By Kyle Hymel aka FootballCardFreak

The sports card hobby is one of the biggest hobbies on the planet, both in the amount of collectors and the amount of cards to collect. Even the most dedicated collectors will quickly realize that it is impossible to collect every card. Therefore, many collectors turn to certain types of cards to collect. Although some collectors may not fit into one of these categories, most collectors focus their collections on one or more of the following.

Player Collectors:
Collecting a certain player or a few choice players is one of the most effective ways to keep a collection both fun and affordable. Collectors may choose to collect a player because they are on their favorite team or because they may be from the same hometown. Whatever the reason for collecting a certain player, there is some kind of attachment to that specific player. The Internet has become a major advocate for player collectors, allowing them more access to cards of their player. Rather than opening packs and hoping for their player, collectors can now see thousands of possible cards to bid on with just the click of a mouse.

Team Collectors:
Team collectors are usually the most hardcore fans of their choice team. They are very passionate about owning anything and everything of their team. Team collectors appreciate their third string running back and will be happy to own his cards if given the chance; They are not picky about their collections as long as the player is wearing their team’s jersey.

Single-Sport Collectors:
Single sport collectors are probably the most widespread in the hobby nowadays. Collecting your favorite sport is a great way to limit your collection and pay tribute to your favorite sport. At the same time, it is still impossible to collect everything of even one sport, so be careful! Only 5 years ago it could be said that baseball collectors were the most numerous simply because of the history of the game. Nowadays football is taking over as the sport of choice for many collectors, possibly because of the steroid scandal that has taken over baseball in the recent years or the simple fact that the crowd pleasing smash mouth style of football gives fans more bang for their buck. Whatever the case may be, as long as fans love the game, single-sport collecting is here to stay!

Set Builders:
A few years ago, set building seemed to be very challenging especially with the amount of low-numbered inserts that were put into products. These products are still out there, but lucky for set builders, card companies have recently come out with products to cater to their wants. Set builders prefer lower-end products with large base sets. They usually go about achieving their goals by buying a bunch of boxes and finishing off their sets by trading their extra base to another set builder for base that they need to complete their set. These types of collectors usually focus on one brand from year to year as opposed to most collectors who try to snatch anything of their favorite team/player no matter who produced the card. Set builders are usually those collectors who collect for the pure enjoyment of the hobby rather than trying to make a quick buck, which is becoming less popular in this day and age.

Single Card-Type Collectors:
These types of collectors focus on collecting just one type of card whether it be rookies, base, inserts, game used or autographed cards. The most common single card collectors are autograph collectors. In some cases they can also be set builders. For example, some autograph collectors try to complete rookie autograph sets. Without the Internet, this type of collecting would be much more challenging.

Hall of Fame Collectors:
Hall of Fame collecting can be very expensive. These types of collectors only go after the cream of the crop in the sports world. An example of Hall of Fame collecting is trying to own an autograph of every Hall of Fame quarterback.

Ethnic Group Collectors:
Collectors who base their collections on ethnicity are few and far between, but there are some of them out there. These collectors are usually very passionate about their background and celebrate this by collecting players from their same ethnic group. In most cases, ethnic group collectors are usually those who only have a few people of their race who have competed in professional sports. Therefore, many of these players are heroes of their collectors.

Achievement Collectors:
Hall of Fame collectors can also be described as achievement collectors, but Hall of Famers are in a class by themselves, so why not Hall of Fame collectors? Achievement collectors usually focus on their favorite sport in order to decide which achievement is impressive in their mind and worthy of being collected. Examples of achievement collecting include collecting the autographs of all the Cy Young award winners, collecting the game used cards of every starting running back in the NFL or collecting the rookie cards of all the NFL offensive and defensive rookies of the year.

Sports card collecting has many different facets. Collecting can be for the rich or the poor, the old or the young. It is ever changing but one thing remains the same- when you decide whom or what to collect, choose to collect something that you are passionate about. If you are passionate about what you collect, collecting will be more enjoyable.