Updated: Jun 25
A “True Collector” is someone who stays true to themselves and collects memories, moments, players, teams, etc. that hold meaning to them, no matter the value.
The place “True Collectors” hold in the hobby
“True Collectors” are people that don’t chase after the monetary value and rather personal value. This can look like set builders, going through binders and bins of cards with their checklists, hoping to cross one off. This can look like a kid, going through a dime bin with $1, putting together a stack of his favorite players. These are the people that keep the hobby alive and oftentimes, I think that can be forgotten.
Where the hobby can do better
Social media can cause us to get caught up in everyone else's lives/collections and start to compare to ourselves. Personally, I can overthink posting certain cards from my collection and at times these thoughts can run across my head of “No one is going to like this” or “This isn’t a cool enough card to post.” If you are in the same boat, I urge you to remember that your collection is for you and no one else to judge. No one should ever have to feel ashamed of not having the nicest or flashiest collection.
Sports card pages are most of the time a highlight reel of a person's best cards. While those grail pages are awesome, I’d love to see the card that got them started or the card with the coolest story behind it. New people coming into the hobby will only see those examples and will lead to them feeling that they have to have a $100+ card to post it.
The hobby has adopted a culture of only high valued cards mattering. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even when talking about likes/shares, one the most viral moments happened recently because of a value player bin.
At Burbank Sports Cards, a young female collector (regular of the shop) was going through a bargain bin of her favorite player Devin Booker, just like she had before on other trips. This time Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin spotted this and had a little surprise. He facetimed Devin Booker for the collector and brought her to tears. This moment got spread all over the internet and made its way to ESPN. All of this goes back to the true collector, going through a bin of a favorite player, hoping to add some cool cards to their collection.
So, if you see someone post a card that may not be the most flashy/expensive card, but it holds value to the collector, drop a like. Share a story in the comments. Repost it. Start spreading the message that there is a place for every card and every person in this hobby.