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Size Matters?

Thousands upon thousands of pressed cardboard typically cut at precise measurements with random photographs of the guys that made it to the “bigs” on the front and their statistics on the back. The statistics are what truly the baseball fan thrives upon, they are what give baseball the “pastime” label.

I started buying cards when I was 10 at the little corner candy store, the forerunner of today’s 7/11. The year was 1967 and of course the nickel per pack was pretty reasonable. I would make my daily walk to the store through alleyways, garages, and wherever a pop bottle may have lurked. If I found five bottles, you could bet that I would buy two packs of cards.

They tell me that I was a very particular. I never ever would attach a card to one of my bicycle spokes, not even a ’67 Earl Battey. Battey is one of the cards, that for some mysterious reason, I think of first when I think of the ’67 set that I now own.

I never tossed cards but I did have a standing “pat” trade with a buddy of mine; his Mantle for my Aaron. I must have made that trade 23 times between 1967 and 1969 as evidenced by the stack of Mantles that I had in my lone shoe box in 1984 when my mom presented them to me when my son was born.

It was not until after a Cubs game, where a former teammate of mine, Hubie Brooks, invited both my son and I onto the field at Wrigley before a Saturday day game that I actually started “collecting”.

On the way home I had a couple of “honey dos” and so my son and I stopped into a True Value to pick up a couple of things and it was there I noticed a starter set of baseball cards. I thought what a great way to spend some time with my son (wink, wink). I bought the starter set and when we got home my son tore into the card as he was looking for Hubie. Unfortunately, he was not in the group of cards but a few of the other Mets were and my son recognized them. He proceeded to attempt to put the cards into the plastic sleeves and of course bent every card he touched. After 15 minutes he was long gone but I was still looking over stuff when I noticed that the starter set had a little price guide. Casually, I looked at the ’69 year and scanned down to see that the Mantle was priced at $500 each and the Ryan rookie at $2,500. You can only imagine how quickly I went to my basement and dug out that shoebox that my mom had given to me 4 years prior.

I found immaculate cards, Ryan’s, Bench’s, May’s, Rose’s, even some Aaron’s, approximately 1500 cards. From those beginnings, I have parlayed the duplicate stars into a collection that has every Topps card from 1967 through 1992, every Donruss and Fleer card from 1981 through 1992, Upperdeck from 1988 through 1992 and many others. They are all hand selected, centered, sharp-cornered and for me, the more gum stains on the back, the better. I wish every card had a gum stain. I liked the gum and miss it greatly.

Today, I keep the cards in UV stable plastic sleeves and those in binders. They are proudly placed in my office in chronological order. The Topps cards are my favorite so they have the best shelf location. It is fun to show a new friend or even an acquaintance my collection. Most guys at least played little league and most even bought a pack or two of baseball cards. Seeing complete sets, in the condition that mine are in, awes most.

And then there are the duplicate sets, the speculative purchases, 2000 Sammy Sosa rookies for $.14 a piece, 2000 Frank Thomas rookies for $.16 a piece, 1000 Todd Van Poppel rookies for $.07 a piece. Obviously, there were some winners and some real losers. Those cards are all kept in labeled inventoried boxes in my garage. The 60,000 or so duplicate commons are sorted by number and by year in the standard four row card box for easy searching in the event that a trade is in the works.

There Is real history in baseball cards from my era, that is what concerns me about today’s kid and what he collects and why. That is for yet another discussion.
Mr D Cardcollector

I've been collecting cards since 1978, and over the years, my collection has grown and the methods of storage have definitely changed.

I collect Topps Baseball cards and have at least one complete set from 1970 - 2008 with the exception of 1971 which is the set I'm working on now. I have at least two sets of each year from 1976 through 1993. I started with (8) five thousand count boxes full of my extras this year, so you could say that my closet is full. I've actually been trying to put the collection on a diet with the attempt of trading away extra duplicates. With the help of SportsCardFun.com, I've been able to reduce my 5,000 count boxes by one in three short months.

Storing my cards has evolved with the times. Back in '78, I organized my cards by stapling them to my bedroom wall. Please cut me some slack, I was only 7. By 1980, I started to get smart and I purchased my first baseball card album with plastic pages. Although you would think this would help my collection retain that "mint" look, I spent too much time switching cards in the pages so lots of them got dings on the sides. The rest of my cards were nicely organized in team order, with rubber bands thrown into an orange plastic bucket.

By 1983, the traditional white baseball card boxes started coming out and I was on board. I was able to store my cards by year and brand. The condition of my collection started to improve. I also started to acquire more albums so I didn't have to switch out my cards as much.

In 1990, I was introduced to the soft sleeve and top loader system which I still use today. This was a great way of viewing cards without having to replace plastic sheets.

Currently, I use 5,000 count boxes to store my extras. Any card Pre-1984 is in a soft sleeve. My 1970 Topps Set is in a specially made binder just for that year. The rest of my sets from 1972-1979 are in the white "shoebox" boxes. Each card is in an ultra-pro soft sleeve with the major cards either in a top loader or if graded, in its PSA tomb.

All these cards with the exception of some Topps sets from 1987-1991 (which can be found at my next garage sale for $5.00 each) are in my den closet. So when a trade comes up on this site, I'm able to quickly turn around on my computer and pull them.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my collection. And remember, stapling cards is not a good idea!
Richman

I am a Nolan Ryan collector. I also collect J.J. Redick and Chris Cooley, but not seriously like my Ryan collection. I currently have 2139 different Nolan Ryan cards, that i've entered into my Excel Spreadsheet. I have a hobby room dedicated mostly to Nolan Ryan, along with some Duke Blue Devil and Washington Redskins memorabilia. I even named my first dog after my childhood, and "adulthood", idol. He's a black lab mix named Nolan (best dog i've ever known!). I pulled a Nolan Ryan 2005 Diamond Kings HOF Heroe #'d 1/1 and took a picture of it sitting infront of my dog Nolan, and sent it into Beckett. Among some of my prized memorabilia and best Ryan cards include the 1968 Topps RC, auto'd Rangers jersey, auto'd hat, two auto'd balls, among several other items! I am very weird about my Ryan cards. When I get them in the mail I put each one in a brand new sleeve and top loader. I have a shelf beside my desk that has three "jumbo" shoe boxes full of Ryan cards. All of my memorabilia is packed away while we have our house on the market. I plan on collecting Nolan Ryan cards and memorabilia for many years to come. I can't put a number on what my collection might meet. All I can say is that i'll keep doing it until it's not fun anymore...and I might keep collecting anyway.

