Friday, December 13, 2013

The grand tour


My name is Nick, and I'll be your tour guide this evening.

Tonight, we'll be taking a trip around the bedroom/card room/man cave of the crazy mind behind the very blog you're reading right now.

After seeing a number of other bloggers do the same over the course of the last couple years, this "dime box" guy has put me in charge of leading his readers through the reaches of his own card room. He can't believe how long it has taken him to get around to doing such a post, frankly.

So, buckle your seatbelts and let's get this grand tour started.

Right when you walk in, you'll see the focal point of the room on your left. These bookshelves are the home to this dime box nut's sixty-five different team binders. They've vastly increased in both size and number since his first post over two years ago.

Each of the 30 current major league franchises are stored semi-alphabetically and represented with anywhere from one to three different binders, depending on how many cards he owns of any one specific team. 

The Expos are the only non-current squad to have their own binder. On the bottom-right hand portion of these bookshelves, you may notice a little bluish-green binder. That is home to all his cards featuring defunct teams, as well as a few miscellaneous oversized vintage-stocked eight-pocket pages.

It's taken this guy over twelve years to assemble the massive number of binders you see above, but he couldn't be prouder of his collection.

Just above the dozens and dozens of team binders, you'll notice this dime box guy's 66th and 67th binders as well.

In addition to featuring his somewhat neglected game-used and autographed cards (as well as a precious few printing plates), the big, red one on the bottom houses his entire Hoyt Wilhelm collection. 

Hoyt is the only player kept separate from the rest of the team binders, showing his prominence in this guy's collection.

The little black binder on top is the newest of them all. It's home to his treasured "Dime Box Frankenset".

Just to the right of those two binders is a smattering of various oversized/undersized cardboard. 

He's particularly proud of that Cy Young Sportcasters oddball and that turn-of-the-century Colgan's Chips card that his dad got him not too long ago.

On top of the two bookshelves is a grand mountain of empty boxes.

This dime box guy doesn't consider himself a pack rat, but he's a little afraid of becoming one due to his inability to throw out empty blaster or hobby boxes. The sad part, he says, is the fact that this isn't even all of them.

Due to a lack of space, he was forced to fold up a few and throw them in his closet. But, even though most of the ones that suffered such a fate were blaster "dupes", he still couldn't bring himself to toss them in the trash.

The guy behind this collection sounds a little crazy, if you ask me.

If you'll look in the top portion of the second bookshelf, you'll find some more oddly-shaped pieces, including a few of his most sacred vintage possessions.

The guy still can't believe he found a 1948 Leaf Luke Appling for about thirty cents a few weeks ago. He was honored to place it next to his two authentic T206 tobacco cards. 

Mr. Appling takes his home right next to a 1909 Piedmont issue of "Sleepy" Bill Burns, a key contributor to the Black Sox scandal and a card that was a Christmas gift last year.

The dime box nut says he's already looking forward to what the cardboard gods bring him this holiday season.

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to take you to our lone stop outside of the man cave.

I'll be directing you to the living room, where you'll find the bane of the existence of all card collectors.

The unfiled piles.

Luckily, he says, this guy is pretty much up to date with his sorting. The filing, on the other hand, is different story.

After his recent trip to the card show, this collector had eight huge stacks of cards to put away. Over the last couple weeks, he's managed to whittle it down to about three. He's currently on the "Rs" right now, with a beautiful Topps Marquee issue of Red Sox hurler Jon Lester next on the filing block.

The third pile is actually all Yankees. Some of them are cards from his very first Just Commons order nearly two months ago.

Geez, this guy really needs to get caught up on his filing.

Luckily, the fact that he's now officially on winter break should help with that.


Back to the card room, folks.

Located on this guy's nightstand is his entire collection of non-baseball cards. The lone exceptions are the few cases full of Negro League issues, seen on the bottom-left here. He says he's been dying to give those their very own binder, but lacks the necessary amount of pages.

While a few of these snap cases are home to stacks of random non-sport cards, most of these are sorted by set. That's certainly a grand detour from this guy's normal organizing methods.

Among his favorites are the two big stacks of A&G non-baseball cards, featuring every year of the brand since its inception in 2006. Those are located second and third from the left on the top row here.

He's also quite fond of his American Heritage and American Heritage Heroes Edition complete sets, the only base sets he's ever built from scratch. These can be seen second and third from the left on the bottom row.

However, nothing on the non-sport nightstand gives him more pride than the stack of 2007 SP Legendary Cuts "Legendary Americana" inserts, seen on the far right of the bottom row.

They're among the extreme few cards in his collection that are given an individual penny sleeve and toploader. Although each issue is limited to just 550 copies, he's managed to assemble 97 pieces of the 100-card set. 

