Sunday, January 29, 2023

Just an Update

The Doc upped my meds a few days ago, so it's been a rough few days. Hoping to get back to the OAMC updates and logging cards in a couple of days when the meds regulate. Last time it took about a week. 


Monday, January 23, 2023

OAMC #14 - A Quick Realization

Have you ever been sorting cards and have an "aha!" moment?

I had one today. 

Based on my collecting goals, the sport that I am closest to finishing in Basketball. I am just under 27% complete of the nearly 40,000 cards on the list. I also have boxes of unsorted Basketball cards around the card room. 

What this tells me is that it's time to focus my attention there. If I can pinpoint the Basketball stuff and get it sorted and put away, then that will knock out a nice chuck of work that needs to be done and could likely bring the Basketball collection to 50% or better. 

This will take some time to find all of the Basketball mixed in with everything else. This also means some decisions need to be made. Sets like Metal Universe are outside of my normal timeframe but I like them too much to not go for the set. This also includes Ovation--something about a card that feels like a Basketball just appeals to me.

Outside of the few set exceptions will be my 11 PC players. At the moment, I will not be actively seeking out their later years card. This is just so I can focus on what I need for my sets. 

The ultimate goal of this is to possibly knock out 2-3 sets towards the 2023 goal. I am close to a few Fleer and Hoops sets, so this is feasible.

More to follow on this as I figure it out.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

OAMC #13 - A PC Worth Collecting

Do you know the story of Pat Tillman?

If you don't, click this link 

This is from the Pat Tillman foundation's website directly. To say he was inspiration was an understatement.

I've always had a ton of respect for his decision to leave Football and become a Ranger. What I didn't know is that in 2003 we were likely mere miles from each other or even closer and may have even crossed paths. The Army is a small world even when a commo unit sends some troops through Baghdad and sees some Rangers... It never clicks then. 

As I have been logging Football, it dawned on me that I only own 2 Pat Tillman cards that I know of. This makes me sad. So, I set out on a new quest. 

According to TCDB, Tillman has 337 cards as of today. If you take out every card SN less than /10, then the list goes down to 230. That is manageable even for me. 230 cards. 

So, now I have a quest to collect as many of Tillman's 230 cards as I can to honor his service and as a reminder to me of his sacrifice. I was already in the service when 9/11 happened, he was playing Football. He chose to change that for honor. 

Definitely worthy of this Veteran to take the time to collect him.

RIP Pat Tillman - Never Forgotten

Pat Tillman - Wikipedia



Saturday, January 21, 2023

OAMC #12 - Football and PC Cards

Decisions can be hard when it comes to cards. An easy decision for me--I don't collect modern Basketball or Football sets. Basically, if it's not a Topps set and it happened after 1995 in one of those sports, I don't worry about it... Mostly. 

There are exceptions. I love Ovation, Metal and UD Masterpiece and a few other sets, so they live in Basketball in Football just the same. The years are irrelevant. So, with the exceptions out of the way, there isn't much left for the other two sports in my life right?


There are 11 exceptions to Basketball and 16 exceptions to Football that fall into what is now my solidified NSPC category. (Non-Set Player Collection) The list is as follows:


  1. Charles Barkley
  2. Stephen Curry
  3. Patrick Ewing
  4. Walt Frazier
  5. Allen Iverson
  6. Karl Malone
  7. Shaquille O'Neal
  8. Pat Riley
  9. David Robinson
  10. Detlef Schrempf
  11. John Starks
  1. Tiki Barber
  2. Saquon Barkley
  3. Jerome Bettis
  4. Blake Bortles
  5. Terry Bradshaw
  6. Brett Favre
  7. Jeff Hostetler
  8. Brandon Jacobs
  9. Daniel Jones
  10. Jim Kelly
  11. Eli Manning
  12. Peyton Manning
  13. Phil Simms
  14. Michael Strahan
  15. Lawrence Taylor
  16. Thurmon Thomas
  17. Pat Tillman*
(*Pat Tillman is also included as a PC player in Football for very different reasons. Tillman and I were both in Iraq in 2003, although he was definitely more involved in what was happening than my unit was at the time. The simple fact is that I served in country with a professional Football player who dropped his career to serve his country and paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan. Collecting his cards just feels right.)

