This is probably the busiest corner of my card room. This is where the 2015 cards converge with the set binders, which are adjacent to some Dodgers binders, which are next to a stack of night cards and assorted other cards.
The overriding theme of this room -- besides cards -- is binders. There are stacks and stacks of binders. As I visualize the room in my head, I count 11 different stacks of binders, with five-to-six binders in each stack (I don't dare pile on any more than that).
But I've done a post about my card room before. This post is intended to piggyback on The Shlabotnik Report's post about his binders. It was an interesting look at where he gets the binders, what they look like, etc.
I thought I would do the same.
I have maybe 60 or so binders, and some of them go back to the very first time I found out that there were binders specifically created to store baseball cards.
The earliest binders I owned -- received through a mail-order catalog or from a form cut out of a Baseball Digest -- looked like this:
This is my kind of binder. It is the only one I have left from that period, which is probably around 1979 or 1980. It is simple, nice to look at, with a pleasant marble-like finish, and gets right to the point: "Baseball Card Album". Oh, if every binder could be like this one.
These binders from that period are sturdy as hell. The binder on this one is cracking at the top, but, come on, it's 35 years old! My 1977 Topps set is the lucky resident.
The other old binders that I own -- probably around 25-30 years old -- are not my style. These were purchased for me, no doubt by someone who needs an advertisement on what exactly a baseball card album is. The top binder evokes the sticky sweet "if you build it he will come" nostalgia pablum that makes me want to hurl. It's just a binder that houses cards, OK? Can we please turn off the violins?
But they remain in my collection -- I have two of each of them -- because they are indestructible. These probably will be housing cards long after I've thrown out newer binders.
The binders that I ordered through the mail back in the '80s are quite nice. They're padded, sturdy and distinctive. I like this one a lot. It features my 1984 Topps set. I don't know how that set got so lucky.
Since I returned to the hobby about 10 years ago, my binder shopping has changed. You can now find trading-card specific binders at any Target and at some Walmarts. I probably own more of these Ultra Pro binders than anything else. They house a lot of my complete sets. Most of these were bought by other people for me as gifts. I don't like spending 10 bucks on a binder -- even if it includes pages -- if I can help it.
So, yeah, the fancy "Cardguard" stuff like this, I didn't buy. But I'm glad I have it. These are probably the sturdiest of the binders that I can find today. I have one orange one that is kind of speckled like a basketball (probably intended to feature basketball cards -- boy did it get the wrong collector), that features my 1956 Topps set. I made sure that set got in something durable.
The vast majority of newer binders -- usually purchased to rein in my ever growing Dodgers collection -- are plain. They have no writing. I simply go to the binder section at Target or the dollar store and find the cheapest, sturdiest item that will fit pages and baseball cards.
These are perfect for me. I don't want any writing or designs on them, but I do try to pick them up in different colors. That helps me distinguish one from the other. Just by looking at them here, I know that the red one features Dodgers from 1994 and 1995, the blue one has Dodgers from 2009 and the purple one has Dodgers from 2010-11.
I have many different colors of plain binders: green, light green, dark blue, white, black, burgundy.
That is a special one. It includes my complete set of 1975 Topps minis (plus, a bonus night owl shadow!).
Here is the latest Dodgers binder, in yellow. You'll find the tail end of 2014 and all the 2015 cards in that one.
I also have smaller binders that include things like my A&G frankenset (it's white), my 2011 Lineage '75-style mini inserts (it's turquoise like the larger '75 mini binder) and my oddball, larger cards (it's blue).
A week or two ago I was walking through the office at work when I saw a box on a table with some binders sticking out of it. They were free for the taking. The average person would look at this as if someone was giving them free paper clips, but I practically leaped for joy. I now have three new binders for nothing, ready to include something much cooler than project reports.
(Although I can pick up binders pretty cheaply, I'm always appreciative when I find them. I always seem to be looking for them, and a lot more often than I look for pages -- I don't think my page supply will ever thin).
Sure, I still have some cards in boxes. You'll find those in my card room, too. But ever since I knew that there was such a thing as binders, that has been the way to go.
Someday I may have a large shelf for them all, but there's no hurry.
I haven't run out of room yet.