Wednesday, November 29, 2023

OAMC #20 - Sets, Doubles and Florida--Oh My!

 Organizing a Million Cards #20 - Sets, Doubles and Florida--Oh My!

The week started pretty awesome as I received the last 14 cards to finish 2023 Topps from a new friend in Illinois. Anytime I finish a set it's exciting but making new friends is even better.

This week saw a lot of movement on sets from some great friends who have banded together to take down 85 Topps--38 years after I got my first card from that set! These are the same guys who helped build 84 and 78! Amazing group that always comes through.

My ultimate goal is to give back to this community as much as I can. I have a ton of doubles. I just don't know what. As I get them logged, they will be re-homed as much as possible. I'm talking single cards, sealed boxes and factory sets.

Which brings me to an update about what's happening. 

I have been logging complete sets. This is an easy way to get my sets in. I have also been logging known doubles. Many of my duplicate RC's and Doubles as I find them.

The down side is that I don't have the room I used to. So, even as I get these logged they get moved to the garage with the dehumidifier that is keeping them safe.

We have already been eyeballing houses with finished basements for the Card Room...

It's the nice way of keeping my mess--Cards, Guitars, etc.--out of the wife's immediate vision.  The amount of stuff can be overwhelming.

With all of that, I am finally going to Florida to see my dad. It's been a few years. This will be the first time he meets Stef face to face. I'm excited!


  • Main Collection: 17,523
  • For Trade/Doubles - 702
  • 1991 Topps Glow Backs - 0
  • Mattingly Doubles - 0
  • Total Cards Logged - 18,225
  • Complete Sets - 13
  • Insert Sets - 1
  • Master Sets - 0


(Vonnegut37 on TCDB)

Monday, November 20, 2023

OAMC #19 - Generosity in the Hobby is Still Alive

Organizing a Million Cards #19 - Generosity in the Hobby is Still Alive

An amazing collector who I consider a friend, runs a weekly giveaway thread on Twitter. His name is Nathan.

@ngtcollectibles on Twitter (or X) has been doing this weekly thread for years. I have met some amazing people who I've traded with and developed some extremely meaningful friendships with. 

One of the best parts about this portion of the hobby community is that it doesn't matter if you've been out of the hobby for a bit or had to take a break for health reasons then moved and am now trying to figure out what you have...  (Cough, cough) It also doesn't matter how often you post a giveaway.  

There are no expectations. People understand that sometimes you are the one helping and sometimes you need the help.

So this week, I asked for some help with recent sets while I figure out the rest of my collection. A longtime friend is working on finishing 23 Topps Update for me and a newer friend is working on finishing 23 Topps S2 for me. I also got some needed help with Topps Holiday through another new friend who sells at a reasonable price. (But not on the thread, as sales are prohibited.) A friend I've traded vintage with is hooking me up with my first 55 Bowman and another friend who I trade with him and his son is sending me a Gwynn card I need. Last week, another friend hooked me up with a sweet Hoskins relic. (I will post pics on Twitter as they get here.)

This was all within a few hours.

My wife and I plan to hook my friend's son up with Red Sox and Crystals, while another friend needs local sports teams due to an unfortunate incident that lost him most of his collection. Many of these amazing people are on my radar for future ways to pay it back. (I have piles of cards for each of them on my desk. As I sort, the piles grow.) As I get sorted, I will also be posting to the giveaway thread. Paying it forward is what it's all about.

And Nathan makes this all possible. So thank you to Nathan and all of the amazing collectors on his thread.

In other news, I started slowly logging sets from the garage while still logging the High Value cards. Progress is happening.


  • Main Collection: 5,974
  • For Trade/Doubles - 606
  • 1991 Topps Glow Backs - 0
  • Mattingly Doubles - 0
  • Total Cards Logged - 6,580


(Vonnegut37 on TCDB)

Friday, November 17, 2023

OAMC #18 - The Slow Death of the Set Collector

Organizing a Million Cards #18 - The Slow Death of the Set Collector

I've been in this hobby since 1984. April 8th, 2024 will mark 40 years. I have always been and will always be a set collector. This has never been about value or money.

In recent years, Fanatics has put a chokehold on the card market and changed the industry into a money making machine that curbs itself to the BIG HIT collectors. The set itself is apparently meaningless--just ask all of the breakers and hit chasers who throw away base cards...

(If you are one of those people, please consider donating the cards to a children's hospital or something to that effect. Somebody wants or needs those cards.)

The three biggest examples I can show of how the hobby has turned its back on the set collector are out most recent purchases.

-2023 Topps Update Hobby box - 

    In the past, I single Hobby Box would knock out the set. With a larger set size, I get that a Jumbo might be required. However, Topps has a notoriously bad sort order. Two--let me say that again--Two Hobby Boxes and a Blaster later and I'm still 37 cards short of the Base Set. Topps flagship sets (S1, S2 and Update.) used to be the easy part of my collecting.  By the way, I still need 14 cards for S2.

-2023 Topps Holiday - 

    Normally, 2 boxes would put me at 90% of the base set. This year, for fun, we bought 4. It's the first time in years we have been able to find this many. 4 BOXES LATER - 78%. thats's it. I have enough doubles to start a 2nd set...

