The Beckett Blog

Why do you collect who you collect? by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s a simple question with not-so-simple answers most of the time.

Why do you collect who you collect?

For some, it’s a money thing. For some, it’s a fandom thing. For others, it’s a hometown hero thing — or some moment that latched their hobby targets onto a player.

For Beckett regular Abe Doctor, it was a visit to Chick-fil-A.

Really. And it involves a certain baseball player you’re probably well aware of from my showcasing my personal tastes here and there through the years.

Read his story after the jump … then please tell us who you collect — and why —  if you’re so inclined.

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EXCLUSIVE — Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor buyer: “A card like this is just what the industry needs” by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball

Plenty has been written about the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman that sold for $16,403 recently, and plenty has been said about the hobby in the wake of the behemoth of a popular baseball card product that created it.

And all of that was well before Strasburg’s dominating MLB debut.

We’ve heard from Leo Kim, the finder of the Strasburg, the lucky person who beat the one in 1,210,000 odds of finding the card. And, on Tuesday, Beckett Media learned a bit about the buyer of the card, Robert J. Power, a 37-year-old accountant from Michigan who purchased the card last month.

“A card like this is just what the industry needs,” said Power, who talked about his collecting past, his reasoning for buying the card — and even his wife’s reaction to making a pretty substantial purchase — in this exclusive Q&A with Beckett.

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Calling all supercollectors … Beckett Baseball wants you! by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s been awhile since we last dedicated an issue of Beckett Baseball to the player collector — in fact it was April 2007 — but we’re confident that there are supercollectors out there who haven’t been found.

Why? Because we keep hearing about you guys in the pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly where we profile supercollectors each and every month.

But the collections we want to showcase in a future Beckett Baseball issue — or perhaps issues — (later this summer) are a bit different. You see, the bar was set pretty high last time around. For example, the Ichiro Suzuki supercollector from that issue owned more than 4,100 cards valued at more than $97,000 at the time. Bruce’s goal? “To have an Ichiro collection like no other.”

It was that then as it probably is now — and we’ll check in with some of those past supercollectors to see how things look in 2010.

But it’s not about the money as we search for the latest batch of baseball supercollectors for Beckett Baseball in 2010. We want to see the most outrageous collections — perhaps it’s your stash of some prospect gone awry that you still keep up with for some odd reason or perhaps it’s your stash of 47 of 50 Gold Refractors of “Player X.” Or perhaps it’s your collection of 97.3 percent of all Brook Jacoby cards that exist … we want to know about it.

I’ve always had rules about my collecting habits and my very different collections for two players — a pair of former Oakland A’s outfielders who wore No. 33, Jose Canseco and Nick Swisher — reflect that. They also reflect how my rules of collecting have changed over time as well.

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This will be Popular-ation Report by ejahnke

Wow, just when I thought “Organ-ease” was as cheesy a post title as I could possibly make…

This latest screenshot shows a feature of the new that will be a giant hit,  graphical population reports.  No more staring at black and white numeric charts, that is just “soooooo 2007.”

Thankfully I really don’t have much to try explain on this one.  This shows the population (number) of cards graded and the grades they got.  As you can see, there are choices of graphs as well, and you can get as  specific as you want, or just get a general overview like the one shown here.

This top of this screenshot also shows the tabs that are at the bottom of every player’s page….wait!

Have I mentioned that every player has their own page?  Every team?  Every product?  Every…everything.

There will be much more on that in one of the next posts, but for now here is a sneak-peak-in-a-sneak-peak of Tom Brady’s player page.

Ok, back to where I was going in the first place,  the tabs.  On every-“things” page, (“thing” being player, team, product, ect.) those tabs will allow you to easily choose what you want to do there.

Want to see grading stats?  Want to read the latest news on some “thing?”  Want to trade for it?  Want to see who has it to sell?  Want pricing?  In the case of Tom Brady, this screenshot shows discussions (think message boards) about him.  I am not sure why someone hates you Tom (or whoever that ‘you’ actually refers to), but people are free to say what they like there, within reason, of course.

Whatever kind of page you are on (player, team, product, individual card) those tabs will relate accordingly.