Speaking of Football, I've been logging Football like crazy. 1989 Pro Set and 1990 Score in Particular. I got 1990 Pro Set's Master Set down to 168 cards as well.

Maybe it's the Giants being in the playoffs and facing the Eagles tonight. Maybe it's the easy access to 6 boxes of football cards or maybe it's the idea of getting those knocked out so I can move on to Baseball again, but I have been wanting to really focus on Football and get it organized. 

We will see how that goes.


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

OAMC #11 - The Weekend, The Giants and 1990 Pro Set Football

First, I just want to get this out of my system...  GO GIANTS!

Okay. I'm good now. 

It's been a while since I enjoyed football. This weekend I truly enjoyed football again. It was nice. I sorted cards while I did this. It prompted me to log many 2015 Topps Football cards and find a whole lot of 1990 Pro Set Football.

1990 Pro Set Football is one of those sets...  Error and variant laden. Full of issues. Random numbering with the Final Update. I love it. 854 cards of chaos. 801 in the base alone if you count the defense/offense #800. 

After the last few days, I have roughly 89.5% of the base set. This includes all but one card from series II with the High Numbers, 58% of Final Update and 78% of Series I. I have 34/53 Errors and Variations including the coveted "belt" error.

Then come the inserts. I have the entire Super Bowl MVP Set and Super Bowl Collectibles with the card #22 Error. I have both Playbooks and even 159/160 of the XXV Silver Anniversary set. 

The hard part are the SP's, No Number Cards and Promos. I own 4 of the 19 including the SuperPro, The Super Bowl Collectible variant and Joe Robbie cards. (This list includes the Cover card and checklist for Final Update as they are listed on TCDB--of which I have the checklist.) The big gun is in this group and that is the Hawaii Promo Barry Sanders. (Roughly a $60 card, but a pain to find.)

If you include the XXV Silver Anniversary set, there are 1,091 cards in total of which I can currently account for 921. That's only 170 cards to go...  Not bad considering I've been trying to build this set on and off for 33 years...

Nice to know I made some progress on such a massive endeavor.

Spent some quality time with my wife, ate Chinese food and went grocery shopping. We also got two fat packs of Chronicles and a blaster of Heritage High Numbers. 4 Julios. 4. 

My wife chose well.

Off to take out trash and prep the house before my wife gets home. Hope your weekend was good.


Saturday, January 14, 2023

OAMC #10 - Saturday and Another Headache - w/ Sunshine

Today the weather shifted on me again. The sun is out so the air pressure changed. This means--another headache. Yay! It's been three days of this crap now. 

On the up side, while going through some cards I discovered cards from a set I didn't know existed. 2021 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup. I only have 6 cards from the set and 1 is a variant, but hey that's better than none. 

This made me realize that my spreadsheet is slightly out of touch with the reality of what's out there. I may have to do some editing.

I also added some new cards of a few top 30 players on my list. Namely, Miggy (256), Pujols (276) and Randy Johnson--who I was just saying yesterday was part of a three way race to hit 300 and now has the lead with 297. 

I did finish an insert set today as I found the McCovey from 21 Panini Mosaic's All-Time Greats Set. SO, that was nice. Also added a few random mid-2010's Topps cards and 2020 Topps inserts as well as some 2010 Upper Deck. 

Another highlight was my first batch of 2019 Topps High Tek. 16 base and 2 Blue parallels. Not bad. I already had an Orange and an Auto, but getting the base cards was always the goal. I always like turning 0's to anything other than 0's.

Just found a pile of 21 Panini Contenders that I may take care of next. Did some chores in the house and the headache isn't going anywhere, so might as well log cards.

Pink Floyd today...


Friday, January 13, 2023

OAMC #9 - The First Ripping of the New Year!

