Friday, May 02, 2014

The Great Reorganization: Step 5: Breaking Down the Years (to Binder or Not to Binder?)

Way back in March, I announced plans to totally reorganize my entire collection.  After almost a month and a half, I am now proud to report that the gigantic stacks of unsorted cards are now sorted!
All of these boxes were once covered with stacks and stacks of unsorted cards!  It's nice to see the boxes again!

Alright, that's not entirely true - but what is true is that the gigantic stacks are now fully sorted into slightly smaller stacks by year.  That's a huge first step - and one that in past reorganization attempts I never made it out of!

Each stack represents a year.  That big one closest to the camera?  The year 2000.
Now that the first major part of the reorganization is complete, it is time to move into the next big phase.

When I decided to completely overhaul my collection, I honestly had no idea what I would do when I got to Phase 2.  If I'm being honest, I wasn't entirely convinced that I'd make it out of Phase 1 (and given my unsuccessful track record to that point, who could blame me)!  However, I've now made it to Phase 2 - and so beginning yesterday I had to make some decisions.

1.  What sets would I try to collect?
2.  Do I want to keep all my Reds cards?
3.  If the answer to 2 is no, then what Reds do I want to keep?
4.  What other players do I want to keep?
5.  Anything else I should keep?

I'll try to tackle the questions in order here:

1.  What sets would I try to collect?
I can't say that I have definite answer to this question yet, but I can tell you how I go about answering it using the year 1990 as an example.  For no particular reason (other than the size of the stack wasn't too daunting), I decided to start my year-by-year reorganization with all of my cards from 1990.  The first thing I did was take the gigantic stack and divide it up into smaller stacks where each stack represented a single set from 1990.

As you can see, even in 1990 there were a lot of different sets out there!  I then took my various binders holding 1990 cards and made some major decisions.  For the year 1990, I am proud to say that I have the entire Topps base set in a binder.  I also couldn't decide whether or not I wanted to complete the 1990 Fleer, 1990 Score, or 1990 Upper Deck sets so those three stacks were returned to the sorting table.  The rest of the cards?  Sets that I knew I didn't want to try and complete at all...

2.  Do I want to keep all my Reds cards?
After a lot of deliberation (truly - this question has been on my mind since the moment I decided to reorganize), I decided that the answer to the question was No.  I do not need a collection full of every single player to wear the Cincinnati uniform.  Quite frankly, for most of my collecting life the Reds have been terrible - and with it, most of their players have been terrible.  Who really needs 1,000 cards of Corey Patterson, Elmer Dessens, or Bill Doran?  Not me is what I decided.

3.  If the answer to 2 is no, then what Reds do I want to keep?
Although I have officially decided to not collect every Reds' card out there, I knew that there were certain players that I did want to keep.  Obviously Barry Larkin, but beyond him I had to make some decisions.  Since I started with 1990, I only had to make immediate decisions based on players in those sets - so for now my Reds' keepers are:  Ken Griffey Jr (although he's a Mariner in 1990), Ken Griffey Sr., Jose Rijo, Eric Davis, and Chris Sabo.  As I work through the years, I know I'll be adding more players to the mix (Joey Votto and a bunch of the more current Reds for sure, plus a few others).

4.  What other players do I want to keep?
I'm a set collector first, but for the sets that I'm not going to try and complete, I had to make some other decisions - namely, should I be keeping any other (non-Reds) players?  For now, I decided that answer was also yes, though I am going to try and keep my list of players to a relatively small number.  At the moment, I have set aside cards for Griffey Jr (as mentioned above), plus Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina, Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken Jr., and Tony Gwynn.  That's pretty much a "Who's Who" of early 90s stars (with the Mussina thrown in because he's a local guy)!

5.  Anything else I should keep?
While all of that was great, I still found myself conflicted because I kept running across great cards from sets that I had already told myself I wouldn't collect (and these were cards of guys not named in #4).  What to do with them?  Well, taking a cue from many of my blogging brethren, I decided I'll make my own Frankenset - with a few specific rules!
#1:  Absolutely no cards in the Frankenset from sets that I am going to (or already have) completed.  
#2:  One card per number (at the moment, I'm planning on a 792 card Frankenset).
#3:  No cards of guys in my various player collections (so Larkin, Griffey Jr., etc. are out)

With those rules, I think I'll have most of my bases covered - I can keep the sets I love, I can keep the players I enjoy, and I keep the specific cards that interest me for other reasons.  Everything else?  Well, for now it's going in a big box and will eventually be sorted, traded, and/or sold.  I haven't quite figured out that step...but that's a long ways off.  

Besides 1990, I have one other year complete now:  1991.

For 1991, I have the Topps, Donruss, and Score sets both fully complete.  I decided after much deliberation to give up on the Upper Deck set (though many of those cards made their way to the possible Frankenset box of cards).  I also couldn't decide whether or not to complete 1991 Fleer so that stack of bright yellow went back to the sorting table...everything else went to the for sale/trade box!


The Junior Junkie said...

I love these posts.

I have a jillion commons from all those sets you decided not to collect. Are you sure you don't want 'em??

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