Tons of scans of graded cards have been added to the various Frank Thomas graded galleries. This was kind of a long process given that I haven’t touched an update since February of last year. There was lots of build up and while I enjoy the process, I really should commit to a monthly update. I’ve talked about this before but sometimes life happens and I can’t always get to it in a more reasonable frequency. In any case, I’m glad this batch is done.
With some very rudimentary software, I started building the Museum in July of 2012. Two months later, in September, I purchased and implemented upgraded software to build out the site. In Summer of 2022, I became aware that the software had been deprecated by its authors. The software served us well for over 11 years and while I thought we could get a little more time out of it, the recent PHP 8.3 update forced some functionality to stop working. Since retired software can create security vulnerabilities, the need for an update was immediate. As of today, the old layout has been replaced with modern technology. In terms of branding, I’ve kept things mostly the same but with minor tweaks.
It’s been the year of technical issues. March to October was dedicated to fixing a series of somewhat complicated software conflicts associated with the blog. Then starting in November, we caught another software issue on the museum. With the help of our host and lots of troubleshooting, we were able to get things squared away. 9 months of dealing with one issue after another has been pretty rough but we finally made it out of the gate and as of tonight, we’re back.
The current batch of images has been completed, processed, and uploaded, which brings the site to current at 7755 unique Frank Thomas items. I finally purchased a Thomas card issued in 2023. It’s nothing huge but I needed at least one item to introduce the 2023 portfolio.
My VA is nearly done with this batch. Today, I uploaded another 52 images to the various galleries, which includes some annual Top 10 list material. I recently acquired a small stack of aftermarket cards so those were interesting to process. Most of which were from the early 2000s. It’s always nice to bring the site to current.
My VA is currently processing crop jobs for 70+ new image scans. I’ve just uploaded 20 of them to the various galleries. Modern galleries are thinner than most but I do what I can to cherry pick some cards from this era each year. Here we are in late July and I still don’t have a single Frank Thomas card issued in 2023. That time will come but my strategy for modern is now only mid-high end. There may be a few low end pieces acquired in collections or on deals that are just too good to pass up but in the post-career block I’m going to focus specifically on key pieces. The reason for this is it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the new sets issued each year and I simply don’t have the resources to pursue them all. This will keep things interesting without absorbing a burden.
A few scans of graded Frank Thomas cards have been uploaded to their respective graded galleries.
It would appear that I like the 1997 Metal Universe Mother Lode set.
Since I scrubbed the non-Thomas galleries to ensure they exclusively feature the absolute best stuff I have, I did the same with the Ryan Leaf gallery. By doing this, updates to these galleries will be less frequent, which means more time allocated to other things but when updates do happen, they will feature scans of super premium additions.
I uploaded my first graded unlicensed card scan today, which was kind of cool. I can remember getting my first copy of this card, 1992 Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly #5, in 1992 and liking the 1974 Topps design. Childhood memories are some of the greatest things we can experience.
The Graded gallery has been redistributed and assigned below main block sections in associated annual galleries. This was a necessary change since the graded collection has gotten so big. This move also makes for a cleaner presentation and better overall logic. If an annual gallery doesn’t feature a graded section, it means I don’t yet have any graded cards from the respective year. Said galleries will populate based on content acquisition.
Around 150 new Frank Thomas scans have been uploaded. Most of the stuff I acquired this year was in the categories of: Errors, Unpeeled, Promos, and the like so it took some legwork to get it all chronicled. I suppose this is how it’s going to go for the most part going forward because the stuff I’m still after is so rare that I just never see it. That said, I have to keep myself busy while I wait for opportunities to arise to acquire said items. Also, the modern block of Panini Diamond Kings has Artist’s Proof parallels and should be stated in plural form in checklist line items. Many of the available checklists state these parallels as ‘Artist’ Proof, which in singular form is wrong. That said, I’ve corrected these titles on my checklist and here on the site. I don’t care if a reputable source got it wrong; I don’t have to accept the mistake. It’s correct on my end and that’s all that matters. Nothing is perfect but we do the best we can to keep records as accurate as possible. Finally, the 2022 portfolio has been created.
I’ve added more scans to the non-Thomas galleries to bring those areas to current. Also, I purged more of the Baseball galleries to slim them out for an even more rigorous focus on quality. I applied the same method as previously implemented in the decade galleries – only the best parallel I have of any one card. There are some exceptions to this rule i.e., Gold Label and Flair Showcase since those are essentially unique cards. I kept the Ryan Leaf run intact, however, since it appears to be the only place online that gives any credit to this former player. Also, 140+ new Frank Thomas card scans will be uploaded later this month to bring that block to current. Both block uploads will allow me to create my annual Top 10 lists, which I expect to publish in late December or early January.