My wife went to the store on her way home last night. I was suffering from an insufferable headache. The weather in Washington likes to shift back in forth, taking the air pressure with it. If you suffer from chronic severe migraines this can be an issue. As my wife was at the store, she got a few things we needed as well as some surprises...

2022 Panini Mosaic and Chronicles blasters. 2 of each and a fat pack of Mosaic as well. Pulled two autos and some decent cards but really it was just nice to open cards from a wrapper. Did get a sweet Franco RC and an O'Neal Cruz Parallel RC, so that was awesome. Really this was about the fact that we had nothing from either set. Now we do. This morning, I got them logged and put away as well as more mid-2000's Bowman. So, more progress.

The big thing from this was the new Ripken and Ryan cards. Ryan is 626 unique cards while Ripken is now at 509. Randy Johnson now has some competition as he moves towards 300 cards as I added additional Mike Trout and Ryne Sandbergs this morning as well. Will be interesting to see if they overtake him. Tony Gwynn still sits a few cards away from 400.

Slow progression has led me to almost 242,000 cards logged. (241,730 as of this post.) 

This is good. Many, many more to go.

The other big upside is that my wife ordered stamps today. More PWE cards will be heading out soon. Cards heading out makes me happy when it makes others happy and makes her happy when the collection loses a few pounds...  ;)

Anyway, back to getting some cards logged and maybe some laundry done. My head still feels like hell and the weather isn't playing along. At least I have David Bowie as today's soundtrack.


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

OAMC #8 - Lack of Sleep, Appointment, Songwriting and a Some Progress

This started off as an interesting week. 

Monday, we had company in the form of my Wife's bestie who I refer to as my other sister-in-law because she is basically family. That was the fun part. 

She left for Michigan yesterday and my wife drove her--at 4 am. So our sleep was kind of off yesterday. 

I had my intake for Acupuncture at the Seattle VA yesterday and had to leave at 9:30 am to get there by 11 am. 

By the time everyone was in their respective places at the end of the day, we were all exhausted.

In all of this I had to resubmit paperwork to the Army for my pay stuff and try to get my last three classes lined up for my Masters Degree. 

I'm 45. This is exhausting...

Somehow, I still got some cards logged yesterday. This included Mattingly #585 and Clemens #400, both from 1989 Classic. Have about half of that set now.

I also recorded another riff in Garage Band. Been in a songwriting mood. Have two more to record and maybe some vocals and then lots of tweaking. But we will see what happens today.

The house needs some attention, many cards need to be logged, a package needs to go to Canada and I slept until 11:30 am...  

The upside is the dishwasher is already running and I've logged a few cards while drinking my coffee.

Like I keep saying--Progress is progress.

The biggest thing I keep getting done is figuring out what cards are definitely doubles, so a lack of logging doesn't mean nothing happened--it just means the doubles I have to log later are growing.

I think I may start adding pictures to the blog as I go forward. Maybe a card of the day as I log stuff. 

Just a thought.


Monday, January 9, 2023

OAMC #7 - Headache Reduction via Cardboard Therapy

Yesterday morning started out wonderful... I woke up feeling like someone had poked me in my right eye--repeatedly--all-night. This is a part of the dread of pressure changes in the atmosphere of Washington state when you live with Severe Chronic Migraines. The pressure is what gets you--not always the headache.

So, grumpy and in pain, I retreated to the card room to not offend my wife or our company. At first, not much occurred. But then, cards were sorted and logged. I found 2 of the 4 2020 Topps Pro Debut cards I needed. Little by little, my head pain (or eye pain) went away.

Cardboard therapy works. 

I passed 241,000 cards logged last night and recorded two songs...  One I just wrote last night. Not bad for feeling like crap.

The biggest thing I made progress with was Panini Elite Extra Edition. I had cards for four separate years and after pouring over TCDB, I finally got them figured out. Lots of parallels and die-cuts. 

