The More I Organize, The Worse It Seems (Plus Weigh-In #68)

Because we have a maintenance plan with an HVAC company, and because the HVAC tech scheduled for today has to get to the attic by walking through Shlabotnik World HQ (the spare bedroom I took over), I spent part of this weekend cleaning up the large piles of crap that have accumulated.

In cleaning up a bunch of used padded envelopes, I picked up one that didn’t feel empty… and it was from COMC and had a postage date of December 2018. With a sense of dread I looked in the envelope hoping to just find empty toploaders but instead found a small COMC shipment that I’d forgotten about.

This goes both ways emotionally. One on hand, it’s a fun discovery, like putting on a jacket for the first time since last spring and finding $20 in the pocket.

On the other hand, these cards had been forgotten for nearly 2 years, which just depresses the heck out of me, organization-wise.  Every time I think I’ve turned the corner with the organization of my collection I run across a 22 month old package to let me know that I’ve got a long way to go.

Anyhoo, I figured I’d try to make the most of it by making a post out of my newly-rediscovered collectibles (some of which had appeared here when I originally received them), and throw in one of my quarterly weigh-ins because I’m due for one anyway.

I’ll start off with this Japanese 1993 BBM card of former Giant & Angel Max Venable.  Max Venable’s legal name is William McKinley Venable, which makes me wonder if he was named after the 25th president of the United States.  At any rate, this was a cheap Japanese card I couldn’t walk away from.

I’m not much of a collector of recent hockey cards, but five years ago I was watching a college hockey game when this freshman named Jack Eichel caught my eye.  Eichel is currently the captain of the Buffalo Sabres and is probably as close as I come to having a favorite NHL player.  This 2017-18 UD Canvas card was too nice to pass by.

I’m something of a Brian Roberts collector because my wife is a big fan of his (she’ll still make a point of watching Orioles games where he’s part of the broadcast). This 2012 Topps Sticker was filling in one of the gaps in my collection. I think that, excluding relics, autographs and parallels, I was only missing a couple more major issues of his… I guess maybe I should finish that off someday.

I’d already featured this card about 20 months ago, but I’ll share it again because it got the biggest “Oh, that’s riiiiiiiiiiiiight” out of all of these cards. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, Miki Nishimura has an interesting approach, her backswing brings the ball almost directly over her head.

This is my fifth card of a professional bowler, which I think ties it with Cricket in the overall “standings” of sports represented in my collection. Hmmm, maybe I should do a post about that. The top three would be Baseball, Hockey & Football but then there’s a huge dropoff after that. I’m guessing Basketball would be next, but I don’t think I have more than a couple of binder pages of hoops (and that’s counting Harlem Globetrotter cards).

Two more that I’ve already featured in this blog… 1974 Topps Stamps. I was very excited about these at the time, but now it’s kind of “Yeah, I should chase the set at some time”.

I wasn’t prepared for how tiny these are.

OK, one last thing before I move on… Last week I was looking at a local big box retailer to see if they had 2020 Topps factory sets. I didn’t expect to find any and I didn’t, but I was greatly surprised to find jumbo packs of 2020 Topps Archives. I don’t have a huge interest in Archives, but since it had been two months since I bought any sort of baseball product and three months since I bought anything more interesting than Topps Album Stickers, I decided to pull the trigger.

I will admit that they look a little bit better in-hand than they do online. I’m still not a fan of the set in general, but I’m a little more open to pickup up cards from the 1974 “subset”. I only pulled commons from my pack, but here’s my favorite of the bunch.

One of many admittedly picky issues I have with Archives is that the originals are generally very colorful, but something about the way Archives is printed – or maybe it’s the cardstock? – leaves the bright colors very muted. From top to bottom these are 1974 Rany Jones, 2020 Max Scherzer, 1974 Chris Speier, 2020 Brandon Crawford.

OK, I think that’s about all I’m going to say about 2020 Archives here.

On to the Weigh-in part!  Posting updates on the organizing and streamlining of my collection gives me a look at the big picture, keeps me honest and helps with motivation and/or guilt.

