Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Micro Collecting Sports Cards

When I was younger my collecting habits could easily have been categorized as “hoarding.” I opened anything and everything. I also held onto it all. 

Until recently, the daily attempt at being an adult has made my time limited. While I will still try to open at least one box of almost everything, my “collect and hold” habits have become more like my approach to trail mix, pick out the stuff I like, give the rest to some else. 

In these unique times, while we are sheltered in place, time is not an issue, but resources are limited. I’ve been doing more of what I call Micro Collecting. 

Micro Collecting involves finding projects that have personal meaning but can be achieved with a small number of cards. I’ll use one of my favorite completed Micro Collecting projects as an example, all the players on the New York Rangers with numbers that have been retired. 

In number order that is #1 Eddie Giacomin, #2 Brian Leetch, #3 Harry Howell, #7 Rod Gilbert, #9 Andy Bathgate, #9 Adam Graves, #11 Vic Hadfield, #11 Mark Messier, #19 Jean Ratelle & #35 Mike Richter

This was a great little project because there are only 8 players. It was interesting to put together because the players spanned different eras. The bonus was all these players have certified signed on-card autographs, which is my default favorite to collect.

The key to Micro Collecting is picking a subject matter or theme that means something to you.  For example, if you were a power hitting catcher in high school, you could Micro Collect catchers with 35 or more home runs in a season. Or you can collect players that shares your birthday, who attended your college at the same time as you or maybe even players who share your last name.

Micro Collecting can also be done with a wide variety of budgets, big and small. The Rangers Retired Numbers project could have been done with rookie cards, cards from their best years, low numbered serial cards, sticker autos, Auto Relic Cards, printing plates, etc. It's even possible that you have some of the cards you need in your collection and don't even realize it.

The entire point is to pick an easy project that inspires you. So what inspires you? Feel free to leave a comment and share a Micro Collecting project you are working on, have completed or maybe even something this post has inspired you to pursue. I’d love to hear about it.


  1. One of the projects I’ve been wanting to start is my favorite card of the 1991 Braves Roster. I need to get on that!


  2. I have a couple of micro collections. One is collecting certified on-card autographs of every left-handed Cy Young Award winner. Another is collecting all of the surfers autographs out of Goodwin Champions over the years.