Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Sorting it out
Most bloggers are active in the trading market.
Some trade more frequently than others, but almost all of the blogs I read include trade posts from time to time.
Mine is no different.
Personally, I love trade posts. Whether reading or writing them, I'm always up for more.
It doesn't matter whether it's a gigantic trade that involves hundreds of different pieces or a smaller swap that consists of a few base cards.
Still, the posts themselves only tell half of the story.
They don't show all the sorting and organizing that needs to be done after the fact.
Some of my favorite posts to write involve how I store my collection. This one will be another along those lines.
The other half of yesterday's great mailday came courtesy of Jim, better known in the blogosphere as "gcrl", and author of the terrific blog "Garvey Cey Russell Lopes".
I'll use the cards he sent me as a "backstage pass" of sorts, a gaze into what happens once the trade post is finished. Party on, Garth.
One of the great things about the blogosphere is that we look out for each other. I can tell you what a lot of other fellow bloggers collect, and I specifically look for those things when I hit card shows or flea markets and the like.
Jim commented on my "flipping out" post from a few weeks back, notifying me of a few other reverse negatives that had flown under my radar. He even sent me one of them.
Had he not specifically pointed out the "flip" on the penny sleeve, I probably wouldn't have noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Because of this, I'll be keeping the Horton in the sleeve, something that's extremely rare when it comes to my collection.
There's just one problem...
Guys like Horton and Pete Harnisch aren't in my binders.
To solve the problem of these miscellaneous "cool" cards that don't seem to fit anywhere else in my collection, I've devised a plan.
For now, they're sitting in an unorganized stack on my desk, although I'm sure my case of "collector's OCD" will force me to sort them in some way down the road.
In the future, though, I might devote an entire binder to these types of cards.
Boring old stacks of cards are for 1990 Donruss.
An awesome card like this shouldn't have to go through that.
Getting a "cool" card of a guy that's already in my binders makes things a whole lot easier.
My love for cards featuring "pitchers at the plate" is something that I've mentioned a good deal on this blog already.
Jim managed to do that one better with this card of "Moose" taking his hacks.
It's a prime example of the ever-so-rare American League "pitcher at the plate". And it's a horizontal one, at that.
With this, Mussina is the first multiple AL "pitcher at the plate" representative in my collection. (Here's the other.)
Not counting Babe Ruth, of course.
I do have a special binder for all my memorabilia cards, but it's easily the least frequented out of all.
Still, an autograph of a guy I collect is always welcome, especially when it comes out of the blue.
My memorabilia binder is separated between the newer and older guys. Mr. Ensberg obviously belongs to the former.
Within those sections, each is split into an autograph and game-used section, sorted by the number of cards I own of each player.
As it stands, Marlon Byrd and Casey Kotchman are tied for the "lead", as I own 13 different autograph cards of each.
This Ensberg is a special treat because it's my first autograph of his.
It'll take its place near the end of the autograph section between my lone signatures of Micah Owings and Justin Duchscherer.
While it might not exactly be "low-end", it's still a treasure.
The inserts are where a good deal of the "work" comes from when I sort any new acquisitions.
All of my inserts, parallels, short-prints, and rookie cards go into a text document on my computer, one that currently stands at 460 pages, double-spaced.
It really is amazing, considering there were probably only a dozen pages when I first decided to commence with the task.
Why do I do it? I don't have a good answer for that at the moment. It's more habit than anything else.
Chalk it up as another aspect of my "collector's OCD".
Once I gathered up all my new cards, I was forced to separate these two Olerud cards. After all, the "Black Gold" issue is an insert. And inserts go into my document.
Not to worry, though.
They eventually get reunited in the end.
Just like in the movies.
Once I'm done typing up the inserts and such, I bring all the cards back together again, like one happy family.
The sorting doesn't end there, though.
Since my binders are grouped by team, any new cards I acquire must be sorted accordingly before I can file them away.
After a big mailday, flea market, or card show, cards of the Angels, Cubs, and Yankees are usually the most abundant.
A lot of the time, teams like the Royals draw the short end of the stick.
However, one of the biggest highlights from the cards Jim sent was this 1980 Topps George Brett, one of the last "iconic" issues from the Topps-dominated era of collecting.
Once I was done organizing everything, it the Brett was easily one of the cards that stood out most.
The Royals finally got their day in the sun.
That's about it.
After all that, they sit on a table in the living room. Once I get some free time, I file them away in each of my binders.
Maybe my method of sorting just seems a lot more complex in my head.
I was able to sort and file all of my new pickups yesterday, mostly during last night's rain-shortened Cubs-Rockies contest.
These two "tribute" cards now sit peacefully in their rightful spots within my binders.
Upper Deck finally gave the notoriously "uncardogenic" Mike Schmidt a break with that awesome card, one that I was unaware of until Jim sent it my way.
That's all I ever wanted.
Sorting my collection is a never-ending cycle.
New cards come in, I organize them, I file them away. Then, more cards come in. The process keeps repeating itself, over and over.
It's been that way for as long as I can remember.
What drives my love for doing these seemingly mundane tasks?
It's being able to make my collection a little better, bit by bit.
The moment I added the Mussina to my binders, I loved my collection a little more than I did before. Once the Brett was in the binders, a little more than that.
When the time came to file away this Trumbo card, I loved it a whole lot more. Between the "celebration" shot and the neat Angels throwbacks, this is the greatest card I've seen in a long, long time.
You might just see it in the "Top 100" when the time comes. That's how awesome it is.
Like I said, sorting and organizing my collection is a never-ending cycle.
That's what makes it so great, though.