Aside from my Ryan collection, I have over 31,668 cards for trade. I had back surgery a couple of years ago and made an Excel Spreadsheet that includes just about every card I own. I can access any type of list requested as far as team, player, set, card #, book value, etc. I still have a couple of stray boxes to go through, but I am quite proud of spending the time to type up everything. Honestly, I couldn't do much else at the time. I store everything in boxes. My stars, most semistars and minor stars I put in sleeves and top loaders. Most of my common's (including semistars and minor star commons) are stored in 5,000 count boxes, with all inserts, short prints, and rookies over one dollar in value being stored in sleeves and top loaders. I actually traded for hundreds of used top loaders a few years ago, so that I could do that. I treat my collection like a "fun" business. I don't make money on it, but people think I do. I just enjoy the trading and finding those Nolan Ryan's I need for my personal collection. For me it's a hobby, and that's what makes it so fun!
jdthakid36

I have been collecting baseball cards since I was nine years old, being a huge Atlanta Braves fan I started off first just collecting Braves cards, mainly Chipper Jones. I only have a couple thousand Braves, because I soon moved on to collecting Topps.
Now, twelve years later I have a collection of approximately twenty to twenty five thousand cards. Half of these, like a lot of people's collections, are still on the closet shelves at my mom's house in cardboard boxes, plastic pages, you name it.
The other half are on the shelves in my pretty nice sized walk in closet, taking up about half of the shelves which are supposed to be used for my clothes...Everyone has their priorities. In order to help organize I have built storage boxes from Michael's to store cards in, along with the same way I've always organized in folders of plastic pages and cardboard two thousand count boxes.
No matter how bad the economy gets there will always be money in my budget allocated to my hobby of collecting baseball cards. It has been an awesome experience, and I will continue to collect most likely for the rest of my life.
benguitarist16

Trying to capture memories of my childhood when my cousin and I would see how many 64 mantle cards we could find I started building my second collection. I would go to the local convenient store where an old timer working there was selling ziplock bags of various packs for 3.99 each.I picked up a couple bags and took them home.I felt young again tearing into the packs like it was Christmas. Well if it wasnt for the 2 93 fleer piazza cards valued at that time at 20.00 each I would have stopped. They have gone down in value for some unknown reason but I still have them.Then I found a place close by my house where i could buy soft sleeve protectors.I joked with the guy and asked him if he was hiring. He asked when could I start.That was the beginning of the 100,000 plus cards that now invade my attic.It took my wife two years of constant encouragement to get them up there.I still keep the $ cards out of site with me in a designated area downstairs.My biggest problem is I would have to spend a lot of money buying a safe big enough to hold my good cards.Most of my cards are commons.But there still are the thousands that are worth at least a 1.00 each.In that group are cards from $10.00 up to no price due to scarcity.It is an on going project to price and upgrade prices.All of my commons are either in 4 tier card boxes or moving boxes.

When I started this collection I acquired a couple of file cabinets thinking that was all the space I would need.They have been full for years now,I'm not even sure whats in them cause I haven't had a chance to get back to them. My collecting slowed down in the wake of the steriod era.I was almost done collecting then,but Dice k and Tom Brady came to town not in that order.I have been trying to figure out a way to downsize my collection with out taken a big lose. Maybe a web page would work.I think collectors may see the hobby slowing to a crawl as the economy slumps.This could be a good thing for us collectors as it should drive the prices down where people can afford high dollar cards for short money. The people who have cards will lose when they try to sell them though.Maybe when my nephew gets my card collection he will be able to turn a prophet or pass them on to his kin. Meanwhile I will still enjoy the one of one cards I have along with the autograph rookie cards and memorabilia cards.I do embrace the short time when you could get a $100.00 card for a few bucks.I think my biggest regret when it comes to my reborn collecting, is I sold a Peyton Manning/Dan Marino co-signed auto card for $300.00 that now books for $500.00.I still go out and buy cards now and then but in the last several months the 3 local card shops in my area have closed there doors.
terryod2002

A childhood friend introduced me to the hobby of collecting baseball cards. At the time I was only twelve, a fresh collector not know much about the cards. There was not a particular player that I collected...it was the team, the Atlanta Braves. As a beginner collector I really didnt know anything about protecting my cards or that I even could. This was all new to me at the time.

Now that I am older and have years of experience in dealing with cards and how to protect them, my most valued cards are top notch. My collection only consists of a few select player such as Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter. I would have to say that my Jeter collection is the biggest player collection that i have. My vintage collection has grown from when I first started ranging from cards that date back as far as 1948 from players like Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, and Johnny Bench.

These cards that I consider a valued treasure for myself, I keep them all in penny sleeves, then I put them into the hard plastic sleeves. This gives the cards a better chance of not getting bent. Once I have the cards in both protectors I then arrange them into a cardboard tray that has dividers that sits on a bookshelf for easy access for me to grab them at any time and enjoy looking at them. Personally, I think this is the best way for me to keep my collection safe from being damaged. Im sure that other collectors have their own little way of making sure that their prized collection is in ship shape, I thought that I would share with you all how I manage my collection.
dirtysouthgaboy_79

I have over a million baseball,basketball,and football cards combined.Most of my cards are commons that I keep in a locker box in a portable building at my house.I have over a hundred Nolan Ryan cards alone.I used to store my cards in albums in sheets but I found that isn't a good way to store my cards to keep them from getting bent or fading.I have about two-hundred Texas Rangers.I also collect Ken Griffey Jr. and have about fifty or so cards of his.I don't have that many cards that are serial numbered but do have a couple.My favorite would have to be the Joaquin Arias numbered cards.

I also collect Frank Gore cards and have over twenty of just those.I started collecting when I was younger and have given several hundred of cards to different organizations.I put my most valueable cards in sleeves and top loaders.I have several baseball rcs that I have in plastic sleeves and top loaders.I found that the sleeves protect the cards better if put in toploaders.That is what works best for me.I don't think you have to worry about them getting bent or fading if stored this way.I have one Ken Griffey Jr. GUsed card and a couple of rcs.I don't know in all the amount of cards I have because they are scattered in different places.I would appraise my collection value at around $500.00 but they are worth more then that to me in sentimental value.I also have been able to obtain several Texas Rangers players autographs on cards by going to the Rangers Caravan that comes in early January to a city close to where I live.
fgspears1

I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I probably have one of the most organized sports card collections in the world. My collection consists mainly of Phillies, Dolphins, Dan Marino, Scott Rolen, and relic cards of older players. But I’m one of those collectors that has the constant urge to bust a box of cards, which means that I usually have a lot of cards to keep organized. My Phillies, Dolphins, Dan Marino, Scott Rolen, and autographed cards are all placed in individual albums. The baseball and football base cards are all in white cardboard boxes. If I pull any serial numbered inserts or rookie cards with Chrome stock I always place them in either the baseball or football top loader box. Since I open a bunch of boxes which usually yield jerseys and autographs of less desired players, I have two white boxes for baseball and football memorabilia cards. In my office I have a few shelves hanging on the wall that contain some of my most valuable cards. I just can’t seem to place them in a box where I wouldn’t see them. I learned my lesson the hard way when not keeping your collection in order. When I first started collecting, I would mix baseball and football cards together. After years of doing that over and over again, I realized that it was really difficult to find something I thought I might have. Over a period of a few weekends, I separated all my cards by sport and have kept it that way ever since. Now you won’t catch me even placing a card upside down in a box.
rosschrisman2003

My sports card collection is so big...How big is it? It's so big my wife finally got fed up with all my trading stuff being all over that I got my own room in the house for my hobby. My devilishly clever plan or addiction to sports card collecting for the past eight years has worked. I now enjoy a luxurious 10 x 12 space of baseball cards and memorabilia.
Storage of an ever-growing collection has presented problems. While I am not sure of my exact card count, according to "My Organize" on Beckett. com the cards in my collection BV approximately $25,000. This includes sets, inserts, game -used, etc. Plus all of the trade bait I have listed on my Sportscardfun page.

I have recently become more organized with regards to storage of my cards. I have specific card boxes designated for Rookie cards, Auto's, Game Used, random inserts from 1999 - Present, random parallels, refractors, samples, and cards #/100 or less. I have the boxes set up the same way for my trade bait. Any base sets and parallel sets I complete are stored in three ring binders and are labeled including who are the key rookie cards, seeding, and any other pertinent information. All of these boxes and binders are stored on a couple of decent size shelving units. Lastly, my prized pulls and acquisitions are in a display case in one corner of my 10 x 12 club house.

