Ticket Monster LAD Banner

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Travails of Player Collecting, Starring Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw

Collecting specific players is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our wonderful hobby for me, but it certainly brings with it inherent difficulties. When your favorite player or players hit it big, their cards skyrocket in price. Some sign less than others, some sign everything, and some are just plain underrated in the hobby by both card companies and collectors. However, the major issue with focusing the majority of your collection on a few players is that you feel the need - well, at least I do - to make a concerted effort to obtain every card of that player you can get your hands on.

Which brings me to this particular case I'm about to ramble on about. The absolutely beautiful card above features my two favorite players and the two main guys I collect, the should-have-been 2011 NL MVP, Matt Kemp, and the 2011 NL Cy Young Award Winner, Clayton Kershaw. It's the gold parallel of a simple checklist from 2010 UD Series 1, and is numbered to just 99 copies, with the above being the first in said print run. So an eBay 1/1, what with it being 01/99. Oh snap!

I digress. The reason I hinted at the travails of player collecting is because, as you might imagine, owning this card raised the question of whether it would land in my Kemp PC or my Kershaw PC. This was the question I faced when I acquired my first copy of this sick piece of cardboard, and I made the executive decision to place that copy - #'d 88/99 - in my Matty collection. So, this newest Kemp/Kershaw get will head straight into my Clayton Collection, obviously.

When I bought the first copy, I knew I would eventually need a second in order to feel like my collection was worth anything in my own twisted mind. Seeing as how it's numbered out of a rare-ish 99, I wasn't really expecting to come across it again anytime soon, but when I finally did, I would be willing to jump on that auction unless it got ridiculously out of hand.

It finally popped on the Bay once more, and I quickly put in a bid and waited. The auction ended, and I was extremely pleased to take it down for 99 cents plus $2.50 to ship it my way. So yeah, the best $3.49 I've spent in a long time. A grand total of $6.74 for both, just for the record. Damn, I do love eBay.

My question for those of you still with me is this: would you have felt the need to grab a second copy, or would you have been satisfied with just the original and counted it in both of your hypothetical Kemp and Kershaw PCs? Have any of you run into this conundrum before, or do you eschew player collecting as a rule and thus avoid sticky situations such as this one?


  1. I don't have a player collection but I have read that Night Owl puts a Dodger card in his team collection and another in his set collection.

    I used to be a player collector of Marino and Allstott football cards. I also felt the need to own every single card of them that ever came out. All the shortprint and 1/1 cards is what drove me from the hobby in the late 90s because I could never have "all" of the Marino cards.

    Now my only player collection is Bill Virdon who has been out of the sport since the 80s. He was kind of a fringe star that became a manager so there are lots of oddball cards of his to chase from the 60s and 70s and I don't have to chase a bunch of new stuff every year. (although there are Topps Heritage Buyback cards of him that I have never seen, even on ebay) Every Virdon is entirely obtainable although there is a Yankee coaching legends card (Pinella/Torre/Virdon) that is REALLY expensive.

  2. Getting two is a good call. I do the same thing on multi-player cards. I put one in the Kemp binder and the other in the Kershaw binder.

  3. When I had player collections where that mattered I wanted multiple copies. And with the type an set collections, I en up with two or more copies of a card. Add in the awards collection and I could have a dozen of one card. Though rarely does it need to be a specific card.

  4. You made the right call especially for the price. I have a question for you though. At what point does a card (I.e. 1/1) become unimportant to the collection? Also, do any of you limit player collections to only years they played. My George Brett collection is pretty complete for his playing days but is pretty bare after his retirement.

  5. I'd probably get one for each collection. So that was a good call.

    Thats an issue I have with autograph sets and team sets. I'm working on an autographed 1983 Topps set, but I also need a separate Angels team set.

  6. Wooo! I'm not alone in my thinking!

    Adam- Yeah, I wouldn't want to kill myself over not having every Kemp, Kershaw, or Martin. I mean, I DO want every one haha, but I know it's unrealistic, to say the least.

    Ryan- Damn, a dozen? I do not envy you haha. Although, I would love a dozen of this particular card....

    Matt B.- I strive to get every card I can as long as it's affordable, but I know it won't happen. One of my goals was to obtain a 1/1 for each guy though. And as long as I collect, I'll collect Kemp, Kershaw, and Russ Martin cards, even once they stop playing, assuming they have cards produced of them after they hang 'em up.

  7. I just found a few Russell Martins and a Kershaw or two. When I get back to California I'll send them your way. Hopefully you won't have them already! I think one of them is a Kershaw RC.

  8. Oooh, sounds good Ryan! Much thanks!