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The Best Way to Carry Your Cards When Getting Autographs

With spring in bloom, you’re planning a trip to the ballpark. You will arrive early for the best chance to graph the players upon their arrival or during warm-ups. You’ve sifted through your card collection, setting aside players for both teams. You’ve prepped your cards. Your Sharpie is flowing well.

There’s just one problem.

During the last trip to the park, you missed a couple players because you couldn’t flip through your stack in time to find their cards. Oh, and there was that incident last year when someone bumped you, spilling your cards to the ground. Picking the peanut shells off wasn’t much fun.

So, how do you carry your cards securely while still allowing quick access at a moment’s notice? It’s easy with a couple inexpensive items from an art supply store.

What you’ll need:
Wire-bound artist pad (9”x12”, 140 lb.)
Acid-free self-adhesive photo corners

Step 1: Place a self-adhesive photo corner on each corner of your card.

Step 2: Affix the card to the artist pad. (You should be able to fit eight cards on each side of a page.)

Repeat these steps for all your cards. (NOTE: The photo corners do not damage your cards and they are simple to remove.)

A sketchbook with photo corners to hold your cardsThere are many ways to organize your pad—one page per player, alphabetically, by team. It’s up to you to decide what works for your collection and the file retrieval process in your head.

If you use this method, leave a comment and let me know how it works for you. If you use a different technique, share it with us.

About the author: is the founder of Autograph University. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Connect with him on Twitter at @mattraymond.

20 comments… add one

  • cubsfan731 April 26, 2011, 9:50 am

    I’m going to a MiLB game this summer, and I have a ton of cards. This answered the one question I had. Thanks!

  • Matt Raymond April 27, 2011, 1:05 pm

    Glad you found it helpful.

  • Travis April 27, 2011, 12:39 pm

    The only thing I would suggest would be to use only two photocorners per card instead of four. I usually put photocorners in the lower right and upper left corners of the card, and it secures the card well and is easier to get cards in and out when you replace cards. Also you will only need half as many photocorners so it will be a little cheaper.

  • Matt Raymond April 27, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Good suggestion Travis, thanks!

  • Garrett June 24, 2011, 11:46 am

    I have been using this method for about 3 seasons now, and it works great. i use 2 photo corners, but it is a great way to maximize your graphs

  • Paul Buxton March 12, 2012, 4:45 pm

    I’ve used the photo corner method for awhile (2 corners per card, 4 corners per 3×5 or 4×6), though I have employed a more hybrid approach. I take normal cardstock pages and set them up as illustrated above, then 3-hole punch them and put them into a binder. This allows me to easily switch pages around and also include other items (8x10s, magazines) in regular plastic sleeves within the same binder.

  • Matt Raymond March 12, 2012, 5:48 pm

    Great idea Paul — love your hybrid approach.

  • Dustin April 3, 2012, 3:34 pm

    FINALLY!!!! I have been looking for something like this forever. I have seen people with these setups, but no one was wiling to share the details.

    thank you for posting this up.

  • Matt Raymond April 11, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Happy to help Dustin, thanks for reading.

  • Alex March 15, 2014, 12:47 am

    I like to use the pads with the wire binding on the top of the pad. If you have say the wires down the left side & get a player who is a lefty sometimes you’ll get a sub-par graph or the player might skip the first card all together if you have multiples.

  • Matt Raymond March 25, 2014, 11:31 pm

    GREAT advice!

  • Bryce April 8, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Thanks guys love this article how would i store baseballs while graphing?

  • Matt Raymond April 8, 2014, 5:04 pm

    Hi Bryce, I typically put them each in a sandwich bag if I’m on the go and pulling them out of the boxes would be too cumbersome.

  • Clay December 29, 2014, 12:18 pm

    What do you use to carry photos? I see people using plain black boxes but I don’t know where to find them

  • Matt Raymond January 8, 2015, 9:54 pm

    I use a really simple photo folder, the three-sided cardboard kind you can use to mail photos.


  • Joey Lipkus July 21, 2015, 2:01 pm

    I use a different method that really let’s you maximize your experience. I use two photo corners per card on a 9 pocket page which lets you put 9 cards per sheet.

  • MLB_Fan July 25, 2015, 3:06 pm

    The two items listed to purchase through Amazon did not work for me. I found the cards were getting damaged on the corners by the photo corners. Also when carrying the book the cards fell out. This method did not work for me. I am going to try trading card sheets as that worked for me in my youth.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2015, 10:04 pm

    Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Bob January 22, 2016, 8:23 pm

    I use a different variation of this method, I use a sketchbook that hold 3 cards per page and I find that more manageable than the 9×12 artist’s pad

  • Brady Hamilton June 3, 2016, 6:04 pm

    Hey Matt, I happened to make one of these about a month ago. Right now I only have a team set for the Cleveland Indians. Do you know a way that I can get other teams and players too?

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