I find myself spending 50% of my hobby time building a better mousetrap with regard to storing and organizing my cards. I can't wait to read other essays to steal some best practices other traders use.
RICHIE Cards

Like a lot of kids of the 1960's I purchased packs of cards more for the gum than the cards. Little did we know back then that "flipping" cards or clothes pinning them to our bikes would decrease the eventual value of the cards. As I acquired more and more cards, never more than a couple hundred, they would be thrown in a shoe box and crammed under my bed. No care was ever taken at preserving even my favorite cards. As I aged I found other things I felt more important to spend my money on. I never really collected passionately as a child. Being married and raising four daughters didn't leave lots of time or money to devote to collecting. Always needing suggestions for my birthday presents I tried giving my daughters ideas that they could afford. Early in the 1990's, I'm not sure if it was my idea or my daughter's but my birthday present was six 1976 Topps Pittsburgh Steelers players cards. Steelers being my favorite team my daughter had gone to our local card store (now, long since closed) and just asked for cards of Steelers she could afford. I'm sure the owner helped her out price wise on the six. That was the beginning of an addiction.

Even in the 1990's I wasn't too concerned with card value so as I got a bunch of extra cards, 2000 - 5000, I would just donate them to our local Boys and Girls club or the childrens floor of the hospital. I didn't seem to open enough of one product to try set building. That changed as the price of cards changed and I found other collectors who did build sets. I set my sites on set building and trading with others of the same passion. My finished sets, I would store in cardboard boxes designed for the sets. My team sets and favorite player cards I started out in just 9-card pages then eventually put the cards in penny sleeves first, then pages. My special cards I put in snap downs but have since switched to screw downs. We were planning on a move so all of my cards went into storage. After seeing the move wasn't going to take place I slowly brought my cards back home to our finished basement with the exception of the sets. The sets stayed packed away in cardboard in storage.

Unfortunately, cardboard and water does not mix. We had our sump pump decide not to work at the same time we received six inches of rain. I got up one Sunday morning to find seven inches of water in our finished basement. Full 5000-count boxes of cards don't float either. I had to throw away nine full 5000-count boxes of cards, one 3/4 full box of various rookie cards and 15 binders of pages of my better cards. The cards in penny sleeves sure hold the water. I would have been better off not having the cards in penny sleeves. That didn't stop my passion for collecting and I am on my way of accumulating more cards again. I see posts of people looking for a particular card and I can remember having that brand in my discarded cards but I can't help out. I have since purchased water tight plastic containers for my cards. All of my personal collection are in screwdowns
deucecard

I have had 2 collections in my lifetime. The first which I accumulated in the 60's through 80's contained many important cards including the rookie cards for Pete Rose, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, and Brooks and Frank Robinson. They were all in mint condition. I also had a '39 Playball of Joe DiMaggio in mint condition. These cards needed to be protected. They did not need to be stored away and be looked at whenever I went to the bank.

The prevailing wisdom in that time was to use plastic pages to protect discoloration, marred looks, and other things that would lower the value of the cards. Having them graded and put away between two sheets of hard plastic was not an option. Unfortunately many plastic pages were made using PCP's that would harm the environment and also the cards at times. These damages were irreversible. But as time evolved the plastic pages became better for the environment and protected the cards the way they should be protected.

I sold that collection to buy a house. I started over again on a limited scale. My collection now numbers approximately 150,000 cards. Because of limited resources I only have about one-fourth of my collection in plastic pages and inserted in binders. The rest of the collection is in lidded boxes. All of my cards are in either an enclosed closet or on a bookshelf. In all cases the cards are not exposed to light so that they will fade with age.
To me the importance of the collection is not its value but its availability for me to view. I have much fewer cards in mint conditiion than I did when I owned one-third of the amount that I now have. Of my 150,000 cards there are very few cards of large value, but I want my cards protected nonetheless. When I can I will put more cards into binders. My goal is to get them all into binders. I will then be able to find them quickly and will be able to look at each set at my leisure.

To me the availability is more important than keeping all cards pristine at all times so that its value will excalate in the coming years. I don't buy all my cards in mint condition. I look at a set as if I was peeking at a little history of the time. My collection reflects that idea and my use of plastic pages and keeping the cards near by and available for viewing at any time also reflects my idea of how to use my collection for my own good.
Therefore I believe whether you have 100 or 1,000,000 cards plastic pages and/or lidded boxes are the best way to keep your collection handy and ready for your use. My 150,000 cards can be sued by me at any time. For that I am very happy.
jxrefvb

By my best guess, my sports card collection consists of around 40,000 cards. When I was a kid, I remember counting my cards to see how many I had collected, until my collection became too big to count. I can not imagine how long it would take to count these. I think it works out to around 11 hours if I counted one per second.

When I was a kid, I stored my cards in a variety of ways, boxes, binders, sleeves, and hard cases just to name a few. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve limited my storage forms to boxes for the commons and hard cases for the cards which are valuable to me.

I must admit, I keep most of my cards on a shelf in my closet these days, and I have found this to be very sufficient at keeping them in good condition. Storage does not seem to be the problem in protecting the cards to me; handling seems to cause more damage than anything. That is probably why most of my cards from my childhood have rounded corners.

I have recently gotten a little back into collecting, but do not look at the old cards too often. They remain on the shelf in the closet. With my new cards, I tend to open them, remove the ones I like, and put the rest back in the box, and then stick them on the shelf beside the old ones. Every now and then I will look through the old ones and find a gem, a player who was not special at the time of my initial sort, but later became a good player. These are the best. But for every one of those, there is the fallen star that is relegated back to the box.
BW

I have decided to tell my story and hope that you will find it different and enjoyable. It is a true story.

My short essay of my addiction to the hobby of sports card collecting begins in a small tourist town that is well know for its NASCAR events. The city of Daytona Beach Florida. Now NASCAR was not any attraction for me growing up until I started collecting cards of the drivers and wanted to get them autographed. My true passion was baseball. What is a bit different about my story is that I am a 53 year old female who loved the game. Here is a bit of my background.

Growing up in this area I was fortunate enough to live across the street from a baseball field where from time to time a major name would come and take some batting practice, while us kids retrieved the balls for them. The fact that they were major names didn't mean a lot except for the fact that they always afforded goodies for those of us that were fortunate enough to be there at the time they came. Living across the street I was there almost all day and night playing the game called stick ball. Normally the girls were not included but, because I was a Natural in the true sense I outplayed most of the boys and was always one of the first picked to be on a team. I was told that I was a Natural because I was related to Ty Cobb. Ty Cobb the 3rd was a cousin so I had no real reason not to believe it. I didn't really know that value placed on me and never met the man but, saw pictures and heard conversations that always included him. I knew his daughter visited my grandmother frequently but, she was just know as one of the family members from my grandmothers side. I grew up to become an area star and Home Run hitter in softball and went on to many achievements such as MVP many times, Highest Batting Average many times, All American 4 times in the softball as well as paid for my education at Florida State University. Now I'm sure you are asking what does this have to do with collecting cards? Nothing, just some brief history on my sports background.