I’ve been doing this for *nine* years! I didn’t fully realize it’s been that long.

Changes since the last weigh-in (from 7/6/2020 to 10/10/2020):
Net change in the collection: +102 (320 added, 218 removed)
Net change to the # of cards in the house: +132 (289 in, 157 out)

If I had another week or two, this number would be much better…. I’ve got a couple of hundred cards which I need to sit down and remove from my database, but I haven’t had a chance to do the clerical work yet.

Totals since I started tracking on 10/16/2011:
Total # of cards purged from the collection, to date: 14,139
Net change to the collection, to date: +6,368

Totals to date:
Total # of cards which have left the house, to date: 52,853
Net change to the number of cards in the house, to date: -13,845

Size of the collection:
Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 70,841
Number of cards that make up the sets flagged as completed in my Access database: 12,491

…which means I’ve got at least 83,332 cards in my collection

Money spent on cards:
This quarter (this does not count money spent on show admission, shipping, supplies, etc): $40.90

$40.90 over the course of three months is as low as my spending’s been in years. If you take out the two shows I went to in January and February, my 2020 spending averages out to $20.98/month, which is minuscule for me.

Average per month for 2020: $65.57 so far
Average per month for 2019: $80.38
Average per month for 2018: $79.03
Average per month for 2017: $43.63
Average per month for 2016:  $36.11

I didn’t track my spending before 2016.

Size of my MS Access card database:
I track my collection in a Microsoft Access database of my own creation. There’s quite a bit of work involved in keeping it up-to-date, so I like to satisfy my own curiosity by finding out how much information is currently in my database.

My database currently contains 967 set definitions (up 12 from the last weigh-in) and 241,248 card definitions (up 2,954 from the last weigh-in).

It’s important to point out that this is merely the number of sets and cards which are represented within my database; for example, although I have no cards from 1949 Bowman, that set represents 1 set definition and 240 card definitions.

One more card from that COMC shipment… THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!!!!





9 thoughts on “The More I Organize, The Worse It Seems (Plus Weigh-In #68)

  1. Your comment about how Archives is printed is something that’s bugged/interested me for a while. I touched on it a little in a post about Heritage but the main thing going on is that Topps used to print colors using easy-to-print colors for the printer (solids or 50% screens) but that approach isn’t at all how digital production works.

    Digital production treats the print colors on the computer as what the printer is intended to “match.” Which means that the end result will likely be screened or impure in some way because the goal is matching what’s on screen. When running something like Heritage or Archives, you have to go out of your way and design the colors as basically pre-seperated.

    In any case, none of the Archives colors match (seperation-wise) the 1974s. Most are close but the oranges and browns in particular do not and trigger more ink usage and a muddier color in Archives than in 1974.

  2. I’ve never tracked it, but I often wonder what percentage of my yearly spending on cards comes from card shows. Obviously not a huge percentage this year — but I feel like I’ve been buying more retail to make up for the gap left by the lack of shows. Probably not the smartest decision on my part, but something’s gotta quell the “new card” itch.

    • I should break my spending down, it would probably be interesting. Most of my 2020 spending has been from the January and February shows I went to, but it would be a different story if Target shelves weren’t always empty… or if I liked 2020 Topps more than I do.

  3. Today’s technology for Topps can’t measure up when doing archives or heritage. The prime example is 1974 archives where San Francisco was done with taller skinnier letters more of a business type font in 74, today’s archives have more rounded letters & dark orange font in San Francisco name. Even the player position is more dark & bolder. Even the back of 74 archives is harder to read, smaller bolder & more spread out. Topps has been doing this on the 69 thru 71 heritage that I notice where it’s hard to read players stats.

    • I got in a bit of “trouble” on Twitter – and that’s a huge exaggeration – by complaining about the 1974 fonts in 2020 Archives… but I think having 1970’s cards without being able to replicate the bright 1970s colors is my biggest disappointment for Archives

  4. Pingback: Dead Parrot Frankenset: October 2020 Edition | The Shlabotnik Report

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