Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blog Bat Around: Speaking to the Card Companies

The 3rd edition of the Blog Bat Around is here. Go to the Fielder's Choice blog for details.

This time around he ask a question that I will have a hard time answering. What would I say to today's card manufacturers. What kind of cards would I suggest they make in order to keep this hobby vibrant? What brands should stay and what brands must go?

To be honest with you, I do not have a clue what I would tell them. In fact, I have not been an active collector of modern issued cards for a long time- save certified autographed cards that I usually find on eBay.

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I would buy pack after pack, box after box, of Baseball cards to rip open as quickly as a gift received on Christmas morn. I was addicted. Today, I can barely lift a finger to buy a box to open.

Sure, I've stumbled into a Target and stood at the card aisle wondering if I should take a flyer on one of those mini boxes. Usually I just stand and stare, then stamper on to do my shopping. On occasion I have dipped my hand in the cookie jar and drove home with a box only to be disappointed. So, it's hard for me to believe I can lend a helpful voice to this Blog Bat Around. On the other hand, maybe I'm the perfect voice. I am the customer these manufacturers want to get back- no, need to get back.

So, considering that, I have an answer. My advice to the hobby masters is to please keep it simple.
  • There are far too many brands made by each manufacturer. Narrow the field down to a core handful of sets. In fact, this is one of the reason I have not been a very active modern card collector. It is too damn confusing. For instance, Topps Company made well over 10 different Baseball sets in 2008. Heck, I think it's closer to 20 different sets.
  • I still don't understand the whole parallel thing. If I'm putting together a set should I be chasing those too?
  • I love the certified autograph card inserted into packs. As I wrote previously, they are really the only cards I find myself chasing when I search eBay for modern issues. I don't see much of a difference between "on-card" or "auto-on-sticker" cards, but I do care about legible and clean autographs. What's with athletes today? Most signatures look like a 2 year old scribbled it.
  • Brands I do enjoy seeing are the card sets that borrow vintage card designs, like the Allen & Ginters and Cracker Jacks. Please continue to marry the past with the present.


  1. Thanks for participating, Ernest. And congratulations on all the great cards you got in the Heroes case break yesterday!

  2. hey Dave... thanks for writing... i got extremely lucky... this was my first group break ... i'm gonna write a little bit about it soon... btw, i would be willing to trade just about any of the cards for Dodgers


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