Unfortunately, I didn't start collecting cards until my mother became terminally ill and I had to move back home to Daytona Beach to help take care of her. I purchased a 12 packs of Coke and there was a Donruss Nolan Ryan. Well then another pack of coke got me a different card with a different number and I realized I couldn't wait until all the cokes were gone before buying another 12 pack. Before I knew it I had created a monster and addiction to card collecting. The next chance I got I went out and bought some 1992 Topps packs. Then tried to collect all those in a shoe box. Then on to the 92 Donruss set in a bigger box. Then as all collectors must know I went from a box, to more boxes, to a closet full, to a cabinet full and then on to my current existence of a room in the house designated as the card room. I currently have the old master suite of my house as my card room set up with computer station, and shelving of cards, boxes of cards, closet of cards and so on. Even starting the hobby as an adult, it has consumed many hours over the years. I have only been a member of SCF for a couple of years and it allowed me to meet some of the most honest good people left in the world, who know what a thrill it is to fill a set or find a card that you have been looking for.

Before that, I had bought, sold, and traded on line with people all over the country and had filled several childrens' wishes for cards. I even pass them out at Halloween in trick or treat bags. I also taught a summer class for disturbed teenage boys on card collecting. It was a positive experience for me and a new interesting hobby for them. Hopefully, it will be something they remember to pass on to others.

I have always wished I had gotten involved in this hobby at a younger age and held on to some of the cards from those years. When I think of the opportunities for autographed cards from all the players who came through the baseball field growing up it motivates me to involve any youngster interested in this hobby by giving them some cards and supplies to start them on the path I wish that someone had started me on back in the day of old fashioned players.
No steroids, no leaded bats, just desire, practice and guts.
camoka

My sports card collection has been trimmed down over time. At one point I had well over 10,000 cards but most of those I had collected in the early to mid-nineties. It took sometime and I was able to put together all my duplicates as well as cards that weren’t in mint and sell them at a garage sale. I’d have to guess that my collection is around 5,000-6,000 now. As far as storage goes, I’m slowly transferring all my full sets into binder pages for display and easy storage. All of the rest of my cards are currently in penny sleeves with the more expensive cards placed in top loaders. I am looking at getting a display case in the future to display my more prized possessions but as of right now I have them contained within a safe. It’s taken a few years of learning the proper methods to storage as when I first started collecting, my cards were lucky if they even had a shoe box to stay in as most of the time I had them strewn across my bedroom floor. As far as organization, I’ve slowly narrowed my collecting from baseball to hockey now only collect Edmonton Oiler cards along with Mike Richards and Henrik Lundqvist. These are the cards that I’d like to display in a glass case or in frames on the wall.
chazz_damon

I can’t imagine collecting cards without somehow storing them in a way that you can view and enjoy them. The following is how I learned, over time, to enjoy my collection.
It all began with a 50 card Mariners set sold at the Safeco Field team store. I brought it home and put it in an album with 9 pocket sheets. I could sit down and flip through the pages and enjoy it for just what it was; some of my favorite M’s players. Awhile later I bought my first box, 2005’s Topps Fan Favorites, and the album method worked well for that set too. All the players were known veterans. I enjoyed looking at the cards, and I wasn’t thinking about expanding. I bought box after box, not even thinking about the duplicates, trying to complete the set. I probably gave most of the duplicates to Goodwill at that time. In April, things began to change. My stepdad discovered my collection and sent me 10 pounds of assorted Mariners cards for my birthday and I started buying boxes of other product. I needed more than just albums to store them in, since I now had over 2000 cards from 1977 to the present. I tried selling duplicates on ebay, but that was tiresome and expensive. I thought my hobby was over before it really started due to time and space when we discovered Sportscardfun.com. Actually Julie discovered it, and it has helped develop my collection into what it is today. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I bought 800 count card boxes, filling those up rather quickly, and then stored those in six drawer filing cabinets. Each box had a team in it and that worked well for trading until July 31st, the trading deadline. Then suddenly the players were on different teams and “Was I looking for Roger Clemens as a Blue Jay or a Yank? Or an Astro?“ I quickly realized I had to reorganize my collection and we decided to do so by player last name. All the “C” players went together, and that still works today, even with over 15,000 cards. The question remained though, “How can I view my favorite cards?”

A solution came to us one day after visiting Ikea. Julie purchased a 2’ X 3’ white magnetic board to put up on the wall. She planned to use a magnet to hold some of the crafts she had made, saying it would look better than a corkboard. How it occurred to me I don’t know, but all of a sudden I was putting up some of my better cards in top loaders with a magnet glued to the back! It was the perfect display case, and a lot cheaper than some of those specialty cases I saw at card shops and craft stores. Before I knew it I had the board filled with 50 cards, mostly GU’d and autos, many of which we got signed in person at the ballpark. Now I have 3 additional boards up and I can enjoy them while sitting here at the computer. Because they are in top loaders, I am able to change my “display collection” whenever I want. There are 13 cards on that original board that will never change, however. They are signed ‘letters’ from SP Authentic and spell out “BASEBALL FEVER”, with every card featuring a player from a different team. It took over a year to spell it out, creating the perfect centerpiece of my boards.

Will our collection grow larger? Perhaps, but not by much. In bookcases there are the 8 albums of Mariners cards; several albums contain sets that we are still working on, and then we have our HOF album. We now have 2 filing cabinets (each with six drawers) at 90% capacity of cards kept primarily for trade. Signed baseballs and signed bats are prominently displayed on shelves as are bobbleheads, lunchboxes and other stadium giveaways. So while our collection doesn't have much more room to grow, it will always be changing, shrinking or growing a little each year based on our current whim. It is this fluidity, the ability to change who, what, where, why, and how much I collect that keeps the hobby attractive.
Julieplaid

Collecting baseball card is something that I’ve always regarded as one of (if not the) most loved activities in my life: It certainly got me busy caring for it!

My baseball card collection includes about 3,000 cards, with approximately 200 memorabilia or autograph cards. Half of the cards I collect are from packs and blaster boxes, while the other half is from factory sets. I use binders to keep them, and hide them under my bed to prevent my three year old innocent little brother from playing with it. Most of the binders are organized by sets (e.g., 2006 Topps Factory Set, 2008 Bowman Chrome Rookies). Each binder usually includes between 80 pages of 9 pocket sheets to 100 pages. My philosophy regarding pages per binder is “The less pages, the better” nobody is really short on binders, right? The whole point of putting cards into binders is to make them as “comfortable” as possible!

Now, the “equipments” part is over, for the “classification” and “insertion”. The way I classifying cards really depend on many aspects of the card, like is it autographed? Brand? Quality? Book Value? And Player? All these factors contribute to the way I sort them, but generally speaking, if the specific card is in a factory set or a part of a large collection, it would be classified according to the card number of that particular set. If it is an individual card, then I would evaluate and place them according to their value, and players, etc.

Some of the cards hold peculiar memories to me, like the cards that I received on Canada Day, or the ones that were autographed by the very player that the card was made for. These cards would be place into plastic card holders (not the ones you would use for a Yu-gi-oh card), and hanged onto my wall along with other academic and athletic awards and prizes. If that card is VERY valuable, then I would use an acrylic card holder or something that offers a higher degree of collection.

Baseball cards have different sizes, which is something that troubles collectors. Most cards are “normal-sized”, however if you want to be a respected collector then you must have mega-size or tiny-scripted cards, which happens when your collection grows to a certain size. Fortunately these cards are still in minority, and the issue can be dealt with easily by treating them in a separate binder. I tend to use 4 pocket sheets instead of the conventional 9 pocket pages when storing bigger ones, and individual place holders for the micro-cards, as they are more easily misplaced and lost.

