Saturday, June 20, 2009

Baseball card: To Collect or Not to Collect

So I hear the baseball card collectors complaining.
“The hobby is not what it used to be.”
First they are complaining that companies are overproducing cards. Now they
complain they are producing too many one of ones. So which one is it? They say that the baseball card hobby is no longer for the kids.

While I have to agree to some extent I also have to disagree. There is plenty of cheap baseball cards aimed for the young collectors. Topps produces boxes of cards that retails from forty to fifty dollars. Upper deck also produces cards in almost the same range. While both companies make boxes of cards that retails for up to hundreds of dollars they also make boxes with harder hits that retails much cheaper.

           Prices of cards seem to be too much? I have seen cards from 1970’s sell in the range of one dollar to twenty dollars. Carlton Fisk, Robin Yount, George Brett, Nolan Ryan the list goes on and on. Then there is the graded beauty of these cards. A PSA 10 of any of these superstars will set you back a grand or two.

           There are always people that have that nostalgia of looking at their old baseball card collections. The cards are all in order neatly tucked into a binder hidden away in a dark corner so the sunlight won’t damage it. They have the sets made from Topps dating back to the 1950’s all the way to the 1990’s. These are the same collectors that started at a young age. They bought the cards for the bubble gum. They didn’t care about the cards, it was mommy and daddy that taught them the value of keeping their possessions in good condition. Or perhaps it was their mom that tossed out those thousands of dollars worth of cards in which case. I feel for you.

Then there are the player collectors. Perhaps you grew up idolizing Cal Ripken? A player collector will have thousands of cards of Cal Ripken. There will be one of ones that are impossible to get, but that is what collecting is all about. It’s a challenge, if we had everything handed to us and all we had to do was open our wallets and pay for it, what fun would would that be? That would be like paying the water bill. Doesn’t sound too fun does it?

What will the collectors complain of next? Oh I’m pretty sure they will find something to complain about. So what should the collectors of today buy? Anything they like to buy. I have seen people collect their childhood heroes and I have seen people collect a one of\one autographed card with a swatch of jersey that has five colors on it. As any arguments and complaints, we have to look at both sides. Just remember, you collect what makes you happy.

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