Happy Thanksgiving! I was up late last night prepping and scanning all new Frank Thomas cards added in 2022. What I do is build a sizable pile before processing an update. An annual frequency provides enough time to make batch processing more efficient. Micro updates take more time because small tasks aren’t coupled. Anyway, there will be at least 142 image uploads in this block. I created the job for my VA today and I’ve requested to have the jobs done by Friday, 12/16 to allow for enough time to produce the 2022 Top 10 lists before year’s end. Hopefully, all goes as planned. While he’s working on that, I’ll be updating the non-Thomas galleries with key stuff acquired over the past several months.
I’ve uploaded a bunch of new scans to the Baseball portfolio, which brings that area to current. I like to build up a nice little pile before uploading since it’s a better use of time to process in batches. There were 59 images in this batch. As usual, I was very picky with what got added but this stuff is so choice and it fits exceptionally well with the other cards in the various galleries.
After some thought, I decided to pull most minor league cards of non-HOFers from the Baseball portfolio. The reason being is that these cards just seemed to kind of water down the decade galleries. Exceptions that remain include minor league cards of Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Joe Carter, and Jim Edmonds and it’s just because I like these guys. All others have been pulled for an even tighter, cleaner, gallery presentation. Going forward, more scrutiny will be placed on the qualification process of which graded cards get added to the Baseball portfolio. Some of it will go straight into the archive, which will save time.
After some months of building up a critical mass, I’ve uploaded a variety of new pieces to the Baseball and Graded Frank Thomas galleries. I still have a ways to go to bring the site to current with the raw stuff but the graded stuff is done, at least for now.
The 1998 Topps Tek gallery has been reorganized. For some reason it got scrambled in one of the last updates. It appears to have been the only gallery impacted. 24 more images have been uploaded to the various year galleries. While the Beckett database assigned #7 to Frank Thomas in the 2021 Panini Contenders Legendary Contenders set, it’s actually card #LC-FT. Also, 2020 Diamond Kings Artist Proofs are stated as plurals on the cards, Artist’s Proof. For the sake of consistency, however, all remain titled as singulars. Finally, 2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll Silver and Gold parallels should actually be called Silver Honors and Gold Honors but for consistency, Honors is kept off the titles.
Images of all 2021 Panini Mosaic parallels acquired to date have been uploaded. I’m not sure how much more progress I’m going to make on this run since tougher parallels rarely surface anymore but I’m happy with the 15 versions I have.
In an effort to simplify the organizational logic of my general collection, I spent the past few weeks consolidating it. In doing so, I started thinking about how I qualify cards to be uploaded to the Baseball portfolio. After some thought, I purged a large block of 300+ images from that area of the site. The goal is to strengthen the qualification rigors for what gets uploaded. The benefit is two fold: to produce and maintain a cleaner, tighter digital portfolio, and to minimize workload going forward.
In an ongoing effort to showcase the best stuff I own, I’ve decided to pull several pieces from the Baseball portfolio. Mostly low grade slabs and random stuff that doesn’t really fit have been pulled. In doing so, I’ll be even more selective about what gets an upload. The benefit to this angle is less work.
If you count the Ad Cutout from the promotional advertisement that was produced to showcase the set and housed the Sample card, there are a total of 6 unique Frank Thomas cards for 1996 Ultra Home Run Kings. Something else about this set is that the set name printed on the card is singular while the set name in checklists is plural.
21 more images have been uploaded. I added another 1990 Don Jennings #46 F.Thomas/J.Conine dual-signed card and this time with swapped auto colors, which looks really nice next to the other one. While they were acquired 7 years apart from each other, they were purchased at nearly identical prices.
1998 SP Top Prospects Destination The Show is a mildly confusing release that, without a little research, could be considered, erroneously, a product from 1997. I recently added the President’s Edition of Travis Lee from that set; the scan of which has been uploaded.
42 more images have been uploaded. Most of them went into the Baseball gallery. That 2005 Topps Barry Bonds Chase to 715 set contains 1620 unique parallels of essentially the same card but with different game and inning numbers and each card is a 1/1. Gosh, what a mess. One of them has been acquired and uploaded. It’s a prime example of a mega-parallel set. I think I’d be pretty overwhelmed by this set if I were a Barry Bonds collector because it’s not possible to complete it. In other news, the Frank Thomas master is up to date. Those 2021 National Convention cards are really nice.
The Memorabilia gallery has been completely redone with the correct image dimensions. Given the varied product styles on that gallery, I decided not to do touch ups on most images. Some are scans, others are photos, and none of them are cards. This just makes more sense from a purely visual accuracy standpoint when it comes to the general category of, “stuff.” The thing about a site like this you learn stuff as you go along. The Museum is in its 9th year and in that time, I’ve learned a lot about scanning and archiving best practices. The Memorabilia gallery is now in its optimal state.
A bunch of general graded cards have been added to the Baseball gallery, which has broken the 1000-image mark. It’s funny to see that Vida Blue 1981 Donruss BGS2 among all the other stuff of much better, more significant monetary and conversational value. So random. That card, which cost all of $1 is, at the time of this writing, the only card of its kind that’s been sent to BGS making it a Pop1. Yea, so this is the kind of thing that doesn’t make any difference to anything. Sometimes pop reports have little to no meaning. This example captures the latter with perfection.
