Whether you useĀ frames or binders, there is one simple thing you can do to enhance the look of your collection, at least some of the time. I’ll give some examples to show what I mean.

We’ll pretend we’re devoting a binder page to 1957 Topps superstars, but the general principles carry over to other collections. For our first row, let’s go with three of the greatest National Leaguers ever to play the game.


If you had these cards, good chance this would be the best row of your best binder already, but here’s a way to make it even better for a total of $0.00.


Coincidentally the cards are now organized alphabetically, but that’s not the important change. It’s more about the nice symmetry we just added. And yes, the Topps UER on the Aaron really worked in our favor here! Whenever we have three cards, there are six different orders we can place them in. One of them almost always looks better than the other five.

TIP 1: If you have a player facing right, a player facing front, and a player facing left, place the cards in exactly that order.

I have my Dwight Gooden binder organized by year, but the organization of cards within a particular year is pretty loose. To really make the pages pop, I applied Tip 1 as often as I could.

Next, we’ll add Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, and Warren Spahn. First, here’s how we won’t do it. Before reading on, think about how you could improve the order.

Ted 1.GIF

Damn, any row with Ted F. Williams is a winner. Even still, I’d make this one change.


TIP 2: If you have two head shots and an action shot, put the action shot in the middle. Similarly, if you have two action shots and a head shot, put the head shot in the middle.

Of course, you probably have more than three cards to choose from when you’re putting your cards in a binder. Something that might bug you a little from the Berra-Williams-Spahn arrangement is the color schemes. Berra-Williams use the white/yellow lettering while Spahn uses red/red. Easily solved as long as you have a Drysdale RC laying around!


TIP 3: Shoot for a coordinating color scheme on each row. As alternatives use three completely different color schemes in the row or put the odd color scheme in the middle if one differs from the other two.

The Berra-Williams-Spahn image a bit up the page shows that multiple tips can be in conflict. It followed Tip 2 but would have required moving Spahn to the middle to also follow Tip 3. And that leads us to Tip 4.

TIP 4: If different tips come into conflict, your eyes are always the final arbiter.

That one may well sound like it should be my final tip, but I still have one more. One of the reasons we love our cards so much is that they reflect the memories and stories of our National Pastime made tangible. Jumping ahead a year, this trio may bring back memories for older fans.


Give up? It’s the moment Henry himself has described as the biggest thrill of his career, his two-out, 11th-inning walk-off homer to clinch the pennant for the Braves on September 23, 1957. The Cards pitcher was Billy Muffett, and Johnny Logan was the runner on first.

Putting together little stories like this can be awesome in its own right but can also turn your commons into important subjects in your binder or display.

TIP 5: Try building mini-stories of three or nine cards.

We’ll stop here for now, but I’d love it if you used the Comments section to share your own tips or show off some of your favorite binder pages or displays.