A pain in the neck when fulfilling your obligations to insert cards into the pockets is the corners. There is no right “way” to do this, but generally speaking I would use my fingers to split the “mouth” of the pocket open before I actually insert the card in, whereas if you used your card to “stab” the pocket open, there would be a small dent on the corner of the card. This may change the Grade from a NM to M! Another thing is that speed and efficiency are also very important: You should not spend 1 minute to carefully put every card in place (with the exception of memorabilia cards), as this would take a lifetime when you need to go through a factory set.

Collecting baseball cards is something that I take pride in. I always make sure that the cards are in the same condition as when they left the printing line (or, the hobby store). Baseball card collecting is a “process”. It is not something that’s achieved overnight, but if you want to build up a collection you need to protect your previous cards, doing so the right way would help you to raise the value and quality of your collection in no time at all.
HAPPY COLLECTING!
johnnytang

My sports card collection consist of approxomately 750,000 cards. I have been collecting for over 15 years now and I have a huge problem! I tend to buy cards more than I sell them so they just keep piling up. Back in the early days of my collection, I used to just keep my cards in those huge paper towel boxes that you can get from the grocery store. Those were mostly 80's and 90's baseball cards and some 90's football cards. When I started to become a little more serious about the "selling" part of my collection, I decided that I needed to take better care of my cards so I started keeping them in plastic shoe box size storage boxes. I could fit about 2500 in a box and so as you can guess I had to buy a lot of these little boxes! Anyways, I could probably burn most of these cards, most people would call them worthless. But to me, however, I think back to all of the years that I spent saving and saving and I just can't let go!
chewie

I started my baseball card collection when I was 8. I would ride my bike to the penny candy store and spend my 50 cents on a 12 cent comic and use what was left for baseball cards and a few cents worth of candy. The first year I collected cards was 1965, and I neatly kept the cards in a shoe box, taking them out every weekend to admire my favorite players and trade the extras for Mets players I didn’t have. For some reason I attached my loyalty to the lowly lovable Mets. The Yankees just seemed like a NY city team while the Mets were the “other guys”… the “we try harder” bunch. Back then a Roger Marris would get you an Ed Kranepool, and any of the dreaded Yankees could end up clothes pinned to the spokes of your bike tires so you could make an engine like noise as you raced down the street. All except Mickey Mantle of course…

Like many other guys I know, those cards were sold for a small fraction of what they’re worth today when I got married and moved in with my wife. Regretfully I returned to the hobby in the 80’s during the glut of new product on the market. My inspiration for returning to the hobby was the 86 Mets Championship team. My first attempt at set building was the 1987 Topps, Fleer and Donruss sets. I was appalled at spending a $1 for a pack. I kept the cards in the white cardboard set boxes we use today, and stored them on the top shelf of the bedroom closet. Twenty years later, I have a closet just to house my collection.
After discovering the hard way (like most of the hobby world), that there were possibly more 1987 cards on the market than all the previous years combined, I decided to refine my set building and invest in the types of cards I collected in my youth, which held memories and equity that current day cards did not have. I built only Topps sets every year, until the introduction of the retro sets of today. Today I collect all the Heritage, Goudey, and Bowman sets and trade to build the sets. Unfortunately not as innocently as in my childhood days, as we all look up the “Beckett book value” to decide what makes a trade fair instead of just trading who you don’t like for who you root for…

I also was inspired to go back and collect all the cards I used to hope I would get when I broke open a pack of cards in 1965. I currently have every Mets player card Topps ever issued, neatly displayed in 9 sleeve pages in a ring binder. Each binder has a decade of Mets and the first page of each year shows the players that had played the most games at each position that season. At some point after my children leave home (soon I hope), I will display these annual lineups on a diamond shaped matte and frame on my office wall. Problem is my office is currently my daughter’s bedroom…

Having finished this labor of love, I expanded my collecting to favorite players of each era. Kiner, Hodges, Banks, Robby and Snider followed by Bench, Stargell, McCovey and Gibson, then Sandberg, Carter, Fisk and Morgan. All kept in a top loaders stored in a 2 row shoebox.
Last year I decided to start building the 60’s Topps sets, starting with my favorite year of all time 1969, and a year or so later I’m almost done with the 68 set and working backwards. All of these cards I keep in top loaders and a 3 row shoe box. Although we all spend our hard earned money at shows, on ebay and at the local card store, the thing that makes collecting and set building fun is trading with a fellow collector and getting that set in the closet marked “complete” so we can begin on the next set. The heart of the hobby is still about “talkin baseball” and reliving the great memories of our favorite teams and players. You’ll never find that in any price guide because it’s priceless.
Thanks to Sportscardfun.com and all the great traders I’ve traded with!
hotspurcoach

My collection is why some people could call me "cardboard crazy". I am 14, as some of you may know, so I don't have a house of my own, yet, but I do have 3 rooms and 2 are cluttered with cards. I collect any and all cards even if they're those 5¢ 1987 Topps cards. I have a few bins and many various sizes of boxes full of cards that ARE in order by team and alphabettically by last name but I have more that aren't in order scattered all over. They are on tables and some are in boxes on the floor for now. I believe I have approximately 50,000-100,000 cards and in 5 years, for example, I will probably have a few thousand more. I have a couple big piles of $4 and up cards that are probably going in a binder soon but I do keep my GUd cards in a binder. My autos are in a metal tin and I really hope to get those protected better soon. My biggest goal is to complete the Topps sets. I just started maybe 3 months ago on 06 and have it completed. Need just 2 more for 07 and quite a bit for 08. I wouldn't call myself "cardboard crazy" though, just a collector with a lot of passion.
BABERUTH#3

I used to have a nice-sized sports card and memorabilia collection. But with age comes other investments such as a house and a baby, so recently I’ve unfortunately had to take a step back in my collecting efforts. However, though my collection is smaller in stature, I feel that it’s also better than ever and I absolutely cherish these cards and sets and will not trade any of them for the world.

So what do these cards include? Some of my most cherished pieces of cardboard include a Ty Cobb T-206 (in the worst condition possible, but hey, it’s a Cobb!); a Hank Greenberg Goudey rookie; a Hank Greenberg SP Legendary Cuts autograph; a Sandy Koufax Topps rookie; a Al Kaline Topps rookie; a Topps Jim Bunning rookie; a Topps Mike Schmidt rookie; a 1989 Upper Deck set; a 2000 Topps Chrome Traded set; and a 1989 Score Football set.

When I was living on my own in an apartment, I stored my collection in a closet, but out in the open for all to see. Ideally I would love to store my card collection in that same manner today. Alas, I have a 15-month old daughter who freely roams the house and gets into EVERYTHING, so unfortunately I am forced to keep my cards in storage boxes in a closet (but luckily they’re all in screw down holders or regular plastic holders). Maybe one day when she’s older I can proudly display my collection once again!

