The packages contained cards of Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, and Andre Dawson. They're all Hall of Famers and I liked them, so collecting them would be nice. But if I was going to have a player collection, I just couldn't leave out my favorite Cub. Billy Williams was quickly added to the list.
Early on I decided to store these cards differently. I like to keep all my cards in chronological order, and I knew that I would be adding cards from many different years. If I kept them in a binder, I would have to be constantly moving them as new cards were added. That wouldn't be good for the cards, so instead, I opted for penny sleeves and boxes. When I get a new card, I just place it in the box in the proper spot.
I also decided that I would only collect cards that show them as Cubs. For Banks and Barney that would be easy since they've only played in the big leagues as Cubs (though I have collected Barney cards from his college and minor league days). Sandberg has a limited number of cards that show him as a Phillie---don't care for those. And Billy with the A's---no way. Dawson has tons of cards showing him with several other teams, but they're not going into my collection.
To give the collections a starting boost, I went to Checkoutmycards and Sportlots and got as many cheap cards as I could get. And there were a bunch. Since that initial burst, I've just been adding cards here and there. I've been more interested in Banks and Williams. One of my goals for this year is to do better with Sandberg and Dawson.
About a year and a half ago I decided to add a current player. I wanted someone young that I could track for years to come. Initially I thought of either Geovany Soto or Starlin Castro. But Soto was already losing his skills and Castro was Topps' golden boy, with too many expensive cards. So that led me to Darwin Barney. He seems to be improving each year, so I'm glad I made the decision to go with him.
One other thing about my player collection: All the cards in the boxes are cards from brands other than those in my regular Cubs team set collection.
Here's how the numbers break down:
You can see that I've got more of Ernie Banks in the player collection, but when you figure in the regular collection too, Ryne Sandberg is the big winner.
Now you know exactly what I collect....
92,191 cards in Complete Sets
10,694 cards in Cubs team sets
441 cards in the player collections
103,326 cards all together.