What the Hell Should I Do With My Massive Baseball Card Collection?
Bill’s Sports Collectibles, a boyhood haunt of mine that is located in a south Denver strip mall, was the destination of a recent weekend excursion for me. I was a proud member of the baseball card bubble, having collected almost continuously from the time of my birth in 1983 until the early 2000s. Going to Bill’s, participating in card shows, and trading with my buddies was like taking in a breath of wonderful, delicious air. I have a plethora of cards from that time period, which I have arranged in anything from ancient wine crates to meticulously ordered binders.
Now, that’s not the case.
When I was a kid, my father used to tell me stories about how my grandma threw away his baseball card collection, and I believed him.
Those kinds of stories are legend — no, he never claimed to have been at Woodstock — and may be a contributing factor to the fact that many people from my generation haven’t thrown their collections away.
T206 Honus Wagner could be lurking somewhere in this place.
The monthly publication lays down the worth of cards; it used to be my bible when it came to collecting cards.
(The irony is that I never had any intention of selling, which is ironic in itself.) After seeing that the industry’s revenues dropped from $1.5 billion in 1992 to $200 million by 2012 — wiping out a slew of companies and stores in the process — I was pleasantly delighted to discover that Becketti is still in print.
- All of the following values are for mint condition: $15 for the whole set of Score from 1990.
- $10 for a Fleer 1989 rookie card of Ken Griffey, Jr., signed by him.
- These baseball cards used to make me really happy when I was a kid.
- Colin St.
- That’s a lot of pressure.
- While I’m sure I have a Yogi Berra and a Duke Snider hiding someplace, even they aren’t going to help me out with a down payment on a new house.
- Back in the day, the Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr.
What is it now worth in today’s market?
However, I did come upon a book on my shelf titled Start Collecting Baseball Cards, which I used to estimate how much my cards would have been worth at their peak value if I had kept them.
It is both humorous and amazing.
“The price of the 1984 Fleer set is close to $100,” writes author David Plaut in his book.
TheBeckett reveals that most of my cards are only worth cents, not dollars, which is a clear indication of overproduction.
Veteran card collectors will also tell you that a generational change occurred when parents became aware of the potential worth of their children’s baseball cards.
Chuck Knoblauch, I’m looking at you!
When I met with a gentleman called Brett, who has been employed at Bill’s for 20 years, I inquired as to whether signed memorabilia was the most popular item on the store’s shelves.
“It’s a far cry from what it used to be.” When I inquired as to whether the card-collecting industry was making a return, he responded by shaking his head.
According to Brett, “kids today have better things to spend their money on, or things they would rather spend their money on.” “Also, baby boomers, who used to buy a lot of the cards, are reaching an age where they prefer to minimize rather than add to their already-heavy clutter.” So, what should we do?
“It’s amazing how much has changed and how much has remained the same: Trading cards such as rookie cards, verified autograph cards, and serial numbered cards are still very much a part of the fabric of the industry, according to the author.
To some extent, yes.
Cards for Hall-of-Famers, particularly those from when they were rookies, will, nonetheless, always be valuable collectibles.
Because the more cards this generation discards, the less there will be available on the market in the future. It’s possible that less supply will lead to higher demand. I’ll refer to it as my 2055 retirement strategy. Perhaps they’ll be worth the price of a baseball ticket.
150,000 worthless baseball cards in the time of coronavirus
The 7th of May, 2020 On one particular day in first grade, I was sitting in my little-kid chair at a table that was low to the ground and listening to music when the loudspeaker in my classroom blared to life. Is it possible for Ryan Hockensmith to visit the guidance counselor’s desk? I had no idea what a guidance counselor did, so I was completely befuddled when I walked into his office by accident. Mr. Thompson, on the other hand, was familiar with me. He inquired about the weather, how I was doing at school, and how wonderful it must have been to be on the same T-ball all-star squad as my younger brother Jason, among other things.
- “How are things at home?” he inquired, his voice a little quieter and his phrases spaced out enough to imply worry.
- “It’s very decent,” I commented.
- No, not at all.
- What made him think he was right?
