Tuesday, March 28, 2023


 It took me 4 and a half years, but FINALLY, at 5:23 PM last night, I completed building the Cardboard History Gallery! It has been an incredible amount of work, but it's also probably the greatest thing I've ever created too...each person has their own album, each team, each season, each set, each subject for Non-Sports. 

I have an alphabetical directory of each person scanned in my collection, sorted by letter (all subjects together) or by topic (all basketball players, all football, etc)

I have a set guide, showing an example of every major set in my collection that's been scanned so far. 

I have a peripheral section for each topic, showing packs, boxes, sell sheets, publications, etc. 

I have an Error gallery showing error cards sorted by error type.

I have a section for "hits"- Autographs, Relics and Serially Numbered cards.

Although I launched it on October 18th, 2018 (my birthday present to myself) the groundwork for this really began all the way back in 2009, it just took me time to put it all together. 

If I ever realize my dream of opening a Museum and Hall of Fame for the hobby (my ultimate goal) this will act as the catalog of the museum collection. 

Here are the stats as provided by Fotki, the platform I use for the Cardboard History Galley. 

Now, there is still a massive amount of work ahead of me. While I got everything posted that I have scanned, the scanning project is still far from over. I will, of course, continue to update each set's album as I label them, and all person, team and season/topic albums will be updated on the 1st of each month or however long it takes me to do them all, sometimes it takes more than a week to upload everything I scan in a month. 

The last album I had to upload to complete the project was Eric Zeier, the only football player I have scanned with a last name that starts with Z. 

Here's a screenshot of the homepage
and a screenshot of the hockey section, although the Basketball, Baseball and Football sections are layed out the same way. Auto Racing and Multi-Sport/Other Sports have slightly different layouts because they require it.
Here's a screenshot of the Non-Sports section. 

Here's a cropped down screenshot of what the "By person" section looks like

Above is an image showing what the "By Set" section looks like. This is the only place I post the back scans. Finally, below, a screenshot from in an album, here a team:

As you can see, I also researched and wrote histories for every team in all 5 major sports. Easy for the three sports I collect regularly, a bit harder for Baseball and Football, but I did it. Fotki tracks how many times each scan has been looked at directly, which is cumulative from the moment I upload them, although when I am logged in and looking at them it doesn't count, just other people. 

After seeing all this, you can hopefully see how much work I've put into creating this and why I call it my "magnum opus".  The great thing is that although the framework is now finally built, it will never truly end...I will be collecting and scanning forever so there will ALWAYS be updates. 

Maybe some day I will actually break even and have my entire collection scanned...but that's not going to be soon, however long it takes me, they will all end up here. 

The great thing about Fotki is that I was able to set it up so that all albums automatically sort into order based on image title. So whenever I get something new to me or just older scanned, it automatically slots into place into each album. I have to admit, when I started this, I didn't foresee how much fun it would turn out to be to see where a newly scanned card slotted into a person's album, or especially a team album, which is unquestionably my favorite part of this entire project. Seeing if a new scan cracks Page #1 (120 scans) for each team has become especially fun for me, I've even written an entire post about that. 

I have been documenting the creation of the Cardboard History Gallery here on the original Cardboard History. Although posts about it get little interaction or comments, it has turned out to be one of the most fun things in the entire hobby for me, and I have to be honest, in some cases, the documentation of the cards has been more enjoyable than actually having the cards in some cases. 

No time to rest, back to scanning...

Monday, March 27, 2023

THIS design was so nice they used it two years in a row?

 I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but no, they really used the same basic design two years in a row. 

The 2006-07 and 2007-08 MVP sets are so very close to each other in design that I thought they were the same set, until I looked closer. 

Sure, there are some minor variations- the name bar is pointed on the second year, and the team color border part is larger. The team name bar under the MVP logo is also striped in the second year as well. 

The backs are also super similar. The stripe concept continues on the back in 07-08 also. 

I'm not particularly fond of the font used on the back of the cards, but I do like that they have pronunciation guides, something that has been dropped from modern MVP sets. 

The sad thing is that I likely wouldn't have noticed had I not had both sets in hand on the same day this past week. With so many set designs I don't always remember the details of all of them, especially when I have very few cards from the sets and don't know them all that well. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

How long gone?

 My mind was wandering as it tends to do and I had an interesting thought...how long ago was it in my three main sports where nobody I saw active was competing? 

I'll go in order of when I got into them, which starts with NASCAR. I started watching in 1993, and the last season where no one I saw compete was 1958! Some NASCAR drivers have exceptionally long careers, and Buddy Baker began his career in 1959 and ended it in 1994. (Although he actually failed to qualify in 1993 and 1994, I did see him on track in a competition setting). Now...this only counts the Cup series. If I was counting ALL series, the last year I didn't see anyone compete in was 1949, since Hershel McGriff raced from 1950 to 2018! While I did see him race, it was not on the Cup level. 

Obviously NASCAR cards from the 1950s are not available so here's a post-career card of Buddy Baker from 2003 Press Pass VIP, this is actually the Explosive parallel. The photo is from 1983, his final career win.

