You know sometimes I really despair!
I’d love to be a player collector! I really would!
Despite being a Cardinals fan I’ve always harboured a desire to collect Andrew McCutchen cards. I just think he’s a great player and incredibly undervalued in the card market. Pirates to win the World Series within the next five years… You mark my words 🙂
However, the problem is where do you bloody start? Unless you make some kind of zen-like peace with yourself and the universe that player collecting is an infinite and something of a thankless task then you’ll forever be tormented with the idea that you’ll never ever achieve your ultimate goal! Sure you can set yourself boundaries of the types of cards you can get but (if you’re anything like me) then that’ll never be enough – there’s always one extra autograph to get hold of, always one extra serially numbered refractor #’d/25… and so it goes on!
The problem is is that there are far too many cards out there that putting together a complete collection of a single player IS impossible, no matter how many ways you look at it. And one of the reasons for this? Too many bloody parallels!!
Just looking at the 2013 Topps release – along with the base cards there are the following parallels –
Gold: Sequentially numbered to 2013
Black: Sequentially numbered to 62
Pink: Sequentially numbered to 50
Platinum: Numbered 1/1
Emerald: Inserted 1:6
Desert Camo Foil: Sequentially numbered to 99
Base Card Printing Plates: 1,320 printing plates from all of the base cards. Numbered 1/1
Silk Collection: 100 framed mini silk cards
That’s a LOT of parallels!! Do we really need THAT many parallels? Honestly?!?!
Then you get into all the other releases throughout the year, with all their parallels (and don’t get me going on all those refractors in Topps Chrome and Topps Finest each year) and you’re approaching well over 100 parallels of the base cards alone!
And that’s before you even start on any inserts (which also have their own parallels and sequentially numbered versions)…
— Sigh —
Who the hell would ever want to collect a single player? It’s bad for you health, I tell you!!
So where does that leave us??
Vintage… That’s where it’s at!! It looks as if the only way to go forward in terms of player collecting is to go backwards and hanker for the days when each player had just one base card a year! This can be an incredibly rewarding process!! Not only do you have a finite number of cards to collect but you also get the opportunity to acquire the cards of some of Baseball’s greatest players in the form of existing and future Hall of Famers!
I recently wrote about putting together a set of Bob Gibson Topps base cards from 1959 to 1975. 17 cards in total that I can collect in my own time and at my own pace!! Pure collecting heaven!!
There are hundreds of different ways to approach collecting Vintage cards, whether it’s putting together team sets or chasing the base cards of HOF’ers! It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it, and as long as you can appreciate a bit of wear and tear then you can pick up some real bargains of some beautiful looking cards!!
So why not give it a go, if you don’t already? It’s a nice alternative to chasing that elusive (and no doubt ridiculously expensive) 2012 Bowman Derek Jeter Red Ice Parallel #’d/25! Trust me on that!