- He noted how much he like basketball when we returned to the subject of T-ball and football, and I agreed.
- I was relieved when he informed me I could return to my classroom, and I was certain that my family’s secret would remain safe.
- The feeling of apprehension lasted around 30 seconds.
Thompson remarked, slipped a 1979 Topps Pedro Guerrero rookie card over his desk to me, and we exchanged pleasantries.
At the time, my brothers and I had a few baseball cards at home, but because we were so young (I was seven, Jason was five, and Dustin was three), we didn’t have much of a collection.
Maybe you can hang on to that and remember that if you ever need to talk to someone about anything that’s going on in your life, I’m always available to listen.” My anguish erupted through my body and out of my eyes as the tears flowed.
When I was finally able to utter a few words, I turned to Mr.
What can I do to persuade him to return?
I have no recollection of meeting with him again, or of what I thought later that day or the following week.
But there are two things that stand out in my mind about that moment: I remember sobbing because it was the first baseball card I had ever seen, and it was the only time I can remember crying because my parents’ marriage had ended.
Yes, she answered, “how would you like some peace and quiet?” she said.
Nerves have been fried.
However, they are not fond of each other for considerable periods of time.
You are paralyzed by fear of the outside world.
The only place of refuge in my house is the basement, which has an old couch, three litter boxes, and that damned artificial Christmas tree, which the cats are still attempting to ingest.
After my parents separated, those cards were the glue that held my life together.
It was largely a colossal failure.
I thought that I could receive a few thousand dollars for them, and that I could use the money to take the family on a road vacation.
The vast overproduction and fraud that plagued the baseball card industry during its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s had consigned that segment of the industry to extinction.
Despite the fact that I was calling an auction house that demanded money up advance and then a portion of anything sold, the firm indicated it didn’t bother with any cards from that era despite the fact that there was absolutely no risk involved.
Now I recognized that just one or two of them were truly valuable.
Even if I kept trying to sell them, I’m confident that I’d ultimately find someone who would be willing to pay me something – even $100 – for all of them.
Alternatively, I may dispose of them in the garbage.
On that particular day, it poured biblically.
During a break from grabbing lunch for our movers, my wife called and told me I needed to go home immediately.
In the meantime, it was steadily engulfing my card collection.
We were forced to dig our way out of the swamp by yanking as many boxes out as we could, but entire crates were ruined after being submerged in what the fire department later determined to be sewer water that had backed up into our home.
It had crossed my mind to just toss the whole thing out the window.
I vacillated between the desire to toss them and the pangs of nostalgia that I couldn’t seem to shake.
It was a big 1980s-era jumble of step-this and half-that, and my parents did an excellent job of making it feel as normal and comfortable for us as they possibly could have.
On weekends, my brothers and I would go to my father’s house every other weekend, and we would frequently pack bags that contained only two items – necessities like clothes and toothbrushes, as well as our playing cards.
We’d open packages together and revel in the excitement of discovering something brand new.
Rather than the cards, we were more concerned with the common ground shelter we’d discovered beneath the tornado that was overhead, a location where you could still hear the wind but felt peaceful and protected.
We’d spread out on the floor of both houses, say a kind welcome to our stepmom or stepdad, and then disappear into the world of playing cards for a while.
Yet here I was, some 30 years later, gazing at the shattered pieces of my collection and feeling paralyzed by indecision: should I throw away the remaining cards or hold on to the last vestiges of my childhood?
When the phone rang, a voice on the other end said, “HELLO, THIS ISJEFF THOMPSON.” “Hello, Mr.
“You used to be a guidance counselor at Rossmoyne Elementary School, didn’t you?” “You used to be a guidance counselor at Rossmoyne Elementary School, didn’t you?” Yes, it was he who did it.
He told me I could call him Jeff, but I preferred the name Mr.
He chuckled and said it was great, and the rest of the hour was spent chatting.
He had no recollection of working with me at Rossmoyne, and even the Pedro Guerrero card failed to elicit a recollection.
It was explained to me that he distributed cards because there were a large number of youngsters like me in the early 1980s, when divorce rates reached all-time highs.
