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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Modern Baseball Cards Forum (1980-Present)

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  #1  
Old 05-15-2022, 01:49 PM
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Default Another lame thread defining “vintage”

Okay, let me first acknowledge the overkill at which this topic has been discussed in the past. Many will have automatic responses, responses they have conditioned themselves to believe for a long time. Let me challenge you to refresh your thinking. Wipe clean your pre-conceived notions and re-evaluate the basis to which you define the word.

What is vintage? In wine, it simply defines the year of which it was bottled. If we applied the same thinking to cards, 2021 would be vintage, but we don’t. We tend to define vintage based on landmark points in the chronological timeline of the hobby.

Some consider vintage to be 1973 or earlier as this was the final year cards were released in multiple series throughout the season (until this practice resurface in the modern era), however, it seems like the majority consensus defining vintage is 1980 or earlier as this was the last year before Donruss and Fleer stepped on the scene (if we ignore Fleer’s brief stint between 60-63). This has been the standard, automated response by collectors for a very long time and for the most part, still is to this day.

But wouldn’t it seem logical that these years would change at some point as time continues to go by? I mean, eventually junk wax HAS to become vintage, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t we now consider pre-Upper Deck vintage for instance? Upper Deck ushered in a new level of quality, challenging its competition to be more innovative by including inserted autograph cards, throwback cards (1991 topps), and test runs with foil and refractors. I just can’t see 1988 Topps not being considered vintage almost 35 years after it was produced. Didn’t we consider 1952 Topps vintage in 1987? If not now then when? What will it take? Why not just have a rolling clock that says anything over 20 years is vintage so we don’t have to keep redefining it?





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  #2  
Old 05-15-2022, 03:44 PM
Mike D. Mike D. is offline
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If not junk wax era, then at least maybe UP to the start of the junk wax era becomes "vintage"? Then we can come up with a name for post-junk to whatever the "modern" era is, then "ultra modern".

Of course, to start down this path, we'd all have to agree on when the junk wax era started.

I was having a conversation about 1980 Topps yesterday, and said "isn't 1980 Topps REALLY the last set of the 70's?". It's like, "the 60's in music not starting until 1964 or so".
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2022, 10:32 PM
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I totally see your point. I graduated high school in 1988...the card world changed twice in my youth...1981 when the competition came (felt different) and when 89 Upper Deck came out (again, felt different). Much like a lot of people (especially members here), I quit after 1990, disillusioned by the mass produced Costco case era, only to come back to the hobby driven by online accessibility to collect Postwar. So a break of vintage to 1988 completely sounds reasonable. I guess the only problem is the values from that era make it really tough to get excited. 1988 Topps may be the most boring set ever made. I know that shouldn't matter, but I think the lack of excitement for many reasons of that era of cards change the narrative.


I also collect classic cars. My wheelhouse is 1955-1974, known as the muscle car era and although I have several cars that considered "muscle", I also have several small sports cars that aren't...and the era is very popular. "Vintage" or "Classic" in the car world is a rolling 25 years (popular thought and most states recognize for licensing) BUT...not too many 80's cars are considered "classic" to most collectors BUT that thought changes every day.

At card shows I have noticed a HUGE shift to 80's and 90's mass produced rookies that are high end graded gathering a lot of momentum, popularity, and value. Same with cars...just weird to think any car from 1990 is a classic...lol.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2022, 01:43 PM
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I have never cared much how it is defined or understood why it matters. With the exception of 1923 Fleer all my sets are from 1948 forward. At this point in my collecting all I need to know is the year of issue and the manufacturer to know if I have any interest.

I do hang on tight to my 2011 Standard Catalog since it was the last one with post 1980 listings
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2022, 03:52 PM
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Default Another lame thread defining “vintage”

What really triggered me wanting to revisit the topic Is the large amount of different Facebook groups out there that call themselves vintage groups but have different definitions of what that means. One group recently changed itself to include cards up to 1985 and it just made me wonder the reasoning for all the arbitrary thinking. I guess it may just be a compulsive desire on my part to wanting categories specifically defined. I personally like the 25 year rule Harliduck mentioned the car community has.


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  #6  
Old 05-16-2022, 04:29 PM
Mike D. Mike D. is offline
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If vintage goes up to the junk wax era, and there’s a junk wax era…what are the era or eras we’ve had since?

I think you’ll get pushback calling junkwax anything but…but the idea of discussing how many eras have there been since and what they are - interesting.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2022, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4reals View Post
What really triggered me wanting to revisit the topic Is the large amount of different Facebook groups out there that call themselves vintage groups but have different definitions of what that means. One group recently changed itself to include cards up to 1985 and it just made me wonder the reasoning for all the arbitrary thinking. I guess it may just be a compulsive desire on my part to wanting categories specifically defined. I personally like the 25 year rule Harliduck mentioned the car community has.


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Yeah! I was on a Twitter thread, and the topic was show off your best vintage. I was expecting a bunch of Post-war cards up to 1980, but 50% were pre-war, and some cards were early 90s. And I thought, that ain't right! I have gotten really used to the dating and terms used on Net54.

