Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The quirks of collecting


Card collectors can be a weird bunch sometimes.

Actually, let me rephrase that.

Card collectors can be a weird bunch a lot of the time.

Now, I'm not talking "weird" in the hoarder-like sense of the term. A lot of non-collectors seem to think that anyone who collects cards has random stuff scattered across their houses.

I'm here to tell you, non-hobbyists, that you probably won't see a card collector wind up on that Hoarders show anytime soon.

We're actually a pretty finicky bunch.

Sometimes too much so.

If anything, we're "weird" because we pay too much attention to detail in organizing our collection, often going to painstaking lengths to make everything just right.

If that's being "weird", then count me in.

Like ninety-nine percent of other collectors out there, I suffer from some form of "O.C.D." involving my cards. I've recounted my little quirks in the past on this blog.

Over the past few months, though, I've been trying to give myself some cardboard "therapy". Sometimes, I just like to go through my binders and try to determine which of those "quirks" need to be extinguished.

And I think I might actually be getting better, which is saying something given how complacent I can be with my collection at times.

Take that Mickey Rivers card, for instance.

Definitely one of the nicer pieces of my Yankees collection. The stirrup socks and loud colors of the fans in the backdrop just scream "1970's baseball".

Yet, for a while, I was thinking about removing it from my Yankees binder altogether.

Why?




The tiny photo on the back features him in a Rangers helmet.

A couple years ago, I would've immediately placed this one with the rest of my miscellaneous cards. A card had to be 100 percent Yankee to go into the Yankee binder.

Upon closer examination, I decided that this was a "quirk" I could really do without.

If this one goes into the miscellaneous binder, than almost every single early Stadium Club card I own should suffer the same fate. After all, the awesome rookie card "flashbacks" on the backs of those often showcase the player with a different team.

By my law, then, all of those should be removed from their respective binders.

And that just wasn't going to happen.

Besides, with my front-and-back page storage tactic, the backs of most of my cards aren't even visible.

So the Rivers stayed in the Yankees binder.

The therapy worked.




I've heard a few "binder" people voice their concerns over this next one.

As cool as minis are, they don't look all that nifty in standard nine-pocket pages. Plus, due to the large amount of free space, they can fall out of a page fairly easily.

Yet, since I don't own any of those specially-made mini pages, I've been forced to store my bite-sized cards with all the normal pieces of cardboard.

I used to hate it.

It just didn't look right.

Recently, though, I've come to see minis in a slightly different light.

As far as my binders go, they serve as a nice change of pace.

While regular-sized cards may look nicer in pages, the minis do a nice job of showcasing the "little of everything" that makes up my collection.

Plus, they really do stand out. This Jon Garland A&G mini is placed in the center of its respective page for a reason.

I'd say ninety-nine of every hundred cards I own are your standard, regular-sized pieces.

In collecting, though, minis are the one percent.




From time to time nowadays, I choose to "induct" a new player into my binders.

That never used to happen. For a long time, I wasn't much open to adjusting my collecting system.

Thankfully, the blogosphere has done a lot of the work in this round of "therapy" sessions.

A lot of you have been very accommodating with all the new "inductees" I've featured on this blog.

This post has proven to be a resounding success as far as that goes. Fellow bloggers have helped me close in on the thirty-card mark for my McCutchen and Stanton collections.

I've already topped the fifty-card plateau with "Mr. Perfect" himself, Matt Cain.

Due to all the great help I've received with my other "inductees" thus far, I decided to grant another player his very own spot in my binders.

Mr. Josh Reddick.

He's already proven himself to be an up-and-coming player in Oakland. While I certainly appreciate that, it's not the real reason I decided to make him a part of my collection.

The fact that we share a birthday is responsible for that.

Just like me, Reddick was born on February 19th, although he's five years older than I am.

Longtime pitcher Miguel Bautista is the only other fellow "birthday boy" currently in my binders.

Reddick will certainly make for an outstanding new addition.

At this point, though, the above Gypsy Queen issue is my only card of his.

On that note, I have a message for any future traders of mine.

Send me your Josh Reddick cards!




I think it's safe to say that my "therapy" sessions have certainly been working.

As far as my organizational methods go, anyways.

Unfortunately, I think my little "quirks" have begun to shift in a totally different direction lately. To an entirely different aspect of my card-collecting life.

Scanning.

A lot of my earlier posts have awful scanning jobs. It doesn't take an expert to see that. To be fair, I was just learning how to use my scanner at that point.

Over the past year, though, it has risen to near-O.C.D. levels.

Every card I show on this blog has to be perfectly straight and nicely cropped.

Since I'm able to do that manually after every scan, single cards don't provide much of a problem. It takes fifteen seconds per card, thirty at the most.

White-bordered cards can prove to be a bit of a problem at times, since my scanner often doesn't pick up the plain backdrops.

I nailed it on the first try with this Ausmus, but other attempts of mine haven't been as peachy.

Often times, I'll have to put a colored piece of paper behind a white-bordered card in order for my scanner to not mutilate it.

Is that a quirk?

Perhaps.

But it's nothing compared to this next phenomena.




It's gotten to the point where I don't even like to scan two cards side-by-side anymore.

If I do so, they must be perfectly straight, perfectly aligned, and perfectly cropped.

I'm not sure if all bloggers go through this with their scanning habits. This rather extreme "quirk" of mine has only started to develop in the past few months.

As you might imagine, it has become quite the time-consumer. Even if it's just a little bit off, I have to redo the entire process.

The beautiful McCovey duo you see above successfully scanned on take three.

That's pretty much on the lower end of the spectrum. It's taken me ten or so tries to get a few pairs of cards to be in line with one another.

Crazy, I know.

It's like I said earlier, though.

Collectors can be an odd bunch sometimes.

I'm no exception.

1 comment:

Joe Average Card Collector said...

I wish I could scan, my network scanner is on the blinks. I agree on the OCD, a true collector has everything nice and neat. Plus I notice quirks all the time too. I've posted many in my past six months of quirks I find here and there. If card companies had collectors inspecting their cards there wouldn't be many mistakes.