Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Long Lost Thorzul Halloween Entry

Since it is almost Halloween, I thought I'd share my long lost entry into Thorzul's once annual Horror Card Contest.  Several years ago, I made the following cards  as an entry.  Unfortunately, right before the deadline, my father fell ill and I was unable to send the cards.  The following year, Thorzul decreed that no 1975 Topps entries were allowed, so I was SOL again.  As time progressed, these cards just gathered digital dust on my thumb drive.   So, without further adieu, enjoy this 1975 Whacks Pack of Terror Cards...

Includes one stick razor blade to play Slit to Win!  Note the Phantasm Ball in lieu of a baseball.

The back of the cards also had a surprise, if you put them in the right order, you got the following!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Organized Chaos

Whenever I look at my card collection, I am usually reminded of thermodynamics class my senior year of college.  Thermodynamics was a dreaded course that I put off until the very end because of the reputation it had earned in my department.  Once I enrolled in the course, I learned very quickly that the entire concept is based solely on three (or four) laws.  Everything about thermodynamics follows these laws, so if you master these laws, you master the class.

One of the underlying principles of these laws is Entropy, which is a measure of unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system.  So, how does that relate to baseball cards?  Well, the layman’s understanding of entropy is that it means chaos; a lack of predictability; or simply, disorder. 

For most of us, I’d be wise to bet that our collections have a massive amount of entropy associated with them.  I’ve been collecting for over 30 years, and I could recount endless tales of great organization ideas that have stalled.  Now, for long time readers of this blog, you’ll know that I have made grand steps in the organization of my collection.  On a macro scale, I was able to organize all of my cards neatly in the eponymous, Uncle Doc’s Card Closet.  The problem is the pure chaos that reigns underneath those cardboard lids.  

Once I was able to organize my cards on a large scale, it created the problem of how to organize the cards within.  Again, I have started, stalled and stopped more times than I’d like to admit when it comes to the “final” organizational push.

As I’ve mentioned before, I did begin digitizing my collection (for which I received a lot of unexpected flack).  This exercise is what brought the “how” to organize question to the forefront.  I have a card encyclopedia that I use a lot (not for prices, but for reference).  I also will go to the Trading Card Database for help, too.  As I see it, cards can be organized as follows:

1. Make then Year (e.g., Donruss 1981-2005)
2. Year  then Make (e.g., 1981 – Donruss, Fleer, Topps)
3. By Team
4. By Player
5. Other – Comment Below!

Currently, I use #1.  I have all my cards by make going from A through Z with the years sequential by letter.  Getting to this point, I realized that the collecting community has/had a schizophrenic way of doing the organizational structure.  Here are a few examples: Collector’s Choice, SP and Stadium Club are all listed individually in books and online.  However, Allen & Ginter, Heritage and Sweet Spot are not.  They are all listed as Topps Allen & Ginter, Topps Heritage and Upper Deck Sweet Spot.  Alright, alright, I’ll stop because I’m getting into the weeds, but this has always bothered me.

Back on track, so I’m considering going with Option #2, and that is to do the large structure by year, and then break down each year with cards in alphabetical order by make/brand.  One of the reasons why I am considering this is that I will be moving sometime in the near future.  When that time comes, it is likely that cards are going to have to be pared down quite a bit.  Either out of the collection entirely, or out of the house into a non-climate controlled environment.  If the latter is the case, I think it’d be much easier to grab the boxes labeled 1986 to 1994 and put those in the barn.  Also, the phobic in me thinks it’d be a lot easier to grab the boxes labeled 1952 to 1969 in case of an emergency…but, it would make a burglar’s job a lot easier, too.  AARRRRGGHH!

What do you think?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Spot the Ǝrror - 1989 Score Paul Gibson

This entry is not an error, but a variation.  If you spot the variation, leave a comment!  

No cheating, the honor system applies!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Inventory - 65,316 Cards & Counting

As I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t completely celibate in regards to baseball cards during my hiatus.  While I was focusing most of my time on family and farm life, I did manage to have a secret tryst with a going-out-of-business collection from a local store.  I managed to squirrel these cards away in my office, and would work on them during my lunch break.

Over the course of a week, I went through each of the 21 boxes.  To my surprise, there were a lot of cards in there that I did not have.  Yet, there was still the mounds of junk wax.  What made it worse was that since this lot came from a card shop, there were doubles.  LOTS of doubles.  In fact, 1,054 individual cards had more than 10 doubles.  Wait, how do I know that?

Well, after rummaging through the cards, I decided to punish myself and log each and every card into a spreadsheet.  Yeah, you read that right.  I counted and logged 65,316 cards, of which, 43,852 are doubles (Note: This doesn’t include about 5,000 minor league cards…beastly things).

Not satisfied with just “counting” the cards, I made a database, which I uploaded to Google Drive.  The database can be found under the “Inventory” link in the top right header.

I made the database searchable, too.  You can filter the results based on: Year, Manufacturer, Brand, Set Name, Insert Set Name, Card Type, Card No., Player, Team, etc.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking why I did this.  For one, it helps me figure out what cards I have, and by elimination, I can figure out what cards I need.  But, I also created it for you.  Personally, I do not like searching want lists, so I made my have list available.  Granted, this is only a small sampling of what I have, but it’s a start.

One day, I’ll have all the cards in there and then I’ll open the flood gates for trading (or purchase if you are so inclined). Enjoy searching the cards!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Double Printed, You Don't Say?

As I mentioned in the previous post, I picked up a collection of cards during my hiatus.  I did this mainly for cards to finish off some sets.  I also did this because who can resist going through twenty-one 3,200 count boxes?  It's like opening the largest wax box imaginable!  The one downside to buying a collection sight unseen is the junk wax, especially junk wax duplicates...

As you can see, I am now the proud owner of 199 '89 Donruss Craig Worthington double printed ROOKIES?!?!?  Should I bank my retirement on these gems, or unleash a Bipping?  Bipping for sale or rent...

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