Like many others, I began collecting baseball cards when I was just a kid. Back then I collected just about anything and everything. I would routinely save up my lunch money and ride by bicycle to the local card shop on the weekends. There, I was able to spend all of my savings on junk era wax and grab bags that the owner would put out for a couple dollars. After getting my drivers licence I was spending less and less time at the card shop. I took a break from collecting baseball cards so I could pursue other interests. Some years later I got back into the hobby; but this time my collection was more focused.
Being from a small town in Indiana is one of the factors that lead me to becoming a "player collector" of Scott Rolen. Since I'm from a small town in Indiana myself, I thought it was really cool that this guy was playing in the Bigs. The other major contributing factor for wanting to collect his cards was the way he played the game. I had watched him play when he was coming up with the Phillies and his style of play was simply amazing.
So when I got back into collecting cards, that's when the Scott Rolen collection really began. I went through all of my old cards and pulled out all of the Rolen cards I could find. I traded and sold most of the other cards in order to obtain the missing Rolen cards I needed. I found a checklist that included all of the Scott Rolen cards produced and used that as a goal - to collect at least one copy of every card that wasn't a 1/1. I figured I would pick up 1/1 cards as I came across them if they were affordable, but they've never been high on my priority list.
Collecting Rolen's cards while he was playing was quite the chore with all of the new releases constantly coming out. It seemed like the card manufacturers lost their minds pumping out so many different parallels and variations of just a handful of cards. After his retirement things slowed down considerably with the new releases which has allowed me to go back and start filling in the missing cards.
As any player collector can tell you, collecting cards of one specific player is undoubtedly a marathon and in no way a sprint. Especially when that player played from the 1990s through today. With well over 6,000 different cards on the checklist, I'm perfectly ok taking my time to add quality cards to my collection.