with user MungoHungo, whom I reached out to about two much needed minor league cards. I didn’t have anything off his wanlist, so I offered to pay for the cards. The response I received was a pleasant surprise.

“Hi Steve- I can’t accept any money, but if you give me a couple of days, I’d be glad to send those two cards to you. I actually have a set like yours — except it’s a card of every Royal. I know how hard it can be to track down some of those obscure cards.”

Jeff also is working on a different project, with cards of every player since late 1977, and the few remaining needs are proving to be difficult to find. And because of his generosity, I thought the least I could do (with his approval) is post this link to his wantlist. So reader, please take a look at Jeff’s list and see if there’s something you can help him out with. He said he’s willing to pay or send cards “substantially in the other person’s favor.” Or better yet, pay it forward like he did for me.

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