-2023-24 Upper Deck Hockey S1 - 

    This one hurts. Upper Deck has always been above the hit chasing...  Well, this year's Hobby seemed lighter. It also boasted 3 inserts per pack--which is cool as they have always been light on inserts. However, normally a single Hobby would net 85-95% of the base set. (Not including Young Guns. 6 per box is standard.) This year, and the number that prompted this post, 107 of 200...  53.5%. That is just sad. 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised as Topps has started posting breaker odds...  The set collector is being squeezed out of the hobby. Thank the card gods for places like TCDB and the good people on Twitter. Trading is still alive and those of us who grab a hobby to get our set started but need help to finish the set still have lifeline...

I guess the reason for this rant is remind Topps, Fanatics, Panini and Upper Deck that the set collector still exists. We have been here since the beginning--don't forget us.


  • Main Collection: 3,922
  • For Trade/Doubles - 516
  • 1991 Topps Glow Backs - 0
  • Mattingly Doubles - 0
  • Total Cards Logged - 4,438


(Vonnegut37 on TCDB)

Monday, November 13, 2023

OAMC #17 - Progress

 Organizing a Million Cards #17 - Progress

At the end of Week 1, Progress has been made. 

On 11/11/23 (Happy Veteran's Day to all my brothers and sisters who served) I logged card Number 1,000. The Card was a 2019 Bowman Chrome Autograph Relic - Nate Lowe - #BCAR-NL - 109/150.

This morning I hit card 2,000. 1993 Classic 4-Sport - Eric Curry #96.

As of this posting I am at 2,082 cards to the collection and 278 doubles. (The official counts only include my main collection.) Overall, 2,360 cards have been logged to TCDB and sorted. 

Only 940-something thousand more to go.

I also built the first two racks in the garage. Progress in trying to unpack and stage the cards so I can log them.

As I go, I have been taking a lot of parallels out of my collection and adding them to the For Trade list. I am keeping any parallels that are:

  • Needed for a set.
  • The only example I have.
  • Yankees, Giants, Rangers and Knicks.
  • Players I PC or big name players/RCs.
In some of those cases like the Big Name Players and RCs, I might still be willing to part with them.

For future posts, I will be updating this count:

  • Main Collection: 2,082
  • For Trade/Doubles - 278
  • 1991 Topps Glow Backs - 0
  • Mattingly Doubles - 0
  • Total Cards Logged - 2,360
Progress is good. I am hoping to add pics of the milestone cards (every 1K). We will see.


(Vonnegut37 on TCDB)

Friday, November 10, 2023

OAMC #16 - How Does One Even Start?

Organizing a Million Cards #16 - How Does One Even Start?

Sunday, November 5th, 2023 at 3:52 PM, I added my first card after wiping the slate clean. That card was from 2023 Topps Holiday--#H1 Aaron Judge.

As of today, November 10th, 2023, I have added 750 total cards.

Which begs the question...  When organizing a million cards, how does one even start?

The simple answer...  One Box at a Time!

But I have a plan. 

1 - After logging the box of new cards that I had readily available, I turned towards the High Value cards as they are already in the room. This also gives me an opportunity to cleanse some of the lesser valued cards out of the top loaders. 

2 - Sets. I have many sets set aside in 660-990 ct boxes. This will be the next big push as that will entail many of the complete sets.

3 - The organized and numbered boxes. Many of my cards are already organized and are in 5k boxes label 1-20-ish (B# for basketball, F# for football, H# for Hockey, M# for minor leagues, etc...) This will build the bulk of the collection and be easier.

4 - The stuff I had cataloged and never put away.

5 - Everything else.

The rules are simple, if doubles are found, they are logged right after I'm done with the main stuff.

The issue...  Storage. The Garage will be set up soon and the dehumidifier will be running. Going to get some covers for the racks and go from there.

We will see how this goes. One card at a time...


(Vonnegut37 on TCDB)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

OAMC #15 - The Aftermath of a Move

Organizing a Million Cards #15 - The Aftermath of a Move

So, we just moved. 

Across the US. 

I don't mean like halfway...  West to East Coast. 2975 Miles. 

In the process of packing, my cards saw some sacrifices to their organization.

Now we have cards in places they don't belong and many, many sets out of order or in separate boxes. We also have a storage conundrum as our rental house doesn't allow for a card room.

Two things are happening:

1 - TCDB was wiped out on Sunday. I started over again. I logged cards we bought between the move and the last few weeks. I will log all of my valuable cards and then eventually get the sets--which are in the garage.

2 - The garage has a dehumidifier and my racks that I was using to store the cards in the card room. The down side is humidity. The upside is that this isn't our permanent home so I just need to keep them safe for a little less than a year.

This will pose some interesting problems for organization, but I will work through it.

With that said. North Carolina is much better for my health. More consistent weather means less attacks from the migraines due to pressure shifts. 

I am also closer to many members of my hobby family. So that is a definite plus.

I hope to have some cards out to some of the people soon as well as trading enabled on TCDB.

Once again, we start over for the sake of knowing what I have. Wish me luck.


(Vonnegut37 on TCDB)