Friday, July 6, 2018

Questions running through my head

I've had a little extra time to devote to my hobby this week. But instead of putting it all into the blog -- like I often do -- I've spent most of the time tending to more neglected parts of my hobby.

I'm in the midst of another update of my Dodgers binders (long overdue as the update was supposed to kick in after my last card show in April). I've finally restarted my rehaul of my blog want lists (just got finished with 2010). I just sent out a quartet of card packages yesterday (I may have a couple more ready for mailing next week). And I made a couple of small online purchases.

Many of these hobby activities are solitary in nature. Card collectors like their alone time and I am certainly no exception. But when I'm alone in my card collecting thoughts I am continually asking myself questions.

These aren't the big hobby questions that get all the social media praise -- what happened to all the hobby shops and so forth -- these are small, personal questions that perhaps other collectors have asked themselves. Then again, maybe I'm alone in this.

For example:

Does anyone else ignore "hit" cards when they're updating want lists?

For years now, when I've updated my want lists -- the vast majority of which are related to a particular set or my favorite team -- I've ignored the section that lists autographs, relics and various other manufactured particles consisting of metal, plastic or cloth that are much more valued than they should be.

There are plenty of "hit" cards that look impressive (and there are others that look terrible). The Steve Garvey relic at the top of the post is a beauty. I love that card. The Duke Snider Leaf Certified relic also is designed nicely. I'm happy to have these in my collection.

But I almost never seek them out.

I'm not a sick, mojo hitz collector. Autographs and relics have always been "extras," kind of like some fancy side dishes to my collection main course. Plus, those cards are usually much more expensive than the cards that hold my interest: regular old base sets and inserts.

I'll even list parallels on my want list before I list autographs or relics. Probably because there's almost no chance of a parallel wrecking the shape of one of the pockets in my binder like a relic might.

Autographs and relics are not worth the time and effort to me. I don't want to be bothered. Ignore that pretty girl with the Gucci bag. I guess I just don't have expensive tastes.

Do other team collectors include duplicates in their collections?

I'm pretty sure I've addressed this topic before.

As I'm updating my Dodgers binders, I make certain that there are almost no duplicates contained within. Sometimes I don't remember whether I have a card or not and it's placed on the "to be bindered" stack where it might wait for months.

Then, when it comes time for another binder update, I will discover that I own that card already. So the once hopeful card has been transformed into an unwanted duplicate and sent off to the giant dupes box to toil for probably all eternity (many of the Dodger blog collectors seem to have faded away).

But there are certain doubles that are too cool to banish. The above 1993 SP Mike Piazza is one example. One of the biggest stars of the '93 collecting scene on one of the newest, coolest sets to hit the shelves that year. I never saw a single '93 SP card until probably 15 years after it came out and even I know how much power this card had. It doesn't belong in a dupes box.

So I have maybe 20 cards like that -- cards that are either two powerful or two pretty to go in the dupes box. Sure, I'll trade those extras if I can find a taker, but this isn't a 1991 Donruss card. I don't mind looking at two of them side-by-side.

When is the point of no return during updating?

It gets a little dangerous when want list updating and binder updating collide.

As I mentioned yesterday (apparently nobody thinks it's awesome when a collector mysteriously receives three cards from 1954 Topps), the '54 Topps cards received in the mail finally got me to update the Archives sets from the early 1990s, which I had found confusing for as long as I've been writing this blog.

The 1995 Archives Brooklyn Dodgers want list is now completely accurate and I've removed some cards that didn't belong in my binders -- for example including the above 1994 Archives Don Hoak card in the 1995 Archives Brooklyn Dodgers set.

However ...

I have passed 1995 in my binder updating process. I'm now in the middle of 1998.

So when is the point of no return?

I'm sure you can appreciate how painful it is to go back and update the cards that you had just updated.

But, fortunately, like I said, I've got a little extra time to play with, so I will be going back to 1995 to set things straight. If this was a regular time of year, with work and responsibilities and soul-crushing chores, then I would probably never do this. The point of no return would be, maybe -- maybe -- "do I have to go back to the previous binder to update it?"

So, anyway, that's what I'm doing now instead of providing interesting blog posts on the regular for you. Just kind of floating in my own little question-filled hobby world.

It's actually kind of nice.


  1. I understand your questions completely. I have been updating my wantlist for the last week since I basically stopped collecting (other than the odd packs here and there) for several months. I would say I am very picky about the hits. I look for favorite players (Jason Varitek will always get added) and players of whom I do not have any hits (Drew Pomeranz made my wantlist). I do not worry about adding tons of new hit cards of players like David Ortiz when he was active because I had so many already. I do not include duplicates in my collection, rather I use them as trade bait with other Red Sox collectors.

  2. Right there with you on ignoring hits when it comes to wantlists. Though I did add a few of the 1996 Leaf Signatures to my list because of you.

    Same with my binders being duplicate-free zones. Exceptions are serial-numbered cards (nothing fancy just the gold parallels) and I'd consider throwing a reprint of an expensive vintage card in both the vintage slot and the reprint set slot.

  3. I'm curious if you've ever thought of collecting the 1993 SP set since it came out the same year as your ATF Upper Deck Set. My guess is the photographs are just as good.

    1. Nah. Design doesn't do much for me. Also, part of '93 Upper Deck's appeal is the large number of horizontal shots. I believe SP is almost entirely vertical.

  4. 1) Hit Wantlists: I've never made wantlists of hits. Like you, I don't seek them out, I just enjoy them if they come my way. I've gotten to the point with new sets where I don't even bother wantlisting the common insert sets unless/until I know that they're going to appeal to me.

    2) Dupes in my collection: Never intentionally. Far too often unintentionally (but then it gets rectified)

    3) Point Of No Return: I've never been organized enough to update as part of a planned cycle, I'm far too capricious for that. I just update as needed/wanted... but then again, I don't have anywhere near the trading network that you do.

  5. Spot on....base sets all the way.....and the glitz and glamour have killed this hobby....I don’t chase them at all. I’m with you too, dupes aren’t in my collection.

  6. There are only a couple player collections that I list the hits on, and that's because I'm trying for everything of theirs (on only one or two guys), or there are very few hits for that guy. But even on those lists, I separate the 1/1s and 1/5s to the bottom of the list because I know I'll never see them.

    I'm continually amazed that I can take my team list and verify that I don't have certain cards, then I get some and mark those off the list, and still find duplicates when I go to put them away. A whole team collection is big enough (unless you're the Texans or Golden Knights etc.) without duplicating anything.

    I'm not sure what you mean by the last question. I update when I get cards or when I discover some set that I hadn't listed before. Maybe it's that I check everything off before I move it into the other room to put it away, so I don't ever have a pile of "pending check-offs", but always have some that need put away. Like I mentioned above, somehow some of them get to the next room without being checked off I guess. Or my wantlist site is messing with me. Sounds like you could write one of my OCD posts about checking off lists.

    1. The last question refers to the actual updating process. What happens when you're in the middle of updating a binder -- say, you're updating cards from a 1995 set -- and you suddenly discover a card from the update pile that was misfiled from 1993. Do you go back to 1993 and re-update those cards (and then 1994 and then 1995 to the point where you left off) or do you put that 1993 card aside for the next update months down the road.

  7. A. My wantlists are so outdated they aren't to be trusted. With that being said... I love "hits" way too much to ignore them.

    B. I typically avoid duplicates due to storage space. But I definitely have a fair share of them sitting in my collection.

    C. If it were me... I'd probably just go back and do a quick revision to the 95's. At least in theory.