The Last Post…and a farewell to a Villain

This year has finally come to an end.  An unforgiving parallel universe of a year where wrong was right and low was even further lower than we could all imagine.  Maybe it was the end of a bad dream, the kind of nightmare where you’re about to crash into a concrete wall, screeching brakes being hammered to the floor, arms off the wheel to cover your eyes, barreling towards the wall and nanoseconds before impact you wake up.  Sweating.  Shaking.  Breathing heavily.  Saying to yourself, “what the hell just happened!”  The nightmare has ended…for now, but is it really over?  What will ’21 bring for us?  I would love to see an overcorrection from the wrong to the right and some goodness be brought to everyone.  More generosity and kindness.  Less judgement and crassness towards others.  Can we live our lives in a manner that we want to without condescension?  I sure hope so. 

I love this hobby, I love it dearly.  It brings me great joy.  In a world where I have marginal control over things, I can control my collection. 

It’s there when I need it to regroup emotionally…I’m a highly anxious person. 

It’s there when I’ve had a rough day and need to zone out…I worry too much about others opinions.

It’s there when I need a new organizing project and get an idea in the middle of the night…I got some OCD too.

Our hobby is fantastic.  A lot has changed about it this past year. 

I hope it keeps evolving. 

I hope the people that are new are welcomed with open arms.

I hope the new people take some history lessons and learn about our hobby.

I hope we let people collect what and how they want to collect.

For 2021, I will be more involved in helping to make this hobby great.  Reaching out to bloggers, twitter folks, flippers, old-school collectors and the new ones as well.  I plan to buy more from my LCS than eBay, but I also plan to sell more on eBay.  I want to find a happy middle where I can enjoy the hobby without feeling like I am going to strangle myself financially.  Creating a net zero cost of cards is the ultimate goal, not sure how that will get done.  The architecture and build portion of the world is attempting to reduce carbon emissions significantly with the 2030 challenge, but this is nothing like that. 

I just want to have fun with these pieces of cardboard and card stock and shiny whatever the hell they are materials.  I hope you do too!

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With the end of the year usually comes collecting or personal goals.  I’m not going to list anything, I think that’s mostly been covered by the manifesto above.  So, instead, I’d like to take the time to update the annual wallet card and take a look back. 

I started carrying a card in my wallet quite a few years ago.  It was a way to always keep the hobby with me wherever I went.  Every once in a while the card would be exposed to other people and it would start a conversation, or maybe just some ridicule from some colleagues…architects can be a judgmental group, ya know?

At some point along the way, I’ve lost a few cards…but here’s what I’ve got since I started the blog.

2020: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 1999 Pacific Paramount, card #162

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2019: Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves 1987 Topps, card #490

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2018: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1992 Pro Set, card #90

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2017: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 2014 Gypsy Queen, card #N174-DJ

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2016: Art Monk, Washington Redskins 1985 Topps, card # 185

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2015: Rickey Henderson, New York Yankees 1986 Topps, card #500

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2014: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1990 Pro Set, card #333

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2013: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers 1991 Topps Archives, card #1

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AND NOW, FOR TWO-THOUSAND TWENTY ONE!  THE NEW WALLET CARD IS (drumroll…)

2021: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins 2006 Topps, card #245

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I know, I know…I can hear the clapping through the keyboard!

***

OK, so when I woke up this morning I was thinking about the best video I could share with you all today.  Something fun and positive and light-hearted to ring the new year in.  I was getting distracted during the day and everything was getting away from me.  When I sat down to start writing I first jumped on twitter to get an update on this mad world we’re living in…and my heart sank when I saw that MF Doom has passed away…shit shit shit shit.  He was one of my favorite MC’s…crazy entertaining and a tremendous wordsmith.  Lots of double entendre’s and just some good ol’ hip hop metaphors.  At this point, I’m not sure what took his life as he was only 49 (4 years older than me).  The one thing that can make me smile is that he actually passed away on Halloween of this year.  That’s gotta be the most MF Doom thing ever.  For the uninitiated, he was wore a ‘gladiator’ mask and was well known for skipping out on shows but still having someone perform for him…the mask helped with that endeavor.  Not sure of the reason for keeping his passing quiet for two months, but that’s none of my business really.  If you have the time, please take a listen to the video below of his collaboration with the producer Madlib for the quintessential MC and producer hip hop album.  It’s a classic. 

