I have been thinking about this statement for a long time.  How do you decide what to collect? For years all I have collected are mainly vintage rookies, autographs and game used (mainly patches).  My interest has begun to wane though.  Maybe it’s just the glut of everything out there or maybe it’s the price per box, but I just can’t seem to figure out what I should collect lately.  I decided to break it down by sport first:

Baseball

This was my first love of collecting, I was a baseball card fiend before all else.  The thing is, the designs that have come out recently have sucked.  The flagship has let me down year after year and aside from some subsets it’s been a complete letdown as far as I’m concerned.  Throw in the fact that the only creative design last year (in my opinion) was 5-Star and it was priced waaaaaaaay outside my price range.

Football

My love of football cards has increased over the years.  I am still not happy that Topps uses the same design for baseball and football for it’s flagship.  I have always felt that the designs should be very different (see 1980s football).  There were several designs that came out that I did like.  Topps Magic and Mayo remain two of my favorite sets.  Also I liked UD’s Philadelphia, just because the designs were so radical compared to what we see now.  Instead of all these vintage sets, Topps would do better if they just infused retro designs in their flagship release.

Hockey

I live in Carolina Hurricanes country, but I grew up a Devils fan (grew up on the Jersey Shore).  I love hockey, my wife loves hockey, I would kill for another Champs release!  The sets my wife and I like is O-Pee-Chee.  Every year we go out and buy a few blasters, it’s a monster set and so difficult to put together. Other than OPC and ITG’s releases there is nothing that really floats my boat.

Basketball

Great sport, but it has no collecting appeal whatsoever. Other than Jordan, LeBron, Durant, and Kobe is there anything else worth collecting? I think bringing back to Hoops set was a colossal failure, and other than UD Black is there anything worth collecting?

Advantage: Football

Now after looking at the sports landscapes, look at the types of cards:

Base Sets

Is there any reason to collect base cards anymore?  Other than player only collections, I find the base cards pretty boring.  I usually focus my attention on . . .

SP Cards / Sets

I can’t count the number of subsets and SP cards I chase on the secondary market.  Can I tell you how brilliant some of those designs have been.  Some of the ones I have liked recently are the 2012 Topps Football throwback design set, 2012 Topps Baseball 1987 mini cards and also the news cards with the team patches on them.  Also the 2011 Topps baseball throwback patches.  If only Topps would infuse some of the subset designs into their base card designs, that would be great!

Autographed Cards

There was a time when these were my absolute favorites.  Now though, I am tired of the autographs.  The market is completely saturated.  The only autogrpahs I go for now are retired players on current sets, guys like Bobby Grich or Gorman Thomas.  That’s what I like to see in sets now.  That’s why I loved the Decades set from ITG.  You got autographs of players that never played in the autographed cards era.  It was great to see them getting their own autographed cards.

Game Used

Really, who cares anymore.  I’ve always liked patch cards, but there are so many fake patch cards on the market who knows what is real and what isn’t.  I do like basketball game used cards strictly because it’s almost never white/black/gray. Other than that thought I could live without them.

Advantage: SP Cards / Sets

So there you go, for me I guess I focus on football SP cards / sets.  What about you?  What is your focus on?

gorman thomas 2000 auto

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3 responses »

  1. I hear you. I have always been first and foremost a set collector, but I no longer go for current sets, I’m strictly vintage. The SPs, price point, etc. are big turn offs.

    Bloggers send me new Rays cards and I’m cool with that. I chase parallels of players I collect but that’s about it.

    With autos I’m pretty much the same. I do more and more ttms because nothing looks better than ink on a card from the 50s/60s/70s. I’ll buy a certified auto of guys who don’t sign but that’s it.

  2. fanofreds says:

    I’m 90% a set collector, 9% a Barry Larkin collector, and then the last 1% is reserved for other Reds cards. I don’t actively seek Reds cards at all (besides Larkins) but like CCC, I’ll take ’em in trades happily. I’ve been chasing new sets – but only two last year (and seemingly fewer and fewer each year). There’s a chance I move that down to one set this year, we’ll have to see.

  3. Paul says:

    I limit myself to three areas these days.

    1) I’m slowly trying to complete a collection of every Topps base set Mets card from 1962-present.
    2) I’m trying to get a signed baseball card for every player who appeared in a game for the Mets
    3) I buy minor league team sets if I saw the team play that year.

    I’ll stray a little bit, mostly for other autographs and Topps Heritage, but I just don’t care about most of the other stuff that’s coming out now.

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