Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A difficult decision every collector faces
We’ve all faced this at least once. A favorite player gets traded or signs with another team, and we are left pondering how to move forward with a player collection. There are players, such as Albert Pujols, who have spent years with one team and then switched, leaving his collectors with the dilemma of continuing to collect him on a new team, or to jump ship and focus on someone else.
I’ve faced this issue once before with Tino Martinez, although I didn’t start collecting him until he came to the Yankees and already he had about six years worth of Mariners cards out there. After six seasons in NY, he signed with St. Louis and eventually made his way to Tampa Bay and then back to New York. I made the decision to continue collecting him despite playing for the Cards and Rays. I don’t pursue those cards as aggressively as his Yankee cards, but I don’t turn them down either.
I started a Jesus Montero collection not long ago, if you can even call it that. My collection is only 14-15 cards deep…that’s nothing compared to those of you have that hundreds of Pujols cards. I didn’t put a ton of resources into it, but I did make a few trades and actively search eBay and SportLots. Since he played all of one month with the Yanks, I have decided that I will not keep collecting his cards. No need, as all of his big league cards (minus 2012 Topps Series One) from here on out will be in a Mariners jersey. I’m not sure what I’ll do with his other cards that I own. I’m sure I’ll keep a few of them, especially his Bowman Chrome RC. The others, maybe I’ll trade or bundle as a lot and sell them once he hits 30 HRs his rookie year.
It’s also a lesson in prospect collecting. I love collecting propects. I’m not sure why. I like writing to them and collecting their TTM autos (I was about 0 for 100 on Montero). I like following their development. However, there is always the risk (especially with the Yankees) of being traded before they ever make an impact at the big league level (that is, if they ever make an impact at all). I’ve been humbled a little by this deal, but I won’t be stopped. I’ll keep collecting Gary Sanchez and Manny Banuelos and Mason Williams, knowing full well that at any moment they can and will be used as a trade chip.
I won’t be replacing Montero with an another prospect for now, unless someone like Jorge Campos, acquired in the deal, finds his way into a few minor league sets this year. That will be appropriate. For now, I’ll be removing Jesus from my “Current PC’s” page, and will continue to wish him well and the best of luck in Seattle. Just not when he plays the Yanks.