The Latest Uploads gallery has been pulled. The reason being is that it creates work and additional image numbering, both of which aren’t necessary. Going forward summary updates on uploads will be provided here but specifics won’t be included. So for example, I may update this journal with something about a recent batch upload but won’t share the checklist of what. Again, it just adds work and this journal isn’t meant to be a checklist of what’s been uploaded.
Another 9 images have been uploaded. This stuff gets out of hand pretty quickly so if I can just commit to a weekly update schedule, ongoing keep should be pretty painless. In other news, no National for us this year; we’ve decided to reinvest the capital back into our company. Growth is our paramount priority.
Another 38 images have been added to the Non-Thomas galleries, which brings the site to current. A Duke Snider 2003 Donruss Classics 1/1 Replacement has been added that doesn’t appear to be replacing anything since there’s no record of a 1/1 Duke Snider from that set, which is somewhat of a mystery. I have some mail to go through and some of it will need to be added. This is an ongoing project so there’s really no being completely caught up. Such as work, all work, which is a process not a task. It’s a process; it’s a process.
A huge block of images has been added to the Frank Thomas gallery, which brings the site to current. My to-be-scanned pile was already quite tall prior to the move and it’s been nearly 7 months since we arrived so the pile got even bigger over that span of time. The backlog of data tracking – acquisition date and price – hadn’t really been kept up since before the move so this particular update was rather cumbersome. I expect to be better on top of things going forward, however.
Images of all the remaining Non-Thomas cards acquired over the past year have been uploaded. I’m still waiting on my VA to finish preparing the Thomas images. Once those are received, I’ll run them through the typical pre-upload process and get them up on the site. After that, I can produce my annual Top 10 videos for 2020.
All remaining pending items have been scanned with raw Thomas scans now in my VA’s possession. I’ll be glad to finally get this chunk of cards processed. We’re looking at a years worth of additions. The stack of which is considerably smaller than previous years. The reason for this is I’ve cut back on a lot of Non-Thomas impulse buys, not that there were all that many to begin with but that stuff adds up.
I finally got around to scanning some of the stuff I’ve acquired over the past year. Whatever thick cards I had in the pending Non-Thomas pile have been scanned with associated images uploaded to the site. The One Touch Magnetics presentation is always a nice one and I’ll use those cases on scans of all thick cards going forward. I’m even gonna re-scan whatever thick cards are already depicted on the site, which aren’t many but they’ll look much better presented this way. The other benefit is by using the One Touch cases on thick cards, it’ll help me identify which cards are thick and which aren’t. I still plan to use Card Saver 1s on standard sized raw card scans. Also, the mobile layout has been fixed.
42 scans of graded cards were added today, both Thomas and General. Some of this stuff dates back to Q3 of last year; it’s really piled up. I still have to get to all the raw stuff, which is quite a bit on its own. I recently bought one example of every thickness of One Touch Magnetics cases for the purpose of producing attractive scans of thicker cards (as well as for business projects). I’ve acquired several P/PA/RPA-style cards that are in the queue to be scanned and uploaded to the site. I’m excited to see the enhanced appearance of images of thicker cards.
After some months, we finally got to processing scans produced back in mid-September of last year. A lot has happened since our last entry; we moved our headquarters to Dallas, TX. It’s been a busy time and we’re still getting caught up.
We’re working with the gallery software developers to correct the gallery mobile layout issue that resulted after the last update. We hope to correct this issue as soon as possible.
The primary software I use on the Museum recently released an update that resulted in breaks in gallery rows. To correct this issue, I had to manually remove/reinsert each gallery, which was an arduous process since I’m currently working with over 40 galleries. This update, however, created an even cleaner gallery appearance. Also, the lightbox appearance has changed to a more minimalist presentation and while the close action has changed to clicking on the image itself instead of away from the image, a gallery image count has been included below the image title. While these are subtle changes, they’re nice ones.
After a few days of not hearing back from the Search Box developers, I looked for and found some alternative software that comes with a better interface and layout. As soon as I configured the new Search Bar, the developers of the original software replied to my email. Go figure!
In an effort to better organize the admin console, I revised a number of galleries. In doing so, the Search bar now returns a bunch of broken links. To correct the issue, I’m working with the developers of that little piece of software. In other news, the site has been brought to current.
The Unauthenticated gallery has been pulled. Everything in that gallery has been physically moved to a box where pre-PSA submissions are stored. Once PSA authenticates them, they will be scanned and added to the Graded gallery.
It’s 1:55a as I write this but wanted to chronicle the thought while it’s still fresh. A few minutes ago, I completed the Museum Audit. While this project took over a year to complete, I wasn’t working on it the entire time. I had life to attend to and worked on it as time permitted. I’m just glad it’s done. Gosh, if I knew back in 2012 what I know now about scanning, it would’ve saved me a ton of time. You don’t know what you don’t know. While working on this project, I thought of a few more things to do to improve the site in various ways so I’ll now be getting to those things. Thankfully, they’re not nearly as cumbersome as the Audit. My gosh.
