Sunday, July 7, 2013


I'm getting ever so close to putting the finishing touches on a completely organized collection. Using Wrigley Wax's collection as the ultimate goal (check out two of his ridiculously beautiful older posts here and here), I've been logging card after card into a spreadsheet, scanning them and putting them into binders.

The good news is that I'm almost done. The bad news is that I have nowhere near the amount of "unique" Cubs cards I thought I had. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely in the thousands. The boxes were full but there were a lot more dupes than I realized. The next step is finding master team set checklists and figuring out what I don't have. I've also been making notes of cards that could use some upgrading. But more work now also means more fun when I'm acquiring new cards!
I'm sure this comes up every once in a while in the blogosphere but I do have a couple of questions for those who are team collectors and use binders. I know a lot of this is personal preference but I'd like to poll the community.
How do you sort them?
When my cards were in boxes, they were sorted by player. When I started the transition to binders, I assumed I would have binders for each different brand. The closer I get to finishing, the more I realize that's not really how I use my collection.
I collect autographs too so when I need to find a player, it was much easier to find the player when they were all together. Now, I will have to pull multiple binders to decide which cards to pull. If I were to sort by year (for example one binder would be all my team sets from say, a 5 year run), all of my Jeff Samardzija's would be in the same binder. But I really like how team sets look when shown together. I'm leaning towards the multi-year span rather than brand.
I guess if my spreadsheets and scans are all up to date it doesn't really matter as long as they're organized somehow. But that keeping it up to date thing is daunting!
For those who use binders, are you putting cards back to back (18 per page) or singular (9 per page) into your pages?
For my complete sets, I have been doing 9 per page. It made it easier to fill in the gaps when new cards were obtained because I could see the card numbers on the backs. With my Cubs team sets though, I've been doing back to back to save pages. Maybe in the offseason when new cards aren't coming out, I'll be able to splurge a little more on supplies and redo them.
Let me tell you, there's nothing as frustrating as 10 or 19-card team sets. Manufacturers should definitely issue team sets in factors of 9!
How often are you going through your cards (for fun)?
I found that I wasn't really looking at my cards once they were scanned/logged/filed away. Once I had them, they were out of sight, out of mind, but what was the point of having them if I wasn't enjoying them? I showed off this video for my Father's Day 2012 post but that was pretty early on in my blogging history so I thought I'd show it off again. While it is hard to beat flipping through a binder, having these make enjoying my collection just a little bit easier.
At the rate shown in the video, I could view nearly 29,000 cards in a 24 hour period. Or my entire "unique" Cubs collection about four times a day. Or my signed ATCRCS collection in about 3 minutes. Haha.
It would be great if you have a desk at work to distract you, maaaaybe throw in a few family photos as well.
And finally, if your organization method involves lots of unsorted stacks/boxes, what is your dream solution?


  1. Dang - now I have to go get some digital photo frames. Thanks for screwing up my budget, Matt!

  2. I'm not really a binder guy. Right now I have a 3200 ct box for my D-Backs sorted alphabetically. Those are just the newest releases or cards other bloggers have sent me.

  3. I collect sets, so they are all in boxes sorted numerically.
    I look at my cards for fun now more than I did before I started blogging.
    My collection does have numerous unsorted boxes and my dream solution is to have someone sort them for me. For free of course. That's probably not going to happen.

  4. I use both sides of all of my pages (18 cards per).
    I have a binder of past Cubs that I continually try to update. Guys like Dawson, Fergie, Santo, Banks, Williams are a must in that binder along with some of my personal faves: Turk Wendall, Glenallen Hill, and Augie Ojeda.

    I have Sandberg, K.Wood, and Fukudome in a separate binder because they are the ones that I am actively pursuing and my collection of each of these players is much larger.

    Some current Cubs like Castro, Rizzo, Beef Welington, and all the prospects are in yet another separate binder. I'm big into the Cubs farm system so I have probably just as many Dan Vogelbach cards in this binder as I do Rizzo cards.

    A stack of roughly 70 autographs of Cubs are in top loaders on a nearby shelf.

    When adding something new to any of the above I always flip through the binders a little bit before placing the new card in its rightful page. It's fun to look this way, and I look forward to adding a new card to my collection for this reason.

    All the rest of my Cubs fill a 3200 box and soon I'll have to upgrade to make room for more. These are sorted by year, then alphabetically by brand, then numerically within each set. I don't have them cataloged and I think I'm okay with that.

    Whatever route you choose, just make sure you're happy! It's your collection after all!