I'm awaiting my purchase of the year so far, a Mickey Mantle PSA/DNA authenticated and slabbed cut. It was a stroke of luck to be able to find this item for my personal collection. I'm excited because it represents a stepping stone to a possible Hall of Fame autograph collection.
PSA/DNA cuts i.e. 3x5's, Hall of Fame postcards, oddball sized cards maybe the way to build a collection of many (deceased) HOFers and other legendary stars (not in the Hall of Fame). I'll try and sniff around for particular ones that maybe tougher to get than others, yet still relatively affordable. For players still living and probably deceased HOFers who were alive through the 90's and were able to sign a lot of things, I probably would prefer a single signed baseball because it displays better.
The fad is now vintage - cards and autographs because while I'd like to bust a pack of 2005 Playoff Absolute ($40-$60) or a pack of Upper Deck HOFers ($100-$150), my conscience won't let me. Collecting vintage cards makes much more sense because for the most part, I'd rather know I'm getting something identifying to top my collection off as opposed to gambling on the random, speculative nature of modern cards.
The challenge will be making the vintage 'emphasis' viable and sticking with it enough to have an expertise.
I'm cheap, but if I can, I'll go after an item if I think it is worth it. Collecting vintage isn't something for guys who aren't willing to spend $5 on a random pack of modern cards.
Autographs are my priority always. Yet, I want a vintage card of an icon: Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson among others.