Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ever Evolving Organization

As collectors in a hobby that spawns thousands upon thousands of items to somehow store, we all no doubt struggle to find ways to keep our collections in check.  Whenever I pull cards whether it is for a trade or to simply look at them, I spend far too long pulling monster boxes to find the card.  Completed sets and player collection cards are located in binders so those are easier to find.  It's all the miscellaneous singles, sorted by set, that elude me.

The bulk of my collection is stored in 12 two-row monster boxes.  Initially, things were simple.  Baseball, basketball, and football all fit neatly into boxes in a logical manner.  This made it easy to write on the outside of the boxes what was contained inside.

As boxes began to fill up, this required me to start shifting cards around.  All of a sudden, the box that said "2016 Topps..." wasn't so accurate anymore.  Football is mixed with baseball.  Old sets are mixed with new sets.  It's a headache.

I've recently begun using a master Excel spreadsheet to track various card related items.  I decided to utilize Excel as a tool to track where sets are located.  This way whenever I am looking for a card I can simply search the spreadsheet to find which box contains the set.

Simple yet effective

All it takes is four simple columns.  One for the box number and three for the three different sports I collect.  Hockey, miscellaneous sports, and non-sport are such a minor part of my collection that they do not warrant this treatment--at least not yet.  Those cards are stashed away in 600 count boxes. 

So long as I remember to keep the spreadsheet updated as I add new sets and move old sets around, this method should require minimal.  It feels a little ridiculous that my collection now requires this but c'est la vie.

All this work has also produced another tangible result: a clean desk! For the first time in months, my desk doesn't have any unsorted cards lying around.  It's nice to have the space back.  Plus, I can clear cards off quicker. 

A post isn't a post without cards I'll show off some of my semi-recent 2018 Topps Flagship and Heritage pickups.

These are short printed photo variations.  They are uninteresting photos but at least they weren't too expensive.

I amassed a small handful of the Home Run Challenge cards as I find it to be a neat idea.  Pick a day and if the player hits a home run, you win a parallel card.  I've yet to see the design of the parallel cards so I'm not sure how hard I want to try to win. 


The black bordered Gamel autograph is out of 99.  It actually cost me the same as a base autograph.  On the right is the Topps Salute autograph version featuring Gamel in his Father's Day uniform.  The powder blue uniforms always appeal to me. 

With Heritage I beefed up my Padres collection a bit.  I believe the black bordered cards have a print run of 50.  Despite the low print run, this card cost me a whopping 99 cents.  I guess that's the benefit of being a Padres collector.  

 Although not in his new Padres uniform, I felt like picking up this refractor as it is numbered 999 out of 999.  That just seemed like a cool number.

Finally, to balance out the Padres, I purchased a game-used Felix jersey swatch.  For being one of my favorite players, I'm light on Felix relics. 

That wraps it up for my baseball purchases.  I've actually shifted a bit towards a football product (a rarity for me) that I plan to cover in a different post.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Nice pick-ups. The Clubhouse Collection series have always looked good.

    1. Topps has done a good job making Heritage relics look appealing. I actually think the Clubhouse Collection cards look better in the base version as compared to the gold

  2. Those black-bordered parallels sure look sharp.

    And yeah, I often have trouble locating the cards in my collection that don't fit into PCs, sets, or minicollections. Using Excel ain't a bad idea.

    1. I can mentally place everything that's in a binder but cards in boxes? Forget about it. Excel has definitely been a life change

  3. I use a Word document to help me locate cards within certain boxes. Never really mastered Excel.

    P.S. That Felix Hernandez relic is awesome! I sure hope he bounces back this season.

    1. I keep thinks pretty simple in Excel. I have no idea how to use it to its full potential.

      I'm hoping that Felix at least gets through the season injury free!

  4. I don't know where any of my cards are! Every box and stack and binder contains a new surprise!

  5. Hello! I just found your blog and followed.

    I've thought about keeping a spreadsheet list of cards like you have here but it would be so time consuming that I've managed to avoid it-for now. My base cards are all sorted alphabetically so they're easier to find, while my sets are in monster boxes. I list the sets inside each on an index card and tape it to the box so that if the contents change.. all I have to do is toss the card and write out a new one.

    Also I'm assuming you're a Seattle fan...if so, do you think you'll collect hockey cards if/when they get an NHL team?

    1. Thanks for the follow Chris! I'm going to checking out your blog as well.

      Your method sounds like it works! I never thought to go the index card route. I kinda hate handwriting things so I tend to avoid it when I can.

      Having a Seattle NHL team will at least get me into collecting the Seattle cards. It's hard to keep up as it is!

  6. NOw that I did a big reorg, I should probably look at Excel to type mine up in.