I have an obsessive personality, I don't think that's a secret. I also have an obsession with collecting things, especially NASCAR things. I also have a tendency to compartmentalize things, and as such, I always considered my NASCAR Hero Cards a separate collection from my NASCAR Trading Cards. I was thinking about that and I realized that was not something I should have been doing- they should have been counted together as part of one collection. Problem was, I can't get to my Hero card collection. With the injury to my arm that I am still dealing with, plus the health problems that are ever present, I couldn't do it.
Then I remembered that I had made an Excel chart way back when I got the majority of my hero cards back in 2010- my local diecast dealer was going out of business and basically gave me about a 1000 of them. But that Excel file...I hadn't seen that in a while, and I didn't know if I could find it. Luckily, I had saved a copy of it to my Google Drive, so the information was all there! It showed that the file was last updated back in 2010....which totally checks out. I got some in 2011 and some in 2012 but I didn't get another until 2019. I had no reason to update the chart after 2012 and if I did keep it updated when I got the 2011 and 2012 issues, that would have been wiped out two dead laptops ago.
Without having to get my collection out at all, I was able to figure out exactly what- and how many- I had! It took me only a couple of hours to type them into my Card Collection chart, and now, for the first time ever, I know EXACTLY what is in my NASCAR collection in full.
But wait, it gets even better! I scanned the Hero Cards when I got them- fronts only, generally- and I actually made a note on that old Excel file of which ones I needed to rescan! This allowed me to go through the album on my original Fotki and fill in the ones that weren't in my Excel chart, like the 2011 and 2012 stuff, and also allowed me to correct the mistakes I made typing it up 13 years ago.
Unfortunately, most of the original scans are not really any good- I didn't have PhotoScape to correct the flaws inherent in scanning back then, and the colors are sometimes off, so I can't really use the scans, I need to rescan the vast majority of them. But at least now I know what I have.
One fun thing about Hero Cards is that they are available for teams that don't get traditional trading cards, like Busch North teams, as seen here with Brad Leighton, Dale Quarterley and Carey Heath. They also aren't censored, so there will be Dale Earnhardt Jr. cards with Budweiser on them! Probably the best thing about Hero Cards, however, is that they have a long history. NASCAR didn't get traditional trading cards until 1988. Hero cards have been produced since 1955, so there's definitely a long history there! The oldest I currently have is from 1969, the older ones are rare and expensive. I've never even actually seen the 1955 issue, but I know it exists. They started out as post cards, and some long-time collectors still refer to them as that, but they have not been mailable since the mid-1980s, other than a few exceptions. Some people also call them autograph cards.
I still have none in my collection from 2013-2017, I'm missing most of the Gen6 era, and I only have one from 2018, 20 and 21. and two from 2019. I didn't have any from 2022, but when I knew I could add these to my collection in full, I went to ebay and bought a lot of 35 cards from the 2022 season. They would be the first to be fully integrated into my collection, but they won't be the last. In fact, a few years ago a friend sent me a large batch of them, but I never actually went through them because I didn't know what I had or not. Now I do know, so I can finally go through them for the first time- despite having them for about a decade in and of themselves! I can't wait to find out what I can add to my collection from that gift, which is probably around 250 cards, guessing based on size of the package they are in (actually a Barnes & Noble shopping bag, haha)
and I got all these 2022 cards scanned and posted to the Cardboard History Gallery as well : 2022 Hero Cards
It will take me some time- I'm at the mercy of my arm injury, and a similar injury to my other arm took a year and a half to heal - but eventually I will get them all fully scanned (on both sides!) and integrated into the Cardboard History Gallery. For now just the new additions will be scanned in full.