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  1. #1
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    Baseball Cards

    Im sure everyone on this board used to be a collector in their younger years. What you may or may not know is that the industry/hobby has completely gone down the tubes in the digital age. First there were too many brands that flooded the market as MLB gave out too many licenses and customers were confused, causing the value to plummet. While Topps used to have a monopoly in the 1960s ad 1970s, brands like Fleer and Donruss joined in the 80s and Upper Deck made a big splash with its debut season in 1989. Excess supply and confusion ensued, and as a result, baseball cards lost their value.

    Then the Internet and the rise of the digital age happened. Sites like ESPN and Baseball Reference became the go-to source for a player's career stats. Kids spend more time on the Internet and playing video games and fantasy baseball, and less time collecting and trading physical cards. As a result, industry interest waned.

    Recently something interesting happened. Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, bought Topps. Topps then secured an exclusive license from MLB to be the only baseball card maker in the market. They are also attempting to have a digital presence. So my question to you is, can the industry come back? Will it? Where do you see the future of baseball cards going and what would you do if you were Topps?
    Last edited by Benihana; 01-26-2013 at 09:57 AM.
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  2. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Im sure everyone on this board used to be a collector in their younger years. What you may or may not know is that the industry/hobby has completely gone down the tubes in the digital age. First there were too many brands that flooded the market as MLB gave out too many licenses and customers were confused, causing the value to plummet. While Topps used to have a monopoly in the 1960s ad 1970s, brands like Fleer and Donruss joined in the 80s and Upper Deck made a big splash with its debut season in 1989. Excess supply and confusion ensued, and as a result, baseball cards lost their value.

    Then the Internet and the rise of the digital age happened. Sites like ESPN and Baseball Reference became the go-to source for a player's career stats. Kids spend more time on the Internet and playing video games and fantasy baseball, and less time collecting and trading physical cards. As a result, industry interest waned.

    Recently something interesting happened. Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, bought Topps. Topps then secured an exclusive license from MLB to be the only baseball card maker in the market. They are also attempting to have a digital presence. So my question to you is, can the industry come back? Will it? Where do you see the future of baseball cards going and what would you do if you were Topps?
    Market was flooded. I'd go back to one set of cards per season with no special cards for certain guys and I'd keep it to buying them in packs with bubble gum. Buying sets at a time took all the fun out of it that made it so popular in the first place.

    No cards for minor leaguers or draftees either.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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  3. #3
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Market was flooded. I'd go back to one set of cards per season with no special cards for certain guys and I'd keep it to buying them in packs with bubble gum. Buying sets at a time took all the fun out of it that made it so popular in the first place.

    No cards for minor leaguers or draftees either.
    This. I've still got all my cards, probably around 40,000 or so. But I lost interest shortly after Fleer and Donruss showed up. That's about the same time it became a business instead of a kids hobby too.
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  4. #4
    All work and no play..... Vottomatic's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    This. I've still got all my cards, probably around 40,000 or so. But I lost interest shortly after Fleer and Donruss showed up. That's about the same time it became a business instead of a kids hobby too.
    I collected all through the 70's the hard way by buying the bubble gum packs. In the early 80's I simply starting buying the sets. I probably have 20,000 or more cards. I quit in the mid-80's.

    I also would go to shows and buy older cards. I have a '63 Koufax and a '63 Hank Aaron. I believe that's the right year. Might be '62. Probably my best cards other than the superstars of the 70's.
    "I can't take this homerism anymore." - 10xWSChamps, August 11, 2010. A Cardinals fan having a problem with all the homerism on Redszone. Classic.

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  5. #5
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    There are several excellent sets produced for those who like to build them the old fashioned way, most notably Topps Heritage. I gave up on modern cards completely a few years ago because of the factors already mentioned. I rarely buy cards nay more, but when I do I buy Deadball era or other vintage issues.

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    Re: Baseball Cards

    I liked the Fleer cards. I have 1988-1990 and Score 1988-89. I have the full boxed sets, along with Topps from 1987-1992, except 1990. By the time I had enough money to frivolously spend on this stuff.....the 70's cards shot through the roof.

  7. #7
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Cloninger View Post
    I liked the Fleer cards. I have 1988-1990 and Score 1988-89. I have the full boxed sets, along with Topps from 1987-1992, except 1990. By the time I had enough money to frivolously spend on this stuff.....the 70's cards shot through the roof.
    Yep, 1986-1990 was the pinnacle of my card collecting career.
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  9. #8
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Yep, 1986-1990 was the pinnacle of my card collecting career.
    We must be around the same age. I think everyone I knew had the 1987 Topps set with those wood panel borders. I missed out on a lot of middle school math class because I was desperate to trade for as many Jose Canesco and Mark McGwire cards as possible. The Eric Davis card from that year - the one where he is holding the ball - is my favorite all time card for some reason, perhaps because it holds so many fond memories.
    "I’ll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. That’s just how I do things.” -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

  10. #9
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Does anyone believe Topps and baseball cards in general can make a comeback in some form? If so, what form should it take? I agree with mth's thoughts to simplify, but I think they have to do something involving digital (not sure what though).
    Go BLUE!!!

