So, I’ve been thinking about this as a post topic for quite some time. My interests in cards lean primarily towards “the team” but include a good amount of “oooh, shiny” for good measure. Meaning, simply, I’m interested in mostly cheaper, regular cards but if a nifty one comes along for a reasonable price, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it. That’s a wonderful theory, but a good amount of the time the “geek” factor kicks in whenever I (and we, as a whole) see super rare, ultra rookies McAwesome card and start to drool all over the “bid now” button on ebay. I’ve tried very hard to suppress that urge, mostly because I don’t have the money to “scratch that itch” so to speak.
There is an idea though, one subtle enough to not be dismissed entirely, that intrigues me. The idea of being a “Super Collector” for a player. Having that single player’s ultimate collection is an idea too tempting to not contemplate. Like thinking about lottery winnings before you’ve bought your ticket.
But who would you collect? If we’re staying within the realm of realism, there’s a couple points to consider. First, it has to be within your budget. I, and most people, don’t have the financial means to go after a super collection of Albert Pujols. Second, clearly it has to represent your interests. A collection for a team and/or player you hate simply won’t bring you any satisfaction. I will never be a Derek Jeter super collector. Third, and probably controversially, I would argue it needs to be a fairly modern player. Why? Because as hard as you try, there’s only 1 Mickey Mantle rookie card. You’re not going to find a regular version, a chrome version, and auto version, etc. This concept of course feeds the “Topps Monster” into making multiple variations of cards in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle.
No, it has to be someone semi-modern, probably mid-90’s and forward. That way there’s at least multiple cards from multiple companies to chase. There’s no fun in declaring that you have all of Player X’s rookie cards when only 1 exists. You also want it to be someone modern enough to have autographs and relics in the first place, and also someone who potentially still plays, increasing the future availability of more cards.
Personally it’s hard to come up with a list. Red Sox players, clearly, but someone like Pedroia or Ortiz is probably out of my price range. 1/1 or ultra-rare cards would sell for hundreds of dollars for those guys. Also, the relative availability of a rookie card, perhaps with an autograph, is less so with a major star. So, you’re looking for recent breakout players, who are still active, who are “good” by most definitions, who are well represented in cards in general, and who have potential down the road.
My personal choice would be someone like Clay Buchholz or Danny Bard. Not only do I think they’re good pitchers, there’s a good amount of cards available without most of them being insanely priced. Autographs and rookies are easily found, and there’s not decades of older cards to try and track down. But do I want to be a Buchholz super collector? Honestly, no, probably not (although I’m getting kinda close). It is an interesting question to think about though. I know there are plenty of you who do it, be it a Russell Martin, Nolan Ryan or Christian Friedrich collection.
So, what made you pick that player instead of one of your other favorites? Did you already have a bunch of cards and just decided to go for it, or was it a conscience decision from the beginning? What’s the hardest part about a super collection, and what do you do when you only have the super-rare left to find?