Your Turn (Beckett Baseball No. 81): Who do you collect … and why?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The regular season is nearly complete, another year in the books, and that means you can now assess your player’s season, his potential and where he might fit in your collecting future.

Just like the GMs do.

But in the case of collectors, it’s not always that simple — why we collect who we collect can vary. And that was something we’re curious about … so we want to hear from you the answer to one simple question.

For the next issue of Beckett Baseball, we simply want to know … Who do you collect … and why?

Tell us in the comments below. Please include your name and location with your comment. We’ll run a selection of the best answers in the next issue of Beckett Baseball.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. James Michael 3 October, 2012 at 17:50

    I collect Jason Kipnis. Not only do I think he’s a future All-Star, but he’s also been the brightest spot on my abysmal (yet, somehow still lovable) Cleveland Indians. Not only as a player, but with the fans as well.

  2. bill johnson 3 October, 2012 at 18:02

    frank thomas. back in the 1990’s the talk was over hyped jose offerman. i saw an article in baseball america about chicago’s hard hitting frank thomas. said the only bad thing about thomas was he wasn’t a very good first baseman. he could hit for power and hit for average. so that who i went after instead of offerman. i remember trading a stack of 1990 topps griffey rookie cup for a stack of 1990 topps thomas rc’s. to my surprise there were two versions of that card. the base and the no name on front. to this day im still searching for that card. i went to a card show the local senior citizen building was having to see what gems i could find there. a dealer had a 1990 leaf thomas for a mere $1.00. the 1990 jose offerman leaf $5.00. of course i got the leaf thomas.
    some twenty years later, ive collected over a thousand different thomas cards. have an autograph bat and ball, as well. funny thing is, im not even a chicage white sox fan. im a mets fan, but i knew back then that big frank was gonna be my baseball icon. soon to be a hall of famer as well.

  3. steve 3 October, 2012 at 18:19

    I collect mostly anything NY Yankees, growing up in Northern New Jersey it came natural. Collect mostly the players of the past as well as the players of the present. I even go as far as to collect the autographs of the various players who have worn the pinstripes, from Wade Boggs on a Pristine 96 World Series ball to Mickey Mantle on a baseball, 1960’s sport magazine picture autographed to his 1952 Topps 1991 The National Card!
    Steve Santucci

  4. nyyankeesfan28 3 October, 2012 at 18:27

    I collect “The Garfoose”, Dirk Hayhurst, because of his writing. He’s humorous, but insightful. I have about half his cards.

  5. Michael Weber 3 October, 2012 at 19:34

    I collect Yu Darvish because I just started really getting serious into collecting this year. I am 12 years old and pitch myself, and I believe Yu has all the makings of a legend.

  6. Todd Warden 3 October, 2012 at 20:17

    Back in the Fall of 2006, I was a little broke. I decided it was time to slow down on buying packs, and start a player collection. Since I was a fan of the Cardinals, and I wanted to start a collection that I could afford, I went with a guy who had just won game 1 of the World Series. I am possibly one of very few people who have an impressive Anthony Reyes collection. His career has been kinda downhill since then, but I still search for more to add to my collection all the time.
    Todd Warden
    St. Joseph, MO

  7. Baseball Dad 3 October, 2012 at 20:38

    I collect Jim Thome, as an Indian, along with anything else Cleveland Indians related. I met Jim once, about 1993, when he purchased a new jeep from the dealer where I worked at the time.I have over 12,000 Indian cards in binders and always searching for more ! I am also starting to collect Jason Kipnis because I like the way he plays and he seems to have a good future ahead of him.

  8. Mitch Fredrickson 3 October, 2012 at 21:01

    Ryne Sandberg. I grew up a Twins fan and I still am a fan. Unfortunately, back in the 80’s we didn’t get to see many televised Twins games. It was then that I found the Cubs on WGN back when they played their games all the time. I instantly became a Cubs fan and a HUGE Ryne Sandberg fan. One of my lifetime highlights was when I got to see Ryno and the Cubs play at Wrigley Field in ’97. I started my Ryno collection shortly after that.

    Mitch Fredrickson

    Hutchinson, MN

  9. Lance Harwell 3 October, 2012 at 21:23

    I am located in Fayetteville, TN and being a died in the wool Bravos fan, I have to stay with what I know. Currently concentrating on laying my hands on every Bobby Cox and Freddie Freeman I can. Simply 2 of the best examples of how the game should be played.

