Understanding Modern Day Baseball Card Collecting
Every year in February each Major League Baseball team packs up its' gear and heads off to their spring training facilities. There's always excitement in the air as the freshly cutgrass and the recently groomed dirt creates a smell of America. A smell of yesteryear and memories of when we were kids. This excitement usually coincides with Topps, Bowman, Fleer, Donruss, Upper Deck, and Panini to release their newest Baseball cards. These cards come in packs, boxes, and cases of all different configurations. You may be lucky enough to have a brick and mortar baseball card shop in your neighborhood where you can buy one pack, crack it open, and potentially trade with the store manager or trade with others during a trade night. If there is not a baseball card store in sight, the next best place is checking the Internet.
Wherever you wind up buying your cards, you should understand that collecting cards has come a long way from the 1950's-1970's where kids would put cards in the spokes of their bicycles or line up the cards and take aim with bb air rifles. In that world, we would go to a baseball card shop, we would tell them the card or cards we needed to fill our set out and they would grab the bible of baseball cards, the notorious Beckett baseball card price guide. The guy behind the display case would look you up and down; he usually smoked a cigar so you could smell the stale tobacco on his breath. He then would say, "let's see what Beckett has to say". At that point he would look at the high book value price in the magazine and quote you either that price or over that price. But if you wanted to sell them cards, they would quote below the low book value. The storeowners could get away with doing business that way, as they were the only gig in town. In today's modern approach, Beckett has their price guides online for a monthly or annual fee and storeowners are everywhere. Where once we had one baseball card store in San Diego, we now have 500. That is the Internet for you; everyone is now a storeowner. There is so much product out there, how do you know what to buy or how much to spend?
In today's Baseball card collecting, you have a lot of choices of cards. For instance if your favorite player is Manny Machado, there seems to be an endless amount of his cards for any given year in every product. You have the choice of different colors of the same card called "collecting the rainbow", you have choices of his autograph cards, his jersey cards, chrome cards, platinum cards, paper cards, variation cards, error cards, serial numbered cards, and the list goes on. Each type of card is worth whatever you the consumer will spend on it. The Beckett high book value may be $20 on a serial Manny Machado card but due to scarcity, maybe someone will spend $100 on it. On the flip side if there are many of the same card and the high book value is $20 and the low is $10, maybe you can pick that card up for $2.50. The name of collecting in today's modern era is who is hot right now today. Those are the cards that will sky rocket and then come plummeting down once that player has a bad month.
In our next article we will discuss the excitement of collecting teams sets like on YankeesBaseballCards.com as well as the world of buying into a case break and how that may be a cost effective option for some people.
Baseball cards of every Major League team can be found at http://www.SciosciasBaseballCards.com - there is a 50% sale off all singles that are under 99 cents. We are always looking to buy collections or help you sell with our consignment services.