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  #1  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:22 PM
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nat nat is offline
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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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  #2  
Old 04-13-2016, 04:41 AM
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J0hn Raff3rty
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A couple of different answers:
I was the crazy sports fan at Georgia Tech so I have a large Georgia Tech collection: many pieces of art, memorabilia, programs, and am working on collecting a period card from all of their players who played in professional leagues (or autos/photos if they didn't have a card). Doing pretty well on this endeavor.

Since I love college collectibles, I'm working on the T51 Murad College Series Master Set which started when I bought two raw cards from an antique show about 15 years ago. Just completed the basic set and still have 15 to go to complete the Master set of 225. Wrote an article on the set, published in The Wrapper, and posted online on the PSA message boards to inform others about how cool the set is.

As a Knight of Columbus, I am also working on a historical collection of KC stuff, including tobacco cards and a plethora of WWI era postcards and items.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2016, 06:27 AM
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I collect because of my passion for history

My collection is anything and everything Columbus (Ohio) baseball between 1876 and 1945.


I collected when I was younger. Mostly the rare, hard to find, 80s and 90s Donruss and Topps that are priceless today. (Not the "I'm a millionaire" priceless, they actually have little to no value )

When I got back into the hobby a few years ago my passion for history became apparent. I was not attracted to the shiny modern cards (other than my Columbus Bluejackets hockey cards). I needed a direction and since I live in the Columbus, Ohio area I decided Columbus would be the centerpiece.

I started with Columbus Solons OJs and have recently expanded to cards of any players who spent time in Columbus ~400 between 1876 to 1945. I only collect pre-war although I did work on a 1956 Topps set last year (only need Mantle to complete it.)
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2016, 07:16 AM
Pilot172000 Pilot172000 is offline
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I collect T206 cards for several reasons.

1. As a student of history,its the easiest way to own a piece of what I consider the Golden Age of baseball. Each card is a look into the coat pockets of people who lived a 105 years ago. The history and mystery of the cards creates a mystique that I never seem to get bored of. We will never truly know everything about these cards, but we will sure have fun trying.

2. It is sort of the forbidden fruit. As a young boy living in rural North Louisiana these cards were absolutely unheard of except the big three and as child I so wanted that Honus or that Plank I saw in magazines and a million miles away. While I may never get any of the big three, I am perfectly content with my Cobb, Baker, Lajoie and Collins.

3. I grew up collecting a fake generation of baseball cards. From 85 to 95 what I collected will never have value because of the sheer bulk of that crap that Topps, Donruss and Upper Deck poured out there. Also when you add the fact that most of the guys I followed as a kid were steroid abusing liars really makes me jaded about the genre. I collect and keep T206 cards because when my three boys and one on the way get older, I can share stories about these players on the small little cards and tell them of 400+ batting averages, 40 game winners and a host of other baseball feats they will never see in their lifetime.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:57 AM
JTysver JTysver is offline
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Being from a nomadic clan, my travels often took me to the nether ends of the globe. I traversed the Kalahari solo with just a camel and a bucket of water at the age of 6.

By the age of 8 while playing stickball with my friends on the streets of Ceylon, I was captured and forced into servitude by the king of Siam. Thank you very much oh great Ceylon-Siam war!
At the age of 12, after four years of hard labor, I escaped by burrowing a 247 mile tunnel to the sea. Used my hands too! By that time they had turned as hard as shovels from all of the hard labor I had done. (Note to self- If I ever become king and seek servants, don't build up their strength, speed and endurance with hard labor). I crossed the sea by creating a raft out of bamboo shutes. A little trick a wise old man taught me in the camp.

For four years, I was completely bothered by not finishing that game of stickball. We had just finished the top of the ninth with the score being 87-20 and the other team ahead, but we were home team so I knew we had a chance still.

I had to find all of the players and convince them to finish the game.