Also found a 5 K box with three rows of 1990 Topps. Just what I needed.  Lol. More 1990 Topps. That set, much like 1993 Topps and 1993 Upper Deck is getting it's own 5K box for doubles.

Not sure what today will bring sorting wise. It's windy, but I feel better. Rain is on the horizon. Errands may be run. The house needs some attention. We shall see.


Saturday, January 7, 2023

OAMC #6 - Progress for the Morning

Somehow, while drinking my coffee, I managed to find a few missing cards to some Bowman sets and a random 2008 Topps card I needed. Always nice when this happens. One less card to trade for or buy. 

Also found two massive piles of doubles, but such is the life of a set collector with a million or so cards.

Any card I add to a set is a win and is one step closer to finishing something, so I count that as a victory. 

I made a dent in a box--one that is obscuring the view to the kitchen, so that is also a win.

The other good news is that I found 5 of the 8 missing cards from the reorganization. 3 to go.

The biggest thing I have done since last post is update the Under 5 to Finish a Set List. I am now up to 22 sets even after finishing 83 Topps. I know there are more and I will continue to update them as I find them. 

This post seems as sporadic as my brain feels today. That's never a good sign if you're me and dealing with my health. Hopefully it will pass quickly and I can continue making progress. 

240,465 cards logged so far...  1.1 Million-ish to go...


Friday, January 6, 2023

OAMC #5 - Even on Days Where Nothing is Done...

I have a motto when it comes to organizing cards--"Even on days where nothing is done something is done--no matter how small."

This keeps me going when I have to go Grocery shopping on a particularly windy day in Western Washington while running on 4 hours of sleep. Even with that and running errands the day prior, I still got at least a little something done. Even if it's sorting a small pile of cards to log later or setting up a package to go out later, you're moving forward towards the goal. 

Today has been about cleaning the house as we are expecting company tomorrow. Even with that, I managed to log a few cards--including my 584th unique Mattingly and 507th unique Ripken, which I promptly put in their respective places. I also managed to put away some older cards for the Mariners project I have going for my friend here in Washington. Almost knock out 83 and 79 team sets for him. Working almost exclusively with doubles, so that's not too shabby.

The point of all this is that each little thing you do makes a difference in the grand scheme. It may not clear the boxes impeding my view of the kitchen, but it gets cards where they belong--even if it's one at a time. That's all we can ask of ourselves. One at a time.

So, wherever you are in you organizing, stop being mad that you're not further and just put that next card where it goes when you can. You will get there and so will I.


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

OAMC #4 - The First Set Finished of '23!

Yesterday brought the first malady of the year and with it my first card of 2023! The promised 1983 Topps Cal Ripken #163 had arrived, completing the 1983 Topps set and marking the first of the 15 sets of this year's goal. 3 days in and one down!

Today has not brought much organizing, but it has brought some shipping. Some set help to one friend and some Red Sox love to another. Also organized another package that may go out tomorrow with more set help for someone who helped me ages ago. With my health being what it was, giving back was near impossible so I am definitely taking advantage of the ability to give back now. 

The idea of cards leaving the house is a big part of the organization. These 3 packages would tally roughly 300 cards leaving the house, which doesn't make much of a dent but it means a lot to me considering who they went to and why. Little by little, sharing the love of this hobby will get the collection under control as much as organizing. Plus any help to a fellow set collector always makes me happy as the people of this hobby have come out of the woodwork to finish set after set for me. 

Short update today. Had errands to run and grocery shopping tomorrow. Fun, I know. The plight of the househusband...


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

OAMC #3 - The Initial Clean Up

It's done. 

The initial clean up is done. Granted, there is still a 4-row box with cards that need to go into their respective 660, 800 and 990 boxes and a few stragglers--and 8 missing cards... but the bulk of the logged cards are put away and the restructuring to make things easier going forward is complete. 

Now comes the next phase. 

The rest of the room is a mess. This means I need to find storage bins for the non-card related stuff and move that out of the room to make "room". This will make the organizing of the 2-300,000 doubles in one corner and the 6-700,000 unsorted cards in the other corner easier. 

