Anyhoo, this overhaul is going to have a major impact in two areas: security and simplicity.
Now I’ve written about how I keep my collection secure in the past, but I’ve noticed a significant uptick in the number of cardboard-related crimes lately. Some of the events seem like general robberies where cards are taken in addition to other valuables; others (and these are the ones that scare me) are clearly card-focused.
I’m not super paranoid, but I’d be foolish not to recognize the value of what I have when it comes to cardboard, specifically of the Griffey kind. Plus I discuss it on the Internet, the most public forum ever conceived. All that combined with the fact that for some reason my readership has just exploded over the past few months has given me concern about any shady, Griffey-hungry characters that may be lurking.
|The Council of Nine|
On top of this, I’ve already been contemplating a major change in the way I store/access my Griffeys. My collection consists (for the most part) of nine 4” binders containing the bulk of my collection, a 5000-count Griffey Overflow Box (GOB), and a stack of screw cases in a safe deposit box at the bank where only the very best cards live.
For years the rule has been to limit duplicates in the binders to three per card and put the rest in the GOB in chronological and brand order. Unfortunately that is just not cutting it anymore. The binders have grown heavy and unwieldy, and many of them contain only two years’ worth of Griffeys. This makes sorting and scanning a real chore, especially when I want to do it in the living room while watching movies – the only way to sort.
I am addressing both the security and storage concerns with one massive overhaul in two parts:
1. Eliminate all duplicates from the binders. Going forward, only one specimen of each unique card will be included there.
2. While condensing the binders, remove any cards in the following categories for placement in the safe deposit box:
- Anything worth more than “a few bucks”
- Anything with an autograph or relic
- Anything that is rare or hard to replace
- Anything I would be truly upset to lose
These changes are going to make my job a lot easier and stress-free. Sorts and scans are going to be quicker and binders easier to navigate and transport from room to room.
|I just really like this page.|
You may be thinking, “But Junior Junkie, how are you going to scan cards for blog posts when they’re stored in a vault miles from your house?” That’s an excellent question, Nosey McGee. I’m making scans of every card I store offsite and keeping them all in a single scan folder for easy access. By digitizing all my off-site cards, I will rarely have to go through the process of accessing the box, finding the appropriate cards, bringing them home, scanning them, and then doing it all over again in reverse.
This whole project has been pretty big and time-consuming, and it has taken precedence over all my other current card/blog projects, including catching up on trade posts. Sorry, guys.
I’m happy to reveal all this now because it’s already done. At this moment my collection is more secure than it’s ever been. Anyone who somehow manages to successfully enter my house, access my Griffey collection, and burgle it without any of my many home-all-day retiree neighbors noticing will end up with a butt-load of base cards and junk wax, easily replaceable for a pittance. I’ll be pissed and everything, but not nearly as pissed as I would be if the cards taken had any real value.
Here are the effects of this overhaul:
|Haven't updated those labels yet, but you get the idea.|
I’ve reduced the bulk of my Griffey collection from nine 4” binders to only five. There remains only one of each unique Griffey therein, and those are the best-condition specimens I own. This makes it easier to do pretty much everything like locating specific cards, sorting new additions, finding condition upgrade and set needs, and updating the Griffey count.
|Left: Before I started, Middle: Dupes removed from binder added, Right: Dupes sleeved and organized by year|
The Griffey overflow box has absolutely exploded with cards. Everything is penny sleeved (I had to buy twenty 100-count packs of penny sleeves to accommodate this), so I can flip through the cards easily without fear of damaging them - even the crazy die-cuts.
|So much penny sleeve|
With all my duplicates in one place, I can now more easily get Griffeys to other collectors. Before I would have a few dupes in the binders and a few in the GOB without a system for keeping tabs on how many were where. Now that all the dupes are in one place, I know exactly how many of each card I can spare. Now is the time to make requests, fellow Griffey collectors.
My safe deposit box, despite being one of the largest sizes held at the bank, is bursting with cardboard. I’m fairly certain I couldn’t fit another hundred cards in there if I wanted to. I could barely even close the lid. Part of me thought, “Do our passports really have to be in here?” That’s how desperate I was getting for space. Luckily after a few minutes of tetris-ing the bejeezus out of our valuables, I was able to make it work without compromise.
|So much more space|
There is a lot more space in my card cabinet. I feel a reorganization of my other cardboard coming on.
I have one seriously massive scan folder to deal with. I still have to go in and edit/label each card, but once that is done making posts with those particular cards will be a lot easier. I have half a mind to scan everything and keep them all on file for future posts, but I think that may be more trouble than it’s worth. Just the cards I moved to the SDB took a stupid number of hours to do, and that was without editing photos.
I have a new perspective on how much my collection is actually worth. As I was deciding which cards to move to the safe deposit box and which were okay to keep locked up at home, I realized how much the value distribution of my Griffey collection correlates with the U.S. distribution of wealth. In other words, 90% of the monetary value of my 8000-card collection is in fewer than 1000 cards. I was able to store far more than that in the bank vault, so I would estimate that as much as 95% of the monetary value of this collection is as safe as I can reasonably make it. That gives me peace of mind which, after all, was the point of all this.
Notice I say “monetary value” a lot. I do this because the monetary value is nice, but the value of the collection as a whole to me is a lot higher. I’m sure a lot of you other collectors can agree – it’s why we spurn price guides and eBay gougers. That being said, at some point, probably after Junior’s HOF induction, I would like to do a complete Beckett valuation of the Griffey collection. Yeah, yeah, those prices are meaningless and all, but I think a running Beckett value would be a fun addition to the Griffey count. Of course this will be tough with all the oddballs and customs in the collection.
|So much emptiness|
And finally, I have a ridiculous abundance of empty binder pages. I remember buying a dozen or so boxes to accommodate the original binder expansion, and before this project I had maybe 15 unused pages in that Ultra Pro box in the picture there. Now I have a full box and a full 4" binder, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them all yet, but they weren't cheap.