Supercollecting Q & A with Jason Dean Martin & Kin Kinsley

Supercollecting is something that is sort of a love/hate topic among collectors.  The ones that love it are probably the ones that are supercollecting.  The ones that hate it usually hate it because they want or need a card for their collection and some supercollector has it in their collection never to see the light of day.  Well, today we, Jason & Kin, give our opinions on supercollecting since both of us could be considered supercollectors.  Let us know if you agree or disagree with us in the comments section below.

Are you a supercollector? If so, who do you supercollect and why?

Kin:  I got back into hockey during the 2011-12 season.  I’d been into hockey when I was in high school and the Blackhawks were my team.  College and early adulthood got me away from most sports but I was living in Indianapolis and could get (most) Hawks games on TV.  I needed something to watch after the bowl season and turned on a Hawks game.  I was a Patrick Kane fan early on, but in Shaw’s first game he scored a goal on his first shot and also got into a fight.  I knew then that he was my guy.  You can see my Shaw collection here.

Jason:  Yes.  I am a supercollector of Josh Fogg cards and memorabilia and I’ve even been featured in Beckett Baseball as the Supercollector of the Month.  Why Josh Fogg?  This is a question I hear very often.  But, it all started in 2002 when he was a Pittsburgh Pirate and started 5-0 that year.  From that point on, I was a fan and had to get my hands on everything that had his name or picture on it, including multiples of his rookie cards from 2001.  I am still on the hunt for several of his cards (mostly 1/1s) even though he has been out of baseball for a few years.  You can check out my collection here.

Do you know of anyone else that supercollects the same player?

Kin:  Not any longer.  There was someone in Owen Sound (Canada) that was collecting him, as Shaw had played there.  I “met” Jim on Sports Card Forum and we had helped each other get our hands on a few cards.  We later “ran into” each other on Facebook, being in a mutual hockey card group.  A couple of months ago he decided to stop collecting Shaw (he actually Super Collects another player and has a badge for it on SCF) and actually held onto a couple of Shaws I needed until I could come up with what I needed to get them.  I will never be able to thank him enough. 

Jason:  No.  I’ve never known of anyone to even attempt to supercollect Josh Fogg.  Honestly, a lot of you probably haven’t even heard of Fogg let alone ever collected his cards.

Is supercollecting players good or bad for the hobby?

Why is it good?

Kin:  I think it’s the closest thing to the more “pure” collecting that was happening in the hobby when I got into it in 1987.  It’s not always about the highest dollar card or the hottest rookie for (a lot of) super collectors. 

Jason:  It keeps the hobby alive solely based on the fact that there is at least one person out there willing to buy or collect something that no one else will.  

Why is it bad?

Kin:  I really can’t come up with anything that makes it bad for the hobby.

Jason:  There are two reasons that I think it can be bad for the hobby.  First, it can prevent some sets from being collected by more than one person when produced in limited quantities.  Second, if I need a card, say a 1/1, and the seller or trader knows that I’m the supercollector of that player, there’s nothing stopping them from overpricing that card because they know I have to have it to keep the supercollection alive.

What do you love about supercollecting?

Kin:  There are two things I love most. One is when I get that card that’s been elusive for so long into my hand finally.  There are cards I’ve been looking for, for years.  There’s an initial rush when you see it, another one when you complete the transaction and that final rush when you get it into your hand.  The other thing I love is that I have met so many other good collectors since I’ve begun collecting Shaw.  They understand my frustrations, they appreciate what I’ve accomplished, they keep me positive.  It’s a small but fantastic community that collects like this.

Jason:  The hunt, plain and simple.  Pretty much what Kin said.  Finding that elusive card can be very exciting!

What is your biggest pet peeve about supercollecting?

Kin:  There’s no doubt that it’s what people want for some cards.  Currently, there are only 33 Shaw cards I don’t have.  This includes 1/1s and printing plates.  There are currently two that I need listed on eBay.  One is a printing plate that the seller wants $200 for.  The other is a 1/1 from The Cup.  That seller has it in with three other cards from the set.  He has it listed at $1800 for the four cards.  It seems I have little hope of ending up with that second one.  Perhaps I can get the first one someday. 

Jason:  Again, this pretty much goes back to what I said earlier about overpriced cards.

Have card companies made it impossible to be a supercollector?

Kin:  No.  In my case, there are just 125 Shaw cards.  However, if I collected Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, etc., my answer would be “yes.”  There is just too much of their product out there.  Every set has these guys in it, then there are the parallels and inserts.  Every super collection has it’s unique challenge and in the case of the stars, the sheer quantity is the issue. 

In my case, the challenge is just the opposite.  On SCF, a player has to have 175 cards before you can even qualify for their badge.  Shaw has played four seasons now and is still at just the 125.  It’s become frustrating to see new set after new set come out and him not be in there.  This season, he’s only been included (as a base card) in Upper Deck, MVP, Fleer Ultra and O-Pee-Chee.  All of those were out before Christmas.

Jason:  Absolutely.  The first thing that killed supercollecting was all the parallels.  Granted they can be very cool and awesome to look at, but the sheer volume of them in EVERY set can be daunting especially if you’re collecting a star like Jeter, Trout, or Harper. (This is another reason I chose Josh Fogg. I knew his cards would never get too expensive.)  The second thing that has killed supercollecting is the 1/1 card.  Half of them will never even be opened from the pack and half of the ones that do will never be available for sale.  That right there severely limits what a supercollecting can obtain, thus, making it impossible.

When would rather be a supercollector (A or B)?

A) Today (with the advantage of having the Internet and eBay but having tons of parallels)

B) 20 years ago (without having the Internet and eBay but not really knowing what you were missing from your collection)

Kin:  From the Super Collector standpoint, I will take today.  In the 90s, I had an impressive Jeremy Roenick collection (you could honestly say I super collected him), but I never got that rush that I get now when I finally get my hands on that elusive card.  I will say that there are many things I miss about how collecting used to be and there are many days I wish it was still like that.  However, I’ve never felt that was from the super collecting aspect. 

Jason:  Can I have both?  From the accessibility standpoint, I’ll take today every time.  But, knowing how much is actually out there leaves me to where I’m never satisfied with what I have.  Though, if I had to pick one, I’d probably pick 20 years ago just because collecting was simpler.

What is your favorite card from your supercollection?

Kin:  My favorite card is the first one that I both had and the first one I pulled, the Shaw Canvas Young Guns. Canvas Young Guns are tough pulls and to pull a particular one is obviously tougher. I joked with the guy that I bought the box from that I just knew the Shaw was in THAT one. I know that when I pulled it I was jumping around like a kid. It was honestly the most satisfying pull of my life.

Jason:  My favorite Josh Fogg card has to be his 2001 SPx RC, specifically the one I have graded as a PSA 10 that I purchased when he was hot in 2002 for over $100!  I could probably get this card today for around $15 but that just goes to show you how much the market can fluctuate when a player is hot (i.e. Jeremy Lin).  But, it’s always been a favorite because it’s from SPx and because it’s his only relic card.  I still pick up raw copies when I see them.

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