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The most collected teams - NL

OK, I'm getting the second of these posts out of the way before the shininess of the whole thing wears off.

This is my look at the most collected National League teams, based solely on my experience. No numbers crunching or charts or graphs involved. The NL has a wider variety of vigorously collected teams than the AL does, though I don't think any of them match the Yankees.


Naturally, I begin with my favorite team. I have the most familiarity with that team in terms of what's available and what's not. That means there may be some bias since I'm so focused on getting cards for this team only, but I think I can be a little objective.

This recently acquired 1975 O-Pee-Chee Steve Garvey is a good place to start (yes, the seller shipped it in this pleasantly matching top loader). The Dodgers have a lot of actively collected individual players that makes it difficult to acquire their cards. Garvey and Koufax top the list. Kershaw, Betts and Dodger-era Bellinger are three other examples. Jackie Robinson, too, but not the bazillion inserts that Topps produces of him.

In every area, I see the Dodgers going fast. They're among the first team lots to disappear when a new set arrives. If I show up late at a card show and look through team boxes, the Dodgers seem picked over already, and I live nowhere near Southern California. Then there are team box breaks. I once had the Dodgers in Nachos Grande's breaks through new set after new set. I dropped it though when NG moved to Discord (though it was mostly me trying to save my money by not handing over cash for every new set). I'm on Nachos' Discord now but there's almost zero chance of squeezing into the Dodgers slot now, someone's got the Blues wrapped up, naturally.


I cannot keep Braves in my collection (well, if I was actually trying, I'd be able to do it). That's been the case virtually since I started blogging. There are multiple places where I can send Braves and they are among the most enthusiastic collectors.

I blame TBS for this, and the Braves' 1990s success. When I was a youngster, I could have put all the Braves in my collection on the corner of the sidewalk and they would have sat there for weeks.


Cubs collectors are in and out of my life constantly and have been for the last 15 years. I think there used to be more Cubs card bloggers than any other team at one point, maybe 12 years ago. That's not the case now, but I am connected to a lot of Cubs collectors who are either bloggers, former bloggers or have always been non-bloggers. It's not easy to keep Cubs cards either (again, not trying though).


Some of my good collecting buddies are Mets fans, and there used to be even more on the blogs. I always know where my Mets cards can go and I often wish I had more, which is a weird thing to say as a fan who roots against that team a lot.


I'm certain there are more Cardinals card collectors than has been my experience. My Cardinals cards go to only one collector and that's been the case from the very beginning of this blog. And during that time I have had to turn away another Cardinals card collector  with "sorry, but all my Cardinals are tied up in another transaction" maybe only once or twice. So it's not like I'm fending them off with a stick.


I've come across a number of Padres card collectors online, especially on the blogs. But I don't know any "got to have them all" Padres collectors. Never have. Maybe that's what happens when your team has never won, the full investment isn't there.


I also have known a fair amount of Brewers collectors on the blogs -- a lot of Brewers-based blogs have died off over the years. But outside of the top five teams listed here, I have not noticed the rest of these team's cards quickly disappearing in any selling arena.


The Giants really don't seem to have an enthusiastic card collecting base. Even when they were winning World Series every other year I could only send my Giants cards to maybe 1 or 2 sources. And, trust me, I want to get rid of every Giants card I possibly can. The only time I get mad that I'm a set collector is when I'm reminded I can't rid myself of some Will Clark cards.

Puzzled why this team isn't in the top five, but although I've come across a decent share of Phillies card collectors over the years, there's never been a steady source for my Philadelphia cards over the years. The enthusiasm doesn't seem to be there, which is weird, because if you watch a game in Philadelphia, one thing those fans have -- in overabundance -- is enthusiasm.

10. REDS

I think there would be more Reds card collectors if the team was able to snap out of the funk it's been in for like 25 years. It's had a noticeable effect on the amount of collectors in my experience. Many of the Reds collectors I know are folks who remember the Big Red Machine, which is probably why they still collect this team.


Have known a few Pirates bloggers/collectors through the years. Most of them haven't been team-set types, maybe for the same reason I've noticed with Padres collectors.


Oh, I wish I could find a Diamondbacks collector because this is the team with the most potential to have their cards ripped up by me. They're starting to look like they want to repeat 2023 and I can't take that again.


I can think of only one Rockies collector. In general the final four teams I'm showing here are the teams that would appear the most if you bought a card show seller's discount box at the end of a show.


If this team was still the Expos, it would be ranked in the top 10.


I can use two fingers to count the number of Marlins card collectors I've known during the life of this blog. Both are long gone from blogging and neither were interested in all of my Marlins cards, just certain players and fancy cards.

That's the National League.

I'll combine both leagues in another post soon, but probably not for a few days.


Doc Samson said…
Seeing that black Vintage Upper Deck Maddox card reminds of the era when UD brazenly ripped off Topps’ designs and only made a slight tweak or two to avoid legal action.

I have steadfastly defended UD on many things, but that was outright theft, pure and simple.
Fun list. Thanks for doing this.
bryan was here said…
Doc Samson-

They were really bad with their hockey vintage from that era, especially after they acquired O-Pee-Chee around 2006.
Oh man, I remember going to Shea to see Bruce Boisclair and friends play. Bob Apodaca, Ed Kranepool, Elliot Maddox, etc., ... wasn't really a fun team to watch in the late 70s...
Nachos Grande said…
Yep, still need a Marlins collector to show up on the blogs!
The Braves are America's team :) in the MLB Not to short come those NFL Dallas Cowboys that have claimed that title since the 70's. But you are correct that TBS and Mr. Turner can be blamed 95% for that.
Nick said…
I've also wondered why there aren't more Phillies collectors on the blogs or elsewhere. They seem to have a great MLB following, but it's never carried over into cardboard for some reason.

(I'll forever be looking for someone to shovel my Marlins cards onto.)
Doc Samson said…
@bryan was here 110% accurate.
Nick Vossbrink said…
I'd move Pirates higher but the rest of these match my customs mailings.
OhioTim said…
I know I posted yesterday that I am a team of the Cleveland Indians/ Guardians, but in the last year or so, I have also started a Florida/Miami Marlins collection. I have come across so many great cards of the Marlins over the years. I just have to organize all the Marlins cards I have. And like I said with Indians/ Guardians cards, I would be happy to take unwanted Marlins cards off other collector's hands.
Jon said…
Just going by the blogs, as well as my short time on Twitter, it seems like it's Yankees, Dodgers, and then everybody else.
Grant said…
I've definitely found that I can sell Braves cards the easiest in my experience.
Fuji said…
I feel like the AL has a few tiers... but the NL is more of the have and have nots. I feel like everyone from #1 to #11 are teams with a pretty decent hobby following... but it's a steep decline from #12 to #15.

Being a Bay Area guy... I'd move the Giants up. But if the focus is mainly on bloggers, then I understand why you put them there. However they have a pretty loyal following here and I've run into plenty of Giants collectors at card shows over the years.
teacherray72 said…
I have quite a few marlins cards Being a Rays and Marlins fan is tough at times
AdamE said…
I think your view of the amount of yankee collectors is skewed by living in New York. Yes they are the most collected team in the Al but I'm 90% sure that there are more Dodger collectors out there.
Jafronius said…
Fun read, looking forward to the finale!