We made it to the roaring 20s! The Topps Tek and Moments and Milestones galleries have been incorporated into their associated year galleries, which is stylistically a better move. The site is soon to be updated with many new images, and galleries will be created for both 2019 and 2020. The audit is coming along. My VA is nearly done with his side of the work, which means the final scrub is on the horizon. For about a year, I’ve been thinking of implementing a site redesign to add a few bells and whistles. However, due to cost both in time and money the redesign is tabled for now. My present goal is to complete the audit and bring the site to current. This project has been a labor of love since day one.
Back on 12/26/2012, I mentioned that I created unique areas for both Topps Moments & Milestones and Topps Tek stuff. Since I recently moved all Topps Moments & Milestones and Topps Tek stuff to their respective year boxes in the master archive, I’ve decided to move the associated scans to their respective year portfolios as well. What this means is those two unique areas are being phased out. This incorporation will allow for better site organization and will happen in the next big update, which is expected to take place before the end of the year.
Today, I finished archiving all Frank Thomas cards acquired since December of last year, which equated to just over 100 new cards. Up until today, I designated a single box for my Topps Moments & Milestones collection. I decided to incorporate them into the boxes designated for their respective years – 2007 and 2008, which left me with another box to use for storage. Since this batch was over 100 cards, I had to rearrange a few boxes to fit everything neatly into place. I create dividers for each year; today I created one for 2019. Early last year, I made the decision not to collect most post-career stuff. The reason being is there’s way too much of it and it’d be nearly impossible to keep up with it even if I had unlimited time and resources. That said, some of my more modern annual collections are quite slim. Who knows, that may change.
Today’s a banner day in that I finished the entire re-scan portion of the audit. My gosh, that took a long time. Re-work is really tedious stuff and I had to make myself begin the work at each instance. I think that was the hardest part. I revised the Unauthenticated gallery and pulled anything that was considered to be of questionable authenticity. I enlisted the help of a friend who has a solid grasp on spotting fake Frank Thomas autographs. For the most part, his opinion on what was fake wasn’t all that dissimilar from mine but I felt like a second opinion was necessary. The fake stuff has been pulled and stored in the doubles archive. Whatever’s left in that portfolio will eventually be authenticated and moved to the Graded gallery. I’ll get around to that in time. I was just re-reading some of the old journal entries here and the 1999 Upper Deck Forté Quadruple covered on 10/8/2012 was reslabbed on 11/19/2013. I can remember being really impressed by how a clean slab drastically improved the appearance of that card.
In an effort to minimize scroll time, these journal entries have been rearranged in descending order (newest to oldest as you scroll down). A big update is coming to the site. On the 12/7/2018 entry, I mention issues found on 41 images due to a hiccup discovered with the scanning process. Well, later that month, I began combing through the site archives one image at a time and discovered issues with 1,093 more images. I spent the bulk of 2019 tracking what images needed to be replaced and rescanning them. I called this project The Museum Audit. Today, I finished the bulk of the rescan process and expect to have it completely done by the end of the weekend. After that, I’ll scan in all new Frank Thomas cards acquired since the last update, which will equate to over 100 new image uploads. After that’s done, I’ll move the project folder to my VA for image cropping. Once he’s finished, I’ll complete the final stage of the Audit: title, upload, describe, and sort. This has been a monster project. Luckily, I won’t ever need to do this again since scanning is now optimized. You don’t know what you don’t know. ::sigh::
Late last year, I discovered something about my scanner – the Epson Perfection V330 – there’s an option that’s enabled by default and acts as more than just a dust removal option. It’s a stock option. If you’re using this model, be sure to uncheck the stock options. The dust removal option will literally skip some text characters because it thinks they’re pieces of dust. This only happens on super high contrast stuff (black text on white background) where the text doesn’t have serifs. I had to go back and rescan 41 images, which isn’t a lot but it’s a loss of productivity minutes, which are precious with a project like this.
This page has been retitled Journal since that’s what it is. The term Progress (former title) was initially selected because my original thought was that this was a progress log, which in fact was what it was called before Log was removed. I think Journal is more quickly identifiable. In other news, 21 more images have been added. I bought another collection and found a few commons I didn’t already have. In addition to the commons are a few higher end pieces I’ve cherry picked over the past few weeks. In the block is the 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars Slideshow. I’d been putting this card off for a while so it’s nice to finally put it next to its View Masters brother. Finally, another card has been added to the 2014 Topps High Tek run. With the remaining four examples all being 1/1s, who knows if/when I’ll find another.
I just finished uploading the latest batch of cards, which brings my total count of unique Frank Thomas cards to over 7,000. That’s a nice milestone. I’ve slowed down a bit in 2018 as I decided this year to mostly retire my interest in post-career (modern) stuff, at least temporarily. Nothing is permanent with collecting. I’ve just made an active decision to pursue career-year stuff almost exclusively. I say this loosely because I do like some modern runs and am okay cherry picking stuff here and there. That said, modern pieces will continue to be added but the pickup volume of stuff from this era has thinned considerably.