  11. #10
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Does anyone believe Topps and baseball cards in general can make a comeback in some form? If so, what form should it take? I agree with mth's thoughts to simplify, but I think they have to do something involving digital (not sure what though).
    I messed around with the eTopps thing a decade ago...I thought that was gonna be the future of "sports cards", almost a stock market to some degree, but it seems to have fizzled out.

    Still have a 2002 Austin Kearns worth 0.20 cents.

  12. #11
    Member RedsfaninMT's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Throw up in mouth...really painful memories.

    I was an avid collector as a kid. How I didn't rot out my teeth with the amount of bubble gum I chewed on is still a great mystery to me. At any rate, I had thousands and thousands of cards. My dad had a graduate student who gave me his collection from the early 50's. Another gave me his set from the early 60's.

    Then, as a 17-year-old in 1979, my mom insisted I get rid of them.

    She thought they took up far too much room in box upon box in my bedroom. So she offered a younger friend of mine my entire set for $50. Bye bye Mickey Mantle rookie card. Bye bye Pete Rose rookie card. I even had a card of Gene Packard, Cincinnati Red, from 1914 or thereabouts. By far my oldest card, and a cherished one. Gone.

    I ran into the guy who got those cards many years ago. He told me he had sold them at the peak of the market, paying entirely for two houses, a car and putting away a significant chunk of change into savings.

    No, I will never again collect cards. Far too painful memories.

  13. #12
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsfaninMT View Post
    Throw up in mouth...really painful memories.

    I was an avid collector as a kid. How I didn't rot out my teeth with the amount of bubble gum I chewed on is still a great mystery to me. At any rate, I had thousands and thousands of cards. My dad had a graduate student who gave me his collection from the early 50's. Another gave me his set from the early 60's.

    Then, as a 17-year-old in 1979, my mom insisted I get rid of them.

    She thought they took up far too much room in box upon box in my bedroom. So she offered a younger friend of mine my entire set for $50. Bye bye Mickey Mantle rookie card. Bye bye Pete Rose rookie card. I even had a card of Gene Packard, Cincinnati Red, from 1914 or thereabouts. By far my oldest card, and a cherished one. Gone.

    I ran into the guy who got those cards many years ago. He told me he had sold them at the peak of the market, paying entirely for two houses, a car and putting away a significant chunk of change into savings.

    No, I will never again collect cards. Far too painful memories.
    That's a heartbreaking story, I feel for you.

    However, the main reason why those cards are worth so much is because no one ever thought they'd be worth anything, an everyone's mom threw them out or gave them away. I worked in the Card business in the 90's and I heard stories like that every day. If everyone's mom had held on to them, they wouldn't be worth much. Not that it makes you feel any better.

    This is exactly why modern Baseball Cards will never be worth much. Everyone knows to hold on to them. I actually like this, kids and fans will collect cards because they like and enjoy them, not because they can make money on them.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  14. #13
    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Though I don't collect cards anymore, I still have probably hundreds of cards I kept around just for the heck of it.
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  15. #14
    Member RedsfaninMT's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    That's a heartbreaking story, I feel for you.

    However, the main reason why those cards are worth so much is because no one ever thought they'd be worth anything, an everyone's mom threw them out or gave them away. I worked in the Card business in the 90's and I heard stories like that every day. If everyone's mom had held on to them, they wouldn't be worth much. Not that it makes you feel any better.

    This is exactly why modern Baseball Cards will never be worth much. Everyone knows to hold on to them. I actually like this, kids and fans will collect cards because they like and enjoy them, not because they can make money on them.
    Yes, I have been told that "I've heard that same story so many times" by card dealers over the years, BUT I think very few had the collection I had, which was every single card from 1951-1958 and 1961-1968, plus 500+ that pre-dated 1950. Then there was my own collection - the likes of which I have seen many times. My own set included most the cards from 69-79, when my mom made me sell.

    My older brother has never truly forgiven me. Especially since the card we had Ted Williams sign as a manager of the Washington Senators was included as a stipulation of the "sale."

  16. #15
    6 months of heartbreak Bob Borkowski's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsfaninMT View Post
    Yes, I have been told that "I've heard that same story so many times" by card dealers over the years, BUT I think very few had the collection I had, which was every single card from 1951-1958 and 1961-1968, plus 500+ that pre-dated 1950. Then there was my own collection - the likes of which I have seen many times. My own set included most the cards from 69-79, when my mom made me sell.

    My older brother has never truly forgiven me. Especially since the card we had Ted Williams sign as a manager of the Washington Senators was included as a stipulation of the "sale."
    Where exactly were you when this sale by your mom took place? In college? In the service? You must not have still been living at home, right? Otherwise she never would have attempted to do this.


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