Electronic Checklists

Jeff Katz’s post a couple of days ago stirred me to my first blog here because he touched on a problem I’m facing: Organization.

I’ve been collecting since 1958, have almost all the cards of the Topps era, (until 1994 anyway) and some earlier material. However, I had always kept them in a giant map case I’d bought at a former British naval base in Singapore. The depth of the drawers was perfect for a standard-sized card laid on its side. More problematic at this point, I had decided to keep them in alphabetical order, with all the Henry Aarons first and all the George Zuverinks last. Each players cards are kept in chronological order.

Now, I feel the need to reorganize them into sets and to insure I still have everything. Thus, I’ve been wondering about electronic checklists and thought I’d ask this group about their experiences and recommendations with the various products available. I’d like to know about

  1. ease of use
  2. whether it is cloud-based or can be downloaded to my hard drive
  3. whether the checklists are complete as to errors, variations and updates
  4. Whether they contain regional issues as well as Topps, Donruss, Bowman and other national issues
  5. Whether any contain checklists for minor league sets
  6. Are any flexible enough for me to draw out sub-lists, such as all Henry Aarons, or all NY Mets cards
  7. Do they offer the ability to record condition as well as whether I have a card.
  8. Do they contain pricing info, and is it regularly updated?
  9. Any other features or problems you are aware of.

Thanks in advance,

Andy McCue

8 thoughts on “Electronic Checklists”

  1. Andy, because I’ve always had my cards organized and check-listed, I’m still attached to a variety of checklist books, including one I’ve used since the mid- to late- ’70’s. For me, making the switch to electronic would be too much to handle, but if I was starting from scratch, that’s the way I’d go.


  2. I have a bunch of spreadsheets that are never where I want them to be. For the most part, I only have to keep track of what I do NOT have. So, once I finished my 1966 set, there is no reason for me to keep track of the entire checklist. But it would be great to have something in the cloud so that if I were at a flea market or at a show I could go to my checklist page.

    I guess I also want what Andy wants. Plus, any chance I have to get all my cards out and re-arrange them all over the dining room table AGAIN, is a chance I got to take.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Because I’m a team collector of cards of the just the Milwaukee Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, I spend a ton of time doing the research to try to find all those obscure issues from the 1970s so I can checklist them. From there, I have wantlists on my personal blog that I write on my collection (it’s “Off Hiatus Baseball” in the blogroll) that I try my best to keep up to date. The side benefit for me with that is that I trade with other card bloggers and the Twitterati that collect, and I can send them a link to those pages.

    Other folks use Google Docs and Google spreadsheets to track their needs/collections. A lot of folks used to like Zistle before some legal issues with Beckett led the Zistle founders to sell to Beckett. Now people are questioning whether it will remain viable.

    So Trading Card Database is probably your best option, with some use of Beckett’s “price guides” (which you can search for free with a free log-in, though you won’t have access to their pricing…see here http://www.beckett.com/price-guides/) to fill in gaps.


  4. Oh how I love a good checklist! The hobby has had years to get this idea right but nothing seems to approach the ease of Google Docs/Sheets and it’s corresponding mobile app. A simple copy/paste and your list is available anywhere at any time. “Pricing” does not seem to me to be something worth paying for in today’s collecting world. It is generally far too inaccurate or outdated by the time it reaches you. Google Docs and a search engine provide all I need. Wonderful times. There are some ready-made “templates” for Excel, etc. that some collectors have made for a modest price that are pretty slick if you have interest in looking into it further


  5. I’m old school — and old — been collecting team-issued cards since the 1960s when I got my first McCarthy signed b/w postcard (Steve Barber) and team-issued cards (St. Louis Cardinals postcard-like cards, not postcards because they didn’t have postage box or divided backs). So I’m a great fan and user of printed checklists. Even though I’m sort of a modern Luddite, I will take checklists off the net and then use a copier to make paper ones. It easier in keeping track of what I have and indicating if I have the items signed or not..

    However, not as many team-issued cards these days, and it seems the last three years clubs seem to be moving away from their own issues. Since 1961 I’ve written every team, every years whether there were 16 or 30 teams. This year — including rewrites to a couple who had not answered by late August — I heard from 24 of the 30, including four after the season was over. Of those, nine sent or sold cards that they produced for fans and collectors. The WS champs Cubs were not among nine but were quick repliers and sent a 5- x 7-inch Topps color card of John Lester, and returned the $5 donation I sent along with my request. In fairness to the Cubs (which is hard for a life-long Cardinals’ fan to admit), the club for a decade or so before 2016 almost years had some kind of postcard-size issue (usually by a local or national sponsor).

    But it’s not like the old days, almost every club in in the 1960s through the turn of the century had sets of cards — various sizes — postcards, postcard-size cards 4- by 5-inch, 3x5s or 3x4s — they sent, and most for just writing a kind letter. Not the same game. I don’t even try individual players. In the J.D. McCarthy days in the 1950s-1980s you had a 50/50 chance of getting a reply with a signed McCarthy, team-issue card or and odd-ball issue the player had made or was given by a sponsor. .

    So over five decades plus I’ve made my own checklists of team-issued cards and baseball postcards, and would gladly share with other collectors and compare notes. SARB’s committee may pick up the slack left as big publisher get out of printing bulky updates. The encyclopedia-size books are not big money makers, and it’s hard to find the talent and time to do the research. I’ve been a SABR member since the 1970 and baseball history nut all my life.. SABR can be a builder and a storehouse of checklists — electronically or via paper. Anyone interested?


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