You just want to establish a relationship.” When I said “Mr.
“In fact, Ryan, I am a member of the West Shore Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Chagrin Falls Sports Hall of Fame, which are both located in my birthplace of Cleveland, Ohio.
The following question was asked: “Do you think I should sell my card collection?” He wouldn’t say yes or no, but he did tell me that he regretted getting rid of his old playing cards from his childhood.
“And it’s quite difficult to ever get that piece of yourself back.” As we said goodbye, I vowed to get in touch with him and informed him that this phone conversation had swayed the scales in his favor.
OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, when I haven’t been interrupting pre-K students with lunch orders, I’ve found myself increasingly looking at my business card collection.
One of the most unsettling aspects of quarantine, in my opinion, is the lack of chapter breaks in one’s personal history.
For the time being, everything appears to be one long run-on phrase.
When is this going to come to an end?
Will the economy come crashing down?
“Don’t live in the ruins of your future,” warns a buddy of mine, and he’s correct.
Even in the best-case scenarios that I can concoct about what a post-COVID-19 world would look like, I am filled with dread for the society in which my children will grow up.
However, when I’m in my basement with my cards, I’m ten percent less afraid.
I don’t even bother to look into them.
I just stand there staring at them.
All three of my daughters are in a stage of life where they are attempting to make sense of the outside world and how to engage with it effectively.
They gravitate toward electronic devices and streaming services, and they remain quiet and serene for extended periods of time.
and on it goes, and on it goes.
Fortunately, I go to bed most nights with a tinge of hope in my heart.
I hope my daughters feel the same way about themselves.
It was too difficult to come downstairs to tell me in person, after all, when my eldest daughter read this narrative (she always edits anything I say, type, or think).
Instead of sending me a heartwarming note about how moved she was, I’d like to tell you that she actually wrote the following message: “It’s an exceptionally well-written story.
This is especially true because we are not permitted to own it.” Then she inquired as to when she will be able to have TikTok.
My wife and I are both going to give in to the app eventually. The parental OK click is usually so much simpler to get than the struggle – and right now, no one should be denied their shelter, even if it is made of small little pieces of cardboard, because of their financial situation.
Inherited A Baseball Card Collection? Here’s What To Do Next
When a loved one passes away and leaves you a collection of priceless baseball cards, you may find yourself in one of the most frightening circumstances. Many people consider the cards to be a piece of their family member, and selling them can elicit a wide variety of conflicting feelings in the process. In addition to the emotions involved, if you’ve never purchased a pack of baseball cards before, inheriting an expensive sports card collection may be a difficult and stressful experience. However, there are occasions when the inherited collection’s worth falls short of your expectations, and there are other times when the collection’s worth exceeds all expectations.
Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have any queries or need assistance.
Taking Inventory:Recording The Inherited Collection
People I’ve spoken to who have been bequeathed a sports card collection have expressed confusion about where to begin collecting. These people aren’t sports aficionados, and they haven’t collected baseball cards in their lives, so they have no clue how much the cards are worth. You will almost certainly have to do some research on your own, unless you have a family member who is knowledgeable about sports cards to help you out. Certainly, you could hire someone to take inventory and sort the cards for you, but this would be a costly endeavor that would require bringing in someone who you might not know or trust.
First Step – Organize The Collection By Sport And Year
In order to keep things as easy as possible for those who aren’t collectors, I believe the simplest place to start would be to simply group the cards according to their sport. Baseball, basketball, football, and hockey are the four major sports in the United States. The majority of the time, it should be rather straightforward to distinguish the fronts of the cards. Once you have the cards categorized by sport, I would recommend trying to organize them by the year in which they were issued, if possible.
It’s possible that the collection has already been arranged and that this stage will not take up a significant amount of your time.
Second Step – Record All Of The Cards In The Collection
You can keep track of your collection with the aid of a very easy spreadsheet that we’ve created for you! I strongly advise you to use anything like this to keep track of your cards. That information will assist you in your progress in determining the worth of the collection and will enable you to compile a list of cards that you can share with potential purchasers.
