There is a room in my house, as I assume there is in many of your houses, that has become "The Slash Room." In this case, it is the guest/closet/junk/spare/hobby room. It is a room that seems to draw all the extra crap that doesn't have a place. It is the room where out-of-towners too cheap to spring for a hotel sleep. It also is where childish things get banished, things like say, baseball cards. This is where I spend a great deal of my spare time, in this spare room. My mission? To whittle down all my excess cardboard into a manageable and enjoyable collection. The "small collection" idea has been a work in progress 2+ years running. Once you could barely walk into this room without nearly killing yourself on a crate full of 800-count boxes, now there has been a lot of headway made.
There was once about 20 huge boxes and crates, there are now only eight:
I consider this progress. Those three postal crates have mostly junk wax era complete sets in them, so those will (eventually) be easy to either put into binders, sell, or give away. The others are full of boxes and shoe boxes. They are the tougher ones to get through.
See the boxes in the crates here:
Those are the better cards I like organized into teams. When I trade with you, that is usually where your favorite team's cards come from. Some of them are packed (Yankees, Red Sox) some of them are pretty skint (Dodgers, Pirates). I am not attached to those cards in the least; they will all leave the roost (once again, eventually). Those three boxes on the right? That is a bunch of memorabilia I haven't gone through in ages. Balls, Photos, etc. I used to have about a dozen of those paper boxes full, so again, I consider this progress.
OK, that is what the stuff I am trying to get rid of looks like, what about the stuff that is staying? Isn't that more important? Why, yes it is:
This is one 6-foot tall bookcase from Target full of binders. Next to it are six shoe boxes full of cards in top loaders. Eventually, this is all that my collection will consist of. This amount seems manageable to me. The black binders are sets. The old timey binders are mostly labeled by team, sport, or maker. The bottom shelf was cut off, but that consists of newer binders and just a little empty space to add more. And why six shoe boxes? Because eight is too many and four is too few. They will eventually reside on top of this bookcase. What's on top of it now? Don't ask. And you gotta dig my collection of sports jerseys there. Yes, I am eternally 10 years old.
I was looking for my Piazza boxes, which are two of my favorites. One of them was given to me about 25 years ago by my Gramma for Christmas:
It was one of those terrible boxes was full of junk wax stuff and somehow it never got thrown out. Now, I still have this awful, cheesy, beat-to-hell box...but it reminds me of my grandmother every time I open it. I wouldn't get rid of it for the world.
As you can see, I keep some very random things in there. My beloved Rookie All Stars, some smaller sets (some of which are even finished) that may or may not find a binder, and my Mike Piazza game used cards...yes, I have a boatload of them. No, I am not looking to get rid of any them. Yet.
The real problem with my organization is...I keep finding more stuff. Stuff I didn't know I had. Stuff I thought I already dealt with.
So this box was on top, easy enough to spot. And I can always pick out my three-row monster box full of Piazza cards, since it is the only three row monster box I own. But what were these boxes under them? I took them all down.
What mysteries await me? First of all, that red box is a 1989 Fleer Factory set. No, really. I love that box because it has Gary Carter on the front. I might ditch the set and just keep the box. It somehow made it to the back of this pile.
Let's look inside the Piazza box...
...wow, it is a mess, I have neglected my Piazza collection for a while. I
have a whole cigar box full of cards to integrate into this box AND now these cards I just tossed inside. Ugh. Gonna be a long night of sorting.
But what of those other boxes? You must understand, for a few years there I would go to a show, buy a bunch of cards - both dime box type and high end stuff - and it would just be thrown in a larger box waiting to be sorted. Needless to say, these boxes built up a lot faster than my sorting could get rid of them.
And now I keep finding them!
This thing is full of new stuff, vintage, autographs, ten cent cards, ten dollar cards, hundred dollar cards. I thought I was done finding these...but nope, here's more.
And the 800-count boxes?
Even more unsorted stuff. If you look, you can already see a 3x5 Darryl Strawberry card. And team sets. And lord knows what else.
How much is this like archeology? These boxes were on top of a dresser (see the upper right corner of the first picture), take a good look the layer of dust that was under those boxes:
Just call me the Indiana Jones of sports cards. *whip crack*