Choosing An Organizer For Baseball Card Collecting

Protecting and displaying your cards are an important part of your hobby card collecting.

Organizing, storing and displaying your precious baseball card collection can be done in numerous ways, depending on what the collector's desires and goals are. There are many different products on today's market to assist in this endeavor. Organizing a collection depends ultimately on the collector and why they collect sports cards. Building complete sets of certain brands every year, or collecting every card ever made of a single player. There are as many combinations of sport card organization as there are collectors. Your organization will depend on your collection desires.

For any collection, the collector will want his cards protected. Keep in mind though, for any collection, the cards must be kept in a dry, not too hot and not too cold environment. Baseball cards are made of cardboard and can be easily damaged by the environment. Set collectors, team collectors and player collectors may opt for the cardboard boxes that are built specifically for sports cards to protect their investment. They are user friendly; allowing you to identify cards missing from a specific set quickly and can be labeled for identification. In this case the collector may have one box for the entire set. Then the sets can be stacked and organized on a shelving system.

For a more displayable collection of smaller sets, team sets, insert sets, or individual players, a collector may choose to use three-ringed binders using "pocket pages" to hold each individual card. Each page will hold and protect nine cards. These are great for the collector that has cards he wants to show others. A couple of drawbacks to these types of pages are that the cards can easily fall out of their slots in the page if the binder is inverted. The cards will also not fit well when sleeve protectors are used.

Card companies and card protection companies also create smaller binders specifically made to hold a certain amount of cards. For example, a card company may come out with a team set folder that holds the exact amount of cards produced for that team that year. For those cards of value, whether it is monetary or just valuable to the collector can be protected to an even greater degree. The most common type of card protection for an individual card is a "top-loader". The top-loader is a hard clear plastic sleeve that one individual card fits snugly into by sliding the card into it from the top. The card is then protected from oils from skin, and becoming bent or scratched. If the collector has cards that are going to be handled or transported extensively, top-loaders are a must. Keep in mind that top-loaders will not fit in the standard sports-card storage box.

Sleeve protectors are a thin, non-ridged plastic sleeve that an individual card slides into. They are commonly used when storing cards in cardboard boxes or top-loaders. They are the first line of defense for an individual card that a collector wishes to protect.

Once in a while, a collector gets a card that he wants to display for all to see. There are a couple of ways one can do this. The most common being a "screw-down" cardholder. These are ridged plastic cardholders that you set the card into, and then screw down the top with four screws, sealing the card inside. These holders fit nicely onto picture frame holders for desktop display. They can also be used to mount a card onto a plaque for display on a wall.

Another way to display cards on a wall is in a picture frame. Whether matted for a nicer look or not, putting your special cards in a picture frame is a handsome way to display them. A nice touch to framed displays is other types of memorabilia, such as a picture, coin or ticket from a game can be added. The challenge with displaying your cards in this manner is that if you used a top-loader or screw-down protective case, it would detract from the aesthetics of the display. The cards will be sufficiently protected inside the frame without the use of these other protection devices. This does pose the challenge of mounting the cards. Glue, tape, or other adhesives of this nature will ruin the back of the card. To overcome this, a collector can use rubber cement, which will rub right off the card when dry. Older cards do not have the same finish as the new cards do, and rubber cement or any other adhesive shouldn't be used on them.

When framing older cards to be hung vertically, photo mounts can be used. Photo mounts are black either paper, plastic or metal, and can be distracting to the display, however; the card will not be damaged in any way. Consider painting the mounts to the color of the matte or card to limit the distraction.

Whether you're a set collector or only collect one individual player. Protecting and displaying your cards are an important part of your hobby. Individual cards and complete sets can increase dramatically in financial value as well as personal value. Using these products and ideas will allow you to display and take care of your collection for generations.

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