Sunday, January 17, 2010

Collecting the Sox: Focus

As a collector, I have absolutely no focus. I guess “Red Sox” would technically be a focus. But, that’s a pretty wide-angle lens I’m using. Beyond that, there’s no one thing that drives me. I don’t like that. I see other people with great focus. My brother once tried to collect the 1969 Topps All-Star Rookie set. That was a very specific goal. I was always jealous when we went to stores or shows and he has a purpose. I just wandered around to see what struck my fancy. I went green with envy reading the wonderful accounts of the collection over at Wrigley Wax. He’s been clearly defining collection goals, and he knows just what he wants. It’s amazing to me. My real problem? I want it all.

It’s not really an issue specific collecting. I have trouble with favorites. If you ask me what my favorite movie is, I’ll usually rattle off a list. Each selection has something about it I really liked. A Field of Dreams gave me chills. A Few Good Men has great courtroom scenes. Cars made me cry. How could I pick just one? My favorite flavor of ice cream? Rocky Road gives a great variety in every bite. Vanilla gives the perfect base to start everything with. Peanut Butter Nation offers a surprise every few spoonfuls. They all need to be part of my diet. The same thing happens with my collecting. The ball has great graphics on it. That card has a great picture. That life size cardboard cutout has Nomar in a great pose. How could I limit my collection to just one area?

I don’t like to feel forced into a collection. That’s probably why I keep changing focus. If I decide to collect pins, what happens when they’re expensive, and I like something else? If I collect autographed baseballs, can I get an autographed shirt if I like it more? If I decide to collect Roger Clemens, and then he signs with the Yankees and uses more drugs than a rock concert, can I switch players?

After it’s all said and done, I end up with a little of everything. I suppose that’s really not a bad thing. Every time I highlight one area of Red Sox collectables, I emphasize that you have to collect what you like. Maybe it’s ok that what I like is a little of this, and a little of that. Every time I try to limit my focus, I blow it back up again. It’s like a constant New Years resolution. Two weeks in, and I’m off in another direction.

Maybe that’s not so bad.


  1. So true!

    I too have a hard time focusing. I can't even focus on just the Orioles because I like too many players from other teams.

    If I had to start all over I'd narrow it down a lot. But it's too late now. I'm too far gone.
    I'm a wreck.

  2. I convinced myself a while ago to stop liking players from other baseball teams. It wasn't easy.

  3. I have the same thing going through my head, usually. Except when it comes to Rich Gedman--he was always a cult fave of mine, and around 2005 I thought, What if I tried to get every single Gedman card? And a player of his stature really is the perfect guy. It's basically ten years worth of cards, but his run ended just before the market got really saturated. But with all the brands and variations, etc, it's been a really fun journey. I'm pretty sure I have every single piece of cardboard he ever appeared on, but I also go for other Geddy stuff, like I have a jersey, autographed material, etc. So if you do pick a focus, I recommend a Gedman-esque guy. I guess.


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