You know how we just covered my excitement for finally acquiring that ultra pesky ’95 Score GRPR? Yea, since my buy, three more have surfaced and sold with the last one being a $40 BIN. Man, talk about not knowing what you don’t know. How was I supposed to know I’d pay way the heck less if I’d just waited? Good grief… All I can say is I have an extensive record of excellent buys over the years so when the rare instance of an unintentional overpayment occurs, it’s not too much of a sting. I’m still glad I finally have the card.
Today’s the day; it finally arrived – the 1995 Score Gold Rush Pinnacle Redemption. This is the card that eluded me back in June 2013. I’m so glad to finally have it in the collection.
As the first month of 2018 comes to a close, I’m excited to say the year is off to a nice start. Today, I won an auction for a card I’ve been after for many years, but more rigorously since I bought it the first time but it got lost in transit back in June 2013. Man, what a crappy month that was for me both personally and professionally. That month, I fired a number of professional contacts and the USPS Los Angeles branch delivered my mail to the wrong address and I never saw this card. I was devastated and they didn’t care to help me find the mail; it was a total nightmare. The mail they lost contained this card among others from a private deal. Anyway, I told the current seller about this little delight of a backstory and after I won it this time, he indicated he’d send it with signature delivery confirmation to ensure I got it this time. If it arrives, I’ll share what card it is in the next entry.
As the year comes to a close, I reflect on what was added to the collection in 2017. My budget was small this year but I still managed to check off a few cards from the Most Wanted list. Most of my Frank Thomas acquisitions were modest in price but I did manage to add a couple high end pieces. All in all, it was a solid year in the collecting category.
I’ve finally added a counterfeit example of the 1990 Topps NNOF. There appears to be several different styles of these. These are great for education.
While unrelated to my Frank Thomas collection, it’s certainly worth mentioning. I’m the final owner of the famous Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Superfractor.
Click here to see it. | Click here to learn about the card’s comprehensive history.
All the stuff that was acquired at the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention has been added to the site.
7 more images have been uploaded. I’ve finally added 2003 Leaf Limited #49 Gold Spotlight. I’ve been after this card for years to complete the non-GU run of the card.
I’ve moved the totals count to the home page and made it a subtitle. That said, this information has been removed from the About page.
Just over 100 additional scans have been added, which brings the site to current at 6785 unique Frank Thomas scans. To ensure optimal logic and consistency, I’ve made a few minor tweaks to a small number of image file titles. I’ve added a portfolio called Latest Uploads to give visitors easy access to the newest uploads. This portfolio isn’t organized and nothing has descriptions. However, shown in this portfolio or not, every card can be found with a description organized in its respective portfolio.
The 2017 portfolio has been added. I’ve got another 100 or so new additions to add to the site this summer, which will be nice. With the help of some close contacts and my supportive mother, I’ve managed to knock out some pretty tough cards this year already. Also, I redesigned the left sidebar to replace that which was mentioned on the 10/12/2016 entry. It’s similar but this one’s 100% designed by me.
The finish line. Today at approximately 7:26p MST after nearly 4.5 years, the dream is now a reality. The site is brought to current. My entire Frank Thomas collection is now online. Updates will be ongoing from here forward. This has been one of the gnarliest projects I’ve ever completed.
We’re approaching the end of this project here pretty rapidly. With less than 100 scans to go, we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In an odd way, I’m kinda melancholy over it. I think it has something to do with how much time I’ve put into it. While I know it’ll never be done as long as I’m collecting Frank Thomas, it’ll be really nice to know it’s brought to current and showcases everything in my collection. This has been a dream of mine since Q2 of 2012. Total number of Frank Thomas scans uploaded so far: 6417.
A friend, who has requested to remain anonymous, has designed a revision to the left sidebar. I think it adds a lot of pop to the website. Other updates have been made such as the home page pointing straight to the Frank Thomas gallery, the header page links have been reorganized for logical efficiency, and some of the portfolios in the Thomas gallery have been relocated to the bottom of the page.
I revised the preview image for the 1992 portfolio. While I love the ’92 Fleer Rookie Sensations card, I’ve always thought it presents dimly on the web. I wanted something with a bit more charisma so I went with the ’92 Donruss Elite. Not only does this example have a more attractive design, it also features a classic headshot.
Man, what a long day. I spent a good several hours working through the mess that is replacement tracking. I combined a few lists of replacement lists and comments for cards in the master archive that possess various dings, bent corners, printer lines/blotches, and other imperfections. I went through the doubles archive to see what I could salvage and knocked out quite a few but I still have over 20 cards (a very small number) that need to be replaced. I pulled, re-sleeved, scanned, then replaced those in the master archive. I had a batch of finished files in this category from last year that I needed to comb through, which took another chunk of time. For that batch, I had to figure out what I needed, and make sure they corresponded with what was in the master archive, which is especially important for serial #’d cards. Then I proceeded to run a Photoshop batch process and an upload. Finally, I added descriptions and organized them on the museum accordingly. I found a few title errors while I was working so I fixed those. While this was arduous and time consuming, it was my plan to finish this today and I did it and before midnight no less. My work is done for now and until my VA completes the next batch of files, which is close to 300 more. This has been a massive project but one I’m quite proud of and we’re nearing the elusive Brought to Current status. Only took 4.5 years! Sheesh!
