Everyone knows I have been an Omar Vizquel super-collector-wannabe since I came back to the hobby, and I've done my best to collect as many Omar cards as I can. It just seems that there aren't that many out there. Especially the last few years, when some of the releases have seen fit to leave him out of their roster. Hall of Fame career, and he's hanging on, but so is Jim Thome, and he is still in almost every set and subset and insert set until this year. I guess that is what happens when you are a home run slugger instead of a historic-class shortstop.
Beckett list 2,225 Vizquel cards in their library, of which 136 are certified autograph cards and 282 are memorabilia cards. He has only 10 official cards this year, none of them being memorabilia or autograph cards. For 2009, there are only 36 official cards, only 5 of which are memorabilia cards, and no autographs. 2008, only 70 cards, with only 1 autograph. You get the point.
Jim Thome, who I am also a collector of, has a whopping 8,397 cards listed, with 1,661 memorabilia cards and 299 autograph cards. Granted, several thousand of those cards are the ridiculous Moments and Milestones cards from 2008 (2,032 to be exact), but even without those, there are still over 6,000 Thome cards listed! He may have only 21 cards listed for 2010, and no auto or relic cards, but for 2009, there are 285 cards, 26 of them autographed, and 92 relics. Not bad for someone who came into the league a full two seasons after Vizquel.
Which is not to say that either deserves more cards than the other at this point. It's just that there are so many more variations, SPs, inserts, autos, relics and myriad base cards for Thome than Vizquel. What is a supercollector to do?
In my case, I am switching to being a Jim Thome pseudo-super-collector. I already have almost 500 cards of his, despite starting well after I started collecting Omar cards. I am not finished collecting Omar cards, just readjusting my focus since there are so many more interesting Thome cards, and many more options to collect autographs and patches.
In fact, one intrepid ex-Jim Thome super-collector has been slowly auctioning off all of his Jim Thome cards, and I have purchased quite a few of them for reasonable prices. Most lately, I received 56 Thome cards from 2003, 30 of which I didn't have previously, for the whopping final bid of $6.25. This even included a 2003 Heritage "Old Log" variation of his, which has a book value of $8 itself. I shouldn't mention that I also bought, at the same time, the 2003 Nameplate patch card of his, for just over $20, but it is a sweet card that I've been coveting for a while now.
I have lots of doubles of his, and would love to trade them for some other Thome cards I don't have. If you have some that may fit the bill, please check the scans in my Thome collection, in the link on the right, to see if I have it already. In fact, you will have to check three Picasa folders, because one was getting too unwieldy for all the Thome cards in my collection. I split it up into a normal "bucket," a White Sox folder and a Phillies folder. Dodgers and Twins cards will go in the regular Indians folder.
As for poor Omar, I'm still working on getting a lot of his cards, but there are few auctions of such breadth, and fewer cards that have autographs and patches. There are a few nice bat cards of his, but I'm not willing to pay $295 for a bat barrel nameplate. (The Thome version is going for $895! That tells you all you need to know right there!)