(I’ve been procrastinating a post where I recap the progress I’d made in organizing my collection during the first quarter of 2021 — That’s January through March — and I figured a holiday weekend is as good a time as any to put it out there)
It’s just as well that I found almost no retail cards for the first quarter of 2021.
Yeah, there were times when I wanted to open some packs but there was nothing to rip. Even my “emergency stash” got used up, and I opened the last pack of *anything* I had in the house… which was, for the record, a pack of 1998 Dart Flipcards “Mr. Bean” cards.
Much of what I did do was organize my binders and my cards… One of my main projects was to streamline my 1991 baseball cards. Before I started I had well over 3,000 cards from that year, which is way too much for any year that’s not one of great personal significance.
They say that a good way to determine what you don’t need is to gather everything like it – clothes, books, etc – and go though it all at once so you can see what you’ve got and what you don’t need. I’ve done this before with a particular year’s cards, and recently gathered all of my ’91s together to see what I can easily live without… for example, I have over 10 different 1991 cards of Ryne Sandberg, a player I don’t collect who played for a team I don’t collect. Gathered all together, I found I had 10 Ryne Sandberg cards just from 1991, and I honestly don’t need 10 1991 Rynos… I’m getting to the point where I’m questioning whether I need more than 4 or 5 cards of any particular player for a given year.
…But this is all to give background on what I did those three months. Organize, organize, organize. It was also good to spend some “quality time” with cards I’ve owned for 30 years and hadn’t paid much attention to lately.
As for this weigh-in, I’ll spice things up with a bunch of vintage Pittsburgh Steelers cards I’d acquired at the most recent card show I’d been to (February 2020)… Steelers like this 1957 Bowman of Bob Gaona who played from 1953 to 1957 (this is his only football card)
I’ll also kick things off with my “Mission Statement” for these posts: 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.
Changes since the last weigh-in (from 1/6/2021 to 4/9/2021):
Net change in the collection: +150 (243 added, 93 removed)
Net change to the # of cards in the house: -30 (171 in, 201 out)
“Net change in the collection” went up because a lot of the organizing involved going through my overflowing “in box” and officially adding past acquisitions into my collection by entering them into my card database and filing them away in the appropriate binders and boxes.
A blaster of 2021 Topps Series 1 makes up the bulk of the inbound cards, but I also bought some cards online from the Tri-City ValleyCats (formerly NY-Penn, currently in the unaffiliated “MLB Partner” Frontier League).
1959 Topps Frank Varrichione, 5-time Pro Bowler with the Steelers and Rams
Totals since I started tracking on 10/16/2011:
Total # of cards purged from the collection, to date: 15,022
Net change to the collection, to date: +6,507
Total # of cards which have left the house, to date: 53,147
Net change to the number of cards in the house, to date: -3,191
Now that I don’t have to hide in my house for months on end, there should be an uptick in cards leaving the house… if nothing else, I’ve got a backlog of cards to donate to Goodwill.
1960 Topps of Pro Football HOFer Ernie Stautner
Size of the collection:
Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 71,171
Number of cards that make up the sets flagged as completed in my Access database: 12,491
…which means I’ve got at least 83,662 cards in my collection
1961 Fleer Jimmy Orr, who was with the Colts that year and a Pro Bowler in 1965
Money spent on cards:
This quarter (does not count money spent on show admission, shipping, supplies, etc): $28.95
Again, my spending was that blaster and the minor league cards from the ValleyCats. (Coming attractions: There will be a big upswing in spending for the 2nd quarter)
The following will put things in perspective: My spending for the first three months of 2021 was less than the monthly average of any year since I started tracking my spending five years ago.
Average per month for 2020: $76.66
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. In 2016 and 2017 I didn’t go to as many card shows because there weren’t any local shows, and I only made the 5 hour roundtrip run to a regional card show once or twice those years.
1961 Topps Junior Wren, who jumped to the AFL’s New York Titans that year
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 995 set definitions (up 14 from the last weigh-in) and
247,160 card definitions (up 2,596 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.
1962 Topps Buddy Dial – He was drafted out of Rice by the Giants in the 2nd round, didn’t make the team, was picked up by the Steelers where he make the Pro Bowl in 1961 and 1963