Monday, June 2, 2008

Collection Focus :: What is Yours?

Is a collection without focus really a collection, or just a bunch of cards?

I have yet to really set a solid focus to my collection. I have often thought about it, and sometimes try to convince myself that I need to focus. I just can't seem to decide on any specific rules to place on my collection. I but and trade for anything that I like. I must admit that I do have some sets that I am currently adding to, and I have some categories (for lack of a better word) that I like more than others; horizontal cards, anything Jersey City, T206 (always), T213-2 Coupons, W572, W516-1, W520, R318 Batter Ups and C46 (after I have acquired all of the Jersey City players I will continue to work on this set) to name a few. But I can't seem to say no to a low price beater from any set that I don't have a sample from either.

I admire collectors who can say to themselves, "I'm only going to persue this one set" or one team, or one period, or whatever. It's just not for me. Then again, maybe all the cards that I pick up that aren't in the above mentioned categories are just waiting to be traded to someone else who has a card I want for one of my categories. Maybe I do have a focus to my collection and I just don't know it. Hmmmm.

I certainly feel that a collection doesn't need to have a definative focus in order to be a collection. I hear it all the time, "collect what you like". That advice speaks volumes on this topic. I certainly collect what I like, and sometimes it fits a focus, and sometimes it doesn't. But it's all part of my collection.

So what is your focus? Do you have one? How did you narrow it down and have you been able to stick to it for a long time? I really would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment or email me.

Enjoy the hobby all....


shanediaz82 said...

When I started collecting again last year for the first time since childhood, I asked myself what set I would want to have if I could choose any one set in the history of cards. The answer for me was 1953 Topps baseball, and I've tried to focus my collection (and blog) towards finishing this set.

That being said, I stray quite often in my collecting, as I think most people do. There is just so much out there that you're bound to run into some other things you like or to try out new product.

I think at the end of the day, even if you never "finish" a particular collection or set, it's about enjoying the cards you do own. So often, collecting becomes about aquiring what you don't have rather than enjoying what you do. Instead of scouring Ebay looking for more cards to spend money on, why not open up one of your dusty boxes of commons and look through the cards like you did as a kid? This is something I don't do nearly as often as I should...

Andy H said...

Shanediaz82 -

I understand exactly what you are talking about. I first got back into baseball cards by trying to slowly build a 1954 Topps set. I have acquired a bunch of them, including some key cards in the set, but eventually starting picking up prewar stuff and was hooked. I haven't picked up a 1954 Topps in months. Actually, just last night I told myself that I should pick up at least a few of them every month just to keep my original goal going.

I, too, should pull out my old boxes and flip through my cards more often. I do love to get a new one in the mail though!

What can I say, we're both collectors huh? That's what we will forever struggle with, to focus or not to focus.

Thanks for the comment.


Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting topic to me at the moment. I'm also in the process of refocusing my collection. I got back into cards by buying boxes of "junk wax" and building sets. After that I started re-collecting the cards I had when I was a kid.

Then I started collecting older sets as well as newer Topps base sets. Then the retro sets crazy hit and I started collecting those too. Eventually, I had a ton of sets on my wantlists and wasn't really gettting anywhere with any of them. That combined with life in general caused me to not do anything with my card collection for the last four or five years.

I've decided that I'm going to focus on the older sets that I'm working on. I have decided that my collecting goals will be to complete the Topps base sets from 1955 to 1980. Those are the cards that mean something to me.

I keep all my sets in pages and albums which at this point takes up a great deal of space. So lately, I've started going through all the albums that I have on the bookcases and pulling cards out of the albums and putting them into monster boxes.

There are few things that I'm going to give away within a online trading group that I belong to, but the rest I'll just sell at a garage sale for $15 or so for a monster box of cards. For example, I must have at least 2,000 1987 Topps baseball dupes that are just taking up space. And since I bought a pack or two of a lot of things between 1998 and 2002, I've got all these weird piles of cards as well.

It has been really quite enjoyable emptying all those albums and clearing off space on the shelves over the last few days.

Chris B. said...

Nice blog, Andy.

I've just started getting back into cards the past few weeks. I grew up in central KY, so I'm a big University of Kentucky and Cincinnati Reds fan. For the time being, I've decided to collect cards from these teams. For the UK players, I only like the cards when they're in their UK jerseys, so I'll have to get a lot of Sage and Press Pass stuff. Collecting UK players will also keep me involved in football and basketball cards, instead of baseball only. For the Reds, I'm trying to stick to game-used and autos.

I'm really enjoying getting back into the hobby. I've got a 3-month old son who I hope will one day share the interest with me so that we can collect together.