Valuing Your Inherited Collection
It’s likely that you’ve made a comprehensive inventory of the cards in your collection by now. Following that, you’ll want to figure out how much your collection is worth. Another aspect that might be intimidating for someone who has never collected cards before is the organization of the cards. If you have the opportunity, please spend some time on our article, which assists collectors in determining the worth of their collections. However, there is a type of shortcut that can be used to assist distinguish between cards that are worth money and those that aren’t.
- Cards from this era (also known as the ‘Junk Era’) were substantially overproduced, and the supply far outstrips the demand at the time of publication.
- The 1993 SP Jeter is considered to be one of the most expensive baseball cards ever produced.
- It is possible that the early Star basketball cards, as well as the first two Fleer basketball sets (particularly the Jordan rookie and second year cards created between 1986 and 1987) may be quite valuable in the future.
- Find the members of the Hall of Fame in your collection.
- Although this is often the case, it isn’t always the case, especially when the card was created during the 1980s (and even sometimes during the 1970s).
- As a result, if it’s a card of a Hall of Fame player, the older the card is, the more probable it is that you have something of greater worth in your possession.
- Christy Mathewson rookie cards are going to be worth far more than Cal Ripken, Lawrence Taylor, and Ray Bourque rookie cards in the future.
Here are the connections to the various sports: Hall of Famers in the sport of baseball Hall of Famers in the sport of football Hall of Famers in the sport of ice hockey Hall of Famers in the sport of basketball A few Football 1980s rookie cards, such as Joe Montana’s rookie card and the 1984 Topps collection (which included rookies Marino and Elway), still have value, albeit their worth is heavily dependant on the general condition in which they were obtained.
- The only hockey cards from the 1980s that have any actual worth are the 1979-1980 Topps cards, which are on the cusp of being valuable.
- Important Note: Card Grading Has the Potential to Increase Values.
- If you’ve recently acquired a collection, it’s possible that you don’t know much about sports card grading.
- Generally speaking, cards that have been evaluated are worth more than their ‘raw’ ungraded counterparts.
- Because with a graded card, we have a definitive, third-party view on what a card’s condition is based on a 1-10 scale, and we can trust that assessment.
- A graded card, on the other hand, validates the legitimacy of the card.
- If you take the time to study the aforementioned link that we gave surroundingtips to evaluate your collection, you will discover a variety of resources that will assist you in finding approximate values for your collection.
- If you discover that the majority of your cards are baseball cards from the 1980s and 1990s, and you have thousands upon thousands of cards, I wouldn’t recommend putting together a spreadsheet to try to inventory thousands of cards since it would be too time-consuming.
Remember, this should be an enjoyable process; don’t stress about getting everything done all at once! If you have a large collection, this can quickly become disheartening unless you break it down into smaller, more achievable tasks.
Deciding What To Do With Your Inherited Collection
We can only hope that I’ve given you some useful information on the initial steps you should take in order to catalog and evaluate your collection. At this point, you should have a spreadsheet with your collection organized by sport, year, and individual player on it (with more attention given to HOF players).
Selling Your Collection With Established Auction Houses
Hopefully, I’ve provided clear instructions on the initial steps you need do in order to inventory and value your collection. Thank you for reading. The spreadsheet containing your collection organized by sport, year, and player should be completed at this stage (with more attention given to HOF players).
Selling Your Collection Yourself on eBay
It’s possible that some people who inherit card collections will opt to try to sell the cards on their own terms. While doing so may assist to reduce the total expenses of selling the collection, it will also require the most effort on your part. It would entail placing each of the cards for sale on eBay, writing up a description for each card, taking images of each card and then packing and mailing the cards to the eventual customer. This might be a daunting task for people who do not have an established eBay account (and feedback) or who do not have prior expertise in packaging cards for shipment.
This is a significant savings above the 20-25 percent commissions imposed by the majority of large auction houses.
This is analogous to having a real estate agent sell your property as opposed to you personally handling the listing and sale of your home on your own.
The act of dealing in person with high-valued cards can be quite hazardous.
