I have always tried to find out what makes casual collectors into hardcore collectors, and I am probably not the only one to try to figure it out. Its a lot about the way that some people like me only collect the cards we like, where others need to have every one of a certain type of card or player. I think it comes down to a lot of things why some people form the habits they do, but one of them should come down to their competitive nature.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Personally, Im hugely competitive. I want to be the best at anything and everything I can possibly be. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be the most visited, when I started my Peterson collection, I wanted it to be the craziest, when I took my job, I wanted to become CEO. Its always about being at the top of the mountain. In most of my endeavors, I have become pretty close to where I want to be. My blog and collections are doing great, my position at the company is rising, and most importantly, im still looking for my next fix of competition.
Im sure most of you are feeling the same way about your collection, otherwise, why would you have 12.523 Twins cards stashed away in your closet? Right? Its so that when someone asks you about the level of your commitment, you can say with pride that you have amassed a ridiculous collection. You get that level of envy from that person, and you also can appease your own inhibitions to become the best at collecting those cards.
Of course, I believe that this is only one of many things that would cause a person to start collecting the way they do. However, with so many of us competing to be the best at what we collect, pasting on message boards, starting blogs, doing everything we can to show other people, it comes through as competitive nature.
Im also not advocating that having a competitive streak is a bad thing, as long as its not impeding on your life. Yet, I would say that without it, collecting is probably going to be pretty fruitless if you dont have someone to share in your appreciation - online or not.
If I were a betting man, I would expect that in the future, companies will try to capitalize on this phenomenon more than they have in the past. Yes, the serial numbers on cards can post a starting point for sparking collectors' competitive natures, but I have a feeling they will start catering to it even more. Topps has already started assigning points on football cards by rarity, and though they havent led to anything, they are there. How long before there is a national data base of people who have the most Ken Griffey Jr cards, or the best Joe Mauer collection? Im going to say it wont be long, even if its in the form of a site like scorehero.com. If someone really wanted to be a trailblazer, they would start a new site like that, and I would guess someone will. Im not talking about the Beckett graded registry or anything like that, im talking rated collections by collectors for collectors. I mean, wouldnt it be amazing to see how your collection stacks up against the rest of the world? I think it would be quite cool.