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  #8  
Old 05-18-2022, 04:48 AM
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Each collector determines what is vintage to them. Ask a 95 year old and a 15 year old and you will probably get 2 completely different answers, neither are wrong.

If someone thinks 1999 is vintage, I might disagree but I can't say they are wrong.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2022, 02:45 PM
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Technically speaking, use of vintage for any non-wine item is anything between 20 and 99 years old. 100+ is an antique.
I believe the age of a person has a lot to do with its intepretation as well. As we age, our frame of reference tends not to shift easily. In 1980, I considered 1920's coins and 50's to 60's cards to be OLD. Today, I would not consider 60's coins or 70's to 80's cards in the same context.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2022, 02:57 PM
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Default vintage ?

I get a chuckle when your talking about mid 80s stuff ( or looking at it in an auction ) ..and the other guy goes - " Hey , this stuff is now almost 40 yrs old " ..yea OK...true...but not what Id call vintage
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2022, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4reals View Post
I just can’t see 1988 Topps not being considered vintage almost 35 years after it was produced.
When I started collecting in 1986, cards from the '50s and '60s (and even early '70s) were considered vintage to most collectors and dealers (and most of these cards weren't even 35 years old in 1988).

So, if you apply that same logic today, I agree that 1988 Topps could (and should) be considered vintage. Mass production should have nothing to do with whether they are considered vintage or not. If a new discovery of 1 million T206 cards hits the market, are they any less vintage just because they're more plentiful?
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2022, 02:56 PM
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I like 1991 as the cutoff currently as it was the last year Topps produced cards on cardboard sheets and is 30+ years ago.

Just thinking out loud maybe some voice for Vintage being prior to 1974 which I believe was the first year for "factory sets". That really changed the game on how people were able to collect.

But definitely agree that will change over time.

In ten-twenty more years easy date will be prior to 2000. Just because it'll have been a long time ago and clearly is an important change in time.
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2022, 07:06 PM
homerunhitter homerunhitter is offline
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Vintage could be looked at in many ways.

The general consensus in the hobby is 1979 and below.

Some say it’s 1980 and below because 1980 is the last year that topps owned a monopoly on sports cards.

1990 Topps was the last year Topps put gum in its packs.

1991 Topps was the last year Topps issued cards in actual wax packs!

1994 Topps is the first year Topps cards were glossy

So vintage could be whatever you want for your collection. Collect what you like! After all it’s your collection to enjoy!

In 100 years 2022 Topps will be considered vintage cards to some!
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2022, 09:56 PM
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I personally think of vintage as 1980 and earlier also.

First, because as you said, 1981 was the first year after the courts ruled Topps could no longer monopolize the baseball card market, so Fleer and Donruss also entered the fray. And 1981 was also then technically the start of the junk wax era, at least IMO, so definitely not vintage to me.

Secondly, and also partially in tribute to Bob Lemke, the old Krause/SCD catalogs always cut-off the vintage and modern sections of their earlier catalogs at 1980 as the last year for vintage as well. And then SCD/Krause continued using that 1980 vintage cutoff year for later, more recent additions of their catalogs, which they just issued separately for vintage cards alone. I've always felt those SCD/Krause catalogs were (and to me really still are) the most comprehensive, overall single source of vintage card information out there and available. So if 1980 was good enough for them, its good enough for me.

Obviously, many younger collectors may disagree because the 80's are before their time, and likely don't even know about the SCD/Krause catalogs.

Last edited by BobC; 05-19-2022 at 09:58 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2022, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
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And 1981 was also then technically the start of the junk wax era, at least IMO, so definitely not vintage to me.
So, this is the point I was attempting to make… Should the value of cards during an era define whether it’s vintage or not? Shouldn’t it be less about value and more about age? I get that older collectors will have more trouble accepting 80s cards as vintage but I don’t feel necessarily that this needs to be an opinion thing that is defined differently by everyone, that’s disorganized and chaotic thinking. Isn’t it logical that the 25 year rule is in play for an item to be classified as vintage and then within that classification there are vintage sub-groups (eras) like pre-war, golden age, and junk wax? To further this idea, another era frequently discussed with modern collectors is the slab era which ushered in the junk slab era which led to the recent backlog problems with psa and bgs. Eventually, slabs 25 years or older may be considered vintage slabs.


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  #16  
Old 05-24-2022, 03:47 PM
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Vintage is about age of course, but that cutoff varies widely depending on context. Stamps, pottery, firearms, coins, cards, any area will have a different year or era as the cutoff.

I think vintage implies, beyond “old stuff”, that the item under discussion in this period was markedly different, that it’s age is a defining virtue of the item and not an incidental of time simply passing.

