Re: Baseball Cards In A Slump: Sales down 80 percent since 1991 (Fleer out of business)
I started collecting in 1978. My Uncle (only two years older than me) and I started collecting together at that time. Coincidentally, we both had trouble completing that first set due to Ed Armbrister. We both only needed a handful of cards to finish our individual sets and we both just happened to be missing that '78 Ed Armbrister. To this day, we joke about Ed Armbrister.
I eventually bought a 1978 complete set (in pretty much mint condition) from a co-worker of mine for $100. It is a set that is very special, to me. When I look through those cards, it takes me all the way back to that summer of my 7th year.
I collected all the way through 1990 and then college came and the card industry got ridiculous. My uncle and I (roommates at OSU) even set up tables at card shows in college to pay for our rent and beer money. To this day, I'm taking advantage of the fact that everything is very cheap to complete sets and get back the cards I once sold. I have complete Topps sets from '78 through 1991 and I am currently about 50% of the way to completing everything from 1971-1977. I found some old 1970-1972 cards from another Uncle that are as mint as you can find for those years
I don't have the time to try to complete those sets right now. I'm leaving that task for 4-year old and myself after he gets a bit older. I figure we can complete those sets together someday, only of course, if he has the passion. It will be a good education for him. Plus, they will all someday be his, so it will be a nice thing to leave him in addition to memories of his Dad.
That and hopefully I can recreate those special memories for him.
Would it be a good idea to gobble up as many graded rookie cards (Bonds, Griffey, Clemens, etc.) on Ebay right now? Has anyone checked it out for a while? This is probably a great time to invest in anything pre 90's. IMO, 1987 seemed to be the year when the overproduction got out of hand, especially with Topps. Those old Bonds, Larkin, and Palmeiro rookie were never worth much. Like Steel, I purchased 50 or so Bonds rookies back in '87 for a dime each and then sold half of them for a few dollars each.
It really is a shame what has happened to that industry. I can still picture those packs of 1978 cards and to this day when I hear a song from the late 70's/early 80's, I freak my wife out because I can tell her the exact year, by shutting my eyes and picturing what cards I was playing with at the time.