Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Thoughts: Point of No Return

When it comes to player collecting, I'm sure all of us have given up on at least one guy at some point in time. I myself restarted and subsequently quit my Dominik Hasek collection because the number of cards out there was more than overwhelming. For me, it was easy to give up on the Dominator because I didn't invest all that much into it, maybe $5 on dime box pickups and $20 on a few memorabilia cards this time around.

Now, my Jimmy Howard collection is a completely different ball game at this point. I am more than 100 unique cards into it with a few hundred dollars invested over the last few years. So far it's been great, expect for the local premium I pay at card shops and shows around here. Regardless, I believe I have hit the point of no return as I think I've built the collection a solid foundation. I don't see myself wanting to stop any time soon, unless of course this entire hobby falls apart like a certain news outlet is predicting. But seriously, it would be hard for me to quit now as Jimmy is far and away my favorite player these days and it looks like he'll be here to stay for a while now.

That brings me to my question of the day: what is your point of no return when it comes to a player collection? Do you even have one? Is there even such a thing? I'd like to get your guy's thoughts either way as fellow player collectors.


  1. No point of no return with my Getzlaf PC, but certainly this year cemented that, since I've been picking up tons of his hits and everything Dominion I can get my hands on. I'll always collect Getz.

  2. It's an interesting question. I've seen guys out there that have PC's and only collect autos and relics and maybe inserts, but no base cards of a player. I've also seen guys who only collect base cards of players from issues when they were playing, no inserts, or cards issued after they retired. I for one am one of those that if it has a guy I collect on it I'll put it in my PC. As for a point of no return. I don't know if such a think exists. I mean if there comes a time when I don't want to collect a player anymore I suppose I can always sell off what I've gotten. My three main PC's are of retired HOFer's, but to be honest I started collecting back when these guys were active. I don't know if there's a point of no return where I have to keep collecting a player, but there might very well be a point of being overwhelmed by options that it's impossible to keep up with a players issued cards. I suppose it all boils down to collecting goals. I know as a PC collector, and a set and team collector my goals for each collection is a little different, but ultimately if a card is out of my price range, it's out of my price range. I don't necessarily collect for future value, but I think we'll all agree we want our collections to have value. And of course I'm coming from a Baseball and Football collectors view point, not that it's really any different to a Hockey collectors.

  3. I was really nuts about David Krejci for a couple of years. He had just started out and was really under-rated, which meant two things. First, his cards were relatively cheap, even the low-numbered or autographed ones. Secondly, and more importantly, there weren't a million of them! Too many new cards were coming out to keep up with though, and ultimately I realized that the OCD in me just makes me a set collector more than a player collector. So...I sold off many of my best Krejci cards, and used the funds to buy rookies of Mario Lemieux and Steven Stamkos. I am much happier with those two cards and I don't have this nagging urge to track down every Krejci ever made now. It was actually quite liberating. What I like about set collecting is that there is an achievable end goal, and there always comes a day when you slide that last card into the binder. To each his own I guess!

  4. I have two player collections right now: Marty Barrett and PJ Axelsson. Barrett was easy because he played in the 80s and 90s and was an average player, so not a ton of cards to snag. Axelsson, on the other hand, played during the Pacific insert boom of the early 00s and so I've had a little tougher time tracking his cards down. Fortunately, he was, like Barrett, an average player so he wasn't in a ton of stuff and what he was in, is cheap. For me, I like that there is a finality, or end, in sight for these two collections.

    I can't imagine starting a player collection for someone like Malkin or Seguin. SO expensive and SO many cards. On the other hand, those collections would probably be a lifelong pursuit and that seems appealing.

  5. The point of no return for me happened quite early. When I discovered the fun in player collecting (and having that player mean more to me than any other players in the league) I knew that a player pc was the direction to go.

    It was the name on the back and not the crest on the front. And I have never looked back. Even after he retired.

  6. My Patrick Roy and Chicago Blackhawks collections. In the future if I own a hobby store or sell my cards. I would never sell or part with my Blackhawks team sets or Patrick Roy cards but I will try not to part with my goalie books (that I keep separate from the player cards)Unless someone gave me a good deal and I needed money. I WILL NOT ever part with my IP's or TTM's unless I have double or more than 1 card from that player. But about PC you never wan't to give away something by your favorite player or anything that took you a while to build up. But I would love to collect Young Gun cards of star players Like Crosby, Ovechkin, or Stamkos and most of those are expensive online so the best bet is to pull it from a box like a did for my Patrick Kane and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Young Guns. Drawing a random rookie that never goes anywhere sucks or you hope that the rookie that you have becomes hot in the future if he isn't good already like Landeskog or Hopkins.

    But the risk of collecting Roy even though he was my favorite player and Idol growing up. Is that his cards are so expensive if you are talking about autographs or jersey cards. Plus he has one of the most expensive rookie cards behind Wayne Gretzky's rookie being #1 and Crosby going at #3 and then the biggest rookie of all trading cards being Michael Jordan. Cards are still made to this day ripping up old classic Roy and Gretzky jersey's and sticks. Sometimes I think it's a waste to destroy history and classic artifacts unless I am getting one of those cool cards.

    But, the future is still bright being 20 and if this hobby dies, I see all the cards plummeting for cheap prices to buy and invest in and seeing it revived like a rubiks cube (that lasted about a year) But kids can still collect the cheap normal cards for now boxes like Dominion and "The Cup" are for adults with big wallets even though a box is just one 1 of special cards.

    In the end I will still collect cards as my dad does collecting stamps. I will still be sending out ttm's and even hopefully getting my future kids in the hobby to collect and honor/preserve my cards when I am long gone. Not like old baseball cards that were put in bike spokes and thrown out by parents back in the day.

    BTW: Sorry for this long post to get my regards and feeling out.

  7. I have almost 50 baseball players that I collect, mostly from the 60's thru the 80's. Several of them have reached the point where all I need are obscure regional issues and post-career cards that I don't track. And some of them I have just de-prioritized over the others. If faced with a choice between two cards, I'll pick the guys I like better.
    That list used to be a lot bigger, but then I weeded out a bunch of guys I didn't want to pursue. Almost all of them originated when I found I had three or more cards outside of the couple sets I had built up to that point.
    There are only a few guys that I have specific reasons why I collect them. Those collections will hopefully qualify for supercollector status some day. The others will get to a certain point and then just kinda stall. When I'm down to the rare stuff, I move them into another binder for "completed" guys.