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collecting

Baseball Cards General

How Do YOU Collect?

October 21, 2008

I just read an interesting article in a past issue of SGC magazine about “Hall of Fame” collectors. These types of collectors focus on collecting all players currently in one or more of today’s Hall(s) of Fame.

hall-of-fame.jpg

This got me to thinking, “What other ways do people collect?” How do they decide on what to collect? What categories do they choose to collect by?

We know there are many people who choose to collect by player and by team. But we could break this down even further to ask, “Why that player or why that team?” I’m sure that a common answer would be “because they are my favorite.” But I’d also bet that the additional reasons for collecting certain players or teams is as numerous as Pete Rose’s career hits count.

What about collecting all the cards of each triple crown winner? Or all the rookie cards of each past annual home run champ? And if there was a new home run champ one year, you could make sure you had that player’s rookie card.

There are thousands upon thousands of ways you could collect. But here’s the question I want the answer to. How do YOU collect?

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Baseball Cards General, New Collector

Baseball Cards for the ABL

June 8, 2008

Do you read Sports Illustrated?  If you do, you’ll know what I’m about to talk about here.  If you don’t, go pick up the issue with the Celtics and Lakers on the cover.  There was a great article recently about the ABL.  In Alaska, they call that the Alaskan Baseball League.  It’s a league where college players go to hone their skills.  The feature of the league is the midnight sun game, where the sun can still be shining at midnight, while the players take to the field. 

This league has fostered several Hall of Famers, as well as future Hall of Famers.  A few of the names you’ll find have played in this league are:  Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi.

You might be wondering if baseball cards were ever produced for this league?  That answer would be yes.  Some of the cards were printed in the year that the players were actually playing.  Others were printed well after.  One of the former cards was printed for Yankees first-baseman Jason Giambi. It’s suspected that this is Giambi’s first production baseball card. (See halfway down the page in the previous link.)

Take a look at the whole lot of these cards. It’s a pretty cool and unique group of cards, which could be real collector’s items in years to come.

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Why Do You Collect Baseball Cards?

December 30, 2007

Why do you collect baseball cards? What are your reasons for collecting baseball cards? Have you ever thought about it? If you’re like most collectors, you probably started as a kid, collecting just for the pure fun of it, and maybe for the piece of gum that came with Topps wax packs. Maybe you wanted to know the statistics of each player? In the days before the internet, this was one of the few ways to know exactly what stats each player had in his previous seasons and career.

Maybe you collected for the photos of the players? As action photos became more and more prominent on baseball cards, it was cool just to have a photo of one of your favorite players in action. How about the look and feel of the cards themselves? To have a piece of cardboard, which you owned, with the names, stats and photos of players you admired in your hands was just a joy for many collectors. To be able to search through the cards, to stack them up, and pin them up on your wall.

Having the sealed cards and wondering what was within that wrapped package, is kind of like having a wrapped present waiting under the tree for you to open. Just who is lurking behind that wrapping? Is it Mickey Mantle? Finally breaking the wax seal and looking for that particular player. The joy of finding them, or another top baseball player. The disappointment of finding a checklist, or common players, when you’re fervently searching for Don Mattingly or George Brett.

How about collecting cards as an investor? When you were younger, you probably checked the values of your cards in one of those paper baseball card value guides. Roger Clemens is up $1.00 from the last guide! Of course, you soon found out that you couldn’t sell your cards for the prices listed in those guides, even if you wanted to.

However, baseball cards have become an investment over time, just like art or coins. Just look at the investors of the T-206 Honus Wagner card. In February of 2007, the card sold for $2.35 million. The same card was bought for $1.26 million in 2000. How is that for a return on investment? If you’re knowledgeable about the sport, and you can buy the right card at the right price and at the right time, you can turn an investment in a baseball card into a profit for yourself.

Maybe you want to invest in certain cards, so you can generate the income later on to buy a particular big ticket item of a player you really covet? You could be buying and selling Albert Pujols cards, or Joba Chamberlain cards, to be able to generate enough income to finally buy that 1948 Bowman Warren Spahn rookie card you’ve been looking to add to your collection?

For me, personally, I collect for all these reasons. Baseball cards provide for me the joy of youth and owning a piece of major league baseball. They provide an excitement of finding that particular player, or that particular parallel card, hidden behind that card wrapping. The cards also provide an investment. The fact that the cards hold value to collectors, and that there is a market for these collectibles is exciting. You can purchase a card you thing will increase in value, hold it until it does, and then sell it to another investor or collector, who thinks the card will increase in value even further, or who wants the card for its inherit value to add to their own personal collection.

What are your reasons for collecting baseball cards? Have you ever given it thought?

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