MADVILLAIN – MADVILLAINY

Also, check out his earlier work with KMD as Zev Love X and music from his other aliases; King Geedorah, King Ghidra, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, King Dumile and Metal Face.  He also did some work with 3rd Bass back in the day…enjoy.  Have a Happy New Year, hug your loved one, tell them you love them and stay safe out there.

-Cardboard Hogs!   

The Weekly Roundup…Aoki and WFT

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate at your home.  The Cardboard Hogs family had a great time…of course it was mellow over here.  Not too many family members in the house, but we did manage to have a good amount of family conversation via phone and facetime. 

What a year, what a year, man.

During the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hobby. 

The good and the bad. 

The collectors and the flippers.

The blah blah blah…

I love the hobby and am all in for whomever wants to join.  One of the things about the hobby that I enjoy is the multitude of ways you can collect or be a part of our community.  Now with the greater reach of social media and added interest in cards, the gap between old man collector and young kid collector has been filled with so many new characters…celebrities, I mean.  That term celebrity is a difficult one to tackle.  Who is a celebrity and how did they become celebrated?  More importantly…why are they celebrated?  The one well-known name, read celebrity, I’d like to talk about today is Steve Aoki.  That’s right, this guy 

Not sure how many of you have heard of this fella.  He’s pretty big in the dance or electronic music scene, I guess…  My only real knowledge of him is, as a close friend has described…

“…a knob twisting celebrity-J, like Paris Hilton.” 

The worst part about that quote is that I’ll feel compelled to tag Paris Hilton to this post, simply because I typed her name. 

A quick snippet of Aoki’s Wiki page notes that he’s a musical renaissance man of sorts, something of each of the following titles.

”…an American entertainer, DJ, record producer and music executive. In 2012, Pollstar designated Aoki as the highest grossing dance artist in North America from tours.”

You can add online card breaker to that list, as well as card designer…and apparently future card shop owner as well.  Man, everyone has a shop these days.

When Topps started pimping him out on their site along with his upcoming cards, I said to myself. 

“DON’T BUY THAT SHIT…DON’T DO IT!!!, DON’T BE A PART OF THIS COLLABORATION OR REMIX OR WHATEVER THE HELL IT IS.  IT’S JUST A CELBRITY GRAB FROM TOPPS!!!” – yes, I was internally shouting at myself…sortofa Shia LaBeouf Just Do It sorta thing. 

but then I saw the cards and thought, eh…they’re not horrible…kinda cool even.  The photos I saw on eBay looked quite nice to me.  A bit trendy with the light blue color and some laser show lights bouncing around and whatnot.  I dove into the checklist and decided I would only pick up my PC guys.  Here’s a couple for your viewing pleasure.  Trea Turner and Bryce Harper.  Former teammates and now division rivals brought back together by a knob twisting celebrity DJ, Steve Aoki.

***

Now that the cards are in hand, I must admit…a little underwhelmed.  I had imagined they would be a tad thicker, something of a nicer card stock.  They’re pretty basic.  About as basic as a card can be.  The backs are something to behold though, self-serving even.  Each player has a “REASON TO CELEBRATE” breakdown on the back, which is somewhat self-explanatory albeit brief.  Basically, Bryce likes to hit homers on opening day and Trea Turner runs fast.  The Aoki bio though, that’s where it’s at…apparently, he likes to “CAKE” people.  Topps does a good job of describing the act so I don’t have to google it and potentially come across something inappropriate on my computer.  For that, I say thank you, Topps!

I have a few more of these cards coming in; Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter and Juan Soto.  They come in waves, their term, not mine.  I’ll share them once they come in. 

Topic change…

As I type this, The Washington Football Team can clinch the NFC East this afternoon.  If they beat the Carolina Panthers and go to 7-8 along with a New York Giants loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the WFT will have a division crown in their first year as The Washington Football Team…with no better than a .500 record…maybe worse.  To that, I say who cares!  Gimme that NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMP T-SHIRT and a home playoff game!

