Taking My Hacks

Seeing is Believing

Joe Orlando

One of the topics we have discussed in the past is the issue of displaying your collection. In my opinion, in order to thoroughly enjoy this hobby, it is important to find creative ways of displaying at least some of the collectibles that you cherish.

The challenge of creating the proper display can be much greater if, for example, you collect baseball cards versus items like vintage advertising pieces. Over the years, some companies have introduced various trading card displays such as wall frames and tabletop easels. Some card collectors have chosen to custom frame entire sets, which can look extremely impressive, but you need to have the right amount of wall space to do it.

Other types of collectibles are certainly much easier to display because, in a sense, they were designed to be framed or left out in the open for people to view. Items that would fall into this category might include collectibles such as autographed photos, trophies or game-used equipment. That said; even collectors of these items struggle at times and others fail to display anything in their collection.

That is why I wanted to write this editorial. I really believe the more you display your items and surround yourself with the collectibles you appreciate, the more you will enjoy this hobby and believe in what you are doing.

There is no one way to do it. The important thing is that you find some way and follow through. I can remember there were times when I faced the same problem with my collection. Years ago, I used to have a collection that was primarily comprised of baseball cards. Granted, it wasn't a very big collection but the cards were important to me. I never displayed them. I stored them in a small safe deposit box at the bank where I knew they would be protected.

I am sure you have heard of the old saying "Out of sight, out of mind" at one time or another. This is one way of describing what was happening to me and my collection. Unless there was a reason to go to the bank and retrieve my cards, I would rarely see them. I made color copies of my cards on a printer so I would have enlarged images to look at but it wasn't the same as holding the cards in my hands.

There would be long stretches when I wasn't active in acquiring new cards for my collection. Like most collectors, I was on a budget so I simply couldn't afford to buy cards all the time. Finding new items for your collection can be a lot of fun but this is where displaying what you already own can keep you interested and heighten your enjoyment. There is just something different about sitting in your office, den or man cave and being surrounded by the things you enjoy versus becoming a packrat.

A friend of mine recently made the decision to spend a substantial amount of money and time in designing a room for his spectacular collection. Now that he can see the fruits of his labor, it has clearly helped confirm why he decided to collect sports memorabilia to begin with. Soon, he will be able to watch the game, have a beer and be surrounded by the things he finds so interesting. They become a combination of conversation pieces, household furniture and toys for the big kid in all of us.

Of course, I realize that there are other related issues to contend with like security, safety and, perhaps, your significant other's idea of where this stuff should go. These issues are important but, if you can't see the collectibles that you have spent your hard-earned money on, it really hampers your ability to enjoy this endeavor to the fullest. Your eyes affirm your passion because seeing is believing.

Never get cheated,

Joe Orlando

Joe Orlando
Editor In Chief


Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.