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Obscure player collections?

smapdi

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
4,196
I collect Bake McBride cards and ephemera. I've thought about branching into Garry Maddox and Greg Luzinski, but they never held the same cache for me, though I love them. I also keep wanting to build up my Brooks Kieschnick collection every time I come across my small stash in my collection, but never do. He's got a 96 Select Mirror Gold, which would of course be the cornerstone of the collection and is something to maybe aspire to if I want to set a couple hundred bucks on fire.

I have a friend named Brian Banks who doesn't collect cards, but I gave him one of the 90s prospect and he loved it. Naturally, I thought about collecting more cards of his to give to him, but he was kind of non-plussed by the idea. He liked the first one but having to keep 20-30 cards as permanent possessions was more than he could bear.

So basically I have 1 obscure player collection and 1 collection of ideas for collections.
 

toadfan106

Member
May 2, 2009
51
I think I might be the king of the obscure player collection collectors. Granted every one of the obscure guys that I collect, I have some connection to, but I am pretty sure that I am the entire market for such greats as Willie Banks, Chris Fallon, Dick Brodowski, Robert Anston, Mickey Wiswall, and Andy Dominique. I wish I could say that was a complete list of all the guys I collect, but its not. I feel like if anyone ever stole my collection, they would just bring it back when they found out how worthless it really is.

The hardest part about collecting guys like these is you don't find too many people listing 20 year old minor league team sets that don't have a major star in them. Some of the toughest cards to track down for me should have in theory been the easiest to find.

Is Jody Davis too popular for this discussion? Slowly building a nice collection.
Great, to see there is another Jody Davis collector out there. His obscure stuff can be tough because of all of the general Cubs collectors in the wild.
 

WizardofOz1982

Active member
Sep 30, 2017
891
Oklahoma
I think I might be the king of the obscure player collection collectors. Granted every one of the obscure guys that I collect, I have some connection to, but I am pretty sure that I am the entire market for such greats as Willie Banks, Chris Fallon, Dick Brodowski, Robert Anston, Mickey Wiswall, and Andy Dominique. I wish I could say that was a complete list of all the guys I collect, but its not. I feel like if anyone ever stole my collection, they would just bring it back when they found out how worthless it really is.

The hardest part about collecting guys like these is you don't find too many people listing 20 year old minor league team sets that don't have a major star in them. Some of the toughest cards to track down for me should have in theory been the easiest to find.
I understand the "being the whole market" feeling. It does make it tough to track down what you would think would be easy stuff to find. One of my needs for my Jeff Frye PC is a 1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold. They aren't rare, at least from a print run standpoint, but people just don't list commons much. The flip side of being the market, at least for me, is after you finally find something and buy it then two or three more always seem to pop up and usually cheaper.

I think it also leads to a little bit of collectible paranoia, at least for me. I feel like there has to be another secret Jeff Frye collector out there lol because every other card from a set can turn up but never Jeff's.
 

bstanwood

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2016
3,091
Mystic, CT
I think I might be the king of the obscure player collection collectors. Granted every one of the obscure guys that I collect, I have some connection to, but I am pretty sure that I am the entire market for such greats as Willie Banks, Chris Fallon, Dick Brodowski, Robert Anston, Mickey Wiswall, and Andy Dominique. I wish I could say that was a complete list of all the guys I collect, but its not. I feel like if anyone ever stole my collection, they would just bring it back when they found out how worthless it really is.

The hardest part about collecting guys like these is you don't find too many people listing 20 year old minor league team sets that don't have a major star in them. Some of the toughest cards to track down for me should have in theory been the easiest to find.


Great, to see there is another Jody Davis collector out there. His obscure stuff can be tough because of all of the general Cubs collectors in the wild.
I'm sure you've come across this site for those minor league releases, but in case you haven't http://www.minorleaguesingles.com/. I've bought from him a couple times, incredible selection and pretty easy to work with, Everytime I've worked with him it's been smooth and easy.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
There definitely is very little incentive for most people to spend the time to inventory and list low dollar players. However, in the case of harder to find parallels, it makes sense to list them in a group at least, if not singular. I have a couple boxes od what i consider to be completely junk common inserts. This also includes traded/update sets as well, so it's not all inserts/parallels. My hope was to trade them by team to other team collectors for my team, the Dodgers. I didn't find many takers though. I would usually get a few "Do you have any ..." requests. I'd like to help out other collectors if I had something obscure they wanted, but at the same time it really does have to make sense. Trading a single 25 cent card remotely does not make sense. That is why I always hoped I could find team collectors who would take the lot and love it the same way i would love a random lot of Dodger inserts. the other "problem" is that these are nearly all older cards, from the 80s (Topps/Fleer traded sets) into the early 2000s. Maybe a few newer cards here and there, but mostly 80s-00s, with heavy focus on 90s, when I was breaking the most packs/boxes.

That being said, I am still more than happy to do some team trades for inserts/traded/parallels if anyone despises the Dodgers (would take Yankees too for a long time trade buddy).
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
I imagine some, perhaps many, of these collections started with the hope/expectation of stardom and just continued out of habit or a feeling of obligation to continue. This is probably especially true in most recent times when prospects are sometimes getting dozens and dozens of cards before they pitch professionally. With older players, maybe the player did something nice, did something during a game attended by the collector, family friend, etc.