The goal here is to figure out what I have so I'm not trading for things I find later--then goal #2 is to get doubles out of the house. Lopsided trades are coming. 

The good news is, I can log cards again as long as I continue to put them away. The down side is, I need storage bins.

Well, Walmart may be in order tomorrow.


PS - I can see my desk again...

Monday, January 2, 2023

OAMC #2 - A Long Day of Organizing

Today was a long day of Organizing. The good news is that I made it through Baseball and the Minors (which I have separated). The collection has expanded nearly 6 5K ct. boxes. We started with 23 and are at 29 now--which is scary. I still have a 4-row box with cards that go in the 660, 800 and 990 ct. boxes to take care of but that is down the road...

Next is a pain...  Literally. 

If you live with spinal pain, moving 5k boxes is not fun and I need to rearrange them more to make up for the baseball expansion. They follow an order--Baseball, Minors, Hockey, Football, Basketball, Non-Sport. Multi-Sport is in a smaller box on the racks off to the side as are my Mattingly PC doubles. This order is from the most collected sport to the least and then the non-sport. It makes sense to me and that's all that counts.

With this "order" in mind, that means Hockey is next and there is quite a bit of Hockey to be put away. There are also 4 5k boxes of hockey currently. Football and Basketball both have 3 and Non-Sport has one. Hockey is the biggest expansion threat aside from Baseball. This is always on my mind and is another reason there will be many cards leaving the house this year.

Because doubles...  A million cards and such and doubles.

But this is all for tomorrow because it's almost midnight...

Goodnight people.


Sunday, January 1, 2023

OAMC #1 - Where to Begin?

Welcome to the first installment of Organizing a Million Cards (OAMC). On this first post, I want to focus on beginnings. 

The biggest issue for many collectors--especially those of us with large collections--is the overwhelming task of figuring out where to start. What usually follows are lots of plans, good intentions and loosely followed guidelines that end in the same mess as last year. This is why we must employ the old Army standby--discipline.

First and foremost is figuring out what constitutes your collection. Set ground rules. For example: I am a set collector. My definition of a Master Set varies from others. I follows these rules.

A Master Set consists of:

  • The Base Set (SP's only if they are part of the actual set like A&G or Gypsy Queen or easily found like Donruss.)
  • an example of an SP (This means one from each series if applicable.) 
  • an example of each parallel within reason. (I usually do not hunt lower than /25.)
  • all insert sets. 
  • examples of insert parallels.
  • Checklists if not part of the set.
  • Errors/Variations if not intentional for SP's.
  • an example of each auto/relic within reason. (Again, no hunting below /25.)
Set collecting is my foremost reason for collecting. Baseball is my priority. Hockey follows. Football and Basketball I collect up to 1995 unless its Topps with few exceptions. Non and Multi-Sport are sporadic. I have everything on a spreadsheet and then tracked in TCDB. 

This gives me clear guidelines and targets. I know what it is I'm after and what I'm doing.

Now, how are we organizing? I am not in my forever home and space is an issue. With this in mind, I went the Target Wire Racks route with a combination of 5K boxes and 660, 800 and 990 ct boxes for the larger sets. Everything is in order by sets, while more valuable cards are in top loaders or One-Touches in the larger 5K boxes at the front of the collection. The order echoes my spreadsheet and each of the boxes. 

This gives me a clear path of where everything is. I am still overwhelmed, but the path forward is clear.

So from this point, rules need to be set. As I learned towards the end of 2022--put cards away after they get logged on TCDB. Right now, I am finishing putting away thousands of cards that were logged and have 8 missing cards on my hands. This is what happens when stuff gets put aside. 

Once I fix this, the next step is to finish logging what I own and have not sorted followed by sorting and logging doubles. We are talking upwards of a million cards here and that chaos is what will be in the following posts.

Things should be interesting going forward. I plan to talk about the challenges of a large collection and the joy of getting cards out to people who need them.

For now, enjoy the beginning of a crisp new year. Happy 2023!