Dr. Waxlove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Vintage

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!



5 thoughts on “Dr. Waxlove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Vintage

  1. One of the reasons I like my Bill Virdon collection so much is that there are quite a few older cards out there of him, they don’t make many more cards of him every year, and he was popular but not so popular that there are a ton of collectors after his stuff.

    A Bob Gibson collection would probably be ok guy to player collect if you limited it to certain years kind of like 30 Year Cardboard does with his Player collections. Gibson is pretty popular in the newer high dollar sets like Triple Threads so it would be expensive if you didn’t set some kind of collection limits.

    Curt Flood would be another good one for you to PC. Everyone has heard of him but I don’t think he is widely collected. He was popular enough to have cards in all of the oddball 60s sets and a few newer sets. For me it has been fun to track down oddball vintage subsets, team issued, and local market cards.

    Whatever you go with good luck and have fun.

    1. I’ll be keeping the Gibson collection to the 17 original base cards which should be pretty achievable (although the ’59 Rookie card might stretch the funds).

      There are a couple of other players I might take this route with as well such as Bill Mazeroski and Brooks Robinson (again, another expensive rookie)!!

      I was going to grab a few other HOFers from around the late 50’s/early 60’s and even got outbid on a nice ’61 Koufax just last night.

      I guess it’s all about picking up the bargains as and when you see them!!

  2. Vintage- Yes. Infinite number of parallels -No.
    If you really did want to start a Andrew McCutchen collection , perhaps start with the non-serial numbered cards first, if serial, relic, autos come along great, but keep plugging away at the basic cards. It might be a little cheaper too.
    I am always thinking about collecting a player born in the UK who had a career in the MLB. Most of them are ancient but there are a couple of newish guys like Lance Painter – last club Brewers 2001 or Phil Stockman -last club Braves 2006, although he spent most of his life in Australia. That might be an interesting player set to collect, perhaps a bit flat as neither of these guys were amazing performers

    1. Hey John!

      I’m really leaning towards sticking to the vintage cards at the moment! I’ll still get a few boxes of modern stuff just to keep tabs on the new stuff and to do a few reviews every now and then!

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