  10. Jacob 3 October, 2012 at 21:28

    I collect chase utley not just because i live in philly but because his bowman chrome rookie card was my first baseball and first EVER card i owned and because he’s my favorite player

  11. Sal Rinauro 3 October, 2012 at 21:43

    I collect Tommy Hanson for many reasons. He was the number one prospect for my Braves when I got back into collecting, just like myself, he is from Redlands, CA, and he has an awesome upside.

  12. Yankeescop 3 October, 2012 at 21:57

    I recently started to collect Marlins catcher Rob Brantly. I first met Rob while he was playing for the Erie Seawolves (Detroit’s AA Team). Rob came over to my 7 year old son and asked him if he could help him warm up. The next thing we know, my son and Rob were playing catch for 15 minutes. The next time we saw Rob play he immediately came over and asked my son how his little league game had gone that morning. Since this experience my son has decided to be a catcher and we have followed Rob’s short career daily.

  13. Jeremy Johnson 3 October, 2012 at 21:58

    I collect rookies from the 80’s and early 90’s, namely Griffey, Thomas, Maddux, Jones, etc. Those are the guys that I grew up watching and trying to get out of packs when I was young. Those are also the years when players had maybe 6 rookie cards at most, before the hobby was taken over by inserts, mem, ser, and auto cards. Players now have 30-40 rookie cards, too many in my opinion.


  14. Adam Shoemaker 3 October, 2012 at 22:35

    My favorite all-time player is Ozzie Smith. Watching him do a backflip into his position captivated me as a child and basically got me into collecting cards. Watching him as he progressed through his career kept me in the card collecting hobby. My favorite current player to collect is Yadier Molina. I saw him play in the RC Level Appalachian League for the Johnson City Cardinals not long after he was drafted and thought he would make it to the MLB. He has become one of the best catchers in the game and a clutch hitter. I try to get every card of him that I can.

    Adam Shoemaker
    Browns Summit, NC

  15. Pete Irwin 3 October, 2012 at 22:58

    I collect Brian McCann.

    I grew up a Braves fan. Like many Atlanta Braves fans, it was because of TBS. You could always turn on the TV during baseball season and catch a baseball game and not only a baseball game but a 90’s era Atlanta Braves game, the best!

    I can almost pin point the exact date I started collecting cards and collecting Brian McCann, they started the same day. August 11, 2010. It was a day game at Minute Maid Park, Astros vs. Braves, my very first Atlanta Braves game. The teams played each other the night before so with the game I was attending being a day game, I pretty much knew I wouldn’t be able to see Brian McCann play. I didn’t care, it was my first Braves game. The game was tied at the end of 9. The Braves came to bat. They had scored a couple of go ahead runs pretty quick. Then, with the bases loaded, McCann pinch hit. I had my digital camera on record. I was yelling “Lets go Mac!” Then with one quick swift swing of the bat, the sound I will never forget as the barrel of the bat connected with the ball. GRANDSLAM!! My favorite player hit a pinch hit grandslam in the top of the 10th at my first Atlanta Braves game.

    It was maybe a few days later that I bought my very first Brian McCann baseball card and I haven’t looked back since. Why do I collect Brian McCann? I collect because of the memories.

  16. Phil Regetta 4 October, 2012 at 00:18

    I collect Dick Groat because he was my dad’s favorite player when he was growing up. Every time I get another card it makes me think of my dad. And Dick Groat has an impressive resume: 2-time All-American in baseball AND basketball at Duke, 1952 National Player of the Year in basketball at Duke, #3 pick in the 1952 NBA draft, 1960 National League MVP and batting champion, 2x World Series Champion, 5x MLB All-Star, only person in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame. He did all this while taking off two years to serve our country in the Army (plus lead his base to worldwide championships in baseball and basketball).

    Phil Regetta
    Newville, PA

  17. kris 4 October, 2012 at 01:24

    i am starting a pittsburgh pirate autograph collection with all the prospects they have. i already have cutch burnett mcdonalad brock holt and quincy lattimore and cruz and hammer. to bad that cole and taillion are outta my price range still cause they are playing for altonta curve which isn’t that far from where i live.

  18. foreverLFC 4 October, 2012 at 03:41

    I collect CJ Wilson because he’s a good guy and good role model. I too am straight edge and I think that his drug free positive lifestyle should be highlighted more by the media instead of these druggies ruining their lives. Even though some say he lacks the natural talent other pitchers have, I’m happy to see a fellow peer work hard and make it to where he is now with pure drive and hard work. Great motivation for anyone in any field of work.


