Friday, October 25, 2013

The Organic Nature of The Budget Trading Card Collection

My cataloging software sorts cards into 10 different categories or subjects.  These categories are 0 for baseball to  9 for other.  Cards are sorted by category and then by year and next by set name and lastly by card number,  So the first card in my catalog is 1967 Topps Baseball Card #91 and the last card in my catalog is 1987 (1987/1988) Pacific MISL Soccer Card #101 with 11238 cards in between.  As I did not set up  a category for soccer, it is in the Other category.

I search for trading cards in any manner that seems likely to allow me to acquire cards.  I never know what cards that I will find next.  Likewise, I catalog the cards in a similar manner as to how I acquire them, so cards are cataloged in a very random manner making my catalog grow in an almost organic style.  I add cards and they land at all points within my catalog.  The number of cards in a set increases as does the number of cards in a year and in the category also.  I have recently added cards from 1971 baseball, 1989 football, 1992 basketball, 1991 Impel Star Trek and 1987/1988 Pacific MISL.  As can be seen, my catalog grow in a very organic manner and I like it that way.

Of the 11240 cards in my catalog, 9052 are baseball cards, so it is evident that I am a baseball fan and prefer baseball cards.  I seek baseball cards and accept cards of other subjects if I come across and am able to acquire them.  I collect 2005 and older.  In the case of basketball and hockey 2005/2006 and older.  This cut off year came about "just because" this was the year that I decided to seriously collect and discovered that I was not going to chase modern issues.  The exceptions to this collect all attitude are no high school, college or minor league sets.  I do get some cards in those exceptions if they are part of a regular issue.

My catalog has data on card sets and player names.  My open collecting
policy has led to my having a large number of sets and players represented in my collection.  Currently there are cards from 698 different sets represented in my collection and that number continues to grow.  Set definitions have the number of base cards with a field for number of variations.  Variations are added as I acquire a card with a variation and agree that I want to collect the variation.  For instance, currently, I have 6 variations for 1991 Topps baseball.  As I cataloged 1991 Topps Baseball I identified 6 variations that I would like to have in my collection.  Of those 6 variations I have both versions of 1991 Topps Baseball #366.  Of the other 5, I only have 1 of the variations.  Currently, my name data base has 3958 different names in it.  I do not add names of actors or movie characters or other characters, just players and coaches.  So this open collecting policy of names and sets means that my want list is growing not getting smaller as I continue to add cards.

As I add new cards I see sets grow, new sets being added and the number of cards for a given player increase and new players being added constantly.  Like a living organism, my collection grows and at the same time, what my collection could or will be changes as well.  What my collection will be, I do not know.  Frankly, at this point, I am not sure that my accumulation of cards is properly a collection yet.  But I will continue to add cards, sets, names and with avid interest, watch this thing grow.
  • 698 sets = 222,231 possible cards
  • of 222,231 possible cards have 11240 = 5.0578% complete
  • 3958 player, coach, manager names
  • Andre Dawson 21 cards
  • Nolan Ryan 20 Cards
  • Jose Canseco 20 Cards
  • 22,433 images (fronts and backs)
  • 1990 have 1198 different cards
  • 1981 have 1138 different cards
  • 4 years with over 1 thousand cards (1981, 1989, 1990, 1991)
  • 658 of 690(30 variations) possible1981 Fleer Baseball
Some recent sets added:
  • 1989 Fleer All-Stars, insert, 12 cards
  • 1989/1990 Topps Hockey, 198 cards
  • 1988 Pacific Legends I Baseball, 110 cards
  • 1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow Baseball, 720 cards
  • 2002 Fleer Fall Classic Baseball, 100 cards
  • 1987/1988 Pacific MISL Soccer, 110 cards

Happy Collecting
Jerry Yeager

Some Links That Could Be Useful

Trading Card Database  Very Nice site for creating online collection as well as resources for researching your collection and images for over half million cards so far
SportLots  Sports Card Auction Site