He may have a line on the 98th, too, I'm told.

Here, we see a few newer additions to this guy's card room.

The box on the left features all the frankenset nominees that didn't make the cut. He's keeping all of them for a couple reasons.

One, the fact that they didn't make the frankenset doesn't mean they're not cool cards. Each and every one is in there for a reason.

Two, and perhaps more importantly, he may be planning to start a second frankenset once his first gets closer to completion. From the looks of it, he certainly has a great start on it, should that ever come to fruition.

On the right, we have a box specifically devoted to cards this guy has been setting aside for other bloggers. Everything from Dodgers, Padres, Mets, "double dips", and bunting cards can be found in here.

A few of them have already been selected for inclusion in his next batch of trade packages.

In the very back of his room sits some of the dime box guy's favorite multi-player and/or multi-team cards.

He says that he once had an entire binder devoted to these, but nine-pocket page constraints forced him to give them the snap-case treatment.

Sitting on top of each of the cases you see above are a few of his absolute favorite "combo" cards. You may notice a nice Topps insert that features a Vlad Guerrero/Roberto Clemente hybrid. This guy says that it's one of the best cards ever printed.

On the far right, you may notice a few card-filled long boxes. Those are home to some of this guy's extras. They're basically just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his spare cardboard.

The sheer number of those he has spread out around his room could be home for another post entirely, he says.

Our grand tour ends with one of this collector's proudest possessions.

This is and will always be dubbed as "The Wall" in his vocabulary.

He's managed to get his hands on a few of these 20-card display cases over the years. At some point, he got the idea to house some of his most prized vintage pieces inside of them. The rest was history.

The individual 20-card cases are separated into a hierarchy of sorts, with the one on the far left being the absolute best of the best. It's home to all six of the Roberto Clemente vintage issues he owns.

Even the one on the far right is also home to some of the best cards in his collection, though. The fact that a '61 Topps Brooks Robinson is housed in the so-called "lesser" of the three cases is a testament to how much vintage discount bin diving he's done over the years.

Now, after every card show, he takes some of his greatest vintage pickups into the card room. Once there, they are deemed either "Wall worthy" or not. It gets harder to make "The Wall" with each passing day.

What you see now are sixty of the best vintage pieces this guy owns.

Every single one represents a crowning achievement in his collecting life.

Well, that just about does it. I'd like to thank you for participating in the grand tour of this dime box guy's card room. There's certainly a lot to see, and he says he's proud to walk into it every single day.

I still think he's a little crazy, though.


cynicalbuddha said...

Great tour, which way to the gift shop?
I like the wall. I've been toying with doing a display with a Topps card from every flagship set issued from 1951 to present, those card frames look like they would be awesome for that.

Zayden said...

Wow, just incredible Nick! I thoroughly enjoyed this post. You have amassed a beautiful collection. I would be so proud!!!

Mike said...

Imagine what that guy's first apartment is gonna look like!!

Daniel Wilson said...

Awesome tour! Love "The Wall"! All of the binders were also very impressive!

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

I seen that 66 Aaron proudly displayed on the left side of the Wall. LOL

Chuck's Used Cards said...

Great stuff. I Enjoyed the tour.

JediJeff said...

You forgot something. Where is the stack of card you continually knock over? Every one of us has one of them.

hiflew said...

Just a little bit of (hopefully helpful) advice from someone that is currently continuing to fight off becoming a hoarder. Flatten those hobby boxes and blasters and scan them into your computer. You will be able to see what you have purchased, but they won't be taking up space that could be for more cards.

P-town Tom said...

To JediJeff: I'm sure that's the stacks of non-baseball related cards on the night stand right next to his alarm clock.

Thanks for the tour, Nick!

Ana Lu said...

WoW it's a true Grand Tour!
Thanks for sharing such card shrine :-)

Hackenbush said...

Awesome! Just imagine what this guy's collection will be like when he gets to be my age. He'll need several rooms.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy seeing how other collectors store/display their collections. Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

Steve D. said...

Very cool! Thanks for the tour!

petethan said...

Awesome. You have a room devoted to playing with your cards. And I know have a nice piece pf propaganda to show my wife in the effort to acquire one of my own. Thanks!

The Junior Junkie said...

That's about what I imagined your "collecting space" must look like. It's impressive you're able to keep it in the order it's in - that's a crazy amount of cards!

The wall is a great idea, but keep it away from windows/sunlight.

I have a bunch of extra binder pages. They're used, but most of them are in good shape. Do you want them?

Jeremya1um said...

Nice! It's cool to know there are people as in to cards as I am and that I'm not the only person with 50+ binders of cards!