Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Look What I Found! And my Super Collections Update

One of my goals this year is to clear out a lot of the extra stuff I've accumulated that doesn't fit in my collection. Extra cards, random singles with no home, cards I picked up with good intentions, cards I've picked up and later realized I didn't need, scraps from sets I've torn apart for other purposes.

A couple weeks ago I was sifting through a couple boxes looking for some certain extra cards, and I came across this:
It's not PSA 10 Gem Mint, I'm pretty sure. The odd scan might come more from the sleeve I scanned it in than damage to the card, but I know I'm not buying a new car with this thing. Altuve's first cards came in 2010 Bowman Chrome, aside from a couple minor league issues in 2008 and 2009.

I actually already have a copy of this, but it is nice to have a second first-year card of a player I've been following since early 2011. By then he was tearing up the league, and he had his MLB debut later that season.

My Altuve player collection is my biggest player collection. I focus on all of his base cards and inserts, as well as some of the manufactured relics. I do occasionally end up with parallels and those get added to the collection, and I have a few autographs and memorabilia cards, but I don't actively chase them.

Right now, I have cataloged 261 base cards, of which I have 247. I'm only missing his 2012 Panini Signature Series base card and a few 2019s. As for inserts, I have 269/395 (more than 2/3), and 15 of 20 "hits" I want. Many of those "inserts" are actually Topps Now and other online exclusives, and I'm debating whether I really want to chase those. Certainly more than half of the "insert" cards I need are really online exclusives.
If you're wondering, my next biggest collection is Charlie Hough; I have all but one of his 133 base cards, 80% of his 185 non-base cards, and more than half of his autograph cards (that surprised me). For Hough, I collect all of his parallels, though I don't know of any 1/1 parallels. He has some printing plates, but really those are four copies. And he has a 1/1 signature card, but it's not a parallel. Doesn't matter - I'll never have that in my collection anyway, right?

Jose Altuve, Charlie Hough, Geoff Geary, and Buck Farmer are my (semi) super collections. So why don't we knock the other two off with this post:
I haven't added a Geoff Geary card in quite a while. I got the last minor league card I needed of him sometime in 2018. Now all I need are three different printing plates, two autograph parallels which may or may not exist (if they do, they're /25 and /10), and a 2006 Upper Deck Special F/X Blue parallel which is limited to only 50 copies. He only has 44 cards total, so I have an 86% complete collection for him.
Buck Farmer had almost nothing in the past three years, but 2019 saw him back in flagship Topps, and all of the parallels that brings, plus Topps Total. Overall, I'm only missing five of his cards #/10 or #/5, plus several 1/1s. All of the cards #/5 or #/10 are Panini college issues from 2015 or 2016. I've never seen two of the 2019 1/1s show up, while I missed the Platinum card on eBay literally by a few minutes. Maybe it'll be mine some day.

So those are my biggest player collections - my super collections. Altuve's collection will definitely get much bigger over time, Hough will get some more, and Geary is done, but how much larger will Buck Farmer's list get?


  1. Always fun finding a gem in box you weren't looking for.

    1. The real question is: how many gems are sitting in storage in the US? It's improbable, but possible, that I have half a dozen 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout rookies sitting in a box. Or a #/5 refractor. Or a Mariano Rivera PSA 10 rookie. All doubtful... but I am curious!

  2. I can understand collecting Altuve and Hough... but what's the story behind collecting Geary and Farmer?

    1. Altuve is a great player, but I started collecting him because I saw him playing back in the minors and became a fan, just because he's a cool guy. His fame is more a pain than anything, since it makes his cards so much more expensive. (I am happy for him, truly.)

      Hough played forever, and he was a knuckler. But I remember him more than anything as the first pitcher for the Marlins, since that was at the height of my interest in baseball and card collecting. (Oddly, I don't remember the Rockies starter.)

      Geoff Geary is just a really cool guy, too. I saw him a few times when the Phillies came to Atlanta; it seems like I always had tickets when they were in town. He interacted with the Atlanta fans during BP, and I just really got a great impression of the guy.

      Buck Farmer was my student back when I was a high school teacher, so there's a big personal connection there.