Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blog Bat Around #4 -- Where your heart is......

What card or set with have value in ten years?

That's a simple question in 1979. (I start there because I didn't have any cards in 1969) The answer would be the T210 Wagner and Topps. There really wasn't anything else. However, what was the rage in 1989? There are some cards that will always have value. The Honus Wagner is one and the 1952 Topps set is another. What I remember (I did no research) was that the 1984 Fleer Update set was a big deal, with rookie cards of Puckett and Clemens. The 1984 and 1985 Topps sets were big because of the rookie cards of Mattingly ('84), Gooden ('85), Clemens ('85) and McGwire ('85 Olympic).

Ask that question again in 1989? You'd think the Clemens, Gooden and Mattingly cards would be the big deals by the time Prince would be partying (1999). If you were talking about 1989 products, you'd expect Gregg Jeffries, Ken Griffey, Jr. and 1989 Score to be big deals. Possibly even Upper Deck, but it was such a new product that I wasn't quite ready to jump in with both feet until I saw if it was going to last.

I couldn't tell you what was big in 1999. I'd kind of moved away from collecting cards because I'd had kids and was buying diapers instead of cards in the mid-90's. I'd started to get back in and there was so much.......crap. There were all these insert cards that weren't part of the sets. What was that all about? I really wasn't knowing what to collect then. If you'd have asked me in 1999 what would be valuable in 10 years, I couldn't have answered it.

So that gets us to 2009. If you asked me what the big development has been in the last 10 years I'd give you 2. First, the development of ebay and the internet as the primary marketplace for cards. Second, the number of card companies has shrunk to 2, although they produce too many cards.

What developments will we see in the next 10 years? Who the heck knows. I can tell you that if the card market progresses on the same general path as the last 10 years, there may not be any "sets" that "valuable" because the card companies are getting away from set collectors with all the short prints, etc., even now supposedly getting into the flagship sets. However, I see a lot of cry on the blogs for more attention to the set collector....Hmmmm....perhaps the tide will turn.

I'd have to say that monetary value will be with vintage cards (vintage being anything before 1973). However, I'll place my own subjective value. In 10 years, I'll be 54 years old and the Duke Blue Devils will be celebrating another 2 national championships in college basketball as Coach K steps down (we're getting the crap kicked out of us by the Heels as I write this. Grrrrr....). Frankly, I value all the cards I have. Whether it's a Bob Gibson rookie card, my (almost complete) 1964 set, any Roberto Clemente card or a 1976 Randy Tate, a 1986 Bob Gibson (the Milwaukee Brewer) or my 1972 Johnny Bench with part of the front ripped off when I took it down from the bulletin board I'd taped it to in 1973, they'll all be worth more than what somebody would want to pay me.

When it comes down to it, I have always found "value" in my cards from my heart, rather than from a price guide. I hope that never changes, whether it be 10 years or 40 years from now.


  1. I think there will always be one set for us set collectors. Maybe I'm being too optimistic. But I don't think the card companies can totally ignore a core group of their audience.

  2. I also had a Rumplestiltskin-like absence from collecting. Gave it up around 1986 and didn't return until 2005.

    I'm actually thankful to not be interested the new trends: the inserts and game-used cards. It enables me to get everything I want - the annual regular Topps baseball and football sets - without spending a ton of cash.

    Oh, and I'm a sucker for the heritage stuff. You could put a photo of dirt on a card with a vintage background and I'd be interested.