Switching Allegiances

No, I'm not giving up on the Indians. Not yet, anyways. They still have a few games left of Spring Training, and they haven't started the regular season yet. Once they do, though, I'll give up on them winning anything this year. As the joke goes, "Well, baseball opening day is here, and the Indians have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs!" Ugghhh!

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!)


the sewingmachineguy said...

The sight of Thome strolling to the plate has always made this Tigers fan cringe a little. Wish he would have stayed with the Phills.

night owl said...

I've got a Thome relic for you. I'll send it out when I get a chance.

Collective Troll said...

Given the option I would pick Omar... When I got back into collecting and began blogging I thought about going after him, but alot of folks (like you) already did, plus he never played for the Rays. I love supercollecting and when I pick a player I NEED to go after EVERY single card of theirs. The one of one cards that are pretty much unattainable ruin all current players for me. I picked Jared Sandberg to go after because he has only 140 cards and no one/ones. That isn't enough though... I want more, but not Thome more. So frustrating! I still owe you alot-I don't have any certified autos, but I have an in-person Thome graph that I got this year I might be willing to discuss... Shoot me an email when ya get the time...