Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Sorting Bull Part 2

My post from earlier in the week was mostly about my transition from sorting my cards by team into sorting them into sets and single player cards.  The set part is pretty self-explanatory.  Like I said in the previous post, when I work on sets I am mostly organizing them into numerical order and pulling out the inserts.  That leaves all the single cards, which is the real challenging part, and the most time consuming part of my sorting.   

My goal is to ultimately have my single player cards sorted alphabetically by player.  Within each player, I want the cards sorted by year, and then by brand.  It's a long process that has been in the works for awhile. 

As I am sorting out my sets, I am running into duplicates and inserts that I am taking out and putting into my piles of single cards.  After the stack gets big enough, I sort the cards out by letter of their last name and place them into a 5000 count box.  Every few weeks, I sort out those cards.  I ahve also consolidated those boxes a few times.  Eventually, I want to put some markers inside my single card boxes to make it easier to find the individual players.  

I currently have about 70,000 single cards sorted out.  Not all of those 70,000 are completely broken down by player, year, and sets, but I am getting there.  It has really helped that I have cut out the more recent sets.  I still do buy packs of cards, but the majority of my card purchases at this point are single cards of players I enjoy watching.  

I have opened packs of four different sets so far this year, but the quantity has been low.  I have opened packs of the Topps base set....

Topps Heritage.  

Big League

and Bowman.  

That's it.  

I have a few other groups of single cards that I am sorting out.  Some are really obvious, but I did have some big time consuming missteps in here.  

My autographs have always been sorted out on their own, and I have left them alone during this process.  They organized alphabetically by player.  Each player is sorted by year and then brand.  

I also still have my relic cards separated, but I have thought a lot about them over the last two or three years.  Same organizational pattern at the autographs.  There are relic cards that I have in my collection that are pretty incredible, or have some sort of good memory attached to them.....

There are so many relic cards though that I just simply do not care very much about.  

I have three shoebox style boxes of relic cards.  I am seriously contemplating how to get rid of them.  The cards do not sell very well on Ebay anymore, so I might try a Facebook group.  

Which brings me to my major missteps of this entire process. 

Let's talk about inserts and parallels for a minute.  

When I started this sorting process a few years back, I was pulling out all of the inserts and putting them into their own group of cards.  The process became daunting.  It felt like I was sorting out another huge group of cards beyond the sets and single cards that I was already organizing.  I spent hours and days working on these cards.  

I stopped doing that.  

Instead, I am putting my insets and parallels into two groups shown above.  The top two cards are really common inserts.  If I went onto Ebay or COMC, I could find those cards really easily.  They were not long odds pulls out of a pack of cards.  The bottom two are low serial numbers and probably have some value (leave Corbin Burnes alone) if I decided to list them on Ebay. 

The common inserts are just being sorted into my single player card boxes.  The low serial numbers are in their own boxes that also include valuable rookie cards, and my vintage cards.  I started my vintage cards at anything before 1980.  

I also had difficulty with small sets.  I took a picture of a Kellogg's set, but my Minor League cards are the majority of cards that fell into this category.  

They are clearly not big enough sets to be boxed, and sorted in with the rest of my sets.  The regular sets are in anywhere between an 800 count to 100 count boxes.  For about a year, these small set cards were sort of in limbo.  I ran into them all the time.  I would set them somewhere just to get them out of the way.  I think I had five or six years worth of Durham Bulls sets sitting on a shelf in my closet that I would move on an almost daily basis.  After a year or two, I bought a large box and have filled it up with all of my smaller sets.  It seems to be a good solution for the moment.  

That's it for now on sorting.  I am sure that I am going to be working on this for awhile longer, so at some point I will post a few more updates.  It's an ongoing process that will be finished one of these days.  


  1. Keep it up! I sort my cards by player then year then brand too. I don't have nearly as many as you though.

    1. I am working on getting rid of some of the quantity. That's hard to do though.

  2. I'll try to live vicariously through you... since you're much more productive than me. This summer is the perfect time for me to sit down and organize my collection. And although I do sort a few hours each week in an effort to keep my office from becoming a disaster... I definitely don't sort as much as I could. Why? It feels like the never-ending story, my back really starts hurting, and I lack any motivation. Maybe I'll find the motivation at some point... but for now, I'll just read about your sorting project and cheer you on.

    1. Sorting is definitely a daunting task. I have made myself more productive over the years by breaking things into chunks. It is never-ending to some degree, but I like looking at the end results.