Being a team collectors can be both infinitely rewarding (how many people can get psyched up about finding a Jeff Reboulet base card?) and infinitely frustrating.
This weekend, some card show additions pushed my official count above 9,000 unique Pirate cards. Beckett currently lists a little under 50,000 Pirate cards in their database, of which over 10,000 are 1/1's. Maybe it's a little intimidating when you look at the numbers in those terms, but it's still pretty cool to think that I have roughly 25% of every Pirate card ever produced.
Of those remaining 30,000, most will probably never make it into my collection. Some are simply too low numbered, and the odds of coming across a stray copy at a decent price on ebay or at a card show is low. Others will permanently be either out of my price range, either due to their inherently insane price tags or they simply cost more than my "internal value" of the cards worth to me personally. Still, there are always those cards that surprise you.
The set featured Pirate autos of Tom Gorzelanny and Ronny Paulino, and I have had completed the "rainbow" of both players (base, silver /99 and gold /50, though the base by far looks the best), and called it a day. So it was much to my surprise that a package from a friend the other day left this Freddy Sanchez auto staring back at me.
You see, in 2008, Freddy Sanchez was still a hot commodity whose autos sold for more than I was willing to pay. I had picked up the lesser autos in the set, oogled my stain glass rainbows, and called it a day, completely setting out of mind the third Pirate in the set. Nice surprise, huh? Guess I'll have to hope copies of the gold and silver surface eventually.
Speaking of shiny things, I can't get enough of gold refractors. As I mentioned before, the gold bordered Pirate cards always make the card stand out in my mind. There haven't been a lot of Pirates in Bowman Chrome sets over the years compared to most teams. But I love picking up the gold's when the opportunity presents itself. At less than $3 dlvd, I was thrilled to add Shiny Ryan Doumit to the collection.
But quite honestly, I love any and all refractors. The white were a unique look for the 2007 set and are reasonably affordable (this one set me back $.40). Not to mention I love the pinstripe vests and the All-Star game patch from 2006 on the chest.
And finally, quite a few of my recent additions have been the Target and Wal Mart base Topps parallels. For years, the retail exclusive Target (Retro, and later Red) and Wal Mart (black then blue) parallels were a gaping hole in my collection. And the pre 2012 cards still are. But one perk to moving to the Middle of Nowhere, Ohio is that a couple dealers out here seem to bust Topps retail by the case. I have been able to put together a team set of 2013 series 1 blue and red for between $.10-.20 a card, and have a good portion of the 2012 series done as well. Now if only I can make some headway on those pesky 2009, 2010, and 2011 sets.