Jul 24, 2009

Set Collector vs. Team Collector

Just a quick thought for the weekend as I divorce myself from the computer world for a couple of days.

At heart, I'm a set collector, whether hand collated, bought in full, acquired by nefarious means of extortion (kidding). I like to put the cards in number order corresponding to the type and year and overall flow of the set. This includes base sets, insert sets, autograph sets, etc. Almost everything I start to collect I attempt to complete, and I would too, if not for having finite time and money.

I've also recently re-focused a lot of my efforts to the World Series Phillies Project (see the link on the sidebar for updates), and I know I've seen many of these cards before in sets I had previously completed.

How does one reconcile the overlap? I don't like accummulating doubles, but in order to keep track and display correctly, I don't see much choice. Do you hybrid team and set collectors have two of a lot of cards, but don't consider them doubles? Do you get frustrated by the doubling up of cards?

I know my manner doesn't allow me to be a team collector exclusively. Eventually pursuing one of every card from that team (within reason or at least base card) would drive me pretty batty. I would be chasing cards in sets I have no interest in even having one card of (last year's Upper Deck X and Upper Deck Documentary come to mind).

For those exclusive team collectors, what defines a card for your team? Is it solely the uniform on the card? Is there some players you will collect regardless of the uniform? I have seen some variations on these in the blogs.

Anyway, I'm sure most can relate to questions such as these because collecting in general is a never ending pursuit. There are niches and wide swaths of collectibility over the many years that cards have been around. In a lot of cases, I feel like I'm chasing ghosts that don't like to be caught.

How did you choose which ghosts to chase and which ones to leave behind?


Joe S. said...

I generally keep my team collections to cards that specifically feature THAT team only.

For example, any CC Sabathia cards featuring him in an Indians jersey don't go in to my Yankees collection. Doesn't mean that I don't like Sabathia cards just a little bit more now, but I can't include older ones in my collection.

Fuji said...

I just started collecting sets again last year when I bought boxes of 1981 Fleer. However, recently I considered starting to buy/trade for team sets. If I ever start collecting team sets, I would not take them out of my already completed "full" sets.

Jim said...

A true dilemma . . . If I'm collecting a set (say any of the Topps Heritage sets for example), I'll collect 2 of each Phillies card. One for the set and one for my Phillies binder for the year. It's probably not efficient from a collecting or cashflow perspective, but it's aesthetically pleasing to see all those Phillies cards together.

In the '80s/'90s, I collected the Topps sets from '70s (still working on 1971). I'm now going back and filling in my Phillies binders with cards from the '70s, even though I already have them in their respective set binders. I'm finding a lot of these cards cheaply through eBay auctions, bargain bins, etc. I enjoyed collecting them the first time, and it's fun the second time around too!