The great season by the young and exciting Chase Young has me passing on most cards from ebay, but here a few that came home to me this week. 

A PATRIOTIC ROCKET POP FROM PRIZM

A DISCOTEQUE BLINGY BLINGY FROM PRIZM…also apropos of today’s main character subject.

A MOODY BLACK AND WHITE VARIATION FROM PRIZM

A BIT OF CRACKED ICE FROM PRIZM

A PREMIER, YET NON-SPECIFIC EVENT OR GAME OR SOMETHING ELSE 1” SQUARE FABRIC FROM PRIZM

A PANINI INSTANT FRANCHISE CARD…I really wanted this one to be a recessed image   

Also picked up a Terry McLaurin relic, which appears to be a glove…possibly a shoe relic numbered to /99.  I was hoping to get the jersey number 17 for this one, but 12 is close and looks a tiny bit like a One-Seven.

The final card from the week is a JT Riddle Father’s Day card numbered to 50.  I had bid on a version of this card when Topps Update came out and lost when it reached $15…I thought, damn…that’s a ton of money for a JT Riddle card.  So I waited and waited, then this one showed up and got it for about five bucks shipped.  Still looking for the Mother’s Day version, superfractor and printing plates…just in case you come across them.

That’s all I got this week, hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!  I’ve been on a bit of Bob Segar tear lately…no explanation for that.  Enjoy and please feel free to turn the page on 2020 as soon as you like, doesn’t even have to be over…you know.

Organizing at 2005

After numerous years of threatening to get organized, this year it is truly happening.  It’s a slow go, but I’m getting there.  How do I get there you ask…well, let me give you an example!

The 2005 Washington Redskins…and google docs.  That’s right two things that have nothing to do with each other have come together for today’s post.  A post about a team that was anxiety inducing to watch and a blast to look back through the cards from that year. 

Now, when I mention google docs…there are layers to this.  I like, well…I require and love organization.  I can’t stand it when things are not in the place I expect them to be.  I also love and require a ‘complete’ version of something.  If is buy #3 and #7 of something, it’s only a matter of time before I’m searching for numbers 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.  I could go on too depending on when it all ends, but I think you get the idea.  I’m a completionist…not sure that’s a word, but neither was ‘blog’ 15 years ago.  I like to have a COMPLETE list of things.  That’s an incredible challenge when dealing with sports cards, especially modern sports cards… 

Parallels

Rainbows

Inserts

Variations

Serial Numbers

SP’s

SSP’s

1 of 1’s

The list goes on and on and on and I want my list to contain each and every single one of these cards.  Now, I know I won’t get everyone.  That’s insanity and I don’t have that kind of cash.  That’s not the point.  The point is the chase.  The pursuit of the low hanging Topps flagship vs. the extra hard to find Upper Deck something or another for a specific year with a specific color variation and the SN on the back…or front.  (Do we have opinions on where those should be?  Front or Back?  I’m a back of the card guy FWIW).  So, in order to get a complete list, or at least that I can feel is 97% complete I take the inventory of cards from the Beckett database and Trading Card Database and combine them into one google sheet…here’s the Washington Redskins version (name change will happen at some point soon…).  Insane I know.  The list covers every card, some objects and a few magazines from what I could find from 1935 – Today.  That’s upwards of 70,000 cards….seems like there would be more, but 70k is what I like to call – A SHIT TON – of cards.  The frightening part is that I’m sure I’m missing a few.  I’ve already found a few cards I have that are not in the google doc.  It’s only maddening if I know about the missing misses…a bit of Schrödinger’s plates going on…ok, maybe not.  So, yeah…the list…it’s insane.  I’ve tracked everything up to 2005 and have combined the lists up to 2012.  Some more work ahead of me, but that’s part of the hobby I enjoy.

Here’s the list…if you dare!

So, the cards from 2005.  The team from 2004.  The pain.

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve checked off the list, an image of a few of my favorite cards or players from the ’04 season and ’05 designs.

First off, the Quarterbacks.  When you have two QB’s that’s ok, because a great backup is hard to come by…but when you have three…that’s too many.  It’s like an exponential thing.  Two is ok, Three is what the hell are you even doing!

