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  • Baseball Card Death

    I was just reminded of my sorry baseball card collection on this site:

    www.baseballcarddeath.com

    Now I’m depressed but the site’s still funny as hell!

  • #2
    I'm always amazed at how, back in that era, the card companies whiffed on such an achingly simple, fundamental rule of economics. When you absolutely flood the market with your cards as they did (thus increasing supply) and demand remains the same, price/ perceived value has nowhere to go but down. Greed took over, with the promise of overwhelming sales figures.

    Not to mention the fact that after the huge "Rookie Card" craze of the mid-80s, things went downhill quickly. Certain relatively minor events conspired to collectively dampen collectors' enthusiasm in the hobby. "Score" joined the Big Three card companies in 1988, with a truly awful issue of cards. Doc and Darryl rode the white horse, Eric Davis battled injury, Mattingly hurt his back, Canseco was traded, breaking up the Bash Brothers in Oakland, Pete Rose gambled his Hall of Fame enshrinement away, and on from there. I just remember, as a 15-year-old kid, being soured on the whole deal as all of this was happening. And with a new company on the horizon in 1989 (Upper Deck), all of a sudden, there were just TOO MANY CARDS to collect. The hobby, from that point, continued its inevitable evolution from a kid's pastime to a Wall-Street-like marketplace.

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    • #3
      I lost interest in card collecting in the early 90's.

      I would have to drive for an hour across the border to get cards and, believe it or not, I really enjoyed having to make the trip. Then, suddenly, everyone and his brother was opening a card shop.
      "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
      Carl Yastrzemski

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Professor
        I'm always amazed at how, back in that era, the card companies whiffed on such an achingly simple, fundamental rule of economics. When you absolutely flood the market with your cards as they did (thus increasing supply) and demand remains the same, price/ perceived value has nowhere to go but down. Greed took over, with the promise of overwhelming sales figures.

        Not to mention the fact that after the huge "Rookie Card" craze of the mid-80s, things went downhill quickly. Certain relatively minor events conspired to collectively dampen collectors' enthusiasm in the hobby. "Score" joined the Big Three card companies in 1988, with a truly awful issue of cards. Doc and Darryl rode the white horse, Eric Davis battled injury, Mattingly hurt his back, Canseco was traded, breaking up the Bash Brothers in Oakland, Pete Rose gambled his Hall of Fame enshrinement away, and on from there. I just remember, as a 15-year-old kid, being soured on the whole deal as all of this was happening. And with a new company on the horizon in 1989 (Upper Deck), all of a sudden, there were just TOO MANY CARDS to collect. The hobby, from that point, continued its inevitable evolution from a kid's pastime to a Wall-Street-like marketplace.
        I actually liked Score cards. Most people didn't realize this, but the thing that Score did that no one else did was that all of their cards were action shots. That is what appealed to me, anyway.

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        • #5
          Professor - Points well taken

          You hit the nail right on the head Prof. Score cards were great, but they never seemed to garner that much popularity. And I recall they were always on the low end of the quoted values in the price guides as well. I.E. a Griffey Jr. rookie would be worth significantly less than the Upper Deck or Fleer one. What was truly horrendous in my mind was Bowman cards. Not one of them is an action shot. They were all "poses" as if out of some bad photography studio. Pesky you're right too, there were "card and hobby" shops all over the place back then! And the flea markets and shopping mall shows too...

          I hate to say it but i never SOLD a card. I was always a buyer. In other facets of life this would be deemed insane. At least I learned my lesson.

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          • #6
            Interesting site

            Originally posted by wui
            I was just reminded of my sorry baseball card collection on this site:

            www.baseballcarddeath.com

            Now I’m depressed but the site’s still funny as hell!
            Hey wui:

            Just checked out that site. Interesting, as you say, and eclectic, as it spices up its card stuff with some cultural tidbits from back in the day. Primarily, though, its tone is gloom and doom about how far the card industry has fallen. In the space where you can offer comments, I wrote them that they were correct in their assessment of the dramatic deflation in the value of cards in less than one generation. I agreed with them that there was little good news in the industry--from a busines perspective. Cards don't hold nearly the monetary value they used to, and probably never will again.

            But I reminded him that, in spite of that, there was still a positive side to it all. Including myself, there must still be plenty of collectors who strictly collect, for whom the value of a card is irrelevant, who never buy with the intention of selling (my nickname to many is "buynhold", a Wall Street term for longterm-oriented equities investors), who care little for grading (as long is it's presentable, is my feeling), who rarely, if ever, sell (I once sold about two-thirds of my collection because I was broke, but since then, have rebuilt the collection to 100 times what it was then), and who use guides like Beckett's for the checklists, but never for the price quotes. In other words, it's still a very viable hobby, if not such a profitable one.

            But the best part of a down market, for people like me? Cards have never been cheaper. It's the ultimate buyer's market, replete with supply and not enough demand. And even if every last one of the remaining dealers in the world were to shut down their business--and believe me, I wouldn't advise anyone with a desire to operate a viable, profitable business to get into cards--thanks to ebay, there will always be thousands of private citizens out there looking to make extra pocket change selling those dusty old collections that mom didn't throw out. So, although it may be a strictly selfish opinion, I for one am not crying the blues, and I know I'm not alone out there. Besides, the cards I specialize in--vintage Topps sets--is the one sector that has held its value quite well.