This started off as just a quick “show off” post while I worked on long-winded explanations of other features…but I am learning as soon as I explain something, it brings up a dozen related things to talk about.  Everything fits together on the new site, so if I don’t talk in depth about something, rest assured I will get to it!

Still, don’t be afraid to ask about stuff that I just gloss over quickly!

A post everyone should read… by ejahnke
June 26, 2008, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media | Tags: , , , , , ,

Whenever you lose focus and feel the magic is gone, or you just stop having fun collecting, you should read this.

Excellent, sir, to me, that is what it’s all about.

Priceless treasures by ejahnke
June 16, 2008, 11:22 am
Filed under: Beckett Media | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Trying to define “collecting,” is impossible, since the concept of collecting is different to each individual.  Some try to complete sets, some collect a player (or players) they love, some collect for profit, some focus on autographs, and some collect certain teams, certain brands, years, sports…

With the exception of the “100% for profit” folks, most collectors have things they just won’t part with, no matter what.  Something that has meaning to them that is far beyond any book value or possible price tag.

To another collector, “it” (whatever it is) may seem completely worthless, a common, or a card in very poor condition.  It may be an autograph, or a jersey of a “nobody” or a “spare.”

It may be a card, a set, an autograph, a jersey, a bat or some other memorabilia…the list is endless.

The fact is, it means something to YOU, and that is all that counts.

This is what I want to focus on every Tuesday.

What is it you won’t part with?

Why does it mean so much to you, or why do you like it so much?

Send in a photograph and tell us the story behind it, and we will do our best to put one/two up every week.  It doesn’t have to be much, it can be long or short, one item or a dozen….


 (Below is an example of “short and simple”…and, yes, these cards, though not the actual pictures of them, really mean something to me.)

The Nolan Ryan because it was out of my first set of cards that I actually got at an Astro game, so I thought that was the coolest thing in the world.  The Jose Cruz becaue he was the first Astro I pulled from a pack of this new-and-therefore-very-exciting-to-me card company called Donruss. 

Simple enough, I hope.


Be sure to include your name and city, if you want them posted.




More Things I Miss … by David Lee
March 7, 2008, 11:36 am
Filed under: MLB, NBA, NFL | Tags: , , , ,

nolan.jpgA couple months ago I wrote about a few things I miss about the hobby. The other day I was helping my 9-year-old nephew sort through some of his cards–most of which I gave him. I couldn’t help but think back to when I was 9 and how much the hobby ment to me. Of course, I didn’t have a PS2, a Wii, a PSP, a RipStick and countless baseball games and tournaments to go to like my nephew has that compete with collecting for his entertainment attention.

So, as an extension to my Things I Miss list I wrote a couple months ago, here are More Things I Miss …

I miss buying the Nolan Ryan Express card set, T-shirt and video and thinking the set would be worth a lot of money one day.

I miss going to small card shows at local hotels. I’d be at those shows for 2 hours and not buy anything. I always walked the show floor a few times to compare prices and bargain with the dealers. Yes, at 9 years old.

I miss the Bo Jackson card picturing him wearing shoulder pads, holding a bat across his shoulders.

I miss thinking that reprint cards of old Topps and Bowman Rookie Cards were the coolest thing in the hobby.

I miss (I hope I don’t get fired for this one, but…) getting the oversized Tuff Stuff magazines and keeping them in by drawer.

I miss overpaying for the 1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card.

I miss Snap-Tight holders.

I miss getting the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team Starting Lineup box set. I still have it, and the 1996 team too! 

I miss kicking myself for opening the 1990 Joe Montana and Bo Jackson Starting Lineups.

I miss the mystery of the 1990 Pro Set Barry Sanders card.

I miss thinking that I would never be able to afford the Walter Payton Rookie Card.

I miss getting card shop gift certificates for Christmas. (Wait … never mind, I still get those.)

hobbs.jpgI miss really wanting one of the Roy Hobbs cards that were teased in the greatest sports movie of all time, The Natural.  

I miss compiling team sets from 1992-93 SkyBox Basketball.

I miss buying my first card on eBay: a 1999 Donruss Elite Ricky Williams RC. Do you remember the first card you bought on eBay?

I miss GameDay football cards.

I miss buying all base singles of players’ second-year cards.