Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Are rookie cards killing or helping the baseball card hobby?

Rookie cards as we all know are currently dead. The MLB no longer allows a company to label first year cards as rookies since technically they are pictured in a minor league uniform. But this is old news, this happened a few years back and Topps as we know have changed their Bowman product to bypass this. We now see cards as prospects and first year cards, but is this helping or is this making the hobby worse?
So I'm trying to figure out exactly how this works. A drafted player has one card labeled prospect and another labeled first year. Then they have another prospect card that is autographed and then another first year card that is autographed. Seems like Topps has found a loophole in the MLB license agreement or is it that MLB and Topps are working out a special deal?
Well okay, enough with the questions. I have stated before that there are too many cards of certain players already. We have players with dwindling ERAs and batting averages, but now we have players with non-existant stats, wonderful. Now I understand that Topps and other companies are a business and must find ways to make a profit. But how about doing it in a way that won't damage the hobby or confuse the heck out of us collectors?
I think this hobby is turning more and more towards an adults only thing. Seldom do I see a collector chasing a prospect card because they are on his favorite team. And even rarer do I see a collector buying a first year card because he is a huge fan and how can they be when they never heard of said player? This hobby is turning more into an investment form.
There are way too many people that buys tons of prospect cards hoping to make money on them. Gone are the days of a collector holding on to every player on their favorite team. Gone are the collectors that wants one card ever made of their favorite player. But that happened when they released one-of-ones and cards serial numbered to five. I will say it again this hobby is a mess and I don't see it improving anytime soon. There are still good money to be made but the word collecting and baseball cards, I believe don't really exist anymore.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whatever happened too.... ?

When you look through your baseball card collection, have you ever wondered. Whatever happened to this player? They were highly touted as top prospects, five tool players and #1 draft pick. But it has been 6 years and they are nowhere to be found, there career is invisible and that rookie card you paid $40 for is now selling for 99 cents, if even.
Let me throw a few names out there. Andy Marte, Chris Lubanski, Matt Bush, Delmon Young... ok so maybe Young could be an exception, at least he is playing in the MLB. But have you checked his bowman chrome rookie card? What was once a $60 card is now selling for $10. Thats a pretty big drop considering Young had a pretty good year for the Tigers in 2011.
But the other players listed have disappeared from the radar. They have either struggled in the minors or have been arrested one too many times. Products like Bowman Chrome are great to buy because you never know when you might get the next Albert Pujols. But then again if you think about it Pujols' rookie card was in 2001. That was 11 years ago, it has been 11 years since we had a breakout player like that. You could argue about players like Jason Heyward but even he has been struggling in 2011 and his cards have dropped considerably in value as well. Sometimes it feels like playing the lottery when choosing which prospects to buy. You might get lucky, but you might also get Matt Bushwhacked.