Introduction to the Eclectic Stars and Favorites Collection

The calendar says March and so it is baseball time!

Before I talk about the cards, I would like to talk about the hobby in general. As a card collector, I would say that cost aside, most card collecting is a fairly simple hobby. Some people collect some kind of set, anything from T206 to 2012 Topps, there is a checklist, and they get them one, or several at a time. Others collect a certain player, regardless of cost or type, they want everything of that guy. Others are team collectors which means looking for one card of everyone who played for a team. Still others are theme collectors, they research the people who have something in common, achievements, birthplaces, position and look for them. Finally there are type collectors, who look for one card from every set they can find.

While all of these are great ways to get in the hobby and I have done or are doing each of these, there is not a lot of complication. I wanted to start a collection that was different. So I decided to combine collecting styles. My first idea was I wanted a collection of stars so I needed a list of names. For me, any collection starts with the Hall of Fame since it is the most prestigious honor a player can receive. I am working on another HOF collection so I wanted different names so I looked at statistical leaders. I started with 500 Home runs, which to me is still a big achievement even with all the controversy regarding PEDs. I then went to 3000 hits, and 1500 RBIs. For pitchers I looked at 300 wins and 3000 strikeouts. I needed relievers too so I added 300 saves. I did not want to forget base stealers and great fielders so I added 550 stolen bases and six career gold gloves.

With all of these names I could have started, but I wanted to add great single season players as well, so I grabbed the list of MVPs and Cy Youngs too. After all of that I wanted to add players who I would consider fan favorites, those guys who most people would not think of but were something more than merely rank and file. An example of this is when I was a kid, I lived a hour north of Cincinnati, right in the middle of Reds country. If you asked people about the late 80’s early 90s Reds most people would think of Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, as well they should, but the most exhilarating player was Eric Davis, the dynamic center fielder who could do it all. That to me is a fan favorite.

In the end I had a list of 300 names but I needed one more thing to make this a challenge. I decided to combine this theme (stars and favorites) with a type collection. For this collection I wanted one card of each of these stars and favorites AND each card will be from a different set. Just to take it up a notch, I will not use any of the Topps or Topps traded sets. This means when I find a player, I will also retire a set of that list. This isn’t so bad after 1989 with all the different sets, but before then I have to consider where can I find a player and for what cost. I will also be hunting sets I had never heard of before as well.

If you would like to help, let me know von.spalding@gmail.com

and so begins… The Eclectic Stars and Favorites Collection

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