Is Baseball Card Collecting Dead
Is Baseball Card Collecting Dead?
Written by: Hoitash
Is Baseball Card Collecting Dead? No, but has certainly changed over the decades. Topps is still the name in baseball collecting. Thanks to a private contract, they are the only trading card company that can use MLB logos and images. This means that as far as some collectors are concerned, the start and end of collecting is Topps cards because they are the only baseball cards worth collecting.
Topps has been in business for over seventy-five years, and the hobby of baseball collecting has changed dramatically since they got their start in 1938. Topps cards didn't always come with bubble gum, but by 1947 the two together were almost as iconic as American baseball itself. Baseball card collecting didn't really come into its own, however, until the 1950s, when hordes of baby boomer children fell in love with the sport, bubblegum, and trading cards. Topps has adapted with the times, incorporating new technologies and ideas into their company as they continue to provide trading cards to kids the nation over. Though their cards can be bought in supermarkets like Target, for some it just isn't the same unless the cards are bought at a hobby store. Unfortunately, hobby stores, just like trading cards, can be hard to find in modern times. A brief overview of Topps' history is on their website: https://www.topps.com/history.
Though the internet has given brick and mortar stores a few blows, it does make certain hobbies easier. Internet forums and sites like eBay allow collectors to buy cards from across the globe and discuss the hobby with people all over the world. In fact, is baseball card collecting dead is often one of the topics found across these forums in one form or another?
One could argue that as long as the cards are printed and sold, the hobby continues. So, as long as Topps is still in business then baseball card collecting in some form remains. Still, there's nothing quite like opening a fresh pack, sorting through the cards, and carefully sealing them away in protective sleeves. Or, they may be selling the cards on eBay to buy more card packs or even a specific card a collector may have their eye on at the time. In such a case, knowing the state of the hobby in the century is important to avoid paying too much for cards, and realizing whether or not your cards have any value.
Obviously one of the biggest factors of their worth is the player on the card. A member of the Hall of Fame is naturally going to be worth more than a fresh-faced rookie no one has heard of at the time. The era the card is printed in is also a big indicator of value. Older cards tend to be more valuable simply because there are fewer of them on the market. Cards printed before World War II, when the trading card hobby got its start, are obviously going to be worth more than the cards in last year's set, besides the obvious exceptions for card condition and the player involved. Cards shortly after the war are also usually valuable.
Once you get into more modern times, when production increased, then you need to take a close eye to your cards and accept that the majority of them, like with any trading card hobby, probably aren't worth much. More details on assessing card values can be found at https://ballcardgenius.com/blog/are-baseball-cardsworth-anything/.
Saying baseball card collecting is dead is a bit of a misnomer, Much like the trading cards and the company that prints them, the baseball card collecting hobby has evolved and changed with the times. The kids who grew up trading cards and chewing gum are now pursuing eBay and hobby shops for pristine sets of the cards they folded up in their pockets or tossed around for fun when they were younger. Their kids, rather than heading to a hobby shop, may buy their cards at Target while the parents are grocery shopping. Their parents, meanwhile, may be carefully checking eBay to see if their old collections are worth anything. So, as long as Topps is in business, and as long as people watch and enjoy baseball, baseball card collecting will continue to live on in some form or another.
Here are some Baseball Binder Kits we recommend to store your baseball cards:
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