Sunday, February 23, 2014

Collecting Basics 1: The Beginning, Choosing A Sport

Welcome to the new series, Collecting Basics. I am hoping to use this series to help NEW collectors or refresh the minds of collectors who may be jumping back in. Because as we all know, this hobby changes on a daily basis. The one thing that doesn't change, is the fun you can have in it.

Starting off this new series I thought I would help point collectors in the right direction with what sport or sports you may want to collect. Like the title states, Collecting Basics is literally starting from the beginning and moving all the way through.

Here are some quick tips from my personal experience on what sport or sports you may want to collect.
  1. First and foremost, make it a sport(s) you connect to. Do you watch it? Do you know the players? Without this important piece, it will be really hard to decide what sport to choose. Watching a sport and knowing it will help you decide what players and teams you may want to dive into.
  2. Do you play the sport(s)? Sometimes playing the sport(s) can drive your passion for collecting one sport or the other.
  3. Knowing licensing for sports might persuade you as well especially if you are looking for just straight up cards from the NFL, MLB, NBA or you like the variety. Topps is exclusive to MLB baseball til 2020. Panini America and Upper Deck have MLBPA licenses. Meaning they can use MLB players in the cards they put out, but can't use logo's or team names on the cards. NBA has Panini as their exclusive license. Upper Deck does basketball but only NCAA or college to some. NFL is Panini America and Topps. Upper Deck does NCAA for this as well. There is also Sage and Press Pass who do football cards but can't use any logo's or team names. The NHL license is run by Panini America and Upper Deck. There are other companies that make hockey cards but can't use the logo's or team names.
  4. If you are going to be a rookie card collector, it's nice to know that the easiest way to know if you have a rookie card are in the sports of NBA, NFL and NHL. The tougher sport to collect rookies in, in my experience, is baseball. Especially if you are a new collector to baseball, the word rookie and prospect may be plastered on some of the cards, however,  they may not be rookies. I will save the baseball card rookie definition for another rainy day.
  5. Another tip may be collecting a sport(s) your friends or family does. That way you guys can trade back and forth with them.
I hope some of these tips will help you decide which sport or sports you want to collect. Remember that this how I decided to collect what I collect. It doesn't mean you have to use these tips in order to collect. They are just here for a reference if you need them.

As always, comments and thoughts are welcomed!

Happy Collecting!


  1. Great post. Most people start out collecting everything but then they wind up specializing. Even when specializing people will usually start out collecting everything they can get in their specialty, but eventually they learn that for most of us, QUALITY is more important than QUANITY. For instance, i collect Yankee cards, from the early 1900's thru current. However, from 1980 and back i do try to get every card i can, but from 1981 thru current i only get the cards i really like as there are so many sets and cards and variations and so on that its crazy to try to get every one. A good example is my favorite current Yankee player Derek Jeter. Every year there are maybe 50 or more Derek Jeter cards, well i only collect maybe 5 to 8 of those, the ones i really like. This way i keep my collection a lot more enjoyable and interesting when i go thru my albums as i am only looking at cards i really like as opposed to seeing 50 cards of Derek and i dont like all of them. So to me, you need to specialize within your specialty!!! This may sound crazy to young people, but as you get older and your collection becomes monstrous you will see what i mean. I once had over 60 albums full of cards, now i have 11-1/2 albums but the albums i have now are so great that i love my collection way more than ever. I say dont get caught up in the modern "you gotta have every card or your collection is not complete" thing. Too many parralels and SP's and stuff nowadays, remember, its YOUR collection, and you should collect what you like and the way you like and not collect the way you are "supposed" to collect. Also, while so many different things can form your collection, to me being a team collector is the best way to collect as there is a never-ending supply of super-interesting cards. I know as a Yankee collector i have cards in my collection that start in 1904, and its super to get the real old cards in addition to the recent ones. I have so many different types of Yankee cards, and most teams (except for expansion teams) have cards going back to the early 1900's and even older for some! Or collect cards from one city, like New York, and have even more different types of cards!

  2. I agree with Arnie. Trying to complete a years set is next to impossible unless you have an unlimited amount of time and money. I specialize in Baseball and cut that to specializing in Bonds as a retired player and Gerrit Cole as a current player. I thought about trying to collect the 2013 updated set but the money just isn't there. Just like Arnie said there are too many different kinds of cards. It's ridiculous and we are just talking baseball here. I do collect other types of memorabilia as well and started to cut that down to just original photos and Bill DOAK model gloves with the box only. I do buy some other stuff here and there but not much. Anyway sometimes I will see a card I like that is not in my specialty but they are few and far between and usually consist of vintage cards especially John Mcgraw or Bill Doak. I did win some cases of cards at auction 1987 1989 topps and some 91 Donruss. I only did that for the Bonds cards and to allow my daughter who is 2 to experience the hobby first hand and for me not to have to worry about her damaging valuable cards because for the most part they are not. From what I understand Barry Bonds had 3388 cards made. That's a lot of cards and I might have half. I have a lot of collecting ahead of me just with the Bonds cards. It was easier back in the earlier yrs to get a completed set. Heck I did that in the 80's with the fifty cents. My mom gave me to go to the local drug store to get a pack or two of cards. Today it's out of control as both Arnie and I have already mentioned. You have to specialize in something whether it be a team or player or what ever just to keep going in the hobby. If you sell cards that's a whole different thing.
    Chad D.

  3. I have a problem with the newer cards. They are so glossed up that they are sticking to the plastic sleeves. Not good. I think the pressure of storing a lot of nine card sleeves in one binder are causing this. I want to keep the cards flat but the gloss sticks to the sleeve and has actually pulled some gloss from the card off of the card. I thought to store them like books on a shelf sideways but everyone is telling me not to do that its bad too. What could I do to prevent this. I thought about using slavers in between the cards and pages so I could still keep them flat. It's the Chrome cards that are the worst. They stick to the sleeve like glue. Well not that bad but bad enough to cause damage. Any suggestions. I like having them in the binders.
    Chad D.

  4. I always enjoy reading collecting tips. Looking forward to future posts in this series.