I came back to collecting a year and three months ago, and while it was quite obvious to me that I wanted to collect Patrick Roy, I had no idea of the sheer volume of cards of his out there and of the level of organization it would take to seriously collect him. In the beginning, it was quite easy, I had nothing and therefore needed everything that was out there, but after a few months of solid trading, the situation changed drastically.

I realized that looking at Photobuckets and trying to remember what I did or did not have just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Unfortunately, by that time, I had acquired a significant amount of cards which meant that the task of listing them was going to be quite onerous.

Thankfully, I got some assistance on www.sportscardforum.com when a fellow member provided me with a template of all the Roy cards produced to date. Want to know what the total stands at so far? 4,278 cards. It should be rather expensive to complete this collection, but I am not afraid of a challenge. My collection is still quite modest, base and inserts wise, I have 210 cards along with about 30 Game Used and Autos. Let’s just say that the finish line is far from being in sight.

The other difficulty in organizing a player’s collection and keeping track of what you do or do not have, is identifying which parallel version you actually have. Gone are the days of the late 80s early 90s when you had a brand such as Pro Set which had about four Roy cards each year. No today, the reality you are facing is entirely different; you have to cope with Upper Deck releasing sets like Artifacts which include a ridiculous amount of parallels, and while it is possible to identify which card is which version with a bit of research (thank goodness for the Internet), it can be quite a lengthy process. For the more recent sets, it is not too bad as both Upper Deck and In The Game have product information releases on their respective website. However, for sets like 1996-1997 Pinnacle Mint Coins it can be a lot trickier. Then again its all part of the collecting game, and as collectors, most of us will not mind having to do a bit of work to be able to keep track of our jewels.

In the end, it took me a full day off from work to finally have a complete up to date list of all my Roy cards. I am not joking, 7 solid hours. When asked at work what I did on my day off, needless to say that my reply generated a range of different looks on my colleagues’ faces from sheer horror to stupefaction and exasperation. They just can’t understand. In fact, I might stop sharing my passion for the hobby with them as some of them had only just got over how much I had paid for a book of ITG Superlative. That’s fine by me though, they can judge all they want. Because now, with my fantastic list, I am fully armed to seek all of the remaining Roy cards out there, and this tool will save me a lot of time.

The moral of the story though, boys and girls, is get organized and do it sooner than later, otherwise it will be all the more difficult when you finally decide to sort yourself out. I have learned my lesson the hard way, a massive list of Martin Brodeur cards still remains to be created. However, I can guarantee you that I will list the 20 or so Carey Price cards I already have before that situation gets out of control!

Finally, I’d like to give special thanks to the traders out there who either helped me organize my collection or talked me into doing it. Job well done guys!