The other day I displayed this photo on a post to celebrate the fact that my 2011 Topps Lineage minis set was finally fully paged.
But there is one thing very unusual about this photo when it comes to my collection:
The cards are inserted one per pocket.
With virtually all of my sets, I insert cards two to a pocket.
I know this makes me odd. I had no idea exactly how odd until I started a blog. It seems that most binder folks store their sets one card to a pocket. Periodically, when the topic comes up as it did earlier today, and I inform people that I double-bag pages, I get a "you do WHAT?", and then after my response, I get a "well if you must."
And I do "must".
Putting two cards in each pocket began out of necessity. When I was a teenager and first became aware of pages and binders to display a collection, I didn't have any money. Back then, you could find pages only through mail-order catalogs. They weren't readily available and they weren't cheap. Also, binders were reserved for school. A spare binder was a luxury.
So I conserved both pages and binders by putting two cards in each pocket with their backs facing each other. I had no problem with this. The card back was the least attractive part of the card, it didn't need to be displayed. And if I wanted to look at the card back, I'd simply take out the card.
As the years went on and my collection grew, I continued to double-bag pages for the same reasons. Money is always tight.
Then space became an issue.
When you live in a house with people, there is only so much of the house that is "yours". I've pushed the limits of where my cards can go as much as I can. There is only so much space they can take up without bringing in counselors.
I now have 60 binders full of cards. I just counted them. The room where most of them are stored is packed. No more will fit. I have a closet area where I might be able to fit a few if I need the space. After that, my only option is the basement and I don't like that idea at all. (It's possible I could acquire or build some shelving, but that also comes with issues of its own).
If I were to take all of the cards out of the pages and re-file them with one card to a page, I would double the number of binders I needed, and there is no way I'm doing that. No room. No money.
Besides, I just like the look of my double-bagged binders.
Here's what I like about them:
This is a look at the innards of my 1971 Topps binder. I love that I can see full-color faces of 17 players (plus one entire team) in one glance.
You can't do that if you limit cards one to a pocket. Instead it would look like this:
That doesn't look nearly as pretty as seeing full-color cards on facing pages.
I'm beginning to understand that I'm in the minority on this issue. But I still don't understand why.
I know some say they want to see the card backs. I value card backs as much as anyone -- I've written enough posts about card backs -- but really there aren't very many that are worth being on display at all times. If I want to see the back, I'll take out the card.
I know taking out a card makes some collectors squeamish, but really what are you risking by removing a card? Unless it's a super vintage card, TAKE IT OUT. It's a card, it's meant to be handled. If you can't remove it, maybe it should be in a toploader and not a binder.
But I do make exceptions to my two-cards-per-pocket rule.
The 1956 Topps cards I have are one to a pocket. The card backs on '56 are the best card backs of all-time. I refuse to cover those up.
Also, my 1975 Topps minis are also one to a pocket. But that's because the pages were free, man. There all kinds of exceptions when pages don't cost a cent.
That's also why the Lineage minis are one to a pocket, too.
But I don't anticipate any other sets being that way.
If I was attempting to complete a set from the '50s or the '60s, I would consider one card per pocket. The card backs are a little more memorable than the backs from sets from the '70s through today, and there's something about absorbing the entire card from a set that old.
But as for other sets?
I couldn't possibly go from this: