Back in the late 1970s and 80s, baseball cards started to become recognized as more than just something kids did to pass the time during the season. By then, there were enough adults who had collected that sports card shows began to spread. There were multiple hobby publications and stories on TV and in newspapers about how dealers were going on buying trips to satisfy the demand from customers who bought them through the mail.
The ripple became a roar in the early 1980s. Rookie cards became a big deal, Mr. Mint was on Good Morning America and the word was out: Baseball cards sometimes meant big bucks.
A lot of folks figured the trend of old cards being worth money would only get bigger so they began hoarding what the card companies were producing.
There was only one problem.
Play games with them? Stick them in bike spokes to make an engine noise? Not a chance. Heck, you didn’t even need gum to sell them now.
As we’ve discussed here and on our Facebook page many times, the exploding interest had anyone and everyone buying boxes, sets and cases and sticking them away. Soon eBay arrived and by the late 1990s it was obvious that for the first time in history, the supply of cards from one era was far greater than the demand. That’s why those who stockpiled at the time have seen the value of most of those cards settle near rock bottom and stay there.
On Tuesday, I chatted with host Holden Kushner and former big league pitcher Scott Rice about that era—and today’s hobby–on MLB on TuneIn, a popular internet radio show. Listen below.