Next player is LaVar Arrington.  For a few years he was hands down my favorite player.  Never really reached superstardom at Linebacker, but he was a solid player.  Then a few injuries piled up and he was quickly overlooked and shuttled off for other players that didn’t really match his caliber.  Seeing him in New York as a Giant was a heartbreaker for me…

Chris Cooley was great.  He had a tremendous sense of humor and once even showed off his prick while (I’ll let you google that and have it in your search history) snapping a pick of the playbook…not sure what was more egregious…NFL playbooks are sacred.

Santana MOSS!  Absolutely loved this guy in Washington…so much so, that I’ve been collecting his Jets cards as well.  He was so incredible and passionate, how could you not want a guy like that on your team.  He was traded for Laveranues Coles…who, ironically was traded to Washington from the Jets originally.  The second trade worked out better for my team.

The next guy, Carlos Rogers was…well…I really thought he would be special.  A high draft pick in ’05 that just didn’t pan out as a big time player in DC.  He moved on to the 49ers and had a bit of a rebirth, then on to the Raiders where he ended his career.

Ok.  Here are a couple Miami guys…I could have grouped Moss in here as well, but these two were special.  I love Portis.  One of my top 5 Washington guys of all time…Love everything he brought to the team, including Sean Taylor.  Not saying that Portis was the reason Taylor came to the team, but he did push hard.  To be honest, I don’t think it would have been wise for Joe Gibbs to pass on such a talented player…still miss ST21.

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The last group of guys are Redskins greats, guys that had a huge impact on the organization.  All three are in the Redskins ring of Fame.  Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

oh yeah, found this one too…Alex Smith Rookie Card…along with one of the numerous Browns QB draft picks Charlie Frye…and future Browns QB Jason Campbell. Let’s play six degrees of separation with these guys some day.

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Since 2020 is almost done. YAY. I thought i’d share the most 2020 video from one of my favorite groups in the world. RTJ – Run The Jewels. Love these guys!

Mail week roundup and some thoughts…

I thought Sunday night would be a great time to do a weekly recap of the cards that came into my house during the week.  Mostly they will be eBay pickups.  Some will be from my two close-by LCS’s, Hoody’s and The Sports Room and there may even be a Sportlots delivery or COMC soon…oh yeah, possibly some Topps stuff too.

Sunday’s around our house are normally filled with chores.  Chores of all kinds. 

Laundry

Vacuuming

Bedroom cleaning

Yardwork

Maybe even some Washington Football Team viewing.

Washington Football Team | Sports Teams Wiki | Fandom

That last one is a must.  I’m an incredibly loyal fan, ride or die with a team that’s been killing me for nearly 40 years.  The good ol’ days are so far gone at this point that I can barely remember them.  Good players have come and bad ones too, it’s just the ebb and flow of a team that isn’t too consistent.  You get a lot of turnover during the rough years.

Well, I honestly feel like the team is beginning to make a turn for the better.  Yeah, they are now 6-8 after losing 15-20 to the Seattle Seahawks this morning…but they are still in FIRST PLACE IN THE NFC EAST!!!  Thanks to the Giants losing at home to Cleveland this evening.  What a season, eh? 

Bright spots abound for my favorite team and they are centered around this young man, at least on Defense.  To see his helmet-less face, you feel the desire to card him and make sure he’s supposed to be here…maybe it’s just me being old, but he looks like he’s still in his teens. 

A champion!

A leader!

The cornerstone of a defense that is on the verge of something special.  Chase Young ya’ll

Being one of the worst teams the past decade plus you get to collect some great players at the top of the draft.  Franchise changing players that can catapult you into a different stratosphere of winning and potentially a dynasty.  Now, let me pump the brakes here.  I don’t foresee this team being the next Patriots…I’m not nuts.  But I do see them gaining some traction and having an impact on the league in the next 5-8 years with their young talent.  The coaching staff is doing a great job and putting the team first and winning should hopefully come from that.

Being one of the worst teams the past decade plus you get to collect some great players at the top of the draft.  Franchise changing players that can catapult you into a different stratosphere of winning and potentially a dynasty.  Now, let me pump the brakes here.  I don’t foresee this team being the next Patriots…I’m not nuts.  But I do see them gaining some traction and having an impact on the league in the next 5-8 years with their young talent.  The coaching staff is doing a great job and putting the team first and winning should hopefully come from that.

