2019: Year of the Organized Collection

Bless me readers for I have sinned, it has been several weeks since my last entry, and several years since I’ve been a regular contributor to my own site.

The years are starting to run together, so I’ll save you all the heartbreak, heartache and false promises. Instead I’ll simply stick to this for now: 2019 will be the year of the Organized Collection.

At the turn of the new year we all tend to have our resolutions, and in this hobby we are no different.  We vow to spend less and be more focused. And as one person recently said on Twtter, that’s akin to us making a pledge to lose weight and save more money.

But the one resolution I will focus on for 2019 is to continue to become more organized.

Like many collectors, organization of our cards can be a problem. Most of us simply have too much, and not enough time to organize everything in a manner in which anyone can walk in and find what it is that they’re looking for.  The easiest answer we usually give is I know where it’s at.

And so the organization has begun in my household. And it started with my Roger Clemens collection.  I’ve been a fan of The Rocket since I was 8 years old and he was in like his third year in the Majors. He is the reason I became a Red Sox fan.  I collected his cards while my friends took on collections of Mark McGwire and Darryl Strawberry.  My initial goal was to collect ALL of the Clemens cards I could find. Of course that goal was straight out of 1989 when you were essentially limited to the cards that were in your neighborhood and at local shops and shows.  Now in the internet age, that’s a ridiculous feat. One of each usually works, except for a few releases like the 1991 Topps card — I will take everyone that I can acquire in trades.

I refuse to call myself a “Super Collector.” That moniker is over-used and typically implies you’re willing to spend any amount on any card to ensure you have it, and that you don’t sell any of those players cards. I simply call myself a “Clemens collector” who would like to acquire them all, but knows limitations, even if they actually vary from time to time.

For years I’ve had my Clemens cards stored in binder chronologically, and I always dreamed of actually maintaining a database for the cards I already have. But after several starts and stops, using various spreadsheets and even trying Beckett.com, I still found myself with a toothless list that was full of discrepancies. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered a pretty good, free tool: The Trading Card Database (link).

While it’s not perfect, the database has already saved me the heartache of buying doubles and sometimes triples of certain cards. In addition, I’ve continued to organize the Clemens cards within the 9-pocket sheets and binders.

While the organization is good for me as a collector, it has also been vital in moving forward in my relationship with my girlfriend. During the tenure of my decade-long marriage, which ended three years ago this month, I kept my partner away from my collection. And for the first year with my girlfriend I’ve done the same.  As it turned out, my lack of organization made my anxiety go through the rough and I was embarrassed by the amount of stuff I had collected and the lack of organization throughout. We had a talk about the issue, and just last week she said said he wanted to help.  So she did. She placed three partial sets into numbered-binder pages and labeled a binder for me.

And so I will proceed with this task of organization as my sole hobby resolution for 2019. After I wrap up the Clemens organization, I will move onto moving my Clayton Kershaw cards into binders and enter them into the Trading Card Database.

Happy New Year to you all,

Ben

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