Adding to your Player Collection, without Adding

It doesn’t matter what player it is, if you are a player collector, there are going to be issues and frustrations.

Let’s say that you collect Alexander Ovechkin.  I just pulled his checklist on the Beckett Online Price Guide.  Right now Ovechkin has 4,603 cards with a book value of $126,887.26.  How many collectors can afford to acquire every one of those?  If it’s even a handful, I would be shocked.  That can be the major frustration of collecting a superstar.

Not sure where it was, but recently someone posted their Jason Garrison collection.  Per Beckett, Garrison has 66 cards that have a book value of $241.50.  While not anywhere close to as daunting or expensive as collecting Ovechkin, there are other frustrations.  I was shocked to find this out, but there are no Garrison autos.  In the 2011-12 season, he scored 16 goals for the Florida Panthers.  That is a large number of goals from a defenseman.  How has this guy not had at least one autograph?  Another frustration is that once you get to a certain point, there just really isn’t much you can do to add to your collection.

I am at that point with my Andrew Shaw collection.  There’s not much out there that I need.  What is available, that I need, is either ridiculously priced.  You need examples?  I can provide them, like this and this.  The odds of me ending up with either of those cards is astronomical.  So, I wait on one of the few that I need to come available, as a recent buy or trade amount.

GALLERY:  The Andrew Shaw Project

With only Upper Deck now producing NHL cards, that cuts down the odds of Shaw being in newer releases.  I did luck out that with Upper Deck, and not Panini, getting the NHL contract, it was better for me.  If you take a look through the gallery of Shaw cards above, you’ll notice that he appears much more in Upper Deck product.

The question I asked myself recently was “How do I add to this collection so that I’m steadily making it better?”  It’s frustrating to not have updates.

I worked in the Lids corporate office in Indianapolis for close to a decade.  A little over two years ago, one of the people on the marketing team told me that there was going to be a Blackhawks player signing at one of the Lids Locker Room Stores in Chicago, but she wasn’t sure who it was.  A few days later, I found out it was Shaw.  I can’t even put the excitement that I felt into words.  I was pretty much like an eight year old finding out he was going to get to meet his favorite player.

If you’ve read other posts, you probably know of my affinity for the Upper Deck Canvas cards.  Shaw never had an actual Young Guns card, just a canvas.  That card was the very first Shaw card I hit and to this day, it is one of my top three favorites in my Shaw PC.  At some point down the road, I picked up a second one.

The signing was in the afternoon, so I worked a half day, left at 11 and made the three hour drive to Chicago.  I arrived probably two hours before the signing, but I wasn’t taking any chances.  I took a two items to get signed, but had no idea how many I’d be allowed.  I took the (second) Canvas Young Guns and a Sports Illustrated with the Blackhawks on the cover.

Once I was in the store, I also picked up a Blackhawks goalie mask and they were giving away “Chicago Locker Room” pucks.  I added them to what I was hoping to get signed and waited.  The turnout wasn’t what I expected, so I waited back while he signed for others.  He was more than happy to sign all of my items and I feel like he would have signed more, if I’d wanted.  I was also able to make some small talk and get a picture with him.

meshawshaw auto

Fast forward to a few months ago.  I’d relocated from Indianapolis to Arlington, Texas.  At the “local” monthly card show in April, JSA was on-site authenticating autographs.  I quoted local because it’s still about a 45 minute drive for me to Plano.  I knew the auto was real, but I decided to go ahead and get it authenticated.  I just felt it would add a little something different to the collection that I didn’t already have.

I didn’t make it to the show quite as early as I had hoped to, so I had to wait about three hours.  I believe that was the first time that JSA had been at a show since I moved to Texas.  Ultimately, it was well worth the wait.  For a small fee, I received a certificate of authenticity and the card was stickered on the back.  The serial numbers on them match.  I apologize that I didn’t take a back photo for the hologram, and I can’t do it at the moment.  However, I was extremely happy leaving the show with it.


The reason I can’t scan the back now is that the card isn’t currently in my possession.  At last month’s show, Beckett was taking submissions for grading.  I’ve never been into graded cards.  I don’t know that I ever will.  However, I did submit five cards that I did want graded for various reasons.  I am able to pick them up at the show this Saturday and can’t wait.

I believe Beckett only grades autographs if they are authenticated.  Since I’d paid JSA to do it the month prior, I was good to go.  In just two days, I will have a certified, graded Andrew Shaw Canvas Young Guns card.  The grade of the card doesn’t matter.  Maybe it only comes back a 7 or 8.  There are a lot of dark borders on the card.  I’ve said it before and I will say it thousands more times – the point of the hobby is fun.  This item is only for me and will not be sold.  I can’t wait until it comes home to papa!

I will certainly post an update either over the weekend or early next week on how it came back.

If you like what we’re doing, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and also look through some other pieces on the site.  I’m still looking for more folks that would like to contribute, so let me know if you are!  You can follow me on Twitter at @kin_kinsley@beansbcardblog and @DFW_Card_Shows.


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