Re: Baseball Cards In A Slump: Sales down 80 percent since 1991 (Fleer out of business)
I collected cards from 1965 through about 1971, with 1966-69 being my primary years. After that, I'd usually buy a pack or two a year just for old times sake. I still have all my cards, plus cards from the 1950s a cousin gave me years ago, with a few exceptions.
Sometime back in I believe the early 1990s, when cards were hot, I happened to be in a local card shop when I noticed a Noaln Ryan rookie card, one of the Topps cards from about 1966-67 that featured Ryan on half the card and another Mets rookie (I think it was Jerry Koosman) on the other half. The dealer was asking $800 for the card. I hadn't looked at my own cards in years, but I immediately thought: I've seen that card before!
When I got home, I went to my attic and found that I had two such Ryan rookie cards, both of which appeared to be in great shape to my untrained eye. I returned to the dealer, who offered me what he said was the wholesale price for the cards, $400 each. I quickly sold both cards, plus a couple of other cards, and left the dealer nearly $1000 richer.
I wouldn't (and won't) sell any of the cards that mean something to me, such as my early Rose, Perez and Bench cards, but I was and am glad to have exchanged pieces of cardboard with Nolan Ryan's picture on them for pieces of paper with the pictures of U.S. Presidents on them.
BTW, I was later at the same dealer and noticed that he had a 1965 Ken Boyer card, the last card made of Boyer as a player in a Cardinal uniform. Boyer was my first baseball hero. His card meant something to me, more than a Nolan Ryan card ever did. When I asked the dealer how much the card was, he simply gave it to me. I realize Ken Boyer cards aren't worth much (though Boyer should be in the Hall of Fame), but I still appreciated the gesture.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."