Archive for New Years Resolutions

2019: Year of the Organized Collection

Posted in Organization with tags , , , , , , on January 2, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

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, 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,


Three Collecting Goals for 2012

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

There's someone missing from this stash ...

Right about this time each year I start thinking of things I want to accomplish in the new year.  And each year I start to make a list, but I rarely actually document the thoughts.

Maybe it’s fear of failure; maybe it’s sheer laziness on my part to make time to type them out and share them with you.


This time it’s different.  I’ll keep things simple.  Here are the three hobby-related things I want to accomplish in 2012.

3) Write more

When I started this blog three years ago I was passionate about writing.  Hell, I wrote for a living, so all I had to do was switch topics for a few minutes a day and write something, anything.

But much has changed.  I have two kids now, and work in a different field unrelated to writing.

In 2012, I want to write (at least) 50 posts. That works out to about one post every week or so.  I’d love to say I want to write 365 posts a year or even 180, but fact is that’s just not going to happen.  I love to write and entertain you, but fact is I am not that interesting and what I have it say is not that important.

2) Trim the fat

That’s code for get rid of crap I really don’t care about.

I’ve already started this process this year by sending more than 1,500 cards to But I still have a dozen three-row “shoe boxes” sitting in my closet and only three or four of them contain items I’d say I really care about.  If I can make the time, I can make a huge dent in the volume of stuff and maybe turn into something really nice like …

1) Obtain a Babe Ruth rookie card

In 2012, I will get my hands on one of the three 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards.  Yeah, I said it.  Ruth is the sole legend of Yankee Mount Rushmore whose rookie card has eluded me.

Mickey Mantle?

Got Heeeeeeeeeem

Lou Gehrig?

Got Heeeeeeeeeem

Joe DiMaggio?

Got Heeeeeeeeeem

But I need the Ruth!

R-U-T-H, Ruth!

Ruth had been playing baseball long before 1933, but his Goudey cards — as well as the Sport Kings cards — from that year are considered his “official” rookie cards.  And while my rookie card collection has many caveats that I have created for the sole purpose of fulfilling my cardboard destiny, the Ruth cards from 1933 are among the most iconic and I MUST own one by the end of 2012.