Scan baseball cards (or any sports cards, such as basketball cards, hockey cards, or football cards) and automatically split into separate files. If you are like me, you have boxes, or better yet - in those plastic sports card holding sheets, of baseball cards that you collected in the 80's. Like most of you, thirty years later, I still have the baseball cards. I may sell a few that I have extra of and may purchase a few off Ebay to complete sets. Other than that, I simply like to look at the cards. I can flip through the ones in binders that I managed to organize but I still find accessing and finding them not easy to do. So, I batch scanned my cards with ScanSpeeder. This not only scanned all the images of my cards but also automatically split them into separate files. While I was scanning the baseball cards, I tagged them, using ScanSpeeder's caption feature, such that I can easily find any one of them to view, or post to sell. Want to do this too? Here's how...
Batch Scan Baseball (or any sport) Cards and Automatically Separate
To scan baseball cards and automatically split into separate files, open ScanSpeeder (need a copy? click here to get one).
In this example we are scanning a shoebox full of baseball cards from the 1981 Major League Baseball season. I'll show you how to quickly scan both the front and back, and a way to catalog your sports cards. There are several ways to catalog sports cards, however the way shown here works best if you are scanning by sports season where the cards are not sorted in any particular ord
1 - Scan the Baseball Cards
Put as many baseball cards onto the flatbed scanner that it will fit (keeping about 1/4 inch between each and from the edge); they don't have to be in any particular order. I am able to place 9 cards onto my scanner as seen in the screen shot below. Click the "Scan" button. When it shows you the screen to choose scan DPI - select 600 DPI as its the optimal DPI selection for both scan speed and image quality. ScanSpeeder will scan the image of 9 sports cards and it will automatically split them for you. You can keep the process as simple as this.
2 - Extract Baseball Cards and Automatically Split
Click the "Extract Photos" button in Step 2 as seen below to automatically split all baseball cards (sports cards such as hockey cards, basketball cards, and football cards work like this to) into separate images. Again, you can keep the process as simple as this.
If you would like to get a bit more accurate on the scan such that you only capture the image of the card and its border - precisely- there is an easy trick to do this.
Quick Tip #1: If your baseball cards have light colored borders, as mine do above, you can change the green-highlighted scan area to fine-tune the image and border scanned. (click here to see how). This is not necessary to automatically split the cards but depending on the variance in cards you put on the scanner, it may give a more accurate scan around the cards' borders. I do this when I want the scan to be precise - the card image and the card's border.
If any card is not oriented properly in Step 2 - Extract Photos to Preview Area, hover over the card and rotate it. (See this article to learn how.)
3 - Write a Caption & Catalog the Sports Cards
This step is VERY IMPORTANT to the cataloging process:
A - In the caption field under each card, type the description of the card in a consistent way.
For example, type "1981 Pirates - Jim Bibby". These terms will later be searchable and sortable for cataloging.
Considering that you want to also scan the back of the card next, copy and paste the captions you write in this step into Notepad so you can easily copy and paste them back later when scanning the back of the card. Use the Ctrl key and click the "c" button to copy and use the Ctrl key and click the "v" button to paste. Alternatively, you can highlight the caption and then right click your mouse and select "copy". You can reverse the process to paste: right click on Notepad and click "paste".
B - In Windows, Set up your Folder Structure to Catalog your Sports Cards
- On my hard drive I have a main folder called, "Sports Cards". In this folder I created a few folders of the different sports I have collected cards for: baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, and hockey cards. In each sports folder, I have folders with the years: 1981, 1982, 1983, etc.
- In this case, I am using the folder structure to save my 1981 baseball cards to:
- c:\Sport Cards\Baseball\1981\
C - In ScanSpeeder, Step 3 "Save Files"
- In the "Save to Folder" field select: c:\Sport Cards\Baseball\1981
- All the cards you just scanned will now be saved into this folder so you can easily find them later
- In the field below, "Generate Files with Prefix" type: Baseball1981
- Now click "Save" and your cards will be saved in .jpg and/or .tiff
4 - Scan and Catalog the Back of the Sports Cards
A - Flip the cards over in-place (meaning flip them left to right, right to left, etc. just keep them in place) on the scanner.
B - Then click the "Start a New Scan" button (yellow button above) in step 3 - Save Files.
ScanSpeeder will now scan the back sides of your sports cards and auto detects them in step 1.
C - In Step 2 of ScanSpeeder, click "Extract Photos".
All 9 baseball card back-sides will be scanned and split into separate files. Since the cards were placed on the scanner in the portrait orientation and the back-side card stats are written landscape, I will rotate all my back-side cards scanned to a landscape view. This will let me read the stats easily.
Click the All button at the top and 2) click the Rotate Left button once. This will change all my cards to the landscape view as seen below.
D - Important Step: Add a caption to the back of cards, exactly as you did to the front.
The captions that you copied and pasted into Notepad can now be copied and pasted into the caption field for the back of the cards. Use the Ctrl key and click the "c" button to copy and use the Ctrl key and click the "v" button to paste. See Step 3A: Add a Caption above to see how.
E - Save the cards as you did in step 3 when scanning the front of the card.
To show you how you can easily find your baseball cards later, look at the screenshot below. The cards are all saved under c:\Sports Cards\Baseball\1981
In the 1981 file each card front and back is searchable and sortable by the year, team name, and player. See this article to learn how to search in Windows File Explorer for baseball cards. See this article to learn how to sort your baseball cards. The caption you gave each card is now embedded in the card and is called the card's title in Windows Explorer. This title is both searchable and sortable.
Below is a screen shot showing the cards we just scanned. Both the front and back of each card is viewable and if you click on the card, you can see the caption we added in the title field of Windows File Explorer.
Now if I want to search on any of the text I wrote in the caption, it is searchable now as the Title of the card. For example, I will search for the "yankees" in the cards I scanned. I can do this by typing in "title: yankees" in the search field in Windows Explorer. The prefix "title:" is needed when using this search field. (quotation marks not necessary)
Both the front and back of the Yankee card is displayed. I can also search by player. Such as "Bibby". Both the front and the back of the card will be displayed.
To recap: You can batch scan baseball cards, and any other sports card, and automatically split them into separate files. The cards can be scanned on the front and the back and easily tagged and cataloged in a manner that makes them easy to find later.