While I feel I’ve done a good job of obtaining the cards that I’ve always wanted for my collection, there’s always room for my collection to grow. The ultimate prize for me would be to obtain a Ty Cobb autograph. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon, so in the meantime I’ll just concentrate on smaller purchases that I could use for my collection.
rutt88

My baseball card collection consists of every Topps base set from 1952 (no 52 Highs, though) to 2008, including the Update sets from ’74, ’76, ‘81 and ’82, as well as the Topps Giants from ‘64. I have the 1953 Redman set and the last four original Bowman sets from 1952-1955. I have the ‘61-‘63 Post sets, the ‘59-‘62 Fleer sets, and the 1970-’83 Kelloggs sets. I also have the first ten years of both modern Fleer and Donruss (1981-1990), the first five years of Upper Deck (1989-1993), the first two years of modern Bowman (1989-1990), the first three years of Topps Stadium Club (1991-1993), the Conlon Collection (1991-1993), 1993 and 1994 Pinnacle, 2000 Pacific Vanguard, and 2001 Legends of New York.

I also have some newer retro-design sets such as the 53 and 53 Topps Archives, 2000-2002 Fleer Tradition, 2001 Fleer Platinum, 2001 and 2005 Bowman Heritage, 2003 Upper Deck Vintage, 2004 Topps Cracker Jack, 2006 Allen & Ginter, and 2006 and 2007 Topps Heritage. These newer sets include all the SP’s.

I converted a closet in my basement into a cupboard with shelves on which to store my collection. All the Topps sets from 1952-1978, the original Bowman sets from ’52-’55, the Post sets, the original Fleer sets, and the Kelloggs sets are in PVC-safe eight and nine pocket pages. The 53 Redman set is stored in some ancient plastic photograph sheets that I’m pretty sure are not PVC-safe, but they’re all I can find into which the Redman cards will fit. I originally stored my early ‘50’s sets in non-PVC-sheets and paid dearly when some of my ’52 and ’53 Topps cards developed the now infamous PVC stains along the bottom border. Nevertheless, I still use these older protective sheets for my 1979-1983 Topps sets, but the higher value cards from these sets are protected in penny sleeves inside the PVC sheets. So far I haven’t had a problem with any of these ’79-‘83’s being stained. All these older sets are in binders labeled by manufacturer and year.

The newer sets are all in standard white storage boxes with labels on the ends indicating manufacturer and year. The most valuable cards in each of these sets are in hard protective card savers and placed on top of the cards contained in the boxes.

I really believe my card collection is now complete, other than filling in a handful of cards needed to complete a few sets. Of course, if I win this SCF contest, then I’ll be putting together the 2009 Topps base set and continuing my 57 year Topps run into its 58th year!
wilsjon

How big is my Collection, is the question. I started my journey collecting Baseball cards back in 1995. I only had 1 favorite player and that was Ken Griffey Jr. I would buy packs every chance I could afford to. Being married and a child, sometimes buying a pack of cards isn't possible. My goal is to get every Ken Griffey Jr card possible. I was in Balad Iraq, I was in charge of Dining Facility Operations at my Location. If I wasn't chatting with my wife, I would be on Ebay searching for Ken Griffey Jr Cards. This was one of my ways to get away from the War on Terror. I came across A Ken Griffey Jr Collection on Ebay. It was over 4400 cards, Starting Line Up Figures, Lunch Boxes, Christmas Ornaments Salvino Banbino Figurines, and 2 Plaques of Jr. I was so excited because I have never seen a collection like this before, so I had to try to get it.

My wife is definitely not a big fan of Cards by the way. She got involved on this auction with me and was able to purchase it from a guy in California for $450.00. I was so excited and was looking forward to going home on R&R to be home with my family and to rip into that Collection. I had to leave Iraq in May 06 due to medical reasons and when I got home, I spent that time with family and then I started opening the box with the Ken Griffey Jr Collection. To me this was the best Collection on earth because I am a fan of Ken Griffey Jr.I ended up with about 2200 duplicates and to this day I still have majority of them. I found this awsome site and have started making some new friends and adding some more Ken Griffey Jr. Cards to my Collection.

It was FlipperPhil and Sparkey who really help me get started on this site and I am able to get more better trade bait so I can go after more Jr cards. I now have 5 Griffey Game-used, and 1 bat card on the way. I am about to recieve my 1st Refractor Ken Griffey Jr Card which has me so excited. Now I can't wait till I can get my First Autograph Card. I have a UPPER DECK AUTHENTICATED AMERICAN LEAGUE BASEBALL signed by Ken Griffey Jr, which is now back with the Mariners. I have a Salvino Banbino Ken Griffey Jr Figure, which is autographed. These are my main pieces to my collection. My Father in-law built me a storage cabinet with 5 drawers which houses my collection and each drawer has 6 dividers like storage boxes. Only the best cardsthat are worthy to be stored in it. If it wasn't for this site, I don't think it would have been able to continue my collection. I was Medically retired from the Army and this site has been a big help with me being able to continue to collect.Once all my Medical is taken care of, then I will be able to focus on collecting more Ken Griffey Jr Cards. I have Adrian Peterson, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Reggie Bush, Matt Lienart Rookies and a good variety of Gae-Used Cards and Autograph Cards which I use for Trade Bait in the Future. I have picked up at least 22 Rookies of Matt Ryan which 2 are Game-Used. I have more on Brady Quinn which I have 4 Game-Used which the best is a Game-Used #ed to 36. So I know I have theJayson Williams
jywilli69

To say that my card collection is an obsession would be a huge understatement. Let me explain….

It should first be noted that this is the third reincarnation of my collection. I started “officially” collecting cards when I was 14, I had collected over the years, but I was never a true collector of sports cards. I had a summer job that year and being 14 in a small North Carolina town, I didn’t have many options to spend my money. After that summer, my collection was full with every set from 1988. Over the years I built it up to about 30,000 cards and 50 or so factory sets. When I went to college in 1993, I left all of my cards with my grandparents and took a few chosen cards with me. After that first year in school, the rest of my cards were stolen and I had about 25 cards of my favorite players. Thank god they were Jordan, Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg and some other choice picks.
The second collection was very small and sparse, I was in college (broke)and when I got a package from home, there would be a few packs from my family.

The third edition of the collection is where we are now. After, college and in the real world, I struggled on my own and never had the money to bust packs until about 6 years ago. I still get the factory sets and now I usually buy 15-20 sealed boxes with my e-bay purchases.
My collection is currently in the 6 figure total, I recently went into my card room and did a quick inventory of my stash and I am around 310,000 commons and partial sets. My star card room (yes I have 2 rooms in my house for cards) has about 22,000 cards total. I will get to specifics, but for now let me tell you about the rooms themselves.
My commons room is for set work only; I have separate sections for each category of card sets. I am currently into hockey, basketball, football and baseball. Both of my rooms are on the second floor and are temperature and humidity controlled individually with separate thermostats. I have an area for storage that now holds 40 set boxes of separate sizes and shapes. This area also holds my acrylic holders for multiples and single cards. There are also various accessories for my autographed items such as pictures, balls and pucks. There are two separate work tables that are separated by sets on one and specialty (inserts/parallels) on the other. This room is secured with a special deadbolt since both of my rooms are connected.

The star room is more of a display/wall of fame. The room has individual infrared fire control that I had installed and heavy duty locks and doors. I have most of my stars up on the wall and displayed for anyone to see. To store my stuff, I made most of the displays. I did this not because I am artful, I just didn’t want to pay the prices for displays. My method actually worked well as I like to get multiple items autographed and mounted. I went to East Carolina University; I have a ton of Garrard, Byner, Johnson memorabilia with most of the coaches. Since I live in Georgia and am married to a UGA grad; I have been very lucky to get items from Tarkenton, Walker, Richt and Dooley with many others. Most of my items would not make a ton of money, but I collect who I love and I trade for more. I have recently scored many items from my beloved Braves including some Aaron and Maddux. My whole collection is housed in these two rooms and now I make sure that I will not lose it to anyone!
bigchris1974

My name is Mike and I currently have a card collection near 750,000 cards. 80% hockey and most of those are commons, semi-stars, etc, but I know I have at least (20) 5,000 ct. boxes that have not been gone through in about 10-12 years. At times in the past I have owned and operated a couple different card shops in Iowa, St. Louis and in Illinois. As most shop owners know, it’s difficult to carry all sports, so I stuck to what I love the best and that’s hockey. That’s where I picked up a lot of the commons.