I tend to favor the 1980 cutoff, it’s not perfect but it’s the approximate end of an era. Many eras are covered by vintage, and multiple by not-vintage or modern or whatever we term it. However, if we divide card history into only two chunks, I think the early-mid 1980’s is the most reasonable cutoff. Before this time cards were advertising freebies or very cheap and designed for kids. By the mid 1980’s, cards were the domain largely of older people, not kids, and collecting cards was largely about money. Whether it’s Mattingly in 1984 or Jeffries in 1988 or Franco in 2021, the modern hobby is hit-centric, and largely financial. Collecting vintage is too now, but the cards in their own time were mostly all worthless and not designed for this investment, or even for adults. While the modern hobby has seen plenty of innovation and change its basic structure is largely the same as it was in the mid 1980’s, while before this period it was markedly different. I think the end of the Topps monopoly and this titanic shift in what baseball cards are for and seen as is the most reasonable cutoff. I don’t see the definition of vintage changing until another titanic shift.
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Old 05-24-2022, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 4reals View Post
So, this is the point I was attempting to make… Should the value of cards during an era define whether it’s vintage or not? Shouldn’t it be less about value and more about age? I get that older collectors will have more trouble accepting 80s cards as vintage but I don’t feel necessarily that this needs to be an opinion thing that is defined differently by everyone, that’s disorganized and chaotic thinking. Isn’t it logical that the 25 year rule is in play for an item to be classified as vintage and then within that classification there are vintage sub-groups (eras) like pre-war, golden age, and junk wax? To further this idea, another era frequently discussed with modern collectors is the slab era which ushered in the junk slab era which led to the recent backlog problems with psa and bgs. Eventually, slabs 25 years or older may be considered vintage slabs.


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I agree with your thinking. There should be subgroups to vintage, and modern eras. To me, 1980/81 is the cutoff to one of them. I could easily see there being a breakdown of eras, as follows:

Vintage Nineteenth Century Era (I think most would concur you can lump this together as one era)

Vintage Pre-War Era (From 1900 - 1941/42)
(This can be further broken into sub-genres)

Vintage Pre-War Dead-Ball Era (1900 -1920)
Vintage Pre-War Live-Ball Era (1921 - 1941/42)

Vintage Post-War (1942 - 1980)
(This can be further broken into sub-genres)

Vintage Post-War (1942 - 1960)
Vintage Post-War Expansion Era (1961 - 1980)

Vintage Junk-Wax Era (1981 - 1999)

Modern Era (2020 - Present)

To me, these work out to be some very logical groupings and breakdowns, which just so happen to work out to about 20 years each, save for the 19th century era, which deserves its own grouping.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:46 AM
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I also struggle with the vintage cutoff and to me 1980 makes sense….but for some reason the feel of cards through 1984 feels right to me.

For me anything after 1985 just doesn’t scream vintage to me
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Old 06-03-2022, 04:30 PM
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I think your point is valid, but the majority of collectors are aging and stuck in their mindsets. That will probably only change with a changing of the guard. I see a whole different picture of "collecting" when I view online facebook groups, for example. There may be crossover, but those people who are highly active in the groups I am a part of seem to see things very differently.

I first started collecting in 1978, buying packs from a grocery store. I didn't have access to shops/shows and the only "outside" world became TCMA catalogs. A few years later, I remember getting a 1933 Goudey card from a rare card shop visit, thinking I had something incredible and amazing. That card was obtained by me in 1983 (just to make the math easier). It was 50 years old at the time.

I certainly don't feel the same sense of magic when I think of a 1972 Topps card today, yet that is now a 50 year old card!

1989 seems like another well defined break in an era of card collecting, with the UD issue. Hard to think any of us will ever really look at a 1988 Topps card any differently though, probably mostly due to massive overproduction, the almost instinctive need to protect cards by then and that late 80s period of time where there seems to have been fewer high profile players making their debut who went on to eternal greatness.
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2022, 11:37 PM
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After discussing this topic on here I decided to create my own opinionated timeline. You may view it here:

https://flic.kr/p/2nsrJ6s

I realize there are many differing views and not everyone will agree with what I created, however, if you are gracious enough to take a look I would appreciate any feedback on anything I might need to edit that is historically inaccurate. Or if you have trouble viewing it I can try to email it to you directly.

Last edited by 4reals; 06-16-2022 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:09 AM
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Default Junk wax

I always thought this was the card that epitomized junk wax.

junkwax.jpg
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Old 06-18-2022, 09:18 PM
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That epitomizes the junk slab era, lol


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Old 06-19-2022, 12:06 PM
deweyinthehall deweyinthehall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4reals View Post
After discussing this topic on here I decided to create my own opinionated timeline. You may view it here:

https://flic.kr/p/2nsrJ6s

I realize there are many differing views and not everyone will agree with what I created, however, if you are gracious enough to take a look I would appreciate any feedback on anything I might need to edit that is historically inaccurate. Or if you have trouble viewing it I can try to email it to you directly.
Hey - this is a VERY interesting and useful chart. I don't see anything here I would take exception to with regard to eras in the game and in the hobby. Current hobby is in an undefined era? You bet it is.

The only historical nit I might pick is that the AL was really Ban Johnson's thing, having bought the Western League in 1894 and carried it forward into the 20th century. But I know Comiskey played a huge role too.

But seriously - this is a great resource. Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2022, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for your feedback!


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