Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Recapturing a long-lost sense of wonder

This isn't quite part 2 of the Epic Mailday post, but it's part of the series of entries spawned by that epic mailday.

I finally started typing my new cards into my chart where I track the order I get my cards. I am so OCD I started doing that on January 1st, 2014, and I've kept at it, already filling an entire college-rule notebook and well into book #2. It serves no purpose other than satisfying a bit of my OCD nature.

With all the cards I got on the 31st, however, I know that I can't write all of them. For one, it would probably fill my second book totally, and perhaps more importantly, it would pretty much kill my writing hand. I CAN write with my left hand if I need to, but it takes a long time and is pretty ugly- not to mention the fact that my handwriting isn't always the best in the first place.

So what I am doing is going to put a line in the book to check the Excel file to see where the hockey, football and baseball cards go in relation to the NBA, NASCAR and Star Wars cards.

I only started typing them a few hours before I went to bed, and I got done roughly half of one of the big boxes shown in my post of that day. It's a 900 count box, although they never quite hold 900 cards.

I will pick up where the arrow points to in the box...I still have the rest of the box, above the arrow, all the other boxes, and one box I forgot to include in the photo. (ooops. I knew it felt off when I was taking the picture!) I guess I got a little past halfway on box #1. I have numbered all the boxes using PhotoScape. 4 is the one that missed the photo.

Remember I said that I was at 699 cards for the month of January before then? I stopped at 1100. Considering that I have another full 900 count, half the first, and 5 other boxes, I think it's safe to say I will be setting a new record for most new cards in a day!

I've also gotten 46 new sets already, blowing the old record of 22 out of the water by a WIDE margin. Considering how early I am into the typing project, I now think that it's likely that I got more than 100 new sets on the day, which is surely a record that will never fall. I'm not even to the big box of cards from my friend Ricky yet, which has lots of sets in it. Actually, I would not even be really shocked if I hit 200 new sets. Even an entire major brand is among them. Before 1/31/2015 I did not have a single O-Pee-Chee card in my collection. I've got more than 100 now, and quite possibly that many from the 1989-90 hockey set alone!

But all that is not the topic for today's blog.

I have discovered, that typing these in, and cataloging all these cards...I have a feeling that I have not had in a long time. 1996 to be exact.

I have the feeling of the sense of wonder, and newness, and excitement, that I had when I first started collecting the NBA. There was so much to learn then, and so much I didn't know, and had to research...it's a feeling that I lost a long time ago. I don't know if it means I have become jaded (I hope not) or if I just know too much to have that sense of wonder, but by time the 1996-97 season was over, it was gone. I never really had that feeling with NASCAR, because when I started collecting them, they only had 5 year's worth of sets issued, less than 20 different sets, and several of those I didn't experience in hand until the early 2000s. I was NEVER able to get large mixes of assorted NASCAR cards, so they were all in groups by set, or in rare cases, as single cards, so that sense of wonder and excitement never truly happened as I generally knew what I was getting as I got it.

But all these cards- mostly hockey, some baseball and football-that sense of wonder and excitement is back.

It's a little easier now to determine what sets the cards go to, and which are parallels and which aren't. When I started collecting the NBA, and getting them in mixes, in 1996, there was no internet. Back in the day, you had the Beckett annual price guide and you have to manually look through each set you thought it might be, and try and determine if it was from that set or not. Now, you simply pull up which set you think it might be on the Database, and there's usually a scan there to help you determine...and if that card is not scanned, others in the set usually are, so you can tell. It's a much better system than paging through the tiny, not always accurate Beckett, that's for sure. Let's put it this way- of the cards I've entered yet, including from those 46 new sets, there was not 1 that I was not able to figure out what year and set it goes to via the Database.

I know this feeling probably won't last. I don't have the finances to take on a new sport, I can't even do all the NBA and NASCAR sets. (I do know that if I did take on another sport, it would have been hockey, even before this stash of cards made their way to me). Not to mention the fact that the other sports all conflict with the sports I already follow. I only have one set of eyes and ears to watch and listen to events with. (To be honest, I actually listen to the sports more than watch them, as it is, looking up only when I hear something interesting is happening). Once I process these cards, I'm going to put them in boxes and it will be some time before I deal with them again. I will- once I finish my NBA collection, I'm sure I'll make charts of my other sports, but that is going to be a couple of years from now.

Processing them will take some time, though. After I finish typing them in, a process that will take me several more days, most likely, I will need to enter them into my collection chart on the Database, which, at the same time, I will determine and separate them by which need to be scanned and posted, and which are already done. The ones that are done, will go into a box labeled to be scanned after I finish scanning everything else (I have boxes of NBA, NASCAR and Star Wars cards that other people posted before I got them scanned, as well, to do after I finish everything else) and the ones that need posting will be mixed in with my NBA and NASCAR to-be-scanned stacks, where I will mix them in until I run out. I've discovered that I enjoy doing a mixture of everything more than just groupings by set or player. Unfortunately for me my entire NBA collection is mostly sorted by player, many of them over 100 cards per player. But I digress.  Eventually I will get them all scanned, for posting on my own personal website, but I'll spend time doing the ones I can post to the Database before I do the ones somebody else already posted for now.

So, I'll be working with these cards for quite a while still, then not for a while, and then again. So maybe then when I get back to them, I will get that feeling of newness and excitement again? Only time will tell (but I'm sure I will document it on this blog- I've only been at it for 2 months but I have no plans to stop any time soon!

As always, thanks for reading.


  1. I just finished entering Box #1 into my Excel chart. Totals from that box: 875 new cards, which in and of itself is 5th all time in documented new cards in one day. 83 set firsts, which totally destroys the old record of 22. My hockey card collection, which was at 28 when I began, is now at 687!

    I now think that I'm going to clear 2000 new cards in a day, the first and probably only time this will happen.