Monday, February 13, 2012

Talk'in Baseball... Cards

When I was a kid I always looked forward to Spring Training.  Living in Tampa, it meant that my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, would be headed to Plant City for Spring Training.  It also meant that the new season's baseball cards would be coming out.  Let's be clear, I loved my baseball cards.  I started collecting during the 1988 season.  I was purely a Topps man.  Later on, I started collecting Donruss, Score, Fleer, and Upper Deck.  But when it came to completing the entire collection, I bought Topps. 

Now in these later years, the card sets come out earlier.  One good thing about that, is that, you can get your new card signed at Spring Training.  I was curious how the new Topps set was going to look.  When I first saw it, I was impressed.  It's very classy looking.

I got into baseball cards right as the sports card market was exploding.  They were fun, cheap, and plentiful.  As long as you had money, you could buy a ton of them.  That is, until Upper Deck ruined the whole thing. 

Upper Deck kind of had a good idea.  They wanted a higher quality baseball card.  But for the cost of 12 Upper Deck cards you could buy a 100 pack of Topps.  This lead to the sports card market almost becoming like the stock market.  No one was interested in putting together complete sets anymore.  They just wanted the stars.  Then Upper Deck went and made it worse by making ultra rare cards.  Not many of these "limited cards" were printed, and so it made their prices go up.  Buying sports cards became more or less like buying lottery tickets. 

Let me explain.  People started buying packs of cards to get the rare cards.  They then threw away the cards of players who weren't stars.  Hence, why it became like buying lottery tickets.  And then, to throw gasoline on the fire, every card company started following in Upper Deck's stategy.  This lead to a huge price increase in all the sports cards.

They ended up getting way too expensive for me to even think about collecting.  So, I went ahead and got out of the baseball card collecting game.  I got out in time.  The 1994 baseball strike really soured me and a lot of other fans on baseball.  After that, the sports card market got overpriced and saturated at the same time.  Even Major League Baseball didn't like what was going on.  Once 1998 came around, they only gave contracts to Topps and Upper Deck to produce official Major League Baseball Cards.  And that extends to this day.

Even though I'm no longer a huge baseball fan.  I still look forward to seeing the new packs of baseball cards on the shelves.

I will say one thing.  If I ever wanted to get back into it.  It is a buyer's market right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment