Baseball cards checklist

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Vintage baseball card
Keep track of the cards you have -- and which you need
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Use a baseball cards checklist to track your prized collection

The first baseball cards were issued back in the late 1800's. And from the start, collecting these sports cards became a hobby for some, and obsession for others. Even today, almost 150 years later, collecting baseball cards is still one of the most popular hobbies in the U.S.

Lots of people have a card or two lying around, and many adults have a couple of packages left from their childhood. But if you're a serious baseball card collector (or would like to a serious collector), there are a couple of things you need to do.

Keep track of your cards...and the ones you need

One of the common problems once a collector starts to get a lot of cards is knowing what you have ... and what you need. 

You could look through each and every card whenever you see a new card for sale. Or you could haul all of your cards to every sports memorabilia event. But neither of those solutions is a much of a, well, real solution.

That's where a baseball cards checklist or spreadsheet comes in handy.

How to organize your checklist

Whether you collect baseball cards by year, by team, by player, by origin (baseball cards that came from bubble gum packages versus those from team sets, for example). 

List all the cards available for each category, then add a extra columns to help you keep track. 

Some of the most common extra columns included on a baseball cards checklist are:

  • Purchase date - This is a great piece of data when it comes to tracking your collection over time
  • Price paid - This, along with value, could be important for insurance on valuable cards. It's also useful if you decide to sell any of your cards.
  • Value - Listing the value of a card you want is helpful when you have a chance to buy it. And listing the value of the cards you already own is critical for insurance and resale. Using Excel or another digital tool to create your checklists will allow you to easily update this column
  • Place seen (if not purchased), including contact information and date: Sometimes you'll see a card you want at a sports collectibles show or a shop, but you don't have the money to buy it on the spot. Keeping track of where and when you saw it, along with the seller's contact information will make it easier to go back when you do have the cash.
  • Condition: A simple statement of condition for each card in your collection (or card you've seen but did not yet buy) is another popular piece of data to record. Not only is it useful for comparative shopping and resale, it's a good way to remind yourself that a card in better condition might be a good purchase if it becomes available.
  • Features/flaws: Some special cards may have extra features like a hologram. Or a card might be signed by the player. On the downside, a card might have a bend in it, a corner missing or an ink stain.  Noting the good and the bad helps you keep track of what you have.
  • Where the card is stored: You'd be amazed at how many people skip this step, and then spend hours searching for a certain card in their collection...or stashed in a box on a closet shelf.

Which leads to the next part of collecting baseball cards ...

Storing your baseball cards

Paper, by its very nature, is fragile. Exposure to sunlight, dampness, heat or dirt can destroy your collection. That's why it's important to store your cards correctly. 

Acid-free baseball card sleeves are a must. And odds are you'll also want acid free covers for programs, magazines, autographs and other paper sports collectibles.

Keep the pages in large three-ring binders, taking care to keep pages from bending over and creasing your collectibles.  You can have a binder for each team, year or however else you decide to sort your cards. Keep a copy of your checklists with the binders, so you can easily add to it as you buy and sell cards.

Then make it a habit to update the electronic version of the list regularly, and print a new one for each binder that's changed. You'll avoid duplicates, pass on over-priced cards, and know exactly what you need to complete each category in your collection.

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