Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bad influence

I am confident enough in my collecting personality to know that I will never be this kind of collector. There is nothing wrong with that kind of collecting -- I'll always defend the "collect how you wanna collect" philosophy. I just can't bring cards into my collection that have been intentionally defaced, whether through cigarette burn holes, or an attempt to give a card more than four corners, or good, old fashioned doodling.

Cards that have been altered through normal effects of time and handling -- scuffing, creases, paper loss, rounded corners -- are a different matter, especially for older cards. I'll take those every time. They are cards with character that have been allowed to age gracefully.

But defacing is usually a no-no to my sensitive sensibilities.

Or so I thought.

While reading through this Dime Box post from yesterday, I came across a comment from beefman, who runs Baseball Cards in Oz. He said that he bought a 1989 Bowman Dodgers team set and the irregular size (it is one of the most defective sets of all-time, you know) drove him to trim the tops and bottoms of the cards so that they would fit into a regular nine-pocket page.

That intrigued me.

I have the '89 Bowman Dodgers team set. I'm sure I have it three times over. I also have eight-pocket pages and that's where my team set resides. It's quite happy in its eight-pocket pages. But what would it be like for it to reside in a nine-pocket page, like the majority of the cards in my collection?

Well, I wonder no more.

I gathered up a small selection of my '89 Bowman Dodgers dupes -- I wasn't going to dig through the giant doubles box to find them all.

Then I grabbed this card ...

... for measuring and straight-edge purposes. I certainly have a few of these '91 Mickey Hatchers to spare.

Then, following beefman's instructions, I trimmed the top and bottoms off of the '89 Bowmans so that they would resemble your average 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 inch card.

There is a trimmed Alfredo Griffin standing toe-to-toe with '91 Mickey.

And there is a trimmed Mickey Hatcher even up with '91 Mickey.

Because I have such a thing about defacing cards, I started out drawing cutting guidelines on the back, because I don't want to see pen marks on the front.

But that didn't work because I wouldn't get as clean a look on the front of the card. So I drew the guidelines on the front and carefully cut off the pen markings.

They're not perfect, but now they all fit in a nine-pocket page.

It looks pretty good, if you ask me. I might even put them in with my other 1989 nine-pocket pagers. Although, then what am I going to do with my 1989 Bowman eight-pocket page cards? I can't have duplicates -- even trimmed duplicates -- in my binders. I'll have to take my OCD pills for that.

Maybe I can put the eight-pocket page Bowmans in my irregular binder, with the giant 1985 Topps cards and the off-size TCMA cards. 1989 Bowman probably belongs there anyway.

This was a pretty good idea beefman. Thanks!

But now the question is, can I stop at 1989 Bowman?


  1. I was tempted to do this to a few of my '89 Bowmans after I saw beefman's comment as well. (His real, non-blogger name is Nick, just like me.)

    I may have to give it a shot after reading through this post.

  2. This makes me sad for reasons that I can't explain (especially since I hate oversized Bowman)... More power to anyone who can do this though!

  3. My brothers cut my 67s into their component parts, pic, name and position, team name and pasted them into notebooks. Including some high numbers. Including a Brooks Robinson high number. :-(

  4. I must say, great post, Mr. Owl!

    It's very satisfying to know that one of my silly OCD-Inspired ideas has become an international trend. I should also let you know that I actually held my 'measuring card' directly on top of each '89 Bowman card, and cut along the borders of said 'measuring card' to make sure it would end up being close to a standard sized card. Nope, I never even thought about sketching borders - that would have made the task soooo much easier!

    I'm proud to be a Bad Influence, as long as you never encounter 'Trimmers Remorse'.

    Nick J

  5. I'm one of those collectors who actually likes 89B baseball and accept their size, so I probably won't be doing this anytime soon. However... I definitely subscribe to your "collect how you want to collect" philosophy.

  6. I always disliked cards that couldn't fit into a binder page but I never had the heart to trim them to size

  7. I may have to try this but only if I have enough to make a second team set.