Baseball Cards

Does anyone here collect baseball cards, in a serious way (or maybe used to)? I could use an expert as an occasional consultant for a writing project. Nothing high end or time consuming.

I used to in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s been about 15+ years, though. I do still have my cards as well as my dad’s cards from the 50’s-70’s.

Do you keep them in a binder or a box? How many do you have? Do you buy them one pack at a time or get special sets w/entire teams and/or leagues?

I actually “dealt” in BB cards from 1986-1993. I’d be glad to opine.

“Dealt” as in bought and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of cards.

It was the best of times, and turned into the worst of times. :frowning:

How far have cards dropped in value? I have several McGwire Olympic/rookie cards which were worth a lot untill Bonds beat his record.

I’d use eBay completed searches as representative of what they’re worth.

Once you’re out of baseball as an active player, your card is bupkis compared to what it WAS worth.

I collected for over 20 years until the mid 90s and accumulated well over 50,000 cards. I still have my collection. In fact, I have an account with Beckett to keep track of its present value. Most of my cards are from 1972 through 1992 with a lot from the early 80s.

I got out in the mid-2000s (even dabbled in eBay buying and selling for awhile) and I think about getting back into it every once in a while but then I don’t because it’s just so expensive nowadays.

As for the questions…

Do you keep them in a binder or a box? How many do you have?

In boxes. I think at last count I had almost 300,000 cards, so binders would have been unwieldy. More expensive cards were put in soft sleeves and anything woth more than a few bucks got a top loader.

Do you buy them one pack at a time or get special sets w/entire teams and/or leagues?

Depends on what I was in the mood for. Sometimes I’d buy one card at a time at shows or on eBay that I just had to have (my 1971 Nolan Ryan is probably the jewel of my collection). Other times I’d buy by the pack and other times I’d buy a wax box of 24-36 packs.

I used to collect a lot, now I collect only my favorite team (the Royals).

Most of my more general collection is from the mid-80’s through early 90’s, and a lot of minor league team sets as well. Those are in boxes.

My Royals collection is in a binder.

When I was a more general collector, I’d buy packs; nowadays, I buy the specific cards I need, usually on line.

A lot, especially that late 80s - early 90s window, where regular issues are now mostly worthless. They just printed too many cards. I’m surprised some of those prices (I’m looking at you, 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr.) lasted as long as they did.

**Do you keep them in a binder or a box? **
I kept them in boxes, for sure. I had all different sized boxes. I was all sorts of hot shit when I was able to afford and fill up a 3000-card box.

My dad kept his most valuable cards in a binder, which I did for a little while to take back and forth to school. I also had a binder of Brett Hull hockey cards. That sort of thing worked out ok when you weren’t breaking up sets.

How many do you have?
Hmm probably 20,000

Do you buy them one pack at a time or get special sets w/entire teams and/or leagues?
One pack at a time - that was the fun! As I said I did troll around for Brett Hull cards while eschewing most other hockey cards.

I think I did buy a 1990 Topps full set after having gotten about 90% of the set organically anyway. It was just one thing that I thought it would be cool to do with my money as a kid.

There was no way I could ever afford any other sorts of sets. Luckilly I wasn’t collecting during this newer era of really wild specialty sets. The weirdest thing we had in my time was Upper Deck with their shiny cards and holograms.

I collected for years, with some fairly valuable ones right now. I kept them in boxes, wrapped by (horrors!) a rubber band. The cards are still in excellent to mint condition because I rarely took them out of the packages.

Bought them by the individual package. I did have at least a few representatives of every Topps set from 1952 until 1994, with the bulk being from about 1965-1970.

Lose the rubber band immediately. Sulfur. Bad.

Just curious, but did you ultimately lose money, or did you get out before you went into the red?

do you remember your best year income-wise and worst year? (just an estimate - I don’t need exact numbers)

I have a curiosity about this because I knew a couple of friends that tried their hand at this, and both had to close up shop. I always wondered if they ever made real money in the golden years, because neither lived lavishly. They appeared to just get by.

Got lucky. I got out, not at the top, but before it became impossible to sell your cards. Yes, I made money. Not huge. I wasn’t a good enough businessman to make it big.

I might have made $50K the best year. It was part of a multi-item business.

I’m gonna pop into this thread with an anecdote and a few questions…

In the late '80s and early '90s my father and I collected cards rather extensively. One summer while on vacation at Grandma’s house we were going to go and check out a local card show. Overhearing this Grandma mentions that she remembers an envelope in a drawer that had some Hockey cards in it. When we got back that afternoon there was a brown envelope sitting on the table. What was in it? About 80% of the 1967 topps hockey set, including a Bobby Orr rookie card in excellent condition. My dad and his two brothers split the ownership of the cards and completing the set became a bit of an obsession to the three. The only big name cards that were missing was Frank Mahovilich, Glenn Hall, and the Vezina Trophy card featuring Charlie Hodge and Gump Worsley, as well as the checklists (which they actually did have, but they were… well… checked). The set was eventually completed and is being kept in the safety deposit box of one of my uncles.

Now for the questions…

What is that Bobby Orr card going for in the “real” market? I have seen the listings in online card magazines and this listing on ebay. Is there someone around with recent card shop/show experience that has knowledge of this particular card and can give a general hi-low or average selling price for this card?

Also, is there any worth in having it professionally graded? It is in exceptional condition still with sharp edges and corners that have minuscule amounts of whitening. It is also not quite centred properly but is very close. I have examined a few dozen of the Orr rookie cards over the years and have to say that my Father’s card is in as good condition as all but a few that I have seen and is better preserved than most…

If you’re confident it’ll grade out at mint or gem, and/or intend to sell it over the Internet, yes, having it graded is worthwhile and can add a hefty premium to the price. Otherwise, while it’s certainly always a good thing for a buyer’s peace of mind to have an objective grade, if it’s going to grade a 7.0 or something like that and you intend to sell it in person I wouldn’t bother.

I don’t think there is any intention of selling any part of the set so there really is no reason to get it graded, it is just that this whole idea of sending a card or comic away to be professionally graded wasn’t around when I collected so I am interested in the whole concept/process…

What is the cost of having a card or comic graded?

lol… you should have seen my dad’s face when I showed him that Ebay listing from my earlier post…

Sad story about the baseball cards my brother & I collected religiously one year. It was the 1987 Topps baseball cards with a wood-grain pattern. We carefully cataloged and preserved them in plastic sheets. We got the entire set (and enough extras for a third set, probably). If only Mom hadn’t thrown away those 20-year-old cards, we’d be zillionaires right now.

Or not.

eBay has the complete set of 792 cards offered for $8.95 :eek:

So much for that money-making scheme.

There were 17 cards in a pack for 40 cents each. 792 divided by 17 equals 46 packs minimum to get the whole set (assuming no duplicates).

Those 46 packs from 7-Eleven would’ve cost us $18.40 in 1987. :smack:

There are people with basements full of unopened cases upon cases of cards from the late 80’s. That was just about the peak of the collecting craze and they all thought they’d get rich.

I just looked on eBay and you can get a sealed case of 1987 Topps, with 20 boxes of cards, each box containing 36 packs, for $150. 17 cards in a pack X 36 packs in a box X 20 boxes = 12,240 cards. I’ll bet the guy would let you have it for $120. That’s less than a penny a card. It’s still a terrible deal. Nobody wants those cards.