How Your Baseball Card Investment Is Doing

The date: the November 14, 1989.
The place: your idyllic childhood neighborhood, teeming with family owned drug stores, people who say hello to each other on the sidewalk, and Richard Marx cassettes.
The scene: you, begging your parents for a couple of bucks to go to the baseball card store. “They’re not toys,” you cry in a reedy voice that betrays a luckless adolescence. “Baseball cards are an investment.” You show them your Beckett Baseball Card magazine, revealing a series of numbers with arrow signs pointing up.

The date: November 14, 2013.
The place: a Value Village. People still talk to strangers, except now they kind of mumble things and smell slightly off. Richard Marx cassettes still present.
The scene: Your partner is looking at baby clothes that said baby has, in the time it takes the human brain to process visual information, already outgrown. And as you’re glancing through bright, plastic, potentially deadly toys, you find this:

q1

Your baseball card portfolio has been underperforming.

Provided for the sake of perspective are the following objects that, as determined by the invisible hand (as guided by the back room staff of the Value Village), are of equal value to the prized possession of your youth:

q2

1. A pair of Furbies, crafted from plastic and the nightmares of the insane and the damned

q3

2. A couple of Halloween… I don’t even know what these are. Wands? Drumsticks? A random arrangement of plastic that will, in its landfill grave, outlive us all?

q4

3. Two decks of actual playing cards, suitable for games of rummy in airports

q5

4. A book on how to invest in baseball cards (copyright: 1989)




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Patrick Dubuque is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.


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A eskpert
Guest
A eskpert
2 years 7 months ago

All the old ones that I have aren’t listed on the internets. I don’t really know how much they’re worth. The Rogers Hornsby that’s still wrapped makes me hopeful.

Griff
Guest
Griff
2 years 7 months ago

So…selling those shares of Microsoft in 1989 to buy the Donruss Box Set was not a good idea is what youre saying?

steex
Guest
steex
2 years 7 months ago

I still like the move. There’s no such thing as a Microsoft Diamond King.

authorized catheter reseller
Guest
authorized catheter reseller
2 years 7 months ago

baseball cards also can decompose or get moldy over time.

unlike mcribs.

Boxkutter
Guest
Boxkutter
2 years 7 months ago

Didn’t that 1989 Topps Traded set have the rookie Griffey Jr. in it? Or was it the ’88 set that did? I don’t recall.

Byrne
Guest
Byrne
2 years 7 months ago

yep 89 TT has the Griffey Jr rookie. Although the sets weren’t sealed, so in this case I suspect the Griffey Jr rookies from those pair are