Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Where to draw the line with team sets

So I'm finally starting to get a handle on all of my Blue Jays cards.  I've got three 2-1/2" binders all but filled (with spaces left for missing cards).  One has all Topps base and update cards from 1977-1994, one is entirely regional issues from 1984-2002 (Oh Henry, Fire Safety, Nabisco, Dempster's, McDonald's, etc) and one starts out as Upper Deck and ends with random sets that don't fit anywhere else.  Everything else is in boxes while I sort and catalog.  Eventually, I want it all in binders.

There's no doubt I'll collect all the base sets from Topps, Donruss and the like, but there are also a whole lot of what I'll call fringe issues that I'm just not sure what to do with.  I'm talking about some of the late 1990's and early 2000's issues where there are so many different insert and parallel sets that my head spins just looking at them.  Some of them are quite interesting.  Some of them are not.

After staring at all of these cards for a while, I'll tell myself that I'm not going to pursue this or that set.  1998 Pacific Online is a good example.  It's an odd-looking issue.  It's not something I collected while it was actively being released.  I don't have much of a connection to it.  The vertical 'online' along the left side is weird.  That white banner across the top looks like the message that my cable provider uses to interrupt my web surfing to warn me that I'm nearing the limit of my download capacity for the month.  Just on principle, I can't bring myself to visit that bigleaguers.com url.  I just want to find the close button to click it so that white banner goes away.  But you get the point; the set simply doesn't resonate with me.

But it's a Blue Jays card.  And it's Carlos Delgado.  And I already own it.  Oh, what to do.  I can't see myself wanting to checklist and chase that issue, but I also can't see myself getting rid of it.  Especially not when it's Carlos Delgado.  But what is one to do?

How do you define the parameters around your team collecting?

Thanks for reading!



  1. Base sets and parallels are my thing. If I get an insert/jersey/auto card, that is a bonus for me.

    You and I are lucky, we collect a team that started in '77. Imagine those guys that follow teams that have been around since the dawn of time!

    1. Oh no doubt. It's not by chance that I collection *modern* Jays cards now. For a time, I collected pre-1920 Toronto (baseball) cards, and even still maintain a small prewar collection. It's tough enough adding a 'common' to that collection and it's just one Pirates player. I can't even imagine collecting the entire team...or even a HOFer!

  2. Sorry for the delayed reaction, but I've been struggling to keep up with all the blogs lately.

    I'm a Mets collector and have been running into the same situation. I've been purging my collection, and Mets were originally off-limits to the purge, but now I'm reconsidering that. I never got into the faux Tobacco cards (A&G, Turkey Red, Gypsy Queen) too much to begin with, and now that I'm coming to realize just how many cards I have, I'm more open to purging Mets... I've already purged a handful of parallels I have, and now I'm starting to give the A&G cards the "hairy eyeball".

    My main advice is that it all comes down to how much you like it. When push comes to shove, you don't NEED to collect anything... it's all about what you want in your collection. If you want to leave the Online Delgado in your collection but never again collect a card from Online, that's fine. It's your collection, it can be whatever you want it to be.

    Online is an ugly set, but one thing I will say in its defense is that it has a very large checklist... that's the main reason I bought packs of it in 1998, because that set would have players who weren't in the other sets. For instance, if you want cards of guys like Steve Sinclair or Robert Person, you may want to at least look at what's available from Online.

    1. No need to apologize; I appreciate that you eventually found your way here and took the time to drop some thoughts. I appreciate the advice...I guess it can't hurt to just hold that card (and the few others I have) and add Online as it happens along without actively seeking it, right?

      Ironically, I could see my collection evolving to where I am seeking at least one card of each player that has a Jays card, in which case a not-so-appealing set like Online could suddenly gain favour!