I have my collection stored in 3 states. South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. They are kept in dry and secure locations that either myself, family or friends have. In Iowa for instance, they are stored at both my mother’s house and my brother’s business. I pay not only a partial amount of my mothers insurance, but also bought her a nice dehumidifier to keep her basement dry and free of moisture. My brothers business has a nice second story that at this point stores family Christmas decorations, some furniture and my sportscards. I steer him business in exchange for storing my cards there. In Illinois, my cards are actually stored in an old firehouse that my friend restored and lives in. How often do you hear about firehouses burning???

Many of my cards are of course kept close to me here in South Dakota. My wife and I own a house in one town and I live two hours away and have some more stored where I work. As I had mentioned, all locations are safe, secure and dry and that means the most to me. In all the locations, I have most of my cards stored in all sorts of storage boxes, and with the exception of the cards that aren’t sorted yet or commons, they are all in penny sleeves, toploads or some type of hard cases, either 4 corner arrow screwdowns or the newer magnetic ones. I also have a lot of valuable cards that we want to hand down to our kids someday in safety deposit boxes in banks as well.

I also have lots of sets stored in 3-“D” Ring binders, but am in the process of transferring a lot of them to appropriately sized cardboard storage boxes. Not sure how safe some of the older plastic 9 pocket sheets are anymore. Most of the cards in binders are stored on plastic stackable shelving units. I use these because if I need to move them, they are easy to take apart and then re-assemble. All the storage boxes, binders and tubs that contain miscellaneous items like my hockey figurines, etc. are stored and are clearly marked what they are and due to the large volume I also have sheets or blankets covering them as well. Organization is also the key. All my goalies are kept together, as well as rookies, inserts/parallels, vintage, etc. All my star cards (it changes from season to season and who is hot) are also alphabetically organized so if I do shows or have requests online, I know just where to go. All are labeled so I can access them easily and quickly.

I enjoyed sharing information about my collection and hope that maybe you’ll find some of my ways of storing and keeping my collection useful to you as well.
deadwoodmike

My personal hockey card collection is somewhere around 35,000 cards. I've never taken an exact count, but over 30,000 cards make up complete sets. I started collecting hockey cards with the 1969-70 Topps set, and have continued from there.
I store the cards in a variety of ways, depending on if the card is a 1990-1 Pro Set common or one of my 1979-80 Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee rookies. My 1990-1 Pro Set cards and others like them are mainly stored in 55 count plastic boxes, which I have then placed in the double row hobby shop shoe boxes. Some of the star cards like Gretzky or Patrick Roy, or key rookies end up in plastic sleeves in semi-rigid holders. They're also stored in the box.
Before that, in the 1980's and 90's, I stored many cards in 9 pocket pages in albums. I still have some sets in those, but have found that over the years, the weight of the cards has caused the pages and album covers to warp or bend a bit. Because of that, I've transferred my older sets and singles into the penny sleeves , placed in semi rigids, placed in the double row shoe boxes. Each box is labled by set, and the larger sets like Upper Deck take two shoe boxes per set.

Those boxes are stacked in chronological order on a series of bookshelves for easy reference for when I'm hunting down singles to try and complete the sets.
I also have sent in some of my rookies or vintage cards for grading. Those include Grtezky, Roy, Lemieux RC's plus vintage cards of Howe, Orr, Sawchuk and so on. I've mainly used the Beckett service, but do have a few PSA's.

Many of those higher value cards I keep outside the home in aafe deposit box.
The final storage suggestion I have is something that surrounds my entire collection...an insurance policy. It's fairly inexpensive on a yearly basis and is great protection if you have an extensive valuable collection. I've had the misfortune of being burglarized twice over my 40 years of collecting. I bought a policy after the first burglary and it paid damages for what I lost after the second one.

You still have to prove you owned what you claimed, but a list of cards and sets on your computer or a website plus some home video easily covers that.
woodster33

How big my sports card collection and how and where do I store it? That is an interesting question as I haven't really thought about it. I do not have a specific number on the amount of cards I have as I never would have the patience to actually count them. I can give an idea by box and or books full. I have approximately 12-15 long boxes and another dozen or so half long boxes of individual year sets (complete or partial). I also have 5 or 6 standard shoe boxes old school storage) of mixed cards waiting to be sorted. I also have 20 or more large binders that can hold between 300 and 350 Game Used cards or close to 1000 regular issue cards. I am very lucky to work for a large corporation so when I have to go to a training class I can get these large straight ringed binders from the instructors.
It is in these binders that I store the cards that I value most, my favorites. 4 contain NY Mets commons and inserts sorted by players, favorite to least. 3 contain NY Yankees commons sorted the same way. 1 1/2 have NY Mets GU and 1 has NY Mets Auto and SN'd cards. Another has NY Yankee GU, Auto, and SN'd. 3 others have all other player's GU, Auto, SN'd while 2 others have certain favorite player’s inserts and commons.
I have 2 very strong book cases in my home office to hold my card binders while my boxes are stored in a closet in the same room.
Overall my card collection is at a nice size but still easily manageable.
BA Benny

I started my collection about a year ago when my I found some cards my grandma had collected for and it has grown to over 10,000 cards. I am a young collector and have to build up my collection with a small allowance and some sold cards. I store my cards in boxes and binders witch I put on two cabinets. I keep all of my cards is sleeves witch you can find at Wal-Mart are your local card shop. I mainly keep teams that are in are near my state (bobcats, panthers, braves, ect) in the binders. I also keep sets I am trying to complete in binders my jersey and autos I keep in another binder. In the boxes I keep most of my base set cards and some insert sets which I mainly get at my local card shop. If you are looking to protect your collection I would suggest going to your local card shop and asking about the storage boxes they have. I hope to keep on buying selling and increasing my collection and maybe even open a card shop. With my collection expanding I will buy more boxes and binders maybe even dedicate I whole room to my collection. So hopefully my collection will grow and I will open my card shop.
chadpack

My collection consists of approximately 25,000 cards. Storing them is as much fun as collecting them. I was able to obtain a number of library card catalog drawers. These drawers hold my Topps sets for the past 30 years. I also have about 15 books with sheets of toploads containing nine cards each. These sheets hold my player collections and special subsets. Next, all my vintage cards are stored in individual toploads and placed by year and numerically in 3200 count boxes. I have a third bedroom in my home that houses all my memorabilia. But I do something very unique with my game used and autographed cards. Using two of the wider-mouthed toploads, I attach a round price sticker in the middle on the back of the toploads, so that two cards are joined together at a angle to stand on a shelf that runs around my memorabilia room approximately five feet off the floor. One game used card is connected to its corresponding autographed card. If I don't have the auto, I try to attach a jersey and bat card of the same player together.
Finally, I have a small closet in close proximity to my computer. This is important, because it strictly houses my cards for trade or sale. They are stored by year in 800 count boxes. What's nice about the closet is that it is a walk-in closet. So the facing of the boxes is very visible, allowing me to easily find what I am looking for. And with that said, I can make my trades quickly and efficiently.
indybob

I was quite surprised to see that the contest at SCF was about how big my collection is and how do I store my collection. These were my exact words when I was deciding on how I was going to protect my baseball card collection. I started collecting in 1981 when the baseball card world opened up to the collector. Since 1981 I have been building a complete set each year and also collecting individual cards of my favorite players, rookies, and Tigers. Up to now I have been storing my complete sets in long 800 count boxes and putting my Tiger team sets in plastic team set boxes, and my singles in penny sleeves and filing them in a monster box that holds 3200 cards or better.

