Thoughts on Player Collecting

22 Feb

I got a private message this morning over on Hobby Insider from another member there that I thought could make for an interesting topic for today’s post. They were asking me how I’d found my experiences in trying to amass a collection of a specific player. More specifically, the question was (and this is paraphrased):

Have you ever been frustrated trying to land a very low-print-run card – especially if it has multiple players on it?

I can only answer this with my experience, and it could be very different from someone collecting a “more popular” player. My two hockey “player” collections are of two defencemen that never get a ton of hockey love (in Aulie’s case maybe it’s just a “not yet” scenario), so when it comes to Kaberle cards, I’m typically “that guy” that the few other Kaberle collectors get frustrated with, as they know if it’s, say, a /5 or lower print run, I’ll likely pull out all stops and bid high (or offer high, if it’s not an auction). So maybe I was the wrong guy to ask that question to 🙂

From a different view, though, my competition on Kaberle and Aulie cards is pretty limited compared to, say, someone collecting Rick Nash (notice how I used the soon-to-be-Leaf there?) or Alex Ovechkin. There’s a lot more collectors out there chasing the high-end/ low-print-run stuff there with deep pockets.

The other thing that has really limited my frustration on the Kaberle chase is the fact he hasn’t had very many cards featuring other players. I can think of only a couple examples…the 10/11 Artifacts Tundra Trios card that featured J-S Giguere, Phil Kessel and Tomas Kaberle, and, of course, the 09/10 Cup Dual Shield with Phil Kessel and Tomas Kaberle. Of course there’s to be some competition and frustration on these, as I’m sure a few of these, I’ve been up against a much larger audience of Giguere and Kessel collectors. I consider this as part of the fun, though.

My main frustration, if you can call it that, comes from when I’m trying to deal with a seller on a 1/1 and I think I’m offering a very fair (more than fair in most cases) price on it, but I get no movement as they feel any 1/1 should sell for the price of a Crosby 1/1 or something.

I know that many player collectors of Montreal players find that there are a few guys (or gals) out there with ridiculously deep pockets, and all I can suggest is land the ones you can but if you’re consistently being outbid on the high-end stuff, don’t put all your focus into those…focus on the products you can realistically land. I’ve walked away from a couple of 1/1 Kaberle cards that I just felt that it wasn’t right spending the amount the seller wanted. In one case they came back to me a few months later and we agreed on a better price.

Sometimes you have to avoid getting frustrated and say to yourself…

This one just isn’t in the cards.



Posted by on February 22, 2012 in General


Tags: , ,

3 responses to “Thoughts on Player Collecting

  1. Brett

    February 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    This past year I had my first experience of ‘my guy’ being on a card with 3 other big guns. At first I was severely disappointed. But it wasn’t long before I concluded that it was ok for me not to have that card.

    Will it be on my wantlist? Yup.

    Will it be there forever? Probably.

    Will there ever be a day where ALL of the cards on my wantlist are gone? Nope.

    There will always be ‘obtainable’ cards for me to pursue. There will always be that something next.

    Rather than dwell on what is not obtainable, I focus on the cards that I’m looking forward to adding to my collection.

    Most player collectors just aren’t going to be able to land one of every card of ‘their guy’. It’s just not going to happen.

    And that’s OK.

    When it comes to the really rare cards, what I’ve done is try to maintain a database of ‘who has what’. My feeling is – if I can’t have it, at least I know who does. Sometimes…..actually most of the time it’s in the hands of someone who is as passionate about the hobby as I am.

    So I feel that the card has a good home. That’s not so bad.

  2. 1967ers

    February 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Have your patterns changed at all since Kaberle changed teams? Do you chase them all or is your prime focus on the Leafs? I lived and breathed Wendel Clark (would he be in the pile of 1200?), but I don’t think I’d want a card of his from the Islanders years. That said, I was never really a player collector – just a set builder with a Leaf binder.

    I’m never really in the chase for 1 of 1’s since to me, they’re not really relevant. For the record, though, I hate artificial scarcity. Legitimate short-prints and variations are enough of a pain. Companies making cards hard to find on purpose? Pure evil. 🙂

    • Kevin

      February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      My patterns? Nope, not really…I obviously prefer the Leafs-uniformed cards, but I’m still chasing whatever I can find…good news (I guess) is he’s not in a lot of stuff now that he’s out of the spotlight…maybe if he stays with Montreal, though, he’ll pick up a bit.

      I won’t go “crazy” on a 1/1 of Kaberle, but I *do* chase ’em for sure 🙂


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