    Huntington Beach, CA

  19. Trevor Carpenter 4 October, 2012 at 07:43

    The player I collect is Danny Hultzen of the Seattle Mariners I first met Danny this year when he was on AA Jackson Generals. He was in town against my home team TN Smokies the AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs he was a really nice guy when I met him and got my bowman card signed. I always wanted a player to collect and try to get at least one of each of there cards and after meeting him again in Chattanooga I talked to him about my idea of collecting his cards he thought that was really cool that someone was doing that. I probably seen him in person to get things signed about 15 or more times this year and saw him pitch on 5 occasions or more. To this point I have 2 game used hats, a game used jersey, and numerous 8×10’s and signed baseballs. The highlight of my collection is I have his complete bowman chrome autograph rainbow. I actually had the chance to show him my collection when he had time when he was in town for the AA all star game. He is great to his fans and a great ballplayer and someone I will always collect as long as they have cards.

    Trevor Carpenter

  20. Jason Taylor 4 October, 2012 at 09:06

    I collect 2009 Matt Wieters Rookie cards. Wieters is my favorite player; he’s a blue-collar guy on a blue collar team. He’s the best defensive catcher in the league and he can hit a little. Also, his cards are affordable, and it’s possible that I can get them all without breaking the bank. I just wish he’d sign a Topps contract!

  21. Rob Botello 4 October, 2012 at 12:00

    I have been collecting Alex Rodriguez since he was first called up by the Mariners as a SS….Even through all the ups and downs he has been through in his career, I have stayed a loyal fan and will continue to collect A-Rod..

  22. Paul Kelly 4 October, 2012 at 17:18

    Rickey Henderson – He was an extremely rare player who could change a game in soooo many ways! Approximately 1400 items and counting….

  23. Thommy Selden 4 October, 2012 at 23:05

    I collect Clayton Kershaw and Dee Gordon. I’ll start by explaining why I collect Gordon because the reason is very simple, he’s a swag monster. Kershaw I collect for many reasons including the following:
    1. First and foremost he’s a Dodger
    2. He’s only 24, so he has room to grow
    3. He’s already possibly the best pitcher in MLB
    4. In my opinion he’s undervalued
    5. He is one of the classiest players in the MLB

  24. Joe Soper 5 October, 2012 at 02:42

    Years ago I started collecting Bo Jackson.. Bo knows Baseball, Bo knows football.. loved the fact that he seeded to be able to do just about anything and do it well.. Once Bo was knocked out of the game for good I needed to shift my attention. I started with a young first round draft pick who at the time sounded like he might have a shot at making it to the big club someday (Derek Jeter). He has never dissapointed and I’ve ammassed a collection of over 1500 cards and other various items. Working abroad it is difficult to find or have anyone willing to ship stuff to me anymore, but still look for any oddball items for either of the two. Every once in a while I find someone who will ship overseas so I manage to get my fix once every 6 months or so. Thanks for the website and allowing us fans to be able to keep up with the hobby regardless of our location…..

    Joe Soper – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  25. Alex Giles 6 October, 2012 at 07:01

    Jason Heyward. Living in Knoxville, Atlanta has been my favorite team. I recently started collecting about two years ago. What really got me collecting was when I got a pack of 2012 Topps Tribute baseball. I opened it up and pulled a Jason Heyward gold autograph /15. I loved his signature, his cards aren’t all that expensive, so that’s who I’ve chose to collect. Since then, I’ve got a few Heyward cards, but haven’t been collecting his cards as much as I would like to. That’s my favorite player and who I collect. -Knoxville,TN

  26. Mark Nickerson 6 October, 2012 at 21:00

    I collect all Hall of Famers and potential Hall of Famers. I started collecting in 1970 and spent my paper route money on 5 cent packs and put together the complete Topps set that year and continued to do that every year until 1981 when Donruss and Fleer produced sets. I got those complete and the next year Score entered the fray and I got that set. The following year it was Upper Deck and I had to have that set as well as all the others. By 1991 there was Stadium Club, Leaf, Studio and Ultra followed by Pinnacle in 1992. By 1993 there were so many different sets, I couldn’t keep up anymore so I made it my goal to just get the best players from each set and hope that maybe someday I could pick up the commons for cheap and complete my sets. As time went by more and more sets saturated the market and I just kept collecting the best players, the Hall of Famers and players I thought might someday make it to the Hall. Today I have over 2000 different cards of Griffey, Bonds and ARod and well over 1000 different cards of about 20 other players including Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken Jr. and Nolan Ryan.

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