I have several collecting goals, but chief among them is Phillies and post-1994 Astros cards. Phillies cards because I'm from Philadelphia and am still a huge phan. Post-1994 Astros because I moved to Houston in 1995 and, although it's been tough the past few years, I'm an Astros fan as well.
I thought I list what I think are the main challenges to being a team collector. This is in any particular order, just the order in which I thought of them.
Leave a comment if there is some particular difficulty in making a team collection that I missed. I'm sure this list isn't exhaustive. If I get enough comments, I'll use them to make a similar post .
1. Minor league players who never make it to the big leagues.
Should I consider minor league players who appear in mainstream sets as part of the team set? Of course I do.
2004 Bazooka #298 Anthony Acevedo
2003 Stadium Club Royal Gold Il Kim
2. Minor League Sets
I see this as a different problem than #1. Minor league sets may have limited distribution. Generally, I don't consider minor league sets to be part of the team collection, but I don't shun them. If I can get them, I'll take them. I don't know for sure but I think there are a lot fewer minor league sets than there used to be.
1991 Reading Phillies ProCards #1382 Tony Longmire
3. Printing plates
I do not consider printing plates to be part of the team collection. They are just too hard to find. I've pulled exactly one printing plate in all my years of collecting.
2006 Fleer Tradition Threads Printing Plate David Ortiz
4. 1 of 1 cards
These are pretty hard to get as well, but they are real baseball cards so I consider them part of the team collection.
2005 Flair Row 2 #29 Roger Clemens
5. Odd-ball cards
Odd-ball cards are ones that come in some thing else than a regular baseball card pack. They might be packaged in a food product or be given away at a gas station. They may be issued as experiment cards by a major card manufacturer. There are a lot fewer of this sort of thing around. I generally love to get odd-ball Phillies and Astros cards but not consider them a part of the team collection.
1986 Topps Quaker Oats #14 Mike Schmidt
6. Relic/Patch/Autographed Cards
I do consider these a part of the team collection. Often hard to pull from a pack, many are pretty easily available on eBay. The rarer cards, especially of front line players, may be expensive and hard to find.
2007 Upper Deck Premier Patches Triple Gold Roy Oswald