Along side Chase is a player that was drafted last year.  A guy that I loved watching in college and was drafted in the first round of the 2019 draft.  Montez Sweat.  His rookie year showed lots of flashes of potential, but teaming up with Young this season has had a tremendous impact on his defensive pressure and overall play.  Both are going to be so much fun to watch the next few seasons.

Another pickup from the week is a great young RB that i’m just not sure will make it in the NFL…again, i really hope he does whether it’s with Washington or somewhere else. I’d love to see him healthy and starting somewhere…the Football Team sure could have used him this week with Antonio Gibson out again. Really hoping Bryce Love can get to 100% for 2021.

The last guy I wanted to talk about was the starting QB for the game today.  Dwayne Haskins Jr.  Quarterbacks these days aren’t allowed to develop like they were way back in the 90’s.  They are expected to start from day one and have an impact on day one.  Fair or not, that’s the way it has become.  Haskins is young, he’s athletic, he’s strong…but he’s young.  He also was a one year starter for one of the best college teams, Ohio State.  Putting up big numbers wasn’t the greatest challenge you could have every Saturday, and he took full advantage of it. 

Now, don’t get me wrong here.  I love Haskins and want him to be the guy.  I think he can achieve an extremely high bar of success in the NFL.  I just don’t think he’s there yet and I’m not sure he will get there next season either.  If this was the older NFL days, he’d be on the bench for a season or two before he was thrown into the fire…he hasn’t gotten that chance.  I hope he does and I hope he remains in Washington to be part of the rebuild.  I would love to see Haskins Jr. hoist a Lombardi trophy next to his college teammates Young and McLaurin.

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Thinking of Sweat and Young, I’m reminded of Keith Sweat…when I was young.  Man I loved 90’s R&B.

Sittin’ on Chrome

Retail is crazy man, insane really.  I remember not that long ago when we would all laugh and joke about spending (read wasting) a Jackson on a blaster from Topps or Panini at your local Target or Wal-Mart.  We would go as far as saying, I spent $20 bucks on cards from COMC or Sportlots or eBay and got a whole bunch of fill in the blanks that I needed for my PC!!!  Yeah, I was one of those guys…but something happened. 

What was it? 

Greed? 

FOMO? 

COVID-19? 

Social Media? 

No. It was Gary Fuckin’ Vee!!! 

Well, not really.  It was a bit of all of those things…(side note, I have nothing against Gary Vee or what he has brought to the hobby, any interest in the hobby in my mind is a good thing) every one of those, plus more than what I mentioned.  I’m sure of it. 

Crazy times ya’ll.

So with retail evolving into sneaker heads land and lines waiting for new releases or limited editions of whatever’s new, my thirst for retail has grown.  Grown more out of the FOMO category more than anything else, but also just enjoying a good cheap rip once in a while.  I like to open cards.  I would venture to say we all do, or at least the vast majority of us…I need to do a better job of not speaking for others…I never depended on anything from Target to build a collection around, just something that was inexpensive that I could open on a Tuesday night…fill some need for instant gratification…and go on with my life.  A few years ago I began hording boxes.  I’d buy a box or two but not open them, you know?  Just buy them.  

Saving them for a rainy day. 

Saving them for a day that didn’t go as I had planned.

Saving them for a long week of work.

Saving them for something to write about on a blog I abandoned.

Saving them for something cool to break. 

I could pick up blasters of cards that I’m not super interested in, but like to have just to get an idea of what they look like…I like design and I like sports, so sports cards fill both of those buckets for me…but also the rip factor. 

That has obviously come to a screeching halt during the past six plus months, but I have still managed to accumulate a few tasty samples from Target and Wal-Mart as well as from my LCS’s Hoody’s and The Sports Room. 

The first two locales for an acquisition are great because the’re based on MSRP…no ‘flippity flip flipper-life’ markups.  There’s no LCS overhead cost markup or anything else that would make the box more than they should be.  Trust me (you know this too), retail boxes should not be going for these nutso upticked prices.

…HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT PRIZM FOOTBALL IS GOING FOR ON EBAY, HOLY SMOKES!!!!…

The hobby shops are a bit of a different story, there’s a markup.  The great folks over at Hoody’s though, didn’t do too much for this box of Topps Chrome 2020 I picked up a couple months ago.  $35 for a $20 box.  Nothing too egregious I guess…? 

The packs are lovely aren’t they, Mr. Pete Alonso and some honeycomb corners for the exciting Sepia Refractor Pack. Let’s see if this was worth the $35!

Here are the results of the box and the ‘bonus sepia pack’

*****

PACK ONE

Joey Gallo and Bobby Bradley

AJ Puk ’85 Insert and Luis Urias

*****

PACK TWO

JD Martinez and Austin Nola

Robel Garcia Prism Refractor and Ian Desmond

*****

PACK THREE

Archie Bradley and George Springer

Jean Segura Refractor and Trevor Story

*****

PACK FOUR

Paul Goldschmidt and Lucas Giolito

Austin Riley ’85 Insert and Jose Altuve

*****

PACK FIVE

Freddie Freeman and Nicky Lopez

Dansby Swanson Refractor and Charlie Blackmon

*****

PACK SIX

Matt Olson and Rafael Devers

Mike Yastrzemski Future Stars and Michael Fulmer

*****

PACK SEVEN

Randy Arozarena and Kevin Newman

Babe Ruth Decade of Dominance Die-Cut and Sam Hilliard

*****

PACK EIGHT…THE SEPIA PACK!

Fernando Tatis Jr. Refractor

Aaron Civale Refractor

Orlando Arcia Refractor

Luis Arraez Refractor

*****

All this writing reminds me of one of my favorite all-time MC’s, MASTA ACE! Here’s Sittin’ on Chrome…the namesake for today’s post. Enjoy the jeep thumping mid-90’s bass heavy joint.

I’m alive!…and a black box!

Tap…

Tap…

Tap…

Is this thing on?  Hello…earth to bloggers…oh hey!  How’s it going! 

Long time, no write. 

I know, I’ve been lazy and negligent in writing and I hate myself for it.  Well, not hate…that’s harsh.  I’m saddened and disappointed in myself that I’ve abandoned something I really enjoyed doing.  Writing about cards and the Redsk…Washington Football Team!  The first place Washington Football Team!  At least at the time I’m writing this post.

Anyways.

Blogging.

Man, I’ve been busy.  Really busy.  Busy with work.  Busy with family.  Busy with home projects.  Busy with organizing my collection and creating a bit of a “brand” for myself.  I know, kinda douchey, right?  Maybe not social media influencer douchey, but hey…it was a fun process to come up with an identity for my hobby.  Do you like the new logo?  I think it’s pretty cool and am really proud of it.  Earlier this year I did a couple of sketches and attempted to work on something in inDesign and realized I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted to see, so I reached out to a freelancer graphic designer for help and he pulled together a great image.  I’m really happy with the overall look, so happy in fact I’ve proposed it to the WFT as their new logo and name for the team.  It’s a crazy longshot, I know, but you know…

“you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Michael Jordan via Wayne Gretzky via Michael Scott.

Organizing, yes.  I’ve done lots of that and am super excited to share what I’ve done with our basement…I love it deeply, my beautiful wife though…she has some different thoughts.  The common phrase is “when do you stop”, my common response is, “whatta you mean? They make new ones each day of every year, pfffffttttt.”  She’s a patient woman and I’m incredibly lucky to have her in my life, but yeah, she could do without the small rectangular photos of men everywhere. 

More on the organizing another day. Today, I’m excited to share a quick post of how I have taken photos of my cards that I’m happy with.  I’m picky.  Very picky.  Don’t like most things and tend to be reticent to try new things, I like steady and familiar but more importantly, quality.  I just wasn’t happy with the card scans I was getting each time I sat down to document my collection.  They were pixely or too dark or not shiny enough or something, it was always something.  So I did some digging around on the ‘gram and noticed a few folks had some really nice photos and well thought out layouts for their cards…which I loved.   I reached out to a couple of them to find out their secrets and they came back with the same results…a photo box!  That was it!  I needed a photo box!  I dug around amazon and on my google machine for some options to buy and then realized…I should just make it. 

