Monday, July 20, 2015

Zistling the night away

It seems like so long ago that I first started using Zistle, but it was only last September.

Maybe it feels like ages because it took me about ten months to complete Phase 1 of my Zistle experience. A couple weeks ago, I finally finished cataloging the contents of my 19 "official" (whatever that means) mini-collections.

The main reason I did this was because I wanted to see all my themed cards in one place (a virtual place), as they're spread out throughout my team binders/frankenset boxes in my physical collection. On top of that, having them cataloged makes for a nice and easy way to check and see whether or not I have a card I'm not sure about. (As opposed to having to drag out a binder/box every time.)

One of the unexpected side benefits of Zistling, however, was the fact that it forced me to quantify a few of my mini-collections. When is a double play card a double play card? When is it not? I had to make these tough, heartless decisions as I got further and further along with my cataloging.

I used to say that a baserunner had to be in the frame in order for a double dip to be a double dip, but I've loosened that rule a bit. Baserunner or no baserunner, the Ronnie Belliard you see above is obviously a double play shot.

And a beautiful one, at that.

I used to have an "interviews" mini-collection, but, here in post-Zistle land, it's morphed into an "interviews/speeches" mini-collection.

This shot of the Great Bambino isn't an interview, but I felt like it fit the mini-collection mold in some way. I briefly considered composing a separate "speeches" theme, but, in the end, I decided to lump them all into one.

Basically...if it has a microphone, it fits into this theme.

But I had to draw the line somewhere.

Unlike my double dips, I decided that a play at the plate cannot be a play at the plate without a baserunner. Double dips are more about the fielders. To me, PATPs are just as much about the runners as the catchers, which is why I ended up excluding cards like this Kendall.

It's still a great shot, of course, but not quite mini-collection material.

(Don't worry, Jason Kendall has a lot of other PATPs.)

Lastly, I decided to not include flip-side mini-collection hits for the time being.

I did this for a couple reasons. 1) Zistle doesn't allow you to display cards backside-first, which would make seeing them in a list of other standard, front-side themed hits a little odd. 2) This project was time-consuming enough without having to check the back of every single card I own. I might catalog the backs one day, but I'm good with just the fronts for now. (Sorry, Ricky Jordan.)

But, after all was said and done, I'm glad I took the cataloging plunge. As of this writing, I have 5,437 cards spread out over my 19 different mini-collections, and that number seems to grow with each passing day. Here's the breakdown, ranked by how many I cards have in each individual theme.

#19 -- Turn Ahead the Clock (9 cards)
#18 -- Putting the Band Back Together (11 cards)
#17 -- Tribute to 42 (14 cards)
#16 -- Say the Magic Word (28 cards)
#15 -- Behind the Camera (34 cards)
#14 -- Multiple-Exposure (81 cards)
#13 -- Cards with Kids (85 cards)
#12 -- Broken Bats (92 cards)
#11 -- Anthemic (122 cards)
#10 -- Tip of the Cap (128 cards)
#9 -- Interviews/Speeches (131 cards)
#8 -- Award Show (135 cards)
#7 -- Bat Barrels (333 cards)
#6 -- At the Wall (353 cards)

#5 -- Pitchers at the Plate/On the Basepaths (507 cards)

Coming in at #5 is the oldest of my many mini-collections.

Pitches at the plate/on the basepaths were one of my first fascinations as a young collector, and, while I haven't always called it a "mini-collection," I've been chasing these my entire life, it seems.

I'd say about a third of them feature that familiar sacrifice bunting form.

#4 -- Autographers (569 cards)

One of my favorite aspects of baseball is seeing players interact with the fans, and this mini-collection brings that joy to cardboard.

I especially love the especially meta images of ballplayers signing baseball cards...on a baseball card.

#3 -- Plays at the Plate (638 cards)

Even with the baserunner restriction I mentioned earlier, my plays at the plate ended up with the #3 spot.

They're probably the most consistently action-packed cards you'll find.

(P. S. -- "Bush Whacked," hee-hee.)

#2 -- Throwbacks (862 cards)

Throwbacks were my second mini-collection love.

I discovered retro jerseys shortly after cards of pitchers hitting, and I've hoarded them ever since. Teams seem to wear throwbacks a lot more often than they did five, ten years ago, which means they show up a lot more often on cards these days.

Some might say that's watering down the charm and innovation of retro jerseys. I don't think so.

The more throwbacks, the better.

#1 -- Double Dips (1,369 cards)

I had a feeling double plays would be my biggest mini-collection, but I didn't know it'd be this much of a rout.

None of my other themes came within 500 cards of my turning two collection. Card companies have produced them left at right, but, if this Eric Young is any indication, that hasn't taken away from the beauty of a nice double dip. (There's a bonus "tip of the cap" shot on the back, too.)

I've done all this cataloging knowing that there are still thousands of themed hits I haven't tracked down yet. That's part of what makes this whole mini-collecting thing so fun, though.

Besides, I've already started on Phase 2 of my Zistling. Cataloging my Vlad and Ichiro collections.

See you in another ten months.


shoeboxlegends said...

Glad you're using and liking Zistle! It's certainly addicting...

gcrl said...

cool. i'm at just over 2000 double play cards - we should compare notes sometime.

Marcus said...

I've been so bored this summer that I've started cataloging as well. Nothing as intense as yours, but a few sets, and I've begun with my Gwynn's. Almost into the 90s. Slow moving. I did five trades when I started in Sept of 2013, but nothing since then. Made a trade offer on Sunday, waiting for a response.

Brian said...

I slipped for a couple months, not adding any cards in Zistle, but the last few days I've been cataloging like crazy. I'm hoping it will help me organize things a little better in real life and online!

Tony L. said...

I'm glad you've gotten those cards up there. It makes it better for people who want to trade with you too!

And, I'm pretty sure the Cardinals were trying to tag Randy Bush out at the plate. I know this because a college friend of mine is Randy's cousin...a fact he mentioned frequently.