Thursday, September 26, 2013


Sorry this is so late but the length got away from me. Hope you packed a snack!

I feel like I've been beating this organization thing into the ground but even with my self-diagnosed OCD, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. After deciding I was going to binder all of my Cubs cards by brand and year, I realized that wasn't really the way I utilized my collection.

While I enjoy flipping through my complete set, autograph and customs binders from time to time, my Cubs cards are a different animal. I tend to focus on one player at time, whether I'm getting autographs or making a custom or doing a blurb here on the blog, so it would be nice to have all the cards of that one player together. Plus, I'm more likely to clean up after myself if I pull a stack of cards out of a box than if I had to replace that same stack back into binder pages.

Space is another concern. Obviously, as my collection grows, I'm running out of space. There are a lot of "team sets" that only consist of one or two or three Cubs. While I don't mind using the fronts and backs of binder pages for a bigger team set, I don't like to mix brands/years so I end up wasting quite a bit of space on a page which uses more pages, which then snowballs into more binders.

So going forward my cards will be alphabetized by the player's last name, oldest to newest, in monster boxes. I'm still on the hunt for brand spanking new boxes which I hope to pick up at the big card show next month. Right now, they're spread out among smaller boxes (although organized) and divided between scanned and unscanned. Can't wait to condense the two and be done! Until there's more...

Since I started this blog almost 18 months ago, scanning any new Cubs cards as they come into my collection has been part of the blogging process. I've also been working on scanning the thousands of Cubs cards I already owned. Scanning both sides of the card, cropping, renaming and copying the card into my photo frame template.

And now tagging. In addition to naming the photo file with the name and year of the set and the players name (1989 Fleer Andre Dawson, for example), I've been adding tags to each file too. If I want to do a post on "double plays" or "Topps All-Star Rookies" or "Ivy" or "League Leader in Italics" etc, I can do a search on my computer to pull up all of the cards that fit that criteria. I can locate all of my relics (jersey, bat or otherwise), autographs, parallels, serial numbered cards in as long as it takes my computer to do the search. Time consuming right now for sure but hopefully when I'm done, it'll be much more practical than thumbing through the binder.

So what is this "inspiration" I mentioned in the title? Like I said, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. So while Night Owl may be streamlining some of his web presence, I may be looking at expanding mine. I've come up with a couple of things that could probably fill my time.

First, I'll focus on making customs. More customs. Better (hopefully) customs. And even branch out into other teams. I may even start taking requests if there's interest.

I signed up for a Twitter account last year but very rarely log in. I follow a bunch of athletes and fellow collectors but find myself only logging in when I get a spam/reminder email from Twitter saying "So and so retweeted this guy! Check it out!" I don't really care about all that. But after getting a few compliments about the cards from the athletes signing them, I may "tweet" a daily custom and include the athlete if they have a Twitter account. Who I make will depend on what images I can find and I'll check the SCN database to see if they are good about signing their mail or make a lot of public appearances. Not that an autograph is the be all, end all, but I don't want to waste my time making a card that won't ever get signed. This isn't necessarily worth a new blog and I'd like to keep this one fairly Cubs related, so Twitter sounds like an interesting venue for that.

My next adventure won't actually start until January/February. I like the idea of these Frankensets some of you other bloggers are working on and I will pursue one of my own in the form of 2014 Topps...with a twist. Rather than building the set with parallels though, I will complete the 990 card base set (Series 1, Series 2 and Update) plus any cards from the Factory Team sets that are not included in the base sets. That will make the task quite a bit more expensive but could be worth it for a truly complete 2014 Topps set. I'm on the fence right now about the SPs. They would also add to the expense considerably...but complete is complete, right?

And this ties into my last idea. One of my favorites types of posts is where I find the original Getty photo used by Topps for their cards and dissect the card a bit. They seem to get above average views (for my blog anyway) and even *gasp* the occasional comment. There are several set specific blogs that I follow and am thinking about doing one for my 2014 Topps Frankenset when it comes out. I'll probably do the same as I have been with the Cubs cards from this year with pertinent game information, as well as a link to the original Getty image, the boxscore on Baseball Reference and maybe some witty commentary if the mood strikes. With a template, it shouldn't take up too much of my time, although with 1000+ cards it could! What do you think, one a day for a couple of years or several a day and squeeze them all in from February to December?

I would love to hear any feedback on these ideas, either encouraging, discouraging, requests for customs or offers for help tracking down the local Factory Team sets when they are released!


  1. Wow, you scan all of your Cubs cards? They're tagged and sorted alphabetically, too?
    Man, you put me to shame and I thought I was organized.

    I love(d) my 2013 Bowman FrankenSet project and it's one that I can constantly look to improve upon at card shows. I have a ton of gold cards in my set and not much of the others, so when I find a nice colored ice parallel I pick it up cheap and get to flip through my binders. I love it.

    Your 2014 Topps FrankenSet sounds like a true monster (pun intended)! I love the idea of posting all the cards and doing the Getty images of each. Your individual card breakdown featuring the original picture is one of my favorite posts to read that you offer (along with Repack Sundays).
    If you're going this route I would try to post three a day... it would carry the blog for a year.

    Just my two cents. Good luck! I look forward to whatever you decide.

    1. Everything is alphabetized, but currently in two groups, scanned and not scanned. Almost a full monster box worth done, maybe a thousand more to go? And about half of the scanned cards are tagged.

      I've been penny sleeving them all as I scan them too (helps me keep track of what is scanned and not when I don't put them away quick enough) and will maybe eventually putting them into toploaders too.

  2. I would go for the SP's only if you want to add them to your set, not because you feel you should. If you've got one of each base card, the set is complete. Adding team sets and other cards is optional, and you shouldn't add on the effort and expense unless you want to do it.

    That's my take on it, but I'm fairly well anti-SP.

    ...and just to complicate things for you, you can also collect the Opening Day cards which are different than the Topps equivalent; usually just photoshopped into a new uniform, but it's different.

    1. SPs may be a later in the year addition when the prices come down a bit.

      I do like your idea of adding Opening Day cards too if they are different from the flagship. I build that set anyway so I'll have the cards on hand. Thanks!