I started seeking the players. They weren't too hard to find, but they were very hesitant to finish the game. The opposition claimed that I vacated the field and thus forfeited. The players on my team claimed they had moved on. I hadn't. For four years, I had nothing else to look forward to than that game. That argument, however, was not nearly enough to convince them. I needed more.

Around this time, the great baseball card glut of the late 1980s was beginning. All of the players were collecting them. This was my opportunity. I could find cards and use them to convince players to resume the game.
I started out hoarding a stack of 1985 Fleer Glenn Davis rookies. Two or three of these per man convinced half of the opposition to resume the game. I then moved on to 1983 Topps Willie McGee. This convinced all of the rest but one of the other team's players to resume the game.
Convincing Grixto (that was his name) to join in the game would be difficult. "I only want a rookie Red Rolfe" he would say. I searched for the inaugural Rolfe high and low. My travels took me to many more places. I wound up buying lots from dealers, hoping I could find the elusive Rolfe. I had 27 Rolfe cards, 42 Jackie Robinsons but not a single one of the Rolfe cards were rookies.

Then, I met a dealer on the outskirts of Wyoming (otherwise known as South Dakota) who had the Rolfe. It would be difficult to obtain. He was planning on traversing the Badlands and wanted some reliable transportation. I didn't have a horse to offer him. Just then a light went off in my head. GET THE CAMEL. I went back to the Kalahari and found my old camel grazing in the same field I had left him in 8 years before. I took my camel back to the dealer, traded it for Rolfe and was back to Ceylon to finish my game.

I had forgotten to ask my own team to play. That, I thought would be easy. Just hit them up with a couple of Davis rookies (Glen, not Eric) and a Galarraga or two and throw in one of the Jackie Robinson cards and they should all comply. It worked like a charm!
So, I was stuck then with 33 Jackie Robinson cards, 14 Mantle Rookies and about 12,000 other cards before 1954. So I decided to broaden my collection and try to finish out the Topps run.

And that is how I got into collecting a Topps run!
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2016, 08:04 AM
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ullmandds ullmandds is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTysver View Post
Being from a nomadic clan, my travels often took me to the nether ends of the globe. I traversed the Kalahari solo with just a camel and a bucket of water at the age of 6.

By the age of 8 while playing stickball with my friends on the streets of Ceylon, I was captured and forced into servitude by the king of Siam. Thank you very much oh great Ceylon-Siam war!
At the age of 12, after four years of hard labor, I escaped by burrowing a 247 mile tunnel to the sea. Used my hands too! By that time they had turned as hard as shovels from all of the hard labor I had done. (Note to self- If I ever become king and seek servants, don't build up their strength, speed and endurance with hard labor). I crossed the sea by creating a raft out of bamboo shutes. A little trick a wise old man taught me in the camp.

For four years, I was completely bothered by not finishing that game of stickball. We had just finished the top of the ninth with the score being 87-20 and the other team ahead, but we were home team so I knew we had a chance still.

I had to find all of the players and convince them to finish the game.

I started seeking the players. They weren't too hard to find, but they were very hesitant to finish the game. The opposition claimed that I vacated the field and thus forfeited. The players on my team claimed they had moved on. I hadn't. For four years, I had nothing else to look forward to than that game. That argument, however, was not nearly enough to convince them. I needed more.

Around this time, the great baseball card glut of the late 1980s was beginning. All of the players were collecting them. This was my opportunity. I could find cards and use them to convince players to resume the game.
I started out hoarding a stack of 1985 Fleer Glenn Davis rookies. Two or three of these per man convinced half of the opposition to resume the game. I then moved on to 1983 Topps Willie McGee. This convinced all of the rest but one of the other team's players to resume the game.
Convincing Grixto (that was his name) to join in the game would be difficult. "I only want a rookie Red Rolfe" he would say. I searched for the inaugural Rolfe high and low. My travels took me to many more places. I wound up buying lots from dealers, hoping I could find the elusive Rolfe. I had 27 Rolfe cards, 42 Jackie Robinsons but not a single one of the Rolfe cards were rookies.

