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?
I supercollect Bill Vitdon cause he is from the toen I grew up in. Even though he hasn’t played or managed for years the are still a bunch of catds out there i need to find.
Hmmm, interesting. I never thought about looking up ‘local’ players from where I grew up. I’d probably have more luck with hockey than with baseball though, but just for kicks I looked up any baseball players from NH.
Looks like my best options are Chris Carpenter, Sam Fuld and Brian Wilson. Not too shabby, but probably not guys I’m all that interested in.
Still, awesome idea for a collection!
I’m all on board with the Martin Prado super collection. I love Prado b/c of the way he plays the game. One of the first guys in and last out, every day. He wants to be the best player he can be. Honestly, I think he’d have more success on a different team and playing second base but I hope he turns into a great left fielder. I thought he’d step into 3rd next year but the braves made a trade for a 3b prospect who seems to be doing okay in some of his games.
There are some fun Prado cards to chase but the ones that are #’d /5 or less go out of my price range normally. Cards like triple threads I bid on early and watch them go away. I need to get a current list of all the Prado’s but I’ve got 160+.
If I ever see one of the chrome superfractors I’d probably do everything I could to bring it home, but we’ll see.
So I think you’re on base it has to be a person who’s not super popular but someone that you really relate too. Like from a hometown, or you love the way they play.
Ah, yeah, that’s my eBay strategy as well, lol. $0.99 and fingers crossed, lol.
You shouldn’t feel too bad though, you’ve got a darn near complete Prado collection. With the exception of a couple 1/1’s, you’re missing what, 3? lol. I’d say you’ve got super-collecting pretty much down to a science. 😛
I started collecting Tino Martinez cards in 1996 and have kept it up to this day. He was my favorite player and a semi-star on a team with much bigger stars (similar to Bard/Buchholtz today). However, the late ’90s saw an increase in inserts and parallels, so even today there are plenty of his cards that I don’t have.
Nice, yeah the whole “12 versions of 1 card” thing is kind of a big barrier to trying to super collect someone. I’d personally have to steer away from trying to “collect the rainbow” on someone’s Bowman cards. My wallet would just get into trouble.
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of the Pentafecta (as Greg puts it). It’s not so much a “super collection” as it is a determination to get one of each kind of card for a player: A rookie card, a relic, an autograph, a patch, and any 1/1. That’s probably more doable than finding every single one of possible hundreds of cards for someone. Clearly only modern players would apply, but I would figure getting just a mint RC card for a vintage player would probably be it’s own “holy grail” so to speak.
I have my Ripken and Pudge and Tigers stars collections, even though I know I’ll never finish a true super collection, and I’m OK with that.
And that’s why I have Coot Veal, who I’m pretty close with already. Need that Salida coin card. I chose Veal for sentimental reasons. It’s kind of nice to have someone you can super-collect and that no one else is collecting.
Oh, nice collections. I’d agree completely. A random player, even for humorous reasons, could be fun. I think the baseball gods are telling me to be a Kevin Kouzmanoff super-collector, although I have no idea why. For some crazy reason I got the Padres in at least a dozen breaks last year and managed to pull about 4 of his autos. I think the universe was trying to tell me something, lol.
I super-collect Luke Hochevar cards because I went to high school with him. I am two years his elder, but that didn’t stop him from taking my starting spot on the high school basketball team. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a great guy from a fantastic family.
I actuall have been published in Beckett Magazine for my Prado Supercollection. I started collecting him back in 2006 before his first MLB game.
I would say if you are looking at this financially you don’t want to go with one of the main stream players. Way too expensive. I was buying up everything Prado and people couldn’t dump him on me fast enough. The prices were so low they were almost insaine.
I had a feeling and it paid off. I saw his ability to hit and like Chipper Jones says he doesn’t have a single flaw in his swing. Not too many chances like that out there, but if you look and follow a few like I do with the Braves you will see them.
Player Collections are much more meaningful and are usually cheaper than set building or pack busting. I enjoy this aspect much more than any other part of collecting.