I think Super Collectors are great. It’s just one of my things. I’ve been there myself, both before the internet and since the advent of eBay, forums and all the internet hobby resources.
In the 1990s I can say that I was a super collector of Will Clark (during his early years), Jeremy Roenick, Bobby Sura and Jeremy Mayfield. Most recently, I was THE Andrew Shaw super collector. Then he was traded from my Chicago Blackhawks and I lost that love for the collection.
This hobby we all share is huge. Very few collectors are well known, even inside our hobby. If you have a social media presence, read Beckett or listen to podcasts, you likely know of Tanner, the Jose Canseco super collector. You can find him in multiple Facebook groups, Twitter, his two websites (tanmanbaseballfan.com & cansecocollector.com), forums and probably another dozen places.
Well, Tanner posted yesterday that done collecting Jose Canseco cards. THAT is a shocker. In the post (Exit Interview: I’m Retiring from Collecting Canseco and Selling Out) he gives some of the reasons that he stopped. As someone who has been a super collector, I understand what he’s saying. My players weren’t ones with as much available as Canseco, but I get it.
I’m not going to rehash everything Tanner talked about, but two things hit close to home. The first was spending too much time trying to find that piece you don’t have. It’s time consuming and takes away from enjoying life. In my case with Andrew Shaw, most of the time that I was collecting him, I was a single man. I have always been a homebody, so it wasn’t taking away from other things. Once I had a girlfriend (now my fiance), it started taking away time I should have been spending with her. Even collecting other things has done that to me, but I’ve reeled it in. I’m in a great place with my hobby/life balance.
The other point that struck a nerve with me was the obsession to find something new and the “high” it provides. It’s not even the excitement of having the card, because eventually it just goes into the box. I’ve been there. For me, the end of super collecting was a little different because I stopped feeling that “high” when new Andrew Shaw cards hit the market. So yeah, I’ve felt the same, even if a little different.
A slightly different perspective on my last paragraph is something Mario (another of the Canseco super collectors) of Wax Heaven posted after Tanner yesterday (Tanner’s Departure Should Serve as a Cautionary Tale). He mentioned that Tanner recently acquired another 1/1 and the excitement just didn’t seem to be there. Mario saw it as an outside. I felt it in myself.
I’m interested to know reader thoughts. Have you been one of the super collectors? Did you have perils? Did they cause issues in your life? Do you have that addictive personality? What other thoughts do you have on super collecting, or super collectors? I’d love to know!
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