Jan 2, 2009

The Woes of a Player Collector

When I re-entered the hobby a couple years back, I quickly found myself overwhelmed by everything that was available. I wasn't sure where to really start and I definitely floundered for some time. When I left the hobby way back in the early 90's, I didn't have the funds to ever buy a full wax box, so that was definitely my first desire. I also spent time on eBay buying cards that I was never able to unearth during my younger days.

Here I was, a couple of clicks away from owning a beauty like this:

Finally, I was collecting cards like a kid, but with an adult's wallet. What could be better than that? Well, having a purpose for one. I liked all the different stuff I was buying and being able to open packs whenever I wanted to, but there was something missing. As a child, I was definitely a player collector. I never had the money to buy a lot of packs and build sets, but I did have a number of friends to trade with and we used to lug our collections to school everyday just for the 15 minutes during lunch when we might be able to make some trades.

I had two early player collections:
Kirby Puckett

Mark Grace

The more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed this type of focus. As an Angel fan, I knew I wanted to collect one of my own, but although the answer seems like an obvious one, I still struggled with it. Should I go with a vet I've enjoyed watching for years or a young guy who could have 10 more years with the team. After some deliberation...ok not really that much, I decided to collect Garret Anderson.
1/1 04 Leaf Limited Logo Patch

So the title of this post is "The Woes of a Player Collector", but after all that blubbering, you may be wondering what my woe is exactly. Well, my favorite player, a lifelong Angel is on the verge of no longer being a member of my team.

What do you do when your favorite player, the one you collect, is no longer a part of your favorite team? I'll always be a fan of Garret, but part of his appeal has always been that over these past 14 years, he's always had a Halo on his cap. Over the last few months my collection has slowed down considerably and I think some of it is because I could see the writing on the wall. I knew GA's days were numbered and I didn't really want to face what was to come. My collection has become much more diverse over the past year and I've started to spend less and less time on my player collections, but I know that in April, there's a very good chance a part of my collecting life will be gone.

Go Halos!


  1. Well, try being an A's fan and player collector. The two don't really go together. The A's have lots of good players coming and going. That's why we cheer for the name on the front of the jersey and not the one on back!

    Let's Go Oakland!

  2. A's and player collector is definitely an oxymoron. I can't even imagine the plight of the Marlins player collector. I've made my collection much more Angels based as time goes on and with the way the game has changed, I think I'll forever stick to that.

  3. I feel for you. I remember how bad I felt when Gary Carter's Mets days came to an end.

    I did collect his cards from his stints in San Francisco, Los Angeles and the return trip to Montreal, but it wasn't really the same.

    I stopped collecting after the strike, and when I came back it was as a team collector.

  4. I can understand your woes.
    But GA will be back in Halo uniform if only for 1 day to retire as a Halo.
    I hate to seem him leave and will be in your shoes the next year if Lackey or Vladdy leave.
    Let alone any Halo I get very bonded with them over the years and thru a season. I was very upset w/the Cabbrara and Kotchman deals but try to look at it as it being better for the team.
    As for collecting I get every years Topps team and any inserts I can find in that one release year (ser.1,2 & update) and don't bother with all the other companies.

  5. Nice looking blog. I understand your angst. I was a huge Ivan Rodriguez collector until he left Texas. Still collected him pretty big until this year. Now I find my Rangers collection starting to overshadow my player collection and I am wondering if I should left Pudge go. Anyway, welcome to blogging, glad to see another AL West team represented.