What kind of collector do I want to be when I grow up?November 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Posted in My opinions | 1 Comment
I’ve been mulling this over for a few days now. A few months actually, and I still don’t have an answer to that question. At all different times I’m a Player Collector, First Worlder, Second Worlder, Prospector, and Gambler. Honestly, I still don’t know what brought me back to collecting in the first place. Gellman’s idea however, has caused me to think a little harder about all of this, and to try and put it together into a series of cogent thoughts.
First and foremost, I’m a player collector. Whether you’ve checked out my blog before or are just looking at it for the first time, I think that’s pretty evident. If I live to be 150 years old, I don’t think I will ever enjoy baseball more, or enjoy watching any player more than I did in 1987 watching Dawson play for my beloved Cubs. They were horrible that season, last place in fact, but witnessing Andre at bat or in the field was something to behold. And I guess that is what still has me collecting today.
I have almost every base card ever produced, and over 100 game used and autographed cards, and I still haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all of the Dawson cards that are out there somewhere. I don’t think my collection will ever stop. I doubt it ever could. It’s a virtually impossible task for me to find, or even be aware of every card that has ever or will ever be made. I think that’s one of the best things about being a PC. There is always that next rush, that next eBay listing or card show, which may hold something you haven’t yet found.
I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to the First World / Second World classification. I think financial restraints are causing me to straddle the border on this one, because if I had the disposable income, I think I would only bust high-end product like Exquisite and Ultimate. But I don’t, so I don’t. Obviously my player collection is largely Second World. My favorite Dawson cards are all patches and certified autographs, and those are the ones on display in my home. My First World instincts have kicked in again this year though. Financial reasons aside, I think aesthetics had something to do with why I started opening boxes of mid-level product again. I am currently trying to complete the base sets for 2008 Topps Finest, and Allen & Ginter, for no other reason than the fact that I like the look of the cards, and the design of the set. I don’t even collect football cards, yet I can appreciate the beauty of a card like this.
So, until my monetary situation improves, I think I’ll be stuck somwhere between worlds.
At times, I guess I could also be considered a prospector, because I still open packs and boxes just for the thrill of opening them. I also look at is as gambling in a way, because like evryone else, I’m plunking down my hard earned money and hoping for that “SICK!!” “MOJO!!” hit of a lifetime that I can sell on eBay and become a millionaire. The closest I’ve come so far is a Bowman Gold Refractor that I sold for $250.
And that’s probably as close as I’ll ever get. Most of the time, I don’t even cover the cost of the box. Yet somehow that doesn’t stop me from going in to my local hobby shop every couple weeks and buying more packs. It’s the thrill of the chase I guess, and more than likely, that’s what keeps Topps and Upper Deck in business.
We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of my return to collecting, and I think I’ve learned a few things. I know now that not every product that comes out is great and worth buying. Hell, most of them are mediocre at best. I’m starting to put together a pretty good idea of what I’m going to buy and not buy next year. As far as my First World tendencies are concerned, we’ll have to wait and see if there is anything worth my time and money next year. That’s what’s so great about this hobby. There’s always something else to look forward to.
My hopes for the future of this hobby of ours are many and varied. I understand that there is a need and a proper place for the cheap, lower-end sets. Some people only care about collecting base cards, and can’t afford more than $40 or $50 for a hobby box, and that’s just fine. But, do there have to be so many, and do so many of them have to be so shitty? I also understand the need for stickers and redemptions, as they have their place as well. However, the big 3 need to realize that if they expect me to pay $250-$300 for 1 box of 5 cards, they need to find a way to get the athlete to sign the damn card. I would never buy a box of Topps Sterling for exactly this reason. What I think I would really like to see is at least 1 set a year that contains all veteran and retired players with on-card autographs and patches. No Joe Koshanskys and Daric Bartons, no cheap white swatches, no stickers, and no unfulfilled redemptions. I’d pay whatever they wanted for that.
With the way the blogging world has grown recently, and continues to grow, I have high hopes that they may listen to our moaning and groaning and finally figure it all out. I’ll be the first one in line for a box when they do.