Keeping The Card Collection And Safely Storing The Cards
At the absolute least, make sure your cards are placed in penny sleeves to help preserve them from damage. This is something I would recommend regardless of whether you want to sell the cards or retain them for future generations to enjoy. Ultra Pro sleeves, such as those pictured below, are the industry standard, and they are available in a variety of sizes depending on the size of the card. Most people will place their cards in cent sleeves and then insert them into these top loaders for further protection.
Get A Free Appraisal Of Your Card Collection
If you’ve read this far and are still perplexed, don’t worry, it’s because it’s a really intricate subject. We at at All Vintage Cards are happy to assist you. We are situated in Boston, but we serve consumers all around the United States. Because of our openness and honesty, we have earned a reputation as one of the most dependable antique dealers in the industry. This is a straightforward procedure; we discuss in depth what you have (the spreadsheet is quite helpful!) and how we might assist you.
Our advise includes suggestions on whether or not to grade your cards, as well as an analysis of the cards to assist in determining their validity and legitimacy.
In addition, we would gladly offer you with a complimentary evaluation of your collection.
What to Do With All Those Extra Sports Card Commons
Frequently, we purchase boxes or packs of sports cards just for the purpose of flipping any of the hits that come out of them. In part, this aids in the recovery of a portion of the purchase price. After that, we divide the players and teams, leaving a large pile of commons from the basic set. As a result of the large number of items published each year, these sports card commons may quickly accrue and, if left unchecked, could swiftly develop into a hoarding scenario within a few years. So, what should we do?
Regardless of the explanation, the vast majority of responses may be divided into two categories: money and space.
When you consider the amount of money we spend on cards, it might be difficult to accept the truth that the vast majority of what we buy on a regular basis is essentially useless if the hits, inserts, and parallels are eliminated.
The amount of time required frequently outweighs any potential financial reward.
Disposing for Money
The majority of the time, we purchase sports card boxes or packs just for the goal of reselling any of the hits we find within. A portion of the purchase price is recouped in this way. Afterwards, we divide the players and teams, leaving a large pile of commons from the basic set. Because there are so many goods published each year, these sports card commons may quickly amass and, if left unchecked, could swiftly evolve into a hoarding scenario after a few years of being purchased and stored.
- Answering such question is subjective and dependent on your motivation.
- Now, please allow me to elaborate.
- However, the difficulty is that the process of selling commons in a manner that maximizes the return on investment is sometimes a pointless endeavor.
- Alternatively, here are a handful of strategies for getting something out of those undesirable commons without spending too much of your valuable time.
Disposing for Space
Sometimes it’s necessary to part with your sports cards commons just to make room in your storage facility. There are simple alternatives to simply putting them in the trash. There are a variety of additional charities that take bulk card donations in addition to Goodwill. Some of these, on the other hand, may not have received federal tax exemption status as of yet. Their efforts are commendable, and by making a donation, you can be certain that you have contributed to an useful cause by sharing your enthusiasm for the game with youngsters.
Both companies are based in a certain location.
To be sure, contact ahead and confirm that they do really accept donations before bringing a couple 5,000-count boxes of greeting cards.
If you are aware of any more locations where you may give commons, please list them in the comments section below.
However, by putting these practical alternatives into action, you will at the very least have a strategy for what to do with your excess sports card commons when the time comes to get rid of your collection.
Topics that are related include: How to Make a Sale
Are My Old Baseball Cards Worth Anything?
The cards are packed in dusty shoe boxes and arranged in binders to keep them orderly. With the exception of Hall of Famers and rookie cards, all of my prized cards are kept in a wooden box that my father gave me. I amassed my collection in a variety of methods throughout the years. My father handed me all of his old playing cards from the 1960s and 1970s, just like in a nice Disney movie. My cousin also gave me a few of his old business cards from the early 2000s. When I was little, I used to receive gift packs of playing cards.
- While my collection was shrinking, I would purchase cards from baseball card stores.
- I would purchase individual cards on eBay, but I would also purchase unopened packs of cards from the late 1980s and early 1990s in large quantities.