Then, I met a dealer on the outskirts of Wyoming (otherwise known as South Dakota) who had the Rolfe. It would be difficult to obtain. He was planning on traversing the Badlands and wanted some reliable transportation. I didn't have a horse to offer him. Just then a light went off in my head. GET THE CAMEL. I went back to the Kalahari and found my old camel grazing in the same field I had left him in 8 years before. I took my camel back to the dealer, traded it for Rolfe and was back to Ceylon to finish my game.

I had forgotten to ask my own team to play. That, I thought would be easy. Just hit them up with a couple of Davis rookies (Glen, not Eric) and a Galarraga or two and throw in one of the Jackie Robinson cards and they should all comply. It worked like a charm!
So, I was stuck then with 33 Jackie Robinson cards, 14 Mantle Rookies and about 12,000 other cards before 1954. So I decided to broaden my collection and try to finish out the Topps run.

And that is how I got into collecting a Topps run!
holy shnikes...my life has been relatively uneventful in comparison!!!!! still have those mantle rookies?
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2016, 08:10 AM
JTysver JTysver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ullmandds View Post
holy shnikes...my life has been relatively uneventful in comparison!!!!! still have those mantle rookies?
Didn't mention that I had to use them to get my camel back from South Dakota guy. But the camel was priceless, so I won in the end.
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Last edited by JTysver; 04-13-2016 at 08:10 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2016, 01:13 PM
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egri egri is online now
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I got started collecting in late 2005, when I was in 5th grade. A collector in who lived nearby gave me Bobby Doerr's address, so I wrote to him and that got me hooked on autographs. I collected both modern and vintage (mostly modern; one of my regrets from that time is not writing to more of the guys from the 1930s and '40s when they were still around). I stopped after about my freshman year of high school. Wasn't sure what the girls would think. I got back in towards the end of my freshman year of college. What brought me back was a signing that Jon Lester was doing with Steiner; since 2008 I had been trying to put together a signed 2007 Dunkin Donuts PawSox set. They were given away as a promotion at one of the games that year. There are probably only about 10,000 sets in existence, and mine is the only one I know of that is signed. At the time, I had 24/30 (all TTM), and Lester made 25. I overpaid horrendously for it ($150 plus shipping), but it got me back in to collecting.





I sent out a few more TTM requests that spring, and by the summer I realized that I wanted to focus on vintage, and complete a signed set. I wasn't sure what year, so I picked up a few cards from the years I was looking in to (1953, 1956, and 1957) and sent them out. I was blown away by the artwork on the 53s, which is why I focused on it, and by the graciousness of the players in the set. At the time (summer 2014) there were roughly 50 players still alive, the handful who didn't sign were either in poor health or Willie Mays. I wrote to 44 of them, and all wrote back. They mostly signed for free, or for very low fees ($5-10). A lot of them were happy to be remembered, and would write notes or include signed photos with my request. Like Pilot172000 said, history is a big part of it as well: almost everyone in the set was in either World War II or Korea, and many of them saw combat.
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Last edited by egri; 04-13-2016 at 01:16 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2016, 02:04 PM
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My main collection is Brooklyn type cards. I grew up in SoCal so Dodger history was one of my first interests. I like that sticking to Brooklyn gives me a cutoff date to help keep me focused.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:35 PM
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I have several things I collect for different reasons. First of all, I am a diehard Cub fan. I started with collecting all the Chicago Cub from Topps base sets and updates from 1951 to current with all errors and variations. Set is current so I only add new cards when they come out.

Second in prewar, I collect Cards of Elmer Miller who is my great great uncle who played for the yankees in the teens and twenties and as a side branch of this, I collect E121-80 and E121-120 Yankees and Giants. My so called 1921 World Series set.

I also collect T207 Cubs with all the back variations. Missing the cycle back Ward Miller and Several Napoleon backs.