            Not that I'm planning to sell any of them, mind you. I will simply continue to buy, buy, buy, hold onto them, teach my sons the hobby (if they're interested), and when I die, will the collection to them.

            With, of course, a provision that they are never to sell them under any circumstances!
            Thanks for listening!

            freak

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            • #7
              "True" Baseball Cards died long ago

              Most of you all just bought the WRONG cards...... and many of you still are. I made the switch in 1982 as a 14 year old to ONLY buy cards from 1887-1941 (PreWar). All of these cards have increased 10X there mid 80's value, and many even more. Even in last 10 years All PreWar and 19th Century N, T, E, R, D, W, H, F cards have gone up 3-5+X and they are still jumping, especially E cards right now. Baseball card started to die when Topps stopped issuing them in series (1974) and totally died when they stopped including gum with them in the early 1980s.

              A "True" baseball card was ALWAYS included FREE with a product or service.

              Anything else is a "collectors issue" and will ALWAYS be a lesser card. ie. strip cards, Berk Ross, Exhibit cards, TCMA, and basically ALL Modern Cards (1981-Now).
              Vintage PreWar/19th Century Cards BUY/SELL/TRADE

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              • #8
                Pre War Cards

                You're absolutely right about the selection of the cards. The pre-war cards have increased in value...unfortunately I did not have the foresight nor the funds at the time to purchase any. I was instead trying to buy Sandy Alomar Jr. Future Star Cards! Ugh. Lesson learned.

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                • #9
                  What sucks is the prices of the packs went way up and the quality and worth went way down.

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                  • #10
                    I don't remember Score cards being that bad. When I think of the worst cards of the late 80s, I always think of Fleer, except for their 1988 set.

                    Recently my brother in law asked to me sell his cards for him, but they were all from 1988 to 1991 and I had to tell him that it would be difficult to find anyone who buy commons from that era.

                    I have most of the major issues from 1975 to 1991, and am working on completing the 1972 Topps set. I never collected with selling my cards in mind. I have never sold any of my cards.

                    Nearly every card dealer I talk to has told me that card values really took a nosedive duroing the strike and still haven't recovered.

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                    • #11
                      Mainly the designs started sucking, The card companies started printing their common issues by the boatload, and the avalance of different companies and special issues made a comprehensive collection almost impossible. I quit collecting and sold everything on ebay when some company (Upper deck I think) announced they were going to chop up a game used babe ruth bat and put it on cards.. I had had enough. I still occasionally yearn for those pre 1980 cards though..

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                      • #12
                        Sorry gang I think I just double posted
                        Last edited by Mr. Boh; 05-15-2006, 05:34 PM.
                        BALTIMORE GREATS ~~4 5 8 20 22 33

                        "It's What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts"...Earl Weaver
                        Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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                        • #13
                          I have to agree with all the comments posted here...I'm not sure of the age of the baseball fever bunch, I first got cards when I was 7 in 1968, from 73 to 76 I was able to complete the entire set by just purchasing packs at 10¢ a pack, this included the high numbers. And those goofy TRADED cards from Topps. On my birthday I would use some of my money to buy an entire box for $3.60. It was so much fun buying the packs. I remember the small posters and the coins that came in some of those 1970's sets. there is just so much junk out there now..how many subsets does a company have to offer in one season of cards. The hobby to me just isn't as fun as it used to be. For young people, who can afford a $3 pack of cards on a regular basis. Back in the day..I bought my own cards when I was able to get a couple of dimes together.
                          BALTIMORE GREATS ~~4 5 8 20 22 33

                          "It's What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts"...Earl Weaver
                          Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr. Boh
                            I have to agree with all the comments posted here...I'm not sure of the age of the baseball fever bunch, I first got cards when I was 7 in 1968, from 73 to 76 I was able to complete the entire set by just purchasing packs at 10¢ a pack, this included the high numbers. And those goofy TRADED cards from Topps. On my birthday I would use some of my money to buy an entire box for $3.60. It was so much fun buying the packs. I remember the small posters and the coins that came in some of those 1970's sets. there is just so much junk out there now..how many subsets does a company have to offer in one season of cards. The hobby to me just isn't as fun as it used to be. For young people, who can afford a $3 pack of cards on a regular basis. Back in the day..I bought my own cards when I was able to get a couple of dimes together.
                            I started collecting in 1972 and kept it up until around 1990 or 1991. In the 70s it was pretty easy to finish up the set just buying a pack at a time, especially after Topps stopped issuing the cards in series. I was able to complete the 1973 set though.

                            In 1981, I was excited at the prospect of collecting more than Topps, even though the Fleer's and Donruss's were lousy for the first year or two of their existance.

                            I think the first major sets to come out that I didn't bother to collect (mainly because of price) were Leaf and Stadium Club. I think there is too much stuff out there and that what is out there costs too much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I started collecting in the 70s, with '75 Topps being the first set I pieced together from packs and trading. I still have that set, and the fact that it's not all in mint condition in no way diminishes the value to me. Half the cards have either my or my brother's name written on the back(!). I lucked out in the late '80s renting some tables at card shows and selling off all the Eric Davis, Dwight Gooden and Jose Canseco rookies (to name a few) that I had stockpiled at top value, and put it into '71-'74 sets. I'm still working on some of those sets, as they're the only ones that mean anything to me.
                              smoker

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