Baseball Card Collecting
Looking for a new hobby? Do you like baseball? If you answered “yes” to these two questions, baseball card collecting might be a fun pastime for you to begin! Ever since candy and gum manufacturers started putting cards with pictures of popular baseball players into the packages in the 1800’s to encourage young people to buy their sweets, kids have been collecting baseball cards. Now, more than 200 years later, baseball card collecting has become a popular hobby for children and adults alike.
What You Need to Be a Baseball Card Collector
The main thing you need to start a baseball card collection is cards, of course! Baseball cards are usually sold in packs of four or more cards. Large chain stores like Walmart and Target as well as drug stores are the easiest places to find packs of baseball cards. You can also find cards at special baseball card shops. You should plan on spending around $2.99 for each pack of baseball cards you purchase. Once you’ve started your collection by buying packs of cards, you’ll probably find that there are one or two specific cards you want that you haven’t been able to get in packs. The best places to get single cards are the baseball card shows held at malls or convention centers or on the Internet. You can also trade cards with another baseball card collector. A lot of times a friend has the card you’re looking for. Because you might also have a card he or she wants, trading is a great way to build the collection that you want. Plus, it doesn’t cost you a cent!
As a baseball card collector, you’ll not only need cards, but also a place to put them. Baseball cards can become very valuable. You may get a card in a pack today that is worth ten or twenty times the price you paid for it years down the line. The price that you can sell a baseball card for is based on the condition that it is in. For this reason, you want to be sure to have a safe place to store your cards where they won’t get damaged. There are lots of different options for storing baseball cards. If you have just a few important cards that you want to protect you can purchase sleeves to store them in. Sleeves are firm plastic wrappers that are slightly larger than a card. You simply slip the card into the opening on the sleeve, and it is protected from wetness and bending. If you have several cards to store, consider buying boxes or albums. At baseball card shops, you can buy boxes that are specially designed to store baseball cards. For serious baseball card collectors with very valuable cards, cases that lock are the ideal spot to store your cards.
Once you’ve collected cards for a while, you’ll want a way to keep track of what cards you have in your collection. Those with small collections can use a notebook where they write down the players’ names and dates of the cards they have. For those with larger collections, the computer is best place to keep track of their collections. While you can create your own database of cards using a software program on your computer, there are also special baseball card software programs that make it much easier. Beckett, the company that publishes a most popular guide to baseball card values, sells a computer program with the names of cards already loaded into it. You simply need to go in and click on the names of cards to record those that are part of your collection.
Types of Baseball Cards You Can Collect
There are four main companies that produce baseball cards: Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer and Donruss/Playoff. The most popular and easiest cards to find in stores are those made by Topps and Upper Deck. Each of these companies sells sets of cards. You can either purchase a full set from a baseball card store or show or you can put together a set by buying enough packs of cards to collect each card in the set. The basic set put out each year by each company is made up of 500 or more cards. Cards feature posed pictures of Major League Baseball players as well as action shots. Within the basic set, there are several subsets that each has a special theme. For example, a card set might have a special subset of homerun heroes within the larger basic set they sell that year. If you buy individual packs of baseball cards to build your set, you’ll have a chance at getting insert cards. These are special cards that are printed in limited quantities and are inserted into packs. Insert cards are usually worth more money than basic cards because there are fewer of them produced each year.
For serious baseball collectors, there are premium and specialty cards available. Premium cards come in sets and are printed by the main baseball card companies. These cards are more expensive but feature extra perks. For example, parallel sets of premium cards are the same as the basic set but are fancier. They might have bolder colors or special borders. In addition to premium sets, serious baseball card collectors like to collect rookie cards. A rookie card is a player’s first baseball card. The year that the player is placed on a team’s roster he becomes a rookie. Rookie cards become very valuable when the player goes on to have a successful career. Autographed baseball cards are another great find for devoted baseball card collectors. There are two types of autographed cards: those with autographs signed on the actual card and those with autographs cut from other sources that are glued onto the card. This second type are known as cut autos. Cut autos are usually created for players who are no longer living.
A new type of baseball cards has just come out in the last few years and may totally change card collecting in the future. Digital baseball cards are now available. These cards don’t come printed on paper like traditional baseball cards. Instead, they are purchased and stored on the Internet. One of the major companies, Topps, has already had great success with their line of computer-based cards called eTopps.
Whatever type of cards you choose to collect, you’re sure to find hours of enjoyment in with your new hobby.
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