Thanks to those of you who responded to my request for some feedback on my post from a couple of weeks ago ("A dangerous hobby for the bored", remember?).
We’ll divvy up the cards and send them to our two winners, Kenneth Watkins and Jeff Vervlied. Their contributions are below:
Where Has The Baseball Card World Gone?
Gone our the days where you would pay 10.00 and get a box of baseball cards and stack the hard as a rock gum on the side as you hope to pull that rare baseball gem you could call your own. Gone our the days where you could put a set together with a box of cards and usually miss only one or two cards. Gone our the days of trading with your friends as most have left the hobby. Gone are collecting for the love of the sport, instead greed, as money has crept in and took the hobby away for most.
Kids struggle to get good baseball cards, as the prices are just out of there reach on their allowances. Companies have fallen by the wayside as the big two have basically nudged the little guy out. Gone our a stream of new collectors as baseball card collecting has become for the wealthy and not for the mainstream collector. Gone our the days when a dollar would buy you a great pack of cards. Now all is left is to cherish the memories of what baseball card collecting use to be about friendships, trading and getting new packs every week. Boy, do I wish those days were back.
Credit Cards & Baseball Cards
My son and I go through the same things you did. At 11, he has become burned out by the lack of hits. He would rather spend his money on other things.
We play hockey across the street from a card store. We usually go in once a month, and I give him $20 to get what he wants. After I remove his eyes from the candy under one counter, he gets recent packs of baseball and hockey items.
We have dropped several hundred dollars this way, getting one jersey card.
A few years ago, I gave the store owner $50, and asked him to put together a Christmas gift box for my son, and our daughter, now 8. He included a Pudge jersey box topper, a Thome jersey card, and one Flyers jersey card, both relative commodities, but great for the kids as a stocking stuffer. The various unopened packs he included also produced nothing.
This August, after a week long hockey camp, we stopped, and finally, a hit. We pulled a 2007 Ken Griffey Red Ink autograph. Lucky the gatorade and ice cream did not damage it!
Frankly, when I want a jersey or autograph card, I go to ebay. Every time we go to a Phillies or Flyers game, and get a puck or ball somehow, I get a jersey, bat, stick or auto card of that player, usually the working-class level players on the team, and available for cheap.
If you consider the cost of acquiring autographs in-person, without being a hotel stalker, or a gate lingerer 3 hours pre- and post-game, and the probability of getting an star autograph at a game…and you are financially secure, and don’t like the lessons of your kid splaying the lottery…you buy them on ebay! Let the case busters and box busters flip their over-produced memorabilia and auto cards on ebay, it is an efficient market, and obviously buyers exist.