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Old 06-26-2017, 10:27 PM
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David Kathman
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Default Hobby history: The hobby in 1979

I was looking through some old issues of Baseball Hobby News, and I found this editorial in the December 1979 issue by editor Frank Barning. In it, Barning looks back at 1979, "the greatest year in the history of our hobby". In addition to BHN starting up that March (it would cease publication in 1993 after a good run), the Sport Americana Baseball Card Price Guide had been published that spring, the first price guide to give prices for each individual card, in three different conditions. I was 13 at the time and deep into the hobby, and I remember how revolutionary that was. That was also the year that superstar cards, led by the 1952 Topps Mantle, really began to explode in price, as Barning notes. Of course, they would continue to explode even more in the following decade, but 1979 was the year it really started. It's also interesting to read Barning's speculations about what 1980 might bring. People were seriously wondering whether Dave Kingman might beat Roger Maris's single-season home run record, after he hit 48 in 1979.

I've kept some of the ads surrounding the column, because they're fun to look at too.

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Old 06-26-2017, 10:36 PM
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David Kathman
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Here's a slightly bigger version that may be a little easier to read (except in the middle where the crease of the paper is):

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Old 06-27-2017, 02:05 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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I will also point out, in addition to the yearly Beckett guide, Mark Lewis and Warren Karp created Card Price Update that year.

That was the first monthly baseball card pricing magazine (although printed on newsprint) and the impact of monthly pricing was huge during the 1979-80 boom. Led by the 1952 Mantle as noted, there was an amazing price uptick to match the gold/silver explosion of that time.

Now there were issues with CPU, but the success did lead many years later to Dr. Beckett creating his own monthly magazine and you all know where Beckett went from there. (That's a book in itself done correctly)

Rich
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:07 AM
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pete ullman
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Cooooool! I was 10 years old....and I was a big collector back then!!!! Cool to see the ad for burger king yankees cards...I had hundreds of them but no pinella!!!
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:39 AM
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Wow i love this read.
In 1979 i was -2 years old loll
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:38 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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I remember seeing that 52 Mantle they mention Halls buying. They were my local card shop, and I spent a good deal of time hanging out and learning about cards.

It was a pretty nice one. Not fantastic, but nice, probably a 6 or 7 today, but I'm thinking closer to 6.

Personally, I think 78 was better, at least for me.

Steve B
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Klein View Post
I will also point out, in addition to the yearly Beckett guide, Mark Lewis and Warren Karp created Card Price Update that year.

That was the first monthly baseball card pricing magazine (although printed on newsprint) and the impact of monthly pricing was huge during the 1979-80 boom. Led by the 1952 Mantle as noted, there was an amazing price uptick to match the gold/silver explosion of that time.

Now there were issues with CPU, but the success did lead many years later to Dr. Beckett creating his own monthly magazine and you all know where Beckett went from there. (That's a book in itself done correctly)

Rich
Below is the debut issue of Card Prices Update from September 1979, with the 52 Mantle on the cover. Following that is an article from the July 1984 Baseball Card News about Beckett's successful lawsuit against CPU, which led to CPU ceasing publication immediately and Beckett launching his monthly price guide magazine in November of that year. Another of the monthly price guides that had sprung up, Current Card Prices (launched in January 1983), doesn't seem to have been affected by this lawsuit, since it continued publishing until at least 1991. I'm not sure why it wasn't affected, but I'm not a lawyer.



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