Saturday, January 16, 2016

Playing Catch Up and Some Hobby Reflection

I am in a perpetual state of trying to get organized and have been trying to place even more effort on it over the past few months.  I dream of the day when all the cards that I want as part of my collection are in labeled binders and boxes and easy to find. I also dream of the day where my duplicates and cards that don't really fit into my collecting focus are in clearly labeled boxes and I have a strategy to move them along to someone that might appreciate them better.

One unfortunate consequence of 2015 being the year of the base card for me is that I ended up acquiring a large number of new cards.  Just trying to keep them organized took up all the time I had so I have made very little progress.  Towards the end of 2015, I wasn't posting much but still added a lot of stuff to my collection I wanted to share and had many ideas for posts. I decided to stack my new cards on a table I have in my card room and not file any new cards until they had been properly scanned and/or sorted.

Well here was the result of that plan:

 This is in overview shot of the half of the table that acts as the resting place for most of my newly acquired cards.

 Here is a side view to give some perspective to the height of some of the stacks.  To my credit, they are all organized into what part of my collection they belong whether that is player collections, set needs, Giants/Trojans, just for the "F" of it cards, etc.

I have decided that I am going to try and focus some time over the next couple weeks deciding which cards are scan and blog worthy and which aren't then composing some posts to share my cards. I am still behind on some trade posts and have made a few more in the last couple weeks so I may intertwine some trade posts into the mix but most of my hobby focus is going to be on properly clearing this table off.

Tonight I am going to start with just a few random Giants "hits" I have purchased.  When looking through the stack of hits (it is the stack farthest to the left with a Topps Archive auto on top, a thought crossed my mind and I pulled these cards that kind of triggered the thought.

How does the explosion of online access to buy and sell cards over the past decade impact my joy and satisfaction with the hobby?  I will share my personal reflections as I share these cards and feel free to comment with your thoughts.

These 4 cards are all from the 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects release and as you can see they are all autographed.  As I was shopping on COMC on Black Friday I ran across these.  With this being the year of the base card I didn't initially decided to purchase them but then I recognized that these are technically base parallels as I reviewed my checklist. I also noticed that these were the only 4 Giants autos in the set and that each was priced at between $1-$2.  I decided to pull the trigger and add them to my collection.  I wasn't overjoyed to have them but it was quite satisfying to complete a team set of these for about $6.

I picked up this card for a very small sum in a Sportlots auction.  The card isn't that nice looking, Fleer virtually punted on the right hand side of the card, just leaving it blank with a piece of bat.  Edgardo Alfonzo was far from my favorite Giants, I always felt we overpaid for him and he didn't perform up to expectations.  However the chance at a cheap Giants relic was too much for me to resist.  In call honest, this card will be filed away and forgotten about.

Daniel Carbonell is a Cuban player in the Giants signed in 2014.  He played in 2015 at the A+ and AA levels.  He is an outfielder and the last ranking I can find for him was a #14 overall ranking for the Giants prospects after the 2014 season.  I didn't pick up this card thinking he was going to take the league by storm and this card would finance my retirement.  I just thought it was cool to get a card from a guy the Giants signed from Cuba and thought the sweet 3-color patch card would be a great collection.  A quick eBay search for Immaculate Giants helped me track this down and pick it up for a few bucks, a very nice addition.

The final card of this post is the 2001 Topps Archives auto of former Giants Outfielder, the Sarge Gary Matthews. I had the opportunity to briefly chat with Sarge last year at Spring Training and get an autographed ball, he was a great guy.  This card was the most expensive of this group and almost earned a post of its own.  I like how Topps blew up his section of the multiplayer rookie card to allow Matthews his own card for this set.  For $7 plus an extra 75 cents shipping from a dealer I was buying a few cards from already, this was a great addition.

Overall, I think the new online marketplaces have transformed our hobby into one where the joy of opening a pack or trading with your buddy to get that final card for a set extremely rare.  However, being able to track down a 14-15 year old autographed card with a few clicks of the mouse does offer a different kind of satisfaction that I think better fits my collecting desires and makes for a more satisfying hobby.  What do you think?


  1. I'm torn about "new age" collecting. On the upside, having the Internet has allowed me to find so many trade partners that I didn't have years ago. This adds enjoyment to collecting for me because I know that anytime I acquire cards, A majority of them will find a home in someone else's collection and not gather dust in boxes in my closet.

    The downside is, as you mentioned, the ability to easily fulfill a card, player, or set chase with the click of a mouse. It takes a lot of the excitement away from collecting in my opinion.

  2. As retail prices soar, I can't afford to bust and break, hoping to complete sets or find cards for the PCs. The internet has driven hobby shops out of business and for this, I am truly saddened. I am also guilty. I find great deals on ebay weekly. At my age, I am learning to appreciate the instant gratification of BIN. Before moving, I did support my LCS regularly. I spent quite a bit of money there. Since I've moved this summer, that store has gone through some not-so-good changes. I will continue to search for a good LCS here, within 30 miles or so. Not looking to good right now though.

  3. Great haul. Especially that Maddox. If the internet died and I no longer had access to cards online... there's a strong possibility that my interest would die off. At this stage in my collecting life... I really enjoy purchasing specific cards. And the lack of card shows... and quality LCS's in my area would definitely reduce my card purchases.