- When I was growing up, one of my earliest interests was collecting baseball cards, which made perfect sense given how much I enjoyed baseball as a youngster.
- Baseball cards were a huge social event in their own right.
- I was able to remove them from my awareness.
- It wasn’t on deliberate; I just couldn’t bring myself to put my cards down one day and thought to myself, “I’m done with this.” It simply sort of occurred that way.
- Because I was away from home, I didn’t have the opportunity to open those dusty boxes.
This campaign has rekindled my interest in baseball card collecting, something I had lost sight of.
I’m back on eBay and other online auction sites, searching into the values of rookie cards and the most expensive cards owned by individual players again.
I know which players have the most precious cards since they have lists of who has the most valuable cards, and I know which players to look up when I want to purchase a card.
When a card is graded by PSA, the value of the card increases.
When a card is graded, potential sellers are able to determine whether or not the card is genuine.
If you don’t have your cards graded, they aren’t worth anything to sell.
To get a card graded is a costly endeavor, since each individual card costs around $15 dollars, if not more.
To be clear, 99.9 percent of baseball cards are useless in any way shape or form.
Baseball cards, like any other company, gain in value as a result of supply and demand.
There is only one season in which an athlete was a rookie, even if they had played for 20 years and have 20 separate cards for each season.
The late 1980s/early 1990s baseball card manufacturing boom saw an estimated 81 billion trading cards manufactured every year during this time period, rendering all of the cards produced during that time period utterly uncollectible and worthless.
Despite the fact that trading card companies do not disclose how many cards they produce each year, it is reasonable to estimate that the business produced substantially fewer than 81 billion cards each year until the late 1980s manufacturing boom began.
For this reason, it is difficult to locate cards from the 1940s to 1960s in immaculate condition due to the lapse of time between the two decades.
Cards from before the 1940s are quite hard to come by in good condition, and they are extremely valuable merely because of their age.
For example, if it is going to cost roughly $15 dollars each card to get it graded, I would only choose 10-20 cards that I believe are worth the money.
The fact that baseball cards are worthless is something I try to keep in mind while I’m involved in the sport.
It is barely 0.1 percent of all cards that have any monetary worth on their face.
So, even if your collection isn’t worth much in terms of money, it still has value if it contains items that are meaningful to you on an emotional level.
That is truly all that matters.
If I ever decide to part with my baseball cards, I’ll have to deal with the emotional fallout that will result from doing so.
They’re mementos of my family and friends who have contributed to my collection throughout the years by sharing their memories with me.
For those who don’t own a 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome rookie card, which is currently on the market for as much as $300,000 on eBay, the most prudent course of action may be to hold onto those cards which hold sentimental value to them in the hope that they will one day be passed on to a family member or friend who will value them as much as they do when you are no longer alive.
Check out Zachary Diamond’s author website or follow him on Twitter for more of his ideas and opinions.
What You Can Do With Old Baseball Cards
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate connections to eBay, Amazon, and other platforms throughout the text, as well as in the sidebar advertisements and in other places of the site. Because I am a member of the eBay Partner Network and other affiliate programs, I will get a compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my affiliate links. In the same way, as an Amazon Associate, I receive commissions from qualifying sales. If you’ve been meaning to sift through old stuff at your parent’s house, or if you’ve finally chosen to purge, now is the moment.
The first step is to take action, and the second step is to figure out what you’re going to do with all of those old baseball cards that have accumulated over the years.
Things to do with Old Baseball Cards
There are a variety of things you may do with your old cards, from reading through them again to giving them to perhaps electing to retain them for a little while longer.
1. Check for anything potentially valuable
I believe that if I had written this piece a few of years ago, this exercise would not have even made the cut! In any case, I would have suggested it, but I wouldn’t have held out much hope that you would come upon something of extraordinary importance. However, card collecting has evolved dramatically in recent years, partly as a result of the epidemic, partly as a result of a revived emphasis on nostalgia, and partly as a result of other factors. In addition, it isn’t simply the recently issued cards that have retained their worth.
While many are still worthless in terms of expectation setting, you may as well have a look, don’t you think?