The Card Collector High end Software for cataloging cards

Sports Card Collector Software better for budget with fewer features.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Undiscovered Country

I make regular trips to a neighboring town for the purpose of visiting a pain clinic where large needles are plunged into my back in an effort to make my life a little more livable.  The efforts of this clinic are at best marginally successful.  Some time back, on one of these journeys, I decided to check to see if the internet would reveal a worthwhile stop in my quest for trading cards.  My search revealed a shop, and the map revealed a location, but when I located the area I did not find a card shop.  A few visits later, my wife professed hunger and we had spotted some eating establishments near the address where the card shop location was so headed back to this area.  I happened to look at the restaurant address and realized that the map for the card shop had caused me to search the wrong side of the street for the card shop......

Gadsden Sports Cards, 512 Broad St, Gadsden, AL

After eating, I waddled over to the card shop and it was 4:40 PM when I arrived and the shop closed at 5:00 PM, this would be a intro visit only.  As I entered the shop, I saw familiar images that let me know; so far so good...there be trading cards here.

The budget collector went to work to utilize his 15 minutes to scope out any bargains.  There was a box to 4 for a $1 packs of cards, 2 for a $1 cards in top loaders, and single cards on display that had 2 prices on the sticker...there was hope.  I understand; the closeout packs box will not have any packs with great treasure in them while the 2 for a $1 box may contain any worthwhile hidden treasures and the dual prices(book and sale price) on the singles told me that the prices were reasonable.

 A little over a week later(2 days ago) it was time for another needle in the back and I ventured back to the card shop.  On this visit, my endurance was undermined, but I was determined.

First visit:
  • 2 packs 1990 Score Baseball....had about 30 in my collection
  • 2 packs 1991 Series 1 Score Baseball....had about 20 in my collection.
  • 4 packs 1989 Pro Set Football....had less than 20 in my collection
  • 4 packs 1989 Topps Stickers Baseball....had none in my collection.
  • 1 pack 1990 Fleer Baseball....wanted unopened pack.
  • 1 pack 1992 Stadium Club Series 1 Baseball....wanted unopened pack.
  • 1969 Dark Shadows Green #63 $3
  • 1968 Topps Baseball #144 Joe Morgan $3($15)
  • 1968 Topps Baseball #85 Gaylord Perry $2($8)
2nd Visit:
  • 4 packs 1988 Topps Stickers Baseball....had none.
  • 2 packs 1990 Upper Deck Baseball...had about 50 in collection.
  • 2 more packs 1989 Pro Set Football
  • 1 more pack 1990 Topps Stickers Baseball
  • 1 more pack 1990 Score Baseball.
  • 15 1981 Fleer Baseball .10c Box...brings collection within 20 of complete.
  • 10 cards from 2 for $1 Box
  • 1970 Topps Baseball #300 Tom Seaver $15($30)....Very, very nice.
  • 1982 Topps Baseball #90 Nolan Ryan $2($6)
The packs, of course, are the budget cards for my collection of as many cards
as I can acquired on my small collecting budget.  The 1981 Fleers brought me some of the common variations that I was missing.  The single cards added some cards that I will not find in my normal budget buys(I know that careful use of that cash could have procured a large number of cards) and as a collector, I am normal, I want those cards also.  The packs allow me the fun of ripping packs to see what will be revealed.

I have decided not to separate Topps Stickers from Sticker Backs but to collect the intact versions of these cards.  I have, also, decided to collect Sticker Backs first and this poses another question,  whether to collect backs with all different stickers or just one example of each Sticker Back.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to Gadsden Card Shop and will surely return so if you are in the area, I think that it would be a worth while stop for any collector looking for cards.

Happy Collecting.
Jerry Yeager.

Some Links That Could Be Useful

Trading Card Database  Very Nice site for creating online collection as well as resources for researching your collection and images for over half million cards so far
SportLots  Sports Card Auction Site

The Card Collector High end Software for cataloging cards

Sports Card Collector Software better for budget with fewer features.