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  #41  
Old 07-19-2018, 09:15 AM
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John
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Originally Posted by Leon View Post
From what I have seen, collecting today's cards is close to being 100% gambling.
Agreed. Even with vintage collectors - those with means are often interested only in investment grade cards (PSA 8+) or buy spots in "vintage break" deals where it's $200 or more a card for (example) a wax pack of '67 Topps where the goal is to get the cards with the sharpest corners and best centering. They pull a HOFer in many videos of situations like this, but will lament it being a "dud" because of the centering.

Collecting today at least for those with means has gone out of focus and on a tangent in some respects due to this. Each unto their own, but when I was a kid collecting vintage - like you said - the focus was on the players, and the history and love of the game. Even if I had unlimited funding, I would probably find it wiser to just buy what I want to start with in a decent grade. For someone like me that would mean buying a '67 Roberto Clemente in about EX shape instead of gambling on getting a PSA 9 one out of some spot in a pack bust...
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'56 and '67 Topps sets. Mid to off-grade 1950's thru 70's HOFers. Old Cubs and Brooklyn Dodgers. Random eBay impulse purchases...

Last edited by jchcollins; 07-19-2018 at 09:28 AM.
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  #42  
Old 07-19-2018, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by David W View Post
With the stock market returning almost 20% last year why would you invest in cards?
And you think that trend is going to continue?
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  #43  
Old 07-19-2018, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
At least since the 1990's, I would say that Clemente in particular has really taken off. He used to be just another run-of-the-mill HOFer - popular, but nothing that really stuck out above the crowd. From what I have seen that has changed dramatically in the 21st century. His popularity among all vintage collectors is eclipsed maybe by Mantle, but I'm not sure beyond that who would vie for it. It seems he's even more popular for player collectors today than Hank Aaron - and that certainly was not the case in the 1980's and 90's.
Clemente has always been a top tier HOFer. He was just under Ted Williams, Mantle, Mays and Aaron (above everyone else) when I started collecting him in the early 80s. He is now more expensive than all the postwar stars except Mantle. Jackie Robinson has had the same rise. As someone said earlier, Mantle, Clemente and Jackie Robinson are the 3 players that are worth investing in for the 1948-1973 Topps/Bowman era.
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  #44  
Old 07-19-2018, 01:15 PM
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Clemente has always been a top tier HOFer.
Yes. I did not mean to insinuate in my original post that Clemente was not a top-tier Hall of Famer. Certainly even in the 1980's, there was way more interest in Clemente than say, George Kell.

But yes since then, I would agree that both his star and Jackie's have continued to rise. You can almost never find a "bargain" anymore on early 50's Topps Robinson cards, even in mid-grade. Most sellers that list them with BIN prices err on the high side. I got a BVG 4.5 '55 Topps Robinson a couple of years ago. Overpaid for it slightly I think, but there were no real deals to be had and I did not want to go cheaper on a card that was creased or more of a beater.
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  #45  
Old 07-19-2018, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
Yes. I did not mean to insinuate in my original post that Clemente was not a top-tier Hall of Famer. Certainly even in the 1980's, there was way more interest in Clemente than say, George Kell.
Clemente cards were worth more than Musial, Koufax, Berra, Banks, Robinson, Kaline, Snider, Mathews, etc. in the early 80s.
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  #46  
Old 07-19-2018, 03:40 PM
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Clemente cards were worth more than Musial, Koufax, Berra, Banks, Robinson, Kaline, Snider, Mathews, etc. in the early 80s.
But worth even more than that above those now.
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'56 and '67 Topps sets. Mid to off-grade 1950's thru 70's HOFers. Old Cubs and Brooklyn Dodgers. Random eBay impulse purchases...

Last edited by jchcollins; 07-19-2018 at 03:40 PM.
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  #47  
Old Today, 11:34 AM
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This is a good thread, I'm glad it was started. There are surely differences between collecting now and 30+ years ago, although it strikes me that the conversation may be missing a few elements of collecting in 2018, such as:

COMC, eBay, etc.: collectors today, and particularly young collectors, don't NEED to go to shows for a wider range and depth of cards. I conduct most of my business through web sites, and would imagine many others, both young and old, do the same. Card shows are to collecting in the 1970s and 1980s as the internet is today. I also see the success of COMC, which from my observations thrives on sales of cards that cost $10 or less (including tons of cards below $1), as a sign of health of the hobby. And Topps also has an online presence, as Topps Now seems to have been a big success, with offerings for speculators and collectors alike.

Junk Era collectors: we all know how the supply of junk era cards was ridiculous, but I'm thinking the number of collectors was pretty high (obviously not high enough to meet demand). While a huge number of people caught the speculation bug back then and bought boxes of cards to "pay for college," the hobby likely doesn't need a huge percentage of the population to sustain itself. I would guess that even half the population who was buying cards in the mid to late 80s might not be necessary to keep the hobby healthy.

Other collectables: I have never met a stamp collector or coin collector in my life (in passing, I read some posts on this site from a couple), and have known only a few comic book collectors. But those hobbies seem to be chugging along (eBay has a stamps and comics links under Collectables). I think stamps and coins are an older/more mature hobby than card collecting (not sure on that), and I wonder how the evolution of those hobbies has compared to that of baseball cards.

All that said, the money "invested" in today's young stars can be ridiculous to me, especially in those with manufactured scarcity. But I do appreciate that this hobby can accommodate people with any financial backing.
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