In the event that you are unsure about the year of a certain card, turn it over and look at the tiny print at the bottom of the card or at the list of stats; if you are looking at the yearly data, add a year to the final year stated.
It’s not a surefire method of identification, but it’ll bring you close enough to get by.) Also keep an eye out for rookie cards (which tend to have higher value) and anything unusual.
2. Check card values
I believe that if I had written this piece a few of years ago, this exercise would not have even made the cut. In any case, I would have suggested it, but I wouldn’t have held out much hope that you would discover something of extraordinary value! Cards have altered dramatically in recent years, in part owing to the pandemic, in part because to a revived emphasis on nostalgia, and in part due to a variety of other factors, including the Internet. There are a variety of cards with high worth, not simply the recently released cards.
While many are still worthless in terms of expectation setting, you might as well have a look anyhow, don’t you think.
In the event that you are unsure about the year of a certain card, turn it over and look at the tiny print at the bottom of the card or at the list of stats; if you are looking at the yearly data, add a year to the most recent year stated.) As a result, if the card’s last year is 1998, it’s likely that you’re holding a 1999 year card.
This means that you should set aside one of your cards if you have a stack of cards that all seem very much the same but for the color or gloss of one of them.
3. Get the cards appraised
As a result of the above, it’s possible that checking things out can bring you to the understanding that you don’t even know what you’re searching for. It’s possible that you recognize some of the famous names from previous years, but as the caution indicates, there may be more to it than that. So, if you aren’t sure in your card-eye at the moment, you might want to consider looking into baseball card assessments and seeking the assistance of someone who is a little more educated to assist you in assigning values to your baseball card collections.
Any circumstance in which a “expert” is dealing with someone who is known to have less expertise about a certain item has the potential to result in the seller being taken advantage of in some way.
4. Sell them
This is number four on the list for a reason. People will sometimes sell their old collections “blindly”—that is, without thoroughly inspecting them or acquiring any form of expertise or assistance on how much they could be worth. If this describes you at this time, you might want to consider doing all in your power to assist the market in making a decision. For example, if you’re planning to sell your old cards without first determining how much they’re worth, make certain that when you’re advertising them, you’re doing it with the purpose of accurately describing and displaying what you have as much as possible.
- Consequently, because the buyer is exposed to greater risk, such cards may not sell for as much as they could.
- My argument is that if you unintentionally have $10 worth of cards, offer them on eBay with minimal description, and they wind up selling for $30, you will come out ahead of the competition.
- Ultimately, everything boils down to human choice and environmental factors.
- And if one possible buyer recognizes anything of worth, it is likely that another potential buyer will as well, resulting in a bidding war.
5. Donate them
Finally, if you don’t want to go to all of the difficulty described above, you may always give your old playing cards. This includes typical donation locations such as Goodwill and other similar organizations, which means you can simply box up your items and drop them off.
Having said that, do you know anyone in your family or circle of friends who could appreciate them? While the cards may be old and irrelevant to you, they are likely to have caused you joy in the past. Why not attempt to transfer that joy on to someone else by giving them away?
Baseball Therapy: What You Can Do With Your Old Baseball Cards
It all started when I purchased my first home. When my parents threatened to move all of my old baseball cards (along with numerous other artifacts of my youth) from Cleveland to Atlanta, they followed through on their promise. Mostly because I had been in college and then graduate school at the time, and had been living in a succession of modest flats across three different cities, they had been keeping them for years. My very first job, which I began when I was ten years old, was working for a man who had a side company selling baseball cards (as well as comic books, which I was never interested in) at trade exhibitions.
- I was given the choice of accepting payment in cash or merchandise.
- This was a dilemma since it occurred in the early 1990s, right in the midst of what came to be known among baseball card collectors as the “junk wax” era.
- It fostered a speculative bubble, which resulted in numerous firms joining the baseball card market and flooding it to levels comparable to those seen in a Russell Crowe film.
- Fleer Ultra, Topps Stadium Club, and Leaf were all necessary additions.
- The good news is that I had easy access to all of them, so numerous packs and crates found their way back to my house.
