Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Last year I tweeted out this photo on Twitter of my desk,
Immediately I had a comment of "wow that's such a disaster someone please help this guy sort things out." 

I responded with, "that's not a mess, that's how I sort. It's a bit complex."

I made a promise to that individual that I would do a segment to explain my sorting and here I am.

It really isn't as complex as it looks, at least to me. But, it is a bit in-depth with as much as I collect and as many sports as I collect.

So I thought I would make this series breaking down everything I collect and how I sort it. I hope this will explain the picture I tweeted and maybe give you some ideas for your own collection on how to sort.

Today I am showing off how I sort hockey cards.

When I take a stack of hockey cards, I split them into many sections. This is something I have done every since I have been in the hobby. 24+ years of the same thing.

Just like my last sorting post with basketball, I don't pull out a favorite team. Back in the 90's I was a fan of the NY Rangers and the Colorado Avalanche. But as I got older, I became less and less interested in the sport. So I no longer watch it, but I still do collect it to a certain extent. My main hockey focus right now is trying to put together the late 90's Spx hologram sets. I currently have half of a set for 95-96 hockey but none of the 96-97 version. I am also on the lookout for a Wayne Gretzky rookie card and autograph. Won't be cheap adds, but maybe I will find someone with one for trade.

So for hockey I kick it off with the hits, Anything I feel that has good "book value" for inserts, $25+, and any hits get set off to the side to be placed in penny sleeves, toploaders or 10ct plastic boxes for jersey cards or thick cards. These all get placed into 2-row shoe box houses by sport. There are boxes I mark for hits and another for inserts.

The next stack is a player binder stack. This is where I put Wayne Gretzky and Mario L. I don't bother much with other players but I do set aside a few of my favorites from the 90's that get placed into 4 row boxes by player. There roughly is 10 total players I pull out as opposed to football that has almost 100.

The next stack is rookies and rookie inserts. For hockey they all go in the same binder and at this point they all fit in one three inch three ring binder. I thought about putting them by team during my binder reorganization project, but decided against it as I don't plan on adding a lot more hockey.

Hockey inserts, less-valuable ones and excluding star players, find themselves in a binder by themselves. In my binder reorganization project I will be pulling out 90's sets I enjoy. I had considered putting all of the card by the products they were, but that would take me forever. Maybe that will be a later on project.

Once I get everything bindered, they get stacked on shelves. Not standing up of course as that damages cards in the long run as the pages start to fold overtime. They are stacked alternating so one side doesn't get squished and so I can fit many on one shelf. You may notice numbers on the outside of the binders. At one point I used to number them and keep what's in them in a notebook but that got too complicated with the alternating as I can't see all of the numbers now.

And finally, the scraps. This is everything I don't collect or put into binders or set aside into boxes by-something. The base of the base like this Allison. Though this was my all time favorite hockey base card product.  
These are put into big ct boxes marked NHL, sorry for the lack of picture on this, by team and fit nicely under my desk. These cards I used to put by brand, year and number but I dismantled them last year in my box resorting project. I feel it's easier putting them by team as I don't ever plan on putting together most of those sets I had once started. 

And that does it for hockey. Like I said, I am not a die hard fan like I once was. Everything I sort in the sport is pretty simple unlike football my next sport in this series.

As for hockey sets I used to collect or have bought, they stay in their original boxes or in 800 ct boxes if I hand collated them.

Another part I failed to mention above, is my giveaway/trade pile. I pull that stuff out and set it aside as I go along for people I normally trade with and which giveaways I run. I only currently have one hockey trading partner. I wouldn't mind another or unloading some of mine for a sport I care more about.

Well, that's it for Part 3 of this series.There is only a couple more sections left to this series.

Thanks for reading and your thoughts on my sorting are welcomed in comments.


  1. When I get to my hockey stack(s), it breaks down into a bunch of stacks too... which leads to multiple sorts.

    1st Sort: separate SJ Sharks, hits (jerseys and autographs), and inserts/parallels.

    2nd Sort: Sort Sharks into stacks of base and hits. Then I'll sort the hit alphabetically. These will usually be scanned, then brought down to my parents house for storage. The base are put into 1 of 2 5,000ct. boxes filled with Sharks. One day I will organize them by player. One day.

    3rd Sort: Separate the autographs and memorabilia cards. Each of these categories get broken down into 3 groups: All-Time Greats, HOFers, and Stars.

    4th Sort: Inserts/Parallels get sorted by teams and put into a 5,000ct. box filled with other hockey parallels and inserts. The goal is to one day clean up and organize my binders like I do for baseball. When I do that, I'll keep one of every insert/parallel for any hall of famer. The rest will be put into a trade/care package box. Sadly, I've got so much on my plate, this won't happen anytime soon. The same can be said for football and basketball too.

    I don't really go out of my way to collect hockey base (other than SJ Sharks), however if I ever buy a collection that has them... I'll usually pull out all of the big name stars and add them to my star box. The rest get donated or brought into my classroom.

    1. If u have any extra 90's spx hockey for my sets needs I would be interested

    2. That's right. I thought I was suppose to sift through my SPx hockey for someone. I kept your comment email in my mailbox and I'll try to get around to it this weekend. If you don't hear from me by next week, shoot me another email to remind me.

    3. Will do! I know you have a busy schedule

  2. I might be up for a trade for Capitals. I have no list beyond the junk wax era.
    My hockey is sorted by sets in big boxes (several together in many cases). Hits go in a drawer. Capitals go in a box by themselves (duplicates go to sets). Extras go in a box still sorted by set. That's about it.

    1. I will be posting my trade bail when I get the chance. Should be plenty of hockey and basketball.

  3. When I get some hockey, I usually go through it and then pull out the players I collect, inserts/parallels, and the like. Then I double check for NJ Devils cards. Then everything gets sorted into the hockey box (unless it's a nice card or a big rookie card like the Nico Hischier card I pulled from a retail tin recently).

    Also, anytime you want to trade some hockey cards, I'm totally in.

    1. Sweet! I should have a trade bait section up by summer with plenty of hockey and basketball. There will be football amd baseball too but those are my starts