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sesop 10-13-2012 02:30 PM

The next five years- what do you see for the future of the hobby?
Since I asked last weekend about what's been new in the hobby over the past 5 years, the natural next question seems to be: what do you see for the future of the hobby?

Personally, having spent much of the past week digging through archives during the time I was out of the hobby, my suspicion is a lot more of the same down the same paths- i.e.- tougher anomalies will rise in value as differentiators (It may be worth mentioning- I'm not saying I agree with the exorbitant prices of stuff like blue back old mills, nor do I care- just saying I don't see it fading anytime soon, as plenty of people care a lot about differentiating themselves).

I also expect to see higher prices for key HOFers (obviously), but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the more esoteric stuff like E99, T211s will drop in value even more because new collectors will place more importance on collecting players they have a chance of learning about. I think this means more people will start to pursue Goudey and stuff from the '40s, '50s, '60s and even 70s, as it's much easier to find a newspaper clip or even film footage of even the lousiest player than it would be to find footage of, say, Gordon Hickman. Also, there may be some element of a 10 year old kid today hearing his grandfather talk about watching Nolan Ryan pitch and the kid will be more attracted to "vintage" Nolan Ryan than vintage Cap Anson.

Again- this has nothing to do with my personal preference, what I like, dislike or even agree with, just a guess based on a bunch of crap in my head. Most collectors of vintage anything are history buffs, and if there's a personal connection, the value tends to be greater. The recent history, though not as old as turn of the century cardboard, will be "older" relatively soon and there's a lot more stuff available for less money from the 1950s and 60s than the 1910s.

I saw a post from about 4 years ago the other day along similar lines- can't remember who said it, but he nailed it- higher prices for Cobb, Wagner, et al, lower prices for stuff on the fringe due to less interest/competition. Maybe this is kind of obvious now, but I remember a time when it was nearly impossible to pick up an E99, T210 or T211 without tremendous competition.

I could go on and on but I'm interested in getting the conversation started. What do you think? Will T205 rise in popularity? Will scads of people clammer to buy T207s? Will a trove of information come to light about every player in the T210 set, making it more accessible? Will anybody ever care about the 1980s in our lifetime? Will cards, in general, gain in popularity or will memorabilia supersede it in popularity? Will people ever clean their pools with paprika?

rainier2004 10-13-2012 03:53 PM

It seems like the rule of thumb for cards to rise in price are some combo of rare, key HOFers and top condition. People seem to gravitate toward something of "their own". As far as specifics, I think 1914 CJs are going to continue their rise. Other rare, well known issues like e107 would also continue to rise. T3s also seemed to take a big hit, but they continue to sell and I would guess they make a comeback. Ruths, Wags, Cobbs and they key HOFers I think will always be in vogue regardless of condition. I also hope the hobby cleans out more of the scumbags and law enforcement would become better at enforcing fraud or I fear the entire hobby could be at risk. There needs to be a penalty for deceiving others just like there is for stealing...not sure if we'll get this. I tend to think the health pf the hobby is how many children are present at card shows and was happy to see a small return at the National. I also don't foresee my ability to be "right" rising anytime soon. :cool:

vintagecpa 10-13-2012 05:14 PM

If I had to speculate, I would guess prices will go down slightly for the next 5 years. I base this on a combination of things. 1. Baby-boomers retiring and are on more of a fixed income. 2. Lots of people that found themselves unemployed for extended periods of time will be more likely to save instead of buying cardboard. 3. Younger collectors havr more interest in more modern cards 4. Baseball doesn't hold the same nostalgic value to newer collectors. As a kid, my entire summer was spent playing baseball, not Call For Duty. 5. I just see an overall trend of less discretionary income for such hobbies given today's economic environment. Just my opinion.

*Disclaimer* I thought Apple Computer was a bad investment 10 years ago when the stock was trading at about $25/share, so my track record of predicting the future is sketchy-at-best.

byrone 10-13-2012 05:44 PM


Originally Posted by vintagecpa (Post 1044120)
*Disclaimer* I thought Apple Computer was a bad investment 10 years ago when the stock was trading at about $25/share, so my track record of predicting the future is sketchy-at-best.

Why, what happened to the stock price since then?


varsitycollectibles 10-13-2012 06:03 PM

I agree with the notion that many of the pre-war players (excluding the obvious names) will drop in value. As much as I like the art aspect and history of pre-war cards, my grandmother never told me stories about players like Christy Mathewson. However, I've heard countless stories about Aaron, Gibson, Mays, and Ryan. It's those stories and my own personal experiences that shape my collection.

I also think that the shift from true collecting to a form of cardboard gambling will continue to hurt vintage value. Again, this excludes names like Ruth...

packs 10-13-2012 06:23 PM

I'm still pretty young so as morbid as it is I'm hoping collections become freed up and collectors become few and far between so that I can pick up what I want, not what I can afford. Of course that's long term.

In the next five years I think all type cards will take serious hits. There are some really cheap T211's and even cheap T215's. No one seems to be buying any 20s caramel besides the major stars.

Wite3 10-13-2012 08:18 PM

In five years the blue old mill will turn green...

freakhappy 10-13-2012 10:23 PM


Originally Posted by Wite3 (Post 1044164)
In five years the blue old mill will turn green...

And worth $100,000! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

CharleyBrown 10-14-2012 09:41 AM

I don’t necessarily agree with the notion that the lack of stories being told by parents/grandparents will tarnish the value of the non-iconic players of the 1870s-1930s..

I think that as long as there are people interested in baseball, and literature is out there, people’s interest will be there.

When I grew up, the stories I heard were of Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, DiMaggio, and Ted Williams...

It wasn’t those stories that influenced my collecting, but rather reading about baseball history. One only needs to read about Mathewson, Walter Johnson, etc. to be intrigued about them and find an interest in collecting them.

IMO, as long as the high rollers are still interested in collecting, be it for investment or pleasure or both, prices/values will remain strong.

GregMitch34 10-14-2012 11:39 AM

I doubt any comeback for postwar, and I'm glad I sold almost all my '50s cards two years ago...there are just too many of them that came out of the woodwork when grading came into vogue. Who knew? Now, as the great Leonard Cohen put it, Everybody Knows.

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