Sports Trading Cards as New Hobby
When the goal is to have a new great hobby this summer, sports trading cards is just what the doctor ordered! Sports trading cards come in every sport imaginable, from the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Maj. League Baseball, and even the many professional soccer leagues of the world! The NASCAR circuit is not even left out when it comes to sports trading card enthusiasts as all of the drivers that are currently on the NASCAR circuit have at least one top card. Many of the sports card decks that used to come with gum have now been replaced with die-cut hologram specialized cards that are usually always the collector’s final goal of this set.
Still a Low Cost Hobby to Enter Into
The sports card hobby is great and can be started with as little as a dollar or two. The main goal is to collect the ones that are either the favorite team or player or the ones that might grow in value. Many cards that were bought or traded for are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars! Many decks of sports trading cards are now in the range of 3.00 to 7.00 and more. Serious collectors normally buy their sports trading cards by the case lots as this way they can be assured of the most-sought after cards in a set. Think back to when you were a kid and had that great Michael Jordan rookie card! Just think how much that rookie card is worth in today’s market! Probably a lot of money! This is the beauty of sports trading cards as a hobby, there’s gold in them there cards!
Any sports trading cards hobbyists need to understand that it takes money to buy packs of cards. Gone are the days when 25 cents got a pack. Many of the most-expensive sports cards are now seen as almost works of art. The most treasured and valuable sports trading card as of 2010 is Honus Wagner’s baseball card valued at 500,000.00!
Baseball Card Collecting
One of the most common sports memorabilia items is the baseball card. Kids from all walks of life can often recall the days of their youth when they were collecting baseball cards and trading them with their friends. Ripping open that pack of ten cards with the gum in it was a treat that many kids took for granted.
Sifting through the players one by one, usually flipping past most of them quickly, hoping for that one special card they still needed, elicited a level of excitement that few things in childhood could match.
A baseball card is a type of trading card relating to baseball, usually printed on some type of paper stock or card stock. A card will usually feature one or more baseball players or other baseball-related sports figures. Cards are most often found in the United States but are also common in countries such as Canada, Cuba, and Japan, where baseball is a popular sport and there are professional leagues.
While baseball cards were first produced in the United States, as the popularity of baseball spread to other countries, so too did the production of baseball cards. Sets appeared in Japan as early as 1898, in Cuba as early as 1909 and in Canada as early as 1912.
The obverse (front) of the card typically displays an image of the player with identifying information, including, but not limited to, the player`s name and team affiliation. The reverse of most modern cards displays statistics and/or biographical information. Many early trade cards displayed advertisements for a particular brand or company on the back. Although the function of trade cards had much in common with business cards, the format of baseball trade cards also often resembled that of playing cards.
While there are no firm standards that limit the size or shape of a baseball card, most cards of today are rectangular, measuring 2½ inches by 3½ inches (6.4 cm by 8.9 cm).
Baseball Card Classification: The Type Card
Since early baseball cards were produced primarily as a marketing vehicle, collectors began to classify those cards by the `type` of company producing the set. The system implemented by Jefferson Burdick in The American Card Catalog has become the de facto standard in identifying and organizing trade cards produced in the Americas pre-1951. The catalog itself extends into many other areas of collecting beyond the sport of baseball. Sets like 1909–1911 White Borders, 1910 Philadelphia Caramels, and 1909 Box Tops are most commonly referred to by their ACC catalog numbers (T206, E95, and W555, respectively).
The rare baseball cards are the ones which are difficult to find and also the most expensive ones. The rare type of cards are the oldest baseball cards and those from limited edition sets. A rare card generally must be kept in good condition in order to be valuable although the rarest cards can be worth tens of thousands of dollars even in poor condition. Price also increases if there is an autograph on it. Rare baseball cards or the vintage baseball cards do not have a certain price established. Their value is judged upon their quality, condition, rarity and upon the number of collectors that are seeking them.
Vintage baseball cards have been a prime focus for countless collectors and historians of one of America`s favorite pastimes. Some baseball card collectors may even pay large sums of money to get in the possession of these cards and they may also put a lot of time in it. Since rare baseball cards are difficult to find, collectors seek for ways to be aware of the rare cards that come into the trading or selling market. Baseball card collectors normally obtain them from other card collector or from specialized dealers. Some collectors may sell rare baseball cards over the internet and very often on eBay.
Rare baseball cards may also be purchased at major baseball card shows. These events are held each year in different cities, allowing baseball card collectors and dealer to meet. The rare baseball cards do not have a specific price and they are worth what other collectors are willing to pay for, and in order to establish a price, the collector takes into consideration the condition of the card. The price of the rare cards depends as well on market demands. If there are many collectors whom are looking to get an specific rare card, the one who gets it is the one who pays more for it regardless of its predetermined value.
In the Game Trading Cards
In The Game is a sports card manufacturing company with offices in Canada and the United States. In The Game, often abbreviated to ITG, was founded by Dr. Brian Price in 1998. Currently, In the Game only produces hockey trading cards.
In The Game`s first entrance into the trading card market came in the 1998-1999 season, when they produced the NHL Players Association`s "Be a Player" brand trading card set, which featured one certified autograph card per pack. Since then, In the Game has expanded its production to include other sets.
In 1998, Dr. Price was asked by Ted Saskin of the NHLPA to determine what should be done with the NHLPA`s Be a Player hockey product. The product was started in 1994 and was supposed to give to each of the NHLPA licensees for two years. Pinnacle had the license for 1996 and 1997 but they went bankrupt and are a Player needed a home. Price was hired by the NHLPA as a consultant to determine the fate of is a Player. After he completed his research, he advised Saskin that Upper Deck should be given back a Player brand because of collector loyalty. Saskin felt that if Upper Deck had the brand that they would control too much of the marketplace.
That is ironic since it was Saskin that give Upper Deck a monopoly in the hockey trading card market several years later. However, at that time he asked Price if he would come back into the hockey card market and manufacture is a Player in partnership with the NHLPA, he agreed and In the Game was born.
In 2005, in conjunction with the 2004-05 NHL lockouts, the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) terminated its license agreement with In the Game. The company has continued to produce trading card sets featuring retired NHL players, and minor/junior hockey players. After the 2005-06 seasons, In the Game obtained a license to produce cards featuring players and logos under the umbrella of Hockey Canada. During the 2006-07 seasons, ITG produced the critically acclaimed International Ice Signature Series along with boxed sets commemorating gold medal wins by the National Women`s team and World Junior Men`s team.