30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sorting Old-School Style

When I was a kid, I'd wake up early on Saturday mornings, sit myself down in front of the television, and watch cartoons.  After a few years, I added sorting cards on the floor to the routine.

Due to a sensitive back, these days I typically organize my sports cards sitting down at my office desk.  However... every now and then... a big project requires me to spread out and get comfortable on my family room floor.

Today was one of those days.

The story actually begins earlier in the week.  Some of you might remember the time one of my readers reached out to me and offered to hook me up with some supplies and non-sport sets.  Well... this past Wednesday, I finally had the opportunity to pay him back with some Hawaiian food from one of my favorite restaurants in San Jose's Japantown.

Most of my friends and family members aren't into collecting, so it was nice to get out, eat, drink, and talk about cards with Pete.

After dinner, he gave me a giant box filled with auction guides and hobby magazines.  I'm not sure if you've ever flipped through an auction guide before, but they're filled with interesting information on a variety of sports memorabilia along with tons of high quality photographs.  One of these days, I'll share some of the scans I took.

He also gave me two more boxes of supplies, a binder of Comic Ball cards, and a 3,200ct. monster box.

Today... I spent almost seven hours sifting, sorting, and scanning through the stuff he gave me.  That's not a typo.  Seven hours.  I was able to watch a bunch of Star Wars Rebels episodes as well as a few episodes of Elementary.

What did I do for seven hours?  Well... I started by going through all of the cards, deciding what I wanted to keep and what I was going to take into my classroom.

There were close to 700 baseball, football, and basketball inserts/parallels/rookie cards that I slipped into penny sleeves or put into my binder collections.  In addition to that there were two different football sets, a Tiger Woods set, and a bunch of 90's basketball inserts sets included in the monster box.

He must have busted a box of 1986 Donruss baseball, because there was more than half of a row dedicated to the stuff.

Before this morning, I needed 134 cards for my set.  Thanks to Pete, I'm down to the final 43:

There was also a nice stack of 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game football cards.  The cards are so nice, I decided to build this set too:

If you look at who's missing... I'm sure you can figure out Pete's favorite football team.

And remember that binder of Comic Ball cards?

Almost the entire set was in there.  It was only missing three base cards and three holograms.  At first, I thought about finding a student who likes Looney Toons and hooking them up.  But after flipping through the binder, I decided to keep it and try to finish it off myself.  Who knows... maybe I'll chase down the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th series too.

Last, but certainly not least... there's this 5x7 box topper of Hideki Irabu.  I had never seen this set before, but from what I found on the internet... this card was included in special boxes of 1997 Fleer Ultra which were made for distribution in Asia.  Maybe one day... I'll actively chase down the other two box toppers in this set.

Thank you Pete for these awesome additions to the collection!  It was fun hanging out and talking sports.  See you in a couple weeks at the GTSM show.

Everyone else... I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.  I appreciate all of the kind comments people left on my anniversary post.  As usual...

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Whoop! A great gift and a great way to spend 7 hours in my opinion!!

  2. A day spent sorting while watching TV? It doesn't get much better than that.

  3. If you are looking to get rid of any of the basketball, I would love to work out a trade for the Pistons.

  4. Never seen those Ultra box toppers. That Irabu is cool!

  5. Let's see...

    I sort the same way as you. 100s, 10s, and 1s. I split at the 99s/00s, like you, too. Now the real question is this: Is card #1 face up or face down in your stack? (Face up for me, now, but in the past I did face down.)

    I've looked through a couple auction catalogs. I might even have one or two in my collection somewhere - they're better than a Beckett these days (I do miss the articles and Readers Write from the 1990s).

    I love Comic Ball. I believe I have all of the baseball series, but I doubt I have any of the inserts/holograms. Nothing like a combination of my favorite cartoon characters and my favorite sport to pique my interest.

    I didn't know about the Irabu cards. I'll have to find some (or at least one) out here... hopefully. I've had a line for it in my type collection list but I didn't know what it was.

    1. Eh, I think I remember you saying you sort sets that way... Anyway...

  6. Dont ask me why I have them because I dont know, but I have the Bugs and Daffy holograms. I'll see what else I can pull for you and get a small package in the mail next week. Crazy.

  7. SumoMenkoMan - It was a blast. Haven't done that... and truly enjoyed it... in a long time.

    Adam Sanders - Very true. Although... I should have prepared a better snack selection beforehand.

    JWilden27 - Maybe one day. I'd need to update my inserts/parallel binder first. Although I don't foresee that happening anytime soon.

    The Lost Collector - It's really cool. Weird set though. From what I read... the first three cards were box toppers... and the final four were standard size and only numbered to 500.

    Ryan G - I vaguely remember us having this conversation about how we sort our cards during the set building process. By the way... #1 is always face down for me. Has been since I started doing this in the early 80's.

    The Angels In Order - Thanks Tom! I should have some Angels for you after I bust the 3 boxes I picked up at the wholesaler this past week.

  8. I don't think I've ever spent 7 hours sorting cards -- the other people in the house wouldn't let me. I'm jealous. ... But I have looked through those auction books. I've even saved a couple. They're very cool. Unlike all that '86 Donruss in one place. Ick.

  9. Found these 86D for you: 23,203,215,523; will try and get to the GTSM show next weekend to give to you. Still remember having to overpay for the full set in '86 at a real expensive card/comic store in Menlo Park because everyone in the east bay was sold out due to the Jose C rookie!

  10. There are much worse things to do with one's time-looks like a blast-I love mystery boxes of cards. The box topper is bloody awesome

  11. Just found 9 of the 86 Donruss cards you need and fortunately only 1 overlaps with what mr haverkamp has. Shoot me an email with your mailing address and I will send them your way. 7 hours of sorting sounds like an awesome way to spend a day!

  12. I love sorting cards on the floor, but with a seven month old crawling around the house at the moment I have had to go to my dining room table recently. Pretty sure I have sorted using the floor since I was a kid. Love that Irabu box topper.

  13. Auction catalogs should come with a drool bucket. I think I like the GOTG football the most.

  14. Great post. Sorting is always fun when you can just spread it all out and enjoy.

  15. i could sort for HOURS! and have! I use a large white table that folds in half for easy storage. A herniated disc in my lower back rebels anytime I sit on the floor for more than 30 mins or so. What fun you had! I love auction catalogs. Filled with vintage and incredibly old items I'll likely never see much less own!

  16. night owl - that's the benefit of being single. on the other hand, i don't get to come home to an autographed penguin lamp.

    mr haverkamp - wow. thank you kind sir. that darn canseco rookie. i'm surprised that it still commands a decent dime. although... it's no longer carries that triple digit price tag. i'm excited to see what gtsm has to offer us.

    b man - me too. it was so much fun. totally agree with you on the box topper too.

    arpsmith - thank you for offering to help. i'll send that email as soon as i'm finished with these comments.

    snorting bull - lol... yeah, a 7 month year old's knees and palms could do some serious damage to our precious cardboard.

    hackenbush - yeah, that set is awesome. simple design w/ an amazing checklist.

    bulldog - well... my living room is pretty small. but you're totally right... it was a lot of fun.

    julie - i have back issues too and when things are bad, i turn to my office desk. but (knock on wood) right now... my back is doing well (until the next time i sneeze).