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Old 04-12-2016, 10:22 PM
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Default Why do you collect what you collect? (+ Introduction)

The question is: why do you collect what you collect? If you're a set collector, why sets? If it's a particular set, why that particular set? If you collect a particular player, why a player, and why that player?

Since I'm new here (been posting for about a month), I'll introduce myself by going first and answering my own question.

Like so many people I collected cards as a kid and stopped collecting when I went to high school. When I started collecting cards (around age 10 or so) I set a goal for myself: one card of everyone who is in the hall of fame as a player. The rules for being included in my collection were:

(1) Each card must have been issued while the pictured player was an active player.
(2) It must be "about" the player. So team cards don't count - they're about the team not the individual player. But multi-player cards (4-in-1s, Double Plays, etc) do count, since they're about the hall of famer at issue, even if they are also about other players.
(3) The player's face must be clearly visible and the writing on the back (if any) must be mostly legible.

Considering that the only condition requirement on my collection was that the face be visible and the writing be legible, and that I was paying for a hall of fame collection by mowing lawns and shoveling snow, it shouldn't be any surprise that I bought a fair number of badly damaged cards. That said, I did a pretty good job putting a collection together, considering that I was just a kid. My collection was mostly complete through the 50s and I had some pre-war cards. Retrospectively, I think that the guys who ran the local card shop were probably pretty amused by the middle school kid who comes in and says "I'm in the market for low grade Goudeys."

And then I didn't touch my collection for about 20 years. Last December I decided that it would be fun to work on it again, with the same conditions that I put on my collection when I was a kid. So I'm after one of each hall of famer, issued while active, that's not a team card, and with very little regard for the condition of the card. Since I mostly ignore the condition of the cards that I buy, I'm not going to have anything that will impress the folks around here. But it's fun to work on the collection again, and (an added bonus) it's fun that costs very very little money. Since getting back into it I've bought:

t202 with Roger Bresnehan on one side (ungraded but probably trimmed)

W517 Lefty Grove

W516 Grover Alexander

1933 Goudey Earl Averill

and I've filled in a couple of the missing spots from the 50s:

1956 Pee Wee Reese

1954 Jackie Robinson


It's been strange getting familiar with card collecting again. Last time I looked at baseball cards there was no such thing as grading services (or at least I'd never heard of them). And you had to buy all of your cards in person, either in shops or at shows, although maybe there was some alt.rec.sports.baseballcards or something.

So I'm going to keep slowly buying low grade hall of famers. Probably one a month or so. Mostly pre-war, although I still need a Paige and a few others from after the war. (In part because they keep inducting guys. Ron Santo wasn't in the hall of fame the last time I bought a baseball card.)

That's my story. Now, why do you folks collect what you collect?
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