I find some of the WHY stories as fascinating as the player collections themselves. I guess I really don't collect commons outside of Dodger cards, so I wonder why people collect the players they collect. The closest I had come to collecting a player who was a common was Brock Stewart. I shared my odd quest here: https://www.freedomcardboard.com/fo...arallel-collection-besides-garvey-why.160329/. It really started just trying to get his auto once he appeared for LA. After snagging some low numbered copies, with many being pretty cheap (something I am not used to experiencing with Dodger prospects usually), I started chasing them all and deep down hoped he would do something, but I really had no other reason for collecting him specifically.

Nobody cared about the story, as you can see. I really didn't even care but in the end, I tracked down all of a various parallels and even snagged a couple 1/1s. He ultimately left the Dodgers and in 4 years of MLB ball, he is 6-3 in 46 games with a 6.05 ERA. I eventually could see myself dumping extras, but I like autographs too much right now and like the variety, even if he never made it. Plus they are all Dodger cards, so they are off the block anyway. Now, I would have no need for a Brock Stewart post-Dodger card.
 

tramers

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
20,710
hickory nc
I think I might be the king of the obscure player collection collectors. Granted every one of the obscure guys that I collect, I have some connection to, but I am pretty sure that I am the entire market for such greats as Willie Banks, Chris Fallon, Dick Brodowski, Robert Anston, Mickey Wiswall, and Andy Dominique. I wish I could say that was a complete list of all the guys I collect, but its not. I feel like if anyone ever stole my collection, they would just bring it back when they found out how worthless it really is.

The hardest part about collecting guys like these is you don't find too many people listing 20 year old minor league team sets that don't have a major star in them. Some of the toughest cards to track down for me should have in theory been the easiest to find.


Great, to see there is another Jody Davis collector out there. His obscure stuff can be tough because of all of the general Cubs collectors in the wild.
any of your players have DAV cards ???
 

ronfromfresno

Active member
Aug 7, 2008
2,030
Fresno, CA
I collect a couple of obscure guys, Jay Canizaro, William Van Landingham and Robby Thompson.

I wrote up a small post on my Canizaro collection about ten years ago https://www.freedomcardboard.com/forum/threads/my-jay-canizaro-collection.63969/

Finally track my whale down for that collection:
1992 Oklahoma State (Front).jpg

My Van Landingham collection is almost complete just a couple of minor league issues I'm not sure really exist:
IMG_4645.jpg

I still have several items to find for Thompson but enjoy the hunt. I have been lucky enough to find 9 Donruss Aqueous test cards:
AqueousBack.jpg
 

Bane50

Member
Feb 14, 2010
294
I went after John Gall for a couple years. I think it all stemmed from him being a St. Louis first baseman (McGwire) and his name being so close to John Galt (Atlas Shrugged). I knew he was older and mediocre, but I bought and bought anyway.
 

MatthewN

Member
Sep 30, 2015
233
Coralville, IA
Always on the lookout for retired Twins Scott Stahoviak, Benj Sampson, Al Newman, and Billy Beane (obscure as a player, but you know, that post-playing career seems to have worked out ok for him in Oakland).
 

tramers

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
20,710
hickory nc
Disabled American Vets -- sets 2007/8/9/10 --maybe others but these are years i bought sets of minor league MLB and NFL / Cheerleaders . Donated $$$ and sent cards --- I knew the man that this was his program . He also had major players visit those in Hospitals / got special parking / tickets for vets at major games . I arranged him to throw out a first pitch at local minor league game -team gave him autoed shirt . Sadly he has passed from things that happened to him in service . . I have a few DAV listed on Ebay
 

BunchOBull

Active member
Dec 12, 2008
5,460
Houston, TX
I have a few...

Not so obscure, but kind of contrived: Frank Joseph Thomas ('50s/'60s All-Star), well, because he's Frank Thomas. Likewise - and more obscure - Frankie Thomas, '80s minor leaguer for the same reason.

Jamie Arnold, Braves 1st rounder in '92 - he dated my aunt in high school, so I naturally collected him and still add to the collection when something random and cool pops up.

Joey Hamilton, Todd Greene, Jeremy Beckham - all Georgia Southern University alumns, though Joey and Todd had respectable ML careers. I like collecting Todd because he was playing at the height of '90s inserts and was a MiLB Player of the Year, so he had enough hype to be included in some cool sets. I only buy Beckhams that show him in a GS uniform, so I'm pretty much done collecting him. I also collect GSU football guys like Tracy Ham (CFL) the real Adrian Peterson (draft class '02), Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon, J.J. Wilcox, and Edwin Jackson (had no cards).

Jose Cruz Jr. and Anthony Rendon - both Rice University guys, similar to Greene, Cruz has some great '90s stuff. My Rendon collection is small and includes mostly cards of him in a Rice uniform.

They're all nice and cheap, so it's great when I get a wild hair to add a cool card without the Frank Thomas prices.
 

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