Now, moving to NBA, I began watching in the middle of the 1996-97 season. To get back to where I didn't see anyone, you would have to go back to 1975-76! Robert Parish entered the NBA in 1976-77 and played until 1996-97 so I saw the very tail end of his career, which culminated in his 4th NBA Championship. 

Here is Robert Parish's card from 1977-78 Topps, his first card.

I only started watching the NHL in 2016-17 and now it's a part of every day of my life, even surpassing the NBA in time spent watching and thinking about. The last year I didn't see anyone active from was 1989-90, thanks to the ageless and still going Jaromir Jagr, who joined the NHL in 1990-91.

Although Jaromir Jagr entered the NHL in 1990, he has been playing professionally since 1988 and is still going strong at age 51 playing for the team he owns in his hometown of Kladno, Czech Republic. This card, from 1990-91, was the first NHL card my Mom bought me as a single card and was part of my birthday present in 2017, my first birthday after becoming an NHL fan. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

In Memory of Willis Reed

 Yesterday Knicks icon Willis Reed passed away at the age of 80. He had been in bad health but it's still very sad...since I've got some more experiences than just cards of his I felt I needed to craft a post. 

First off...the Knicks are one of the original NBA teams, and they have only won two Championships...he was the starting center for both title teams, and his moment at the 1970 Finals is one of the most iconic moments in basketball history, let alone for the Knicks. I just needed to mention that. 

Of course my closest connection to any athlete is the cards, and I've been lucky enough to pull some exceptional cards of Willis Reed....

This card, which is the Luxury Box parallel of 2004-05 Luxury Box, is a 1/1 and came from a single pack purchase from my local comic book store in 2005 when the set was new. 

This card is from 2005-06 SP Game Used and SN 02/10, which makes it tied for the second lowest SN'd autograph I've ever pulled from a pack. 

However, it wasn't my first autograph of him. I have his autograph from the 1996-97 Topps Stars Rookie Reprint, and I also have the original card as well. 
He also has the record for the most fragile card in my collection, the poster insert from 1970-71 Topps. 

When my brother and I took a tour of Madison Square Garden back in 2019, they had some of his memorabilia on display:
This quote is on the outside of the building, which is reserved for only the most important athletes and musicians to play at MSG
On the tour
THE moment

I don't remember what these were but I know they were his. 

And then when we went to the Basketball Hall of Fame he is a member there also.

I didn't have time to click on every name- nor could my back handle standing there that long- but I did photodocument the screens showing all the inductees. 

Rest in Peace Mr. Reed. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

14 years into the project but still finding a better way to do it

 I started scanning my collection all the way back in 2009. That's 14 years ago (somehow!) but just last week I found a way to improve on it. 

For the past 10 years or so, I've scanned three pages, then edited them, then scanned 3 more, repeat repeatedly. 

It worked well for me for years, but it turns out there was a better way. 

Doing 5 pages of 9 cards works out much better for me. As I've stated in previous posts, I get tired of doing lots of consecutive pages of the same set, it will burn me out, and my mind will start to wander, I'll go check Facebook or Twitter or just look out the window instead of working on scanning/cropping. 

Doing it this way prevents that. I have figured out the best way for me is to do one full page of something, then one mixed page, then 1 full page, then another mixed page, and finish with another full page. This keeps my interest and I don't find my mind wandering. It's much more fun for me, and I find I'm actually scanning faster, likely because I'm enjoying it more and spending more time actually working on it instead of doing other things. 

These three screenshots are of the PhotoScape working area. It shows the progress I've described here. Eventually these scans will get labeled and uploaded to the Cardboard History Gallery. 

You may wonder why I changed what I've been doing for the past 10ish years? It actually was sort of a fluke. One night last week (I don't even remember which one) I was getting tired but I wasn't able to go to bed yet. (due to medical stuff I have to stay awake a certain point). I was too tired to crop any more scans- that requires being at least mostly mentally "with it" but scanning requires less mental effort. You can be half asleep and scan, believe me. So that's what I did- I scanned a bunch of pages. More than 5 but I'm not sure exactly how many. Probably closer to 20. I liked having a larger batch available and ready to crop, so I did some experiments and determined 5 pages and staggered like I explained actually works pretty much perfectly for me. Since I figured that out I've scanned and cropped almost the entire contents of a 550 count box...in roughly 3 days.

I do believe I will be doing this format going forward, because as I mentioned, it's a lot more fun for me. I wish I had thought to do it sooner, but I'm glad I stumbled across it eventually. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

How to be my favorite parallel and insert


Be neon green. That's it, that's all a set has to do to become my favorite parallels or inserts. 

Today seemed like a good day to finally make this post...this shows my entire collection of the 2021-22 O-Pee-Chee Neon Green parallel, the 2020-21 Upper Deck Dazzlers Green insert, 2022 Donruss Lime Green parallel and all but two of the 2021-22 Upper Deck Dazzlers Green insert, I just got Jason Robertson and David Perron and haven't gotten them scanned yet, but I really wanted to get this posted on St. Patrick's Day.