I took some time today to think about whether I’m a player collector or a team collector. Technically, all my player cards are members of the same team, or have been, or would eventually be. Does having an Adrian Gonzalez rookie make me a Gonzo collector, or a Red Sox collector. I decided there’s absolutely nothing wrong with both. There are guys on the Red Sox who I’ll collect only because of the team they play for, and there are guys that I’d collect regardless of the team. Ortiz, Nomar, Papelbon, etc. Those players are certainly on the short list, and it is quite short. There’s only a handful of players I’d have any compulsion to collect out side of a Red Sox uniform. So, I guess, technically it’s team first, player second.
With that in mind, I have decided to start 2 distinct player collections. Fortunately for me, both players satisfy the “team/player” question on both sides, making my previous point fairly moot.
Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek.
Why? I don’t know. It could be all the talk of their retirement this week, but I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s the “legacy” aspect and what they meant to Boston for over a decade. I also have a distinct lack of both players. I have base cards for a couple years, Varitek’s rookie, and that’s about it. There’s (by search count at COMC, which is in no way definitive) at least 150 Tim Wakefield cards and 260 Jason Varitek cards. I would imagine the number is much higher, but those seem to be the one’s “in circulation” on the secondary market. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’d really like to put a serious dent in collections for both players this year. Let’s call it a goal. So, keep that in mind if you ever come across mojo for either of those guys. I hear that a Wakefield auto is nearly impossible, he just doesn’t sign that much. That’ll be my “white whale” of the collection.
I don’t think there is a black or white label when it comes to most collectors. I am most known in blogland as a Rockies collector and it is my current #1 collection. However, I also try to get the flagship Topps set every year and other occasional sets. Plus, I have dormant player collections of Fred McGriff and Dave Parker (neither of whom ever played for the Rox). And then of course there are those cards that I get that don’t fit anywhere that I absolutely love and plan to keep.
The key is to not wedge yourself into a corner because that takes a little bit of the fun out of collecting.