Did you collect baseball cards when you were a kid? Had you held onto those cards and kept them in mint condition, they might be worth a nice piece of change today. You could try to recreate that collection. As with any type of collection, the older your piece the great value you’ll have. That’s why you need to go backwards with your collecting. There are plenty of card collectors who are buying, selling and trading cards 24/7. Are you ready to start (or add) to your baseball card collection?

A Quick History

Surprisingly, as long as there has been the sport of baseball, there has been some form of baseball card. The first baseball cards were printed wallet size photographs of the players handed out by the teams. Companies got into the baseball card business as a way of advertising their products. The first major set of baseball cards was put out by candy makers Breisch-Williams. This was quickly followed by cards offered up by the American Tobacco Company. These would be the illustrious White Border Set. The American Caramel Company got into the act in the same year (1909). In the ensuing years, various other companies put out their version of baseball cards.

It was 1952 when Topps produced their first run of cards. They dominated the baseball card industry until 1975 when a few upstart companies sued to break up the baseball card monopoly. After a bunch of starts and finishes, you’ll find that the two dominate baseball card players in the game today are Topps and Upper Deck.

Determining Value

One of the first things you’ll need as a serious baseball card collector is a copy of Jefferson Burdick’s The American Card Catalog. This is the definitive guide to all things baseball card. It will break down the various sets like the 1910 Philadelphia Caramels and the 1909 Box Tops. This will all make sense once you dive in!

Naturally, the rarer the card, the greater the value. Consider the holy grail of baseball card collections, the Honus Wagner. Although the decent player in his day, Honus is now more famous for having his mug on the most valuable baseball card of all time. Why all the fuss? When Honus’ card was made by the American Tobacco Company, he pitched a fit. Either he wanted more money or he didn’t want to be associated with cigarettes. Either way, they stopped production leaving only 40 cards in circulation. The most recent and verified authentic Honus Wagner card sold for a cool $2.8 million.

Selling And Buying

A good place to start collecting is on Craigslist. You can quickly build up a bulk of cards and use them for trading down the line. There are plenty of websites like BaseballCardBuyer and 707 Sportscards dedicated to buying and selling vintage cards.