My son came home for Christmas this year from Chicago and said, "Mom can I look at the baseball cards for the year I was born"? I told him sure that I have them in an album that has the year 1982 embossed on the front. This was the only set that I had put into an album; it was so my son would hopefully want the cards one day. I can't tell you what joy it brought to me to see my son looking at the baseball cards I have been collecting, as he never really showed any interest. I thought why not have all of my complete sets in albums with the 9 pocket protective sleeves? I could browse through my baseball card collection instead of just having them stored away in a box in the closet. I have purchased large 3 ring baseball card albums online from baseball card dealers in three different colors.

I began to think, where I should store the albums with all of my complete sets. I have the perfect place in my office space on oak bookshelves. Now everyone can see my baseball card collection that is at least 500,000 cards strong. It wasn't until I started storing my baseball cards in albums that I realized how big my collection has grown since 1981. The albums and the 9 pocket sleeves are a bit more expensive than a baseball card box, but to me it is worth it as I am enjoying my collection much more than before.
oldladytrader

I do not think the right question is where do you store your collection; I think it is where don't you store your collection. I have recently gotten back into collecting, thank you to this website. After only collecting for less than a year I have amassed over twenty thousand cards. The problem is, if I see a great deal, I have to buy it. I can not imagine someone else getting the deal, so I buy it myself! Any collection I find, large or small I try to buy. When you first walk into my house, it may seem like a normal house until you start to look around. Look on the kitchen table, and you will in the very least see the cards that I have set out for the kids to have, or the cards that are soon to go out in the mail. Look on the kitchen counter and most likely you will see the packages that have come in the last day or two for me. This may not seem like much yet, but keep walking through the house. Walk into the family room, and the computer desk is covered with college books in one corner, some bills, and naturally the rest of the table is covered with cards that are posted somewhere to be sold or traded. Going up the stairs, both boy's rooms will have remnants that I have given to them in a vain effort to get my collection under control. Walk into the utility closet, and there you will come face to face with shoe boxes, moving boxes and shipping boxes that have some sort of baseball collectible in them. Down the hall into the master bedroom, and you guessed it even more. The walk in closet can barely be walked into, as this is where all completed sets are stored. Boxes reach for the ceiling, and threaten to topple over. Into the bedroom and here is where the biggest travesty is. Boxes upon boxes waiting to be sorted, already sorted waiting to be store, waiting for a home. Cards are strewn all over night stands in an attempt to organize, books of cards are half put together laying on dressers or armoires. Drawers are unable to be shut as loose pages are quickly thrown in them because the wife has said to clean the mess up. No room in the house is safe. Bringing my cards into the bathroom may be a bad idea, but nobody ever said anything against the magazines, price guides and books. Like I said I don not think the question to be asked is where are they kept, but where aren't they kept. The only place left is to maybe kick the kids into the same room, to have a room to myself, the car could always go to the curb, but the again so could the wife!
dashcol

My sports card collection is very large. It has been getting larger over the years. I have binders, totes and bookshelves full of cards. I recently have had more time on my hands since I was laid off and attending trucking school. I enjoy looking at the cards and now have time till I start my new job to put them in order. I enjoy trading them so I can complete sets. My wife loves that our bedroom contains a quarter of my collection. They are everywhere on the dressers, radiators, and on the floor. Currently my other cards are being stored on the 2nd floor of the house we live in. We only live on the first floor, even though we have four bedrooms upstairs. We have been here for 5 years. the house is owned by in laws and of course they have promised to remodel the upstairs since we moved here. The second floor contains the original wall paper which was there in the early forties. The house was built in the early 1900's. The upstairs is not only the storage for my baseball cards and other personal items it also contains items from other family members including my in-laws and sister in law who lived her before us. The items are safe up there until the bats and squirrels figure out how to get inside. Hopefully when I start my new job we will be able fix it up so I would have a real place to display my cards. I would like to one day have my own room which is for my cards only.
phantumstrangr

I started collecting cards myself around 1985, although I was already involved with cards through my uncle in Chicago.

Since then, I have been having an on again off again love/hate affair with sports cards. I originally thought doing all the sports would be easy and amassed close to 200,000 cards. After seeing that it was not very cost effective to try and collect all the sports, I started focusing purely on football and any player from Florida State University. This lasted about 7 years and then my wife decided that I had entirely too many cards.

After a long cleaning out of cards that weren't in the main function of my collection, I realized that I had collected close to 650,000 cards from the Bears, Jaguars, FSU alumni and my latest venture, Kickers/Punters.

I found that the normal storage boxes were too suspect to the weather and temperature changes. I began to start using plastic storage boxes for all the base/inserts/parallels that didn't really carry a high price value. I still used soft sleeves and hard cases to hold the cards that were high dollar and would put them into shoe box storage boxes and then into a plastic tote, to keep the weather out of them.

To date, I have 6,489 Kicker/Punter cards, including multiple GU'd, Auto's and a couple in person auto's. I have 250 2,000 count plastic boxes and 10 shoebox storage boxes in 4 totes. I have only had to deal with one box getting ruined by the cold weather, as I left the box sitting on my card work table.

Even though I don't do a lot of collecting anymore, I still avidly look to increase my collection of Kicker/Punter cards and have just recently added 4 Adam Vinatieri McFarlane figures to my collection (two with the Patriots and two with the Colts).
SDF3172

My baseball card collection started innocently enough when I was a mere 6 or 7 years old. In those days, putting a set together was 'the' thing to do. I was no different, and I could see the value of accumulating extras (usually commons) for trade purposes to complete my elusive sets. To me putting a set together felt like an accomplishment, like a job well done.

That was nearly 40 years ago, and thru the years , while putting hundreds of sets together, I have added to my collection nearly 500,000 singles (traders), mostly thru flea markets, card shows, and buying out some collections. To put that in better terms that is nearly 190 monster boxes (3200 count) of singles. Add to this sets collection. This accounts for approximately 90% of every base set printed since 1975, with varying degrees of completion.

The huge size of this collection has taken many turns over the years as to where to store them. Initially they were nearly stored in shoeboxes, regular boxes and basically anything that could store cards. Then came along (I think in the early 1980's) the typical 'set' boxes-200, 300, 400,etc. count. Now these boxed sets are being stored in plastic (sealed) totes in my basement, where it is dry and cool. These totes measure 24"x16"x16.5" each and I have 25 of them with sets.

The other part of the collection, the 190+ monster boxes are also stored in the basement. These are separated into individual companies and are sitting in racks , on pallets (in case of water damage) where they are easily accessible for trading. These, along with my sets, take up a whole side wall of my basement...

As the 2009 sets come on the market, my collection will continue to grow and take an even larger portion of the basement.
kdjohnstone