It’s crazy simple. 

It’s a box…

…that you take photos in…

IT’S A PHOTO BOX!

I did some sketching as I’m tend to do, made a gotta gettit list for Blick Art Supplies and got to makin’!  Now, before I get to any process here…I want to temper expectations.  This isn’t anything glamorous or spectacular, but it works exceptionally well for me I think the photos capture what I’d hope them to.

Here we go!

The shopping list:

  • Foamcore – 1/2″ Black.  I went with black over white mostly due to my preference to lean towards darker colors over brighter ones…plus (see next item)
  • Hardboard – 12” x 16” Dark Gray.  This was the real reason I went with black foamcore.  I couldn’t find a durable white surface with this kind of rigidity and durability.
  • LED Lights – one 6’ strip of LED lights.  I wanted the brightness of the LED’s and felt like it would be a great way to pop the colors on the cards.  Also, it allowed for a greater balance of light around the box.
  • Black Tape – 1” thick black tape.  Mostly for the corners, but also for packaging and other items you’ll see in future posts.
  • Foam Core Cutter – Fancy handle shaped cutter.  This is a must if your going to cut a lot of foam cure, which I have and which you will see in future posts.  I spent many nights in architecture studio cutting foam core and not getting a nice consistent straight line…so this is a must for me.  I’d use an x-acto knife, but they blades flex a bit and it’s a challenge to get them square…I’m picky remember?
  • Straight edge – well actually it’s a big ass ruler from home depot.  Helpful in cutting large sheets of foam core, plus it has a nice weight to it.
  • Pencil – for making marks…duh.
  • iPhone – this was really just to document the process for now, I didn’t buy one just to make a box.

Next the crafting:

  • My ultimate goal was to make the box large enough so I could capture one card or ten, or maybe a poster or maybe something else that’s oddly sized…I don’t know…I’m attempting to plan for the future.  How does one plan for the unknown!?
  • Here are the sizes and quantities:
    • 2 – 8”x16” for the long sides
    • 2 – 8”x13” for the short sides
    • 1 – 13”x17” for the top
    • 5 – 8”x10” shims (this was a minor change that I do not regret)
  • Now that the pieces are all cut, time to put this bad boy together.  The hardboard size was the driving factor for the shape, as that needed to fit snug with the inside of the box…not too snug so it’s a struggle to move in and out as wanted…but you know, snug.
  • I was going to tape the sides and leave it, but felt that I should tape and glue them to help keep it in tact a little better, so the four corners are glued and the tape is pressed pretty tightly to the edges and corners.
  • Next, the lights.  This was a little trickier than I thought…I wanted a 90degree corner for the lights, but they apparently don’t bend that way.  I ended up with a 2” or so radius which I’m happy with.  The LED lights had tape on the back, so just peel and apply.
  • Now the peep hole.  Gotta have a peep hole!  This could have been planned a little better as well, but it works.  It really depends on your phone camera.  I have an iPhone and wanted the items to be centered as much as possible in the hardboard.  I mad the cuts prior to really figuring out where the lenses were on the phone…so the hole is larger than I had hoped.  There is some light leak, but nothing significant.  I guess I can address this in the near future.
  • Lastly, put it all together and drop a card in.  I have a few older/used mag holders that I use a dummy holders for the cards.  They tend to get a little scratched over time so those get changed when needed.  I’ve made a couple tick marks with that fancy little pencil of mine so I can quickly swap cards in and out for photographing.

So yeah, that’s it!

I’ve got a great system set up and have been taking tons of photos over the past few months.  In my opinion, this process is faster (for me, at least) than scanning.  There is some time management with uploading the files and getting them where I want them, but I know a card is (mostly) square when I’ve taken a photo and I can see the output immediately.  I like it and it works well for me. 

I’m certain I will still use my scanner for some things and I’ve definitely taken and used photos without the box that I’m really happy with as well, but for the most part, this will be my path to documenting my cards.

Let me know what you think and what you do to document your cards?  I’m always super excited to hear how people maintain their collections.  Love to hear what is important to other hobbyists and collectors.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

-Cardboard Hogs