I started collecting T205 gold border Cubs with all the back variations. Currently up to 72 out of 151 possibilities.

My final collection is a set I am working on. The W572 strip card set. Up to 107 out of 121 cards. All of these cards are raw and in pages. The other prewar cards are all in SGC slabs. I like slabbed cards because I can pick up the cards and play with them. My total prewar is around 250 cards and post war is nearly 2000 cards.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:47 PM
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I feel I collect what I collect because, first of all, it's a passion I've had since I was really young. And that passion hasn't waned as the years have passed...strengthened, if anything.

I suppose part of it is that I love the history of the game as much as the game itself. And I see baseball cards as art, art that captures that history and folklore in this super-iconic sort of way.

My collection is an extension of that. My number one priority for my collection is that the particular card in the particular set is aesthetically pleasing to me. Probably why I almost exclusively care about colors and registration over anything else. I ask myself, "Does this card encapsulate the art of baseball to my liking?" Players are secondary to that criteria. So for example even though Willie Mays is one of my favorite players ever, I don't own a single card of his, and don't plan to (at least, yet) because I've never seen a card of his that really blew me away in terms of its aesthetics.

Instantly one of my favorite threads ever, by the way
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:34 PM
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I collected 80's and 90's cards as a kid and teenager. As you said they are worthless. I sold them by the album and box full for very little except for a few favorites. That includes an 84 Donruss and 89 Upper Deck Factory set.
About 9 years ago I decided I would switch over to vintage and bought different cards from a local shop. I am now building the 53 Color Bowman set looking for average of VG condition. This set is the most beautiful set I have ever seen and is full of HOF's including Mantle (which I have). I collect Redskins Football cards of any year but mainly the 80's and early 90's as they are my favourite team of all time.

Mike

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Old 04-14-2016, 01:52 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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Around 2000 when I was 13 my dad came home from the flea market with a bunch of baseball cards. By this time I had already been selling on ebay for about a year and been collecting cards for quite a while, but my only real collection was Marlins cards and hand collating every Topps base set. Included in this haul he got for $20 were about 100 1971 Topps cards including a few of the nicer ones (Reggie, Bench, Rose). It was the first I'd seen of the set and fell in love with it and decided I was going to complete it. A few years later when ebay and the like really started booming I promised myself I wouldn't buy lots of cards online or single cards from any sale sites (only from forums). Then a few years back when I went to a show and someone literally had multiples of every card in the set I promised myself I'd never spend more than 50 bucks in a single transaction - otherwise it would make completing the set too easy and would end the fun. Pleased to announce that as of this week I added Nolan Ryan and am now only 10 cards away from finishing the 16 year long project - for now. I have a looooooooooot of condition upgrades to make.

My main player PC is Chris Coghlan. I went to school at University of Florida and saw Coghlan play while he was at Ole Miss. I've always liked scrappy infielders and being a lefty I'm a sucker for lefty batters too. When the Marlins drafted him I was ecstatic. Later that year my buddy and I were at our LCS. He opened some 2007 Bowman Chrome and I opened some football product (didn't collect football but it was cheap). He hit a Coghlan Xfractor auto and I hit a Patrick Willis jersey card. Since he was a 49ers fan we traded and that was the beginning of an obsession. Got lucky enough to get most of his early rare stuff before he became ROY and got hot, and his later stuff came out after he dropped off again.

I also collect Duke Snider cards and other Brooklyn Dodgers cool stuff. My grandmother grew up in Brooklyn and was a huge Dodgers fan so I started collecting mostly reprint or new issue Brooklyn cards for her. Then I ventured into the real vintage. Her favorite was Duke Snider, so mine was too (plus he was a lefty). Being Jewish I also collect Sandy Koufax things, but not as much because of the price tag. When I found this site I wanted to collect T206 cards and so decided to tackle the Brooklyn team set, only graded by SGC because they're so attractive.
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