2002 Topps Cracker Jack All-Stars. That’s what I’m calling it. Between Beckett, Standard Catalog, COMC, and eBay, the titles for this release vary.
Today we surpassed the 6k scan upload mark.
We’re closing in on the 95% completion mark. It looks like this project will finish this year. Total count of scans uploaded so far: 5987. It really has been a long time coming. My VA has made this project possible. I couldn’t have gotten this far without him.
We’ve arrived at the 90% completion mark. Things are progressing smoothly. Total count uploaded so far: 5591.
We’ve now reached 88% completion, or at least brought to current. The total number of scans uploaded to date is 5471.
Job 2 is in progress and is scheduled to be done by month’s end. We’re looking at another 1700+ images. After this batch is uploaded, I’m gonna check what still needs to be uploaded. I know there were a few bogus scans from Job 1 but not many. We’re getting closer.
Happy New Year! I’m almost done scanning in all of the files for Job 2, which includes everything else I own that wasn’t included in the first run. I still have a variety of graded rookie and minor league cards, and some memorabilia. I also need to retrieve some things from the P.O. as there are several items in transit that need to be included in the lot. I’m aiming to move the project to my VA by Friday, 1/15/2016 if not sooner.
Today was somewhat of a banner day. I finished uploading the first set of scans, which basically completes the job that I noted back on 7/21/2012, which was my first entry in this digital diary. All of those date push backs led up to today. I have acquired about 1500, give or take, more cards since summer 2014 that all still need to be scanned, cropped and uploaded. My assistant and I still have a lot of work ahead of us but today marks a huge milestone in the project calendar. Present upload total is 4606, or 77% of total project completion, or at least brought to current.
Update on my entry from 9/30/2015, I’ve decided not to move anything beyond cropping to my VA. I went ahead and built a batch automation process in Photoshop and applied the process to the remainder of files from Job 1, which is just over 2600 images. With that process in place, Photoshop can now make all images upload ready. The process included resizing, contrasting, sharpening, and watermarking. Done! What would have taken me years, Photoshop did in just under 2 hours. This entire batch has been uploaded to the site, all images have descriptions, and each portfolio has been organized. From here, I’ll make some minor tweaks to a small handful of images, which includes spelling corrections, and title revisions. After that, I’ll work through the process of preparing Job 2, which includes scanning in all cards acquired since the start of Job 1, which is somewhere in the ballpark of 1500 cards. Total number of scans uploaded so far: 4490, which is about 75% of total project completion. I’ve made massive progress on this site in 2015.
So I’m probably going to source all work associated with image preparation to my VA. I just wanna focus on uploading the images, and that’s it. I’m pretty tired of doing the Photoshop thing. I’ll do it until I can finance the move to the VA.
With a project this extensive, I’ve really gotten to know my collection very well. Total # of scans uploaded to date: 1741. With regard to card numbers, Beckett isn’t the Bible.
The 1996 portfolio has over 300 images. Things are shaping up nicely.
I re-designed the website background, well actually just the left sidebar. It’s simple, clean, and to the point. It’s branded with the Radicards® teal and has a clear call to action. I am, however, still trying to figure out how to make the whole image clickable with CSS code only. The Sets page has been consolidated into the Medley page.
I’m nearing the 1500 mark for number of scans uploaded, which hovers around 20-ish% project completion (or brought to current). I’m proud of the speed I’m going as it’s a considerable upgrade from when I was doing all of this on my own. More on this later…
My VA has been doing an incredible job. He’s blasting through the Photoshop cropping portion of the project. With his help, I’ve made considerable progress on the project. I’ve well surpassed the 1000 image upload mark, which means that I’m almost a fifth of the way done. As I write this, I have over 5400 unique Frank Thomas cards and I’ve uploaded 1140 scans of them. Things are looking up. I’m just gonna keep chipping away at this. Also, back on 10/13/2012, I stated that I was including designations for error and variation cards; I’ve since nixed that concept and just went with labeling the cards exactly what they are i.e., no serial number, missing foil, etc. This makes for prettier descriptions anyway. Finally, I deleted and re-uploaded all images after a decision to completely restructure file name syntax. The rule: alphanumeric, all lowercase, and dashes in place of spaces. Software used: Automator.