- I locked them up in my basement for a time, but eventually I had to confront the truth.
- But what are we supposed to do with them?
That’s when I came across Jerry Milburn, a Kentucky native who founded the organization Commons4Kids.
The solution is ideal in a certain sense.
In addition, some of these children require a diversion.
I contacted him via e-mail and asked him a few questions: RAC: First and foremost, please tell us how and when you became a card collector, as well as which cards you remember most vividly from your youth.
I didn’t start collecting until 1989, and I was just interested in baseball at the time.
The number of packs of 1989 Upper Decks I opened in search of the elusive Ken Griffey Jr rookie is impossible to count.
That card had become something of a holy grail for me, but I was unable to obtain one.
She walked in, roused me from my sleep, and handed me a set of cards that she had stopped and picked up on her way home.
Grifney’s wide smile could be seen in the center of the stack of cards, and I nearly burst into tears of joy.
Once I got back into the hobby, I dug through my collection of cards and came across the Griffey, which brought back all of my childhood memories.
That is the delight that I hope we can bring to some youngster somewhere.
card, and we have so far given away three of these cards to charity.
We contributed a graded 9 version, as well as a brand new one that was taken straight from a set.
RAC: What was it that inspired you to launch Commons4Kids?
When I was cleaning out my closet one day, I came upon them and decided to look through them all.
As I flipped through the cards, I realized that 90 percent of them didn’t even represent people or teams that I was really interested in.
My realization was that I had over 100,000 baseball cards, but only “wanted” 10,000 of them, leaving me with a plethora of boxes full of cards that I didn’t actually want or need.
Years of card collecting, trading with friends, and attempting to pull the one card I couldn’t live without have culminated in this moment.
I was wondering to myself, how can a youngster afford anything like that?
Furthermore, because I was re-entering the pastime, I knew that I would be purchasing boxes of cards, which would result in me possessing thousands of common cards in the future.
They even contacted the local newspaper, which published an article on them.
From that moment on, people from all over the world began sending us cards and getting in touch with us.
JM: Cards can be sent to me via regular mail.
If the cards are in the state of Kentucky, we can typically arrange for them to be picked up.
We’ve traveled as far west as St.
We’ve also been to Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis to pick up donations, as well as other cities.
The cards are posted on Commons4Kids.org as soon as they are received, and the individual who gave them is added to our C4KFamily page after they are received.
I continue to purchase cards and personally give hundreds of cards each month; however, C4K is fueled by other collectors, not just me, which is why we established theC4KFamily to demonstrate to the public that this initiative is powered by collectors, not just me.
JM: We have collaborated with more than 40 charitable organizations and government entities.
Many of these children had been abused or had had extremely difficult upbringings, and something as simple as trading cards allowed them to reclaim their childhood.
We’ve collaborated with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, who distributed the bags to the “bigs” in order to help them build relationships with the “littles.” We’ve given cards to little leagues and children at conventions, and we’ve partnered with smaller organizations such as Rainbows for Kids in St.
We recently received a letter from a woman who shared her experience with us about how the cards we donated to her son helped him deal with being teased at school.
In fact, one of the kids who had been bullying him became aware of the cards and began conversing with him about them, as he was an avid card collector himself.
RAC:I’ve heard that you’ve enlisted the assistance of a few professional athletes, including a recent autograph session with Austin Kearns, to raise funds.
JM:We received several cards from former NBA player Rik Smits’ personal collection, each of which contained a plethora of autographs.
Deltha O’Neal, a former Bengals star, also sent several autograph cards to the team.
It was Austin Kearns who participated in the company’s first “in person” autograph session, which was a resounding success.
Kearns attended our 2014 Jason Ellis Memorial Donation with the Danville/Boyle County Cal Ripken League, which was organized by Mr.
We distributed more than 63,000 cards.
Kearns did not charge us anything, and he funded the entire event out of his personal funds.
I’d like to thank Jerry for his time and assistance with this project. You are welcome to visit his website for more information if you have any cards that you are ready to part with and would like them to go somewhere other than the trash can.
Thank you for reading
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