Baseball cards are some of the easiest and least-expensive items to collect and maintain. These cards are some of the original types of trading cards, dating all the way back to the beginnings of the sport. Cards featuring some of the most well-known players, especially if they are also very old, are worth the most money.
A Brief History
The very oldest baseball cards were not even something that had to be purchased. These cards were printed as part of promotional business cards for various companies, as well as placed in packages of cigarettes and gum. As baseball fever seized the United States, thee cards become something sought after, and were used as prizes to entice people to buy more gum, caramel, and other confectionery items. The original cards often had watercolor replications of a drawing or painting of the player, as well as some basic information about him. These cards are the most valuable to be found, as there are very few that have survived to today.
By the early 1950s, card companies began to sell cards in their own right, just as they do today. They began adding more information about the players, including color photographs. At first, head-and-shoulders portraits were used, but action shots are the most popular in current times. Cards are now differentiated according to price based upon what types of card stock they are printed on, the quality of the photo, whether or not the card has holographic logos on it, and a myriad of other features that were introduced during the heavy competition created by card companies in the 1980s.
Strategies For Serious Collectors
You can buy any number of baseball cards in a set today. Most are sold in sets according to teams so that cards of less desirable players are sold with those of the most valuable players. There are a number of strategies for collecting baseball cards.
- Collect rookie cards. Though these players are largely unknown when they start out, these cards have the greatest potential for an increase in value if he becomes an all-star.
- Collect cards by team for several years. You will then have a large collection of cards that may all appreciate in value if the team maintains a core group of players and then wins the World Series.
- Collect autographed cards. This is the most risky, because these cards are usually somewhat expensive to begin with and the players are already well known.
No matter why you choose to collect baseball cards, it is one of the easiest pastimes to have. All you have to do is file your cards in a dry closet and pull them out from time-to-time to see if any have increased in value, or just to remember some truly great seasons of baseball.
Stephanie Frasco is the Community Manager for the MyReviewsNow website. She wrote this blog post on MLB merchandise and you can read more at our myreviewsnow.net website.