If you saw my team collector's package post, you know that I recently joined an online group dedicated to boosting one's team collection. An opening for a Tier II Red Sox collector caught my attention in early January and within 2 weeks, I had my first ever team collector's package in-hand.
I've developed a routine of sorts as to how often I send out packages to be matched with an equal number of Red Sox cards in the mail. It's been about a month since my last package from the team collector's arrived in the mail, so it's looking like this will be a once a month type of thing in terms of how often I receive these packages.
While I've been collecting Red Sox cards for as long as I can remember, I've always focused my attention on adding to my player collections of certain players rather than focusing on Red Sox cards as a whole.
Therefore, while I've amassed large player collection totals of guys like Wade Boggs and Manny Ramirez, I haven't dedicated resources towards improving my entire Red Sox collection as a whole. Through the team collectors, I'm able to change that.
Even though I haven't quite figured out how I plan on organizing my Red Sox team collection, joining this group back in January was a major step towards boosting my entire Red Sox card collection.
The next step for me in this unfamiliar process is to develop a method or organizing these cards and create an online inventory. But first, I'll do a recap of what my 2nd team collectors trade package had in store for me.
2015 Topps Archives may just be my favorite set of the product's history simply because of the phenomenal products featured in the checklist. 1957, 1976, and 1983 Topps are all featured in this edition of Topps Archives, and through exciting photographs and top-notch recreation of past sets, Topps was extraordinarily successful with the '15 Archives product.
The Hanley Ramirez card is a double, but the rest of these are new, likely because this set was released before I began buying retail and hobby boxes at the level that I do now. It's hard to fault this set, especially when it provides me with a new Mookie Betts card for my collection.
Even though I purchased 2 blaster boxes of 2018 Topps Big League, many of the cards throughout the 400-card checklist evaded me, including each and every one of these Red Sox cards that feature absolutely fabulous photography, especially for a low-end set.
Though it's a tough call, I have to give Mookie the nod once again for a fabulous action shot of the reigning AL MVP making a stellar catch in right field. It's also nice to see Bradley Jr. and E-Rod in this set since Topps neglects to feature these 2 in some of their other products.
Though I've seen a few Honus Bonus cards on other blogs and YouTube channels, the Tier I Red Sox team collector provided me with my very first cards from the set, cards that are also intended to be utilized in a game of sorts.
The glossy cards feature codes that can be scratched off on the back of each card. I suppose since these cards are from 2018, that they can no longer be used. However, if Honus Bonus returns in 2019, I could participate in this contest of sorts.
In addition to Bogaerts and Wright, I was sent a Honus Bonus card of Craig Kimbrel which will go directly into the Kimbrel Collection. By now, thanks to the 2-3 cards I received of the 2017 AL reliever of the year in this specific package, my Craig Kimbrel PC total has surpassed 120 total cards with absolutely zero duplicates.
Oh yeah, there were also a ton of parallels thrown in this package, one of my favorite types of Baseball cards to collect. Currently, when it comes to Baseball card collecting, the sheer number of different parallels is starting to get out of hand, but there's something to be said about parallel cards when done right.
Although they're some of my favorite cards to collect, because of all the different available parallel cards, I'm struggling to figure out what to do with all my Red Sox team collection cards, in particular, the parallels.
Once I figure out the proper way to organize my Red Sox team collection, I can see myself becoming a more active team collector than I currently am. Player collections, like Porcello and Martinez, will likely take priority, but any doubles or cards of non-PC guys will be welcomed into my team collection alongside cards like the Josh Reddick and John Valentin shown above.
Other than the Christmas tradition of purchasing a box of Bowman's Best, I don't usually go for too many prospect-based products simply because they don't pique my interest like they do for others.
However, I'll gladly trade most cards from any other team in order to add to my Red Sox team collection, especially for cards as eye-catching as the Talent Pipeline insert card from last year, featuring one minor leaguer from each level of the Red Sox organization.
It doesn't matter how high or how low the numbering is, serial numbered cards are always welcome in my collection, especially if they're parallels as well, the perfect combination for a Baseball card. These 2 cards, in particular, are numbered out of 1,350 and 1,959 respectively and both feature key members of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox team.
The 2nd team collectors package also granted me a gold refractor from Bowman Chrome, numbered out of 50, just like the first time. The last package featured Kevin Youkilis while trade #2 delivered with it a gold refractor rookie of former star reliever Daniel Bard, a parallel that appears far more orange than gold when scanned.
Both packages have also included Red Sox autographs, 3 of them to be exact. While they don't feature big name players, I'm not looking for nor am I expecting the biggest name when it comes to these autographs. Last time, I received Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli and was very satisfied, especially since I hadn't sent any autographs out with that trade package.
This time, the highlight of the 3 autographs was a Ryan Lavarnway auto from Bowman Sterling, an incredibly high-end set. Lavarnway is a name I recognize from the early 2010s Red Sox teams while I never knew Kelly Shoppach played in Boston, and Keury de la Cruz is not a name I'm familiar with at all.
But that's alright because when I receive a package from the team collectors, I'm looking for different cards than, say when I'm at a Baseball card show.
As far as my team collection goes, I'm looking for as many cards as possible that I don't have in my collection yet. As for the name, that comes second fiddle.
After all, it is called a team collection for a reason.