window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: As a player collector, I have a refined focus on my collection

August 30, 2019

As a player collector, I have a refined focus on my collection

1992 to 2019. There have been thousands of Derek Jeter cards made.

I didn't neseccraily choose to be a player collector. When I started collecting cards, I found I was just drawn to certain players.

As a kid, I was taking out of all the Yankees cards that I found in packs. As an adult, I still aim for the Yankees, but only certain ones. My bggest of those collections is of Derek Jeter and it's really taking shape as I have finally begun to sort and log everything.

Even though "collecting Derek Jeter cards" is a pretty narrow focus, it's is even more refined than that.

And here's a little secret: It has made collecting more fun.

It's impossible to try and collect everything. That boat has sailed a long -- and I mean A LONG -- time ago. Collecting what you love is a good sentiment and I believe in it, but narrowing my focus and knowing what I want has brought me a lot of joy.

I'm not just collecting Jeter cards, there are parameters around what I'm looking for too. I had to put them there because the idea of trying to get every Jeter card is daunting.

For starters, collecting Derek Jeter cards is competitive. I'm not saying there is a competition. I have actually found other Jeter collectors to be incredibly helpful. But there are just a lot of them. So when it comes to low-numbered cards, it's impossible for all the collectors with Jeter PCs to get one of them.

Also, there are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many cards. Did I sooooooooooooooooooooooo many cards? Sorry, I meant, my goodness that is an obscene amount of cards. There have been nearly 18,000 different cards created of the former New York Yankees captain.

17,834 to be exact.

That's just impossible.

So here are Sooz's rules for collecting Derek Jeter cards:

  1. No hits: This mean no autographs, no relic cards, no manufactured relic cards. I'm looking for just base, parallels and inserts. Maybe an oddball here or there.
  2. No cards numbered 5 or less. I don't want my collection to be impossible to collect.
  3. No 1998-2000 Topps Tek, No Topps Moments and Milestones. Those runs are just silly and I honestly I can't be bothered with them. There may be inserts I throw on this list as I log cards.
That's not to say I won't grab those cards if I see them and they are reasonably priced, or have any in my collection. I consider them bonuses to what I am trying to collect for my PC. 

That will significantly bring down the number of cards I am looking for. However, as I still sort and log what I have, I still don't have the exact number of what I need. 

That will happen one day. Just not today. 


  1. I feel the same way collecting Barry Larkin. I've decided to ignore anything numbered out of less than 25. I'm also ignoring pretty much anything that is released as "online only", not because the cards aren't cool (they usually are) but because as you said, you have to set some parameters. With that said, I'm a set collector at heart but having a single player collection to chase after as well is fun because I get to see bits of lots of sets that I otherwise would have ignored!

    1. I have found having parameters has made collecting more enjoyable too. Goals feel achievable, which is nice.

  2. In today's cardboard world I think you pretty much have to set some guidelines if you are player collecting a star, especially one of a large market team like the Yankees. I'm sure the bigger the name the more competitive it gets. I can't even imagine chasing Jeter cards. Your guidelines certainly make it less daunting. Even still, may the cardboard gods bless you with good fortune and patience as you build your PC.

    1. I've been collecting Jeter cards since about 1997/98. I remember because I finally had money from a part-time job to buy cards. There are a few other players where I keep their cards if I get them, but don't actively seek out their cards.

  3. I just did the same (more or less) with my Aaron Judge lists. Base cards, inserts and maybe one auto (if possible, but unlikely) for each set. I'm glad my older PC guys (Guidry, Nettles, Piniella) are a lot easier to collect.

    1. It's the way to go. I have Jeter autos and relics, but I don't seek them out when going to a card show. However, I will pick something up if I love it.

  4. As much as I dislike the Yankees... I've got mad respect for Jeter. Loved watch his career evolve into this soon to be first ballot hall of famer. I don't necessarily PC him, but I hold onto any new Jeter I pull from a pack or find at a card show.

  5. There are players like that for me too. Kind of like Trout. I don't buy his cards, but I certainly put them to the side if I pull them.