Due to several states of varying degrees of depression associated with the amount of work that is required to build this site, I’ve gone ahead and hired a virtual assistant (VA) to help with the Photoshop cropping piece of the image preparation process. This has already saved me countless hours, and I feel a lot better about the progress I’m making. Instead of spending hours a day uploading 5-10 scans, I’m spending less time and uploading about 5-10x as many scans. I uploaded 49 scans just yesterday. Also, in an effort to ensure speedy image loading times, I’ve scanned a sizable number of images in at 300dpi instead of 600dpi. While I actually prefer 600dpi, the difference is so subtle that I really don’t need to lose sleep over it. Who knows, I may go back to 600dpi on the next batch I scan, which is roughly 1500 cards. I’ve accepted the fact that it’s not at all possible to keep my images below 500K and maintain high quality aesthetic appeal, which is completely fine with me. I tend to overthink these things anyway. New tentative ETA: Summer 2015.
In its original state, this site was called, showseum.com. Then, in August of 2013, I decided to change it to radimuseum.com to ensure an alignment with the radi brand. I just nixed that too and made this site a sub domain of radicards.com. Here we are, the final resting place, museum.radicards.com.
I’ve been uploading scans for almost 2 years now and I just got to the 25% completion mark. While I am proud of that milestone, this is taking a lot longer than expected. The upside, I love this project.
The 1997 portfolio has surpassed the 200-scan mark.
While I’m still uploading scans, I’ve decided that as soon as I can finance it, I’m going to hire a VA to do all of the Photoshop work. This will greatly improve the efficiency of my project progress.
The re-watermark process is long finished. Things look way better now. I’ve also added a page called Sets, which will feature portfolios of some of the nicer sets that I collect.
I have almost finished the re-watermarking process. It’s been relatively painless given that I saved all images without watermarks. I also re-wrote the description on the home page to be more straightforward.
Auto Contrast + Sharpen = Most desirable Photoshop combination for producing vibrant images. I have completely nixed all use of the ‘Save for Web’ option in Photoshop because it reduces image size at the expense of image quality. I want to view this collection online as if it was being held in hand. The only way to do that is to keep the images the same size they are when they’re scanned. While I can edit the actual image dimensions in Photoshop, it doesn’t change the quality of the image as long as I’m sizing down. Once I re-size the image, I use the Auto Contrast and Sharpen tools. This makes the image look so much better, even it it makes them so much bigger. Average file size is between 350k and 750k. Although larger, doesn’t seem to have any noticeable impact on user experience.
All images have been removed. I will be re-uploading them with a new watermark to reflect the Radicards® brand. Not a huge deal since I kept all cropped un-watermarked images. I also will no longer be using the ‘Save for Web’ function in Photoshop as that seems to really wash out the image. I will be saving straight to .jpg for an average file size of 250k. I am 25 images into the the re-work and so far this change hasn’t had any noticeable effect on user experience.
To ensure brand consistency, I’ve renamed the site, Radimuseum.
I made a slight edit to the home page. The ATTN statement is now in the info-box, which I think is more appropriate. I also included a percentage complete notice on the top of the right sidebar. This tells you how far along I am in scanning and uploading my total Frank Thomas collection.
2000 Revolution MLB Icons: Stated as MLB Icons in Beckett, but stated as Major League Icons on the card.
I added a few scans yesterday for the first time in a few months. Status update: 468 scans, 13.18% complete. My original ETA as stated exactly one year ago on 7/21/2012 was fall 2013. Based on the progress rate, I’m giving myself another year. Hopefully summer 2014. This could change.
Today was a very special day that I will never forget. Today, I received in the mail the 1990 Topps NNOF. Welcome home…
The 1997 portfolio has surpassed the 100-image mark. Makin’ prog…
Scanning tip: re-sleeve before scanning. This will significantly minimize the amount of dust particles and scratches to remove using Photoshop. In addition, this will save time.
The 1997 Leaf Leukemia set can be easily interpreted as a Donruss product. Leaf and Donruss were parts of a single entity. This particular release is stated as a Donruss product but listed as a Leaf product. While we’re on the topic of confusing listings, the 1997 Topps Inter-League Finest set is actually called, 1997 Topps Inter-League Match-Up.
The 1996 portfolio is the first to break 100 scans. It’s looking really nice. Also, I have added a place-holder cover image for the 1988 portfolio. I have the two cards that came out that year but they are both sitting in a closet at my mother’s house, which is in another state. Until my next visit, this place-holder will have to suffice.
1994-1999 = arguably the best years to collect in terms of design.
Question: 1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs #199 – how many were signed with a blue marker?
Happy New Year! Okay okay, so I originally stated that the Graded portfolio was for boutique examples only. So I fudged this limitation a bit by including a BGS7 example of the 1999 Topps SuperChrome Refractor. This isn’t a tough card to acquire in comparison to the others shown in this portfolio but I think it’s gorgeous and looks great with the others.
The 1996 Upper Deck Predictors run is a confusing one.
Due to the significant volume of these releases, I have created proprietary galleries for Topps Tek and Topps Moments & Milestones. Descriptive.
To keep images below 100K in size, I have been saving images for web at a rate of 30% total quality. Well, I have upped it to 50% and it’s made a huge difference in appeal. I won’t be going back and re-doing any previously uploaded scans but I will use this quality percentage from here forward. I’m learning as I go.
I thought I’d share my system of organization with you. I keep all cards to-be-scanned in super shoe boxes. All cards are penny sleeved only, which is done to save space. Everything is organized by year so it’s easy to find certain cards. I haven’t been scanning and uploading in any particular order; the cards I like the most have been taking priority. Next, I scan and upload the cards, then off to the archive. After the card has been scanned and uploaded, it gets a brand new penny sleeve, brand new top loader and a new team bag. From there, the card gets filed into a custom-made super shoe box specifically designed for rows to be wide enough for team bags to fit without any bunching. It’s actually a perfect fit. When cards reach this stage, they are organized by year and make. Each year is separated by a divider that states the specific year. This is the ultimate system for archiving. I look forward to the day when everything is scanned, uploaded, and archived. One card at a time…
Big accomplishment. The one and only complete run of 2010 Topps Sterling is now available for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
After sleeping on it, I decided to quote the home page description instead of using info boxes. I think this looks and feels better. The list of websites below my signature is still displayed in an info box, however, which helps make this content stand out.
Alright, so I decided to make the home page a little more welcoming. The attention notice has been pushed down to the footer and an easily identifiable description is now clearly stated above the fold. The social widgets have been moved to the right side bar and the general layout is much more aesthetically appealing with the addition of a few info boxes. Quotes and colors are good too.
Referencing the Graded portfolio, while I would prefer for all cards to be graded by the same company, I find this arrangement to be almost impossible without some degree of effort required on my part to crack and re-sub. That in itself is too much work and isn’t at all cost effective, which is entirely unnecessary. I have included a few PSA gems amongst the BGS collection. That said, variety really is a spice of life.
Referencing the Graded portfolio, I have decided to keep it reserved specifically for high-quality graded cards. Quality is subjective, I know, but in this case each of these cards is significant (at least to me). I consider each card in this portfolio to be a feat, and each holds a story. There is a tireless number of raw cards that share the same notion but for right now, I’m talking specifically about my cherry picked Graded collection. This portfolio will grow steadily over time but in comparison to all other portfolios, this one will remain relatively small but vastly eminent.
So I decided to implement something on this site that I’ve been considering for a while now. I have included a descriptive portfolio called, Graded. Scans will only be of the fronts of the slabs. Visitors can see the backs of the cards by viewing scans the same cards in the numerical-by-year portfolios. I haven’t decided if I will include all of my slabbed Thomas cards yet because some were purchased for the purpose of crossing them off the list, while others were purchased simply because they were high-end and I wanted a second copy. The later are those cards that are being featured in the Graded portfolio as of now. I want to keep this section as conservative as possible with a strong emphasis on quality. I’m not at all interested in re-buying all of my cards in graded form, or submitting them all for grading. There are two reasons for this: 1. it’s financially and space inefficient; 2. it’s hard enough just trying to track these cards down in raw form, much less in good shape. Just sayin’
Today marks a milestone in my collection. I received the final piece of the 16 card run that is the monster known as 1998 Leaf. This is one of my all-time favorite releases because of its wealth of chase possibilities, each with varying degrees of scarcity and confusion. This set is very difficult to identify in terms of figuring out what’s what. To date, the most significant pieces of the puzzle have been scanned and added to the 1998 portfolio. I will include the rest in time.
I seem to possess a favoritism towards cards of the portrait orientation. Although, never have I once minded looking at Precious Metal Gems.
Maybe I’m wrong here but I feel like if I size the image down before I sharpen it, the end result is of higher quality than if I sharpen before I down size.
Optimistically, I aim to scan 10 cards per day. While this is difficult to do during the week, it’s more feasible on the weekends.
For cards that depict manufacturing errors, I use the signifier, ‘ERR.’ ERR = Error. For cards that depict manufacturing variations, I use the signifier, ‘VAR.’ VAR = Variation
It’s very difficult to clean up scans of graded cards with hammered cases. Scratches are incredibly tedious to clear out. Take for example the 1999 Upper Deck Forté #F12 Quadruple /10. That card is in a BGS case that is thrashed. I bought it that way and have no intention of breaking the seal, so I make due.
The new scanner arrived and cards are now looking incredible. I’m scanning at 600dpi with the Dust Removal option checked.
I didn’t like the previous look of the site so I changed it. I think the new look is smoother and much more aesthetically appealing. I haven’t uploaded images in a few weeks but now that the base design of the website is setup, I will get back to it. I just ordered a new scanner, the Epson Perfection V330 Photo Scanner. This model produces incredibly beautiful scans of cards with refractor, hologram, and foil finishes. I’m really excited about working with this model and moving forward with the scanning project.
While working in Photoshop, I noticed that using the Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen tool works wonders on the output quality of Save For Web images at a JPEG Medium (70%) setting. While I haven’t decided to go back and re-edit previously uploaded images, I am excited about the quality of my images from here forward.
I’m only a few scans in. It took some research to learn how to make high quality, web friendly scans on the first pass. I think I have it down. My goal is to keep all images below 100K. I’ve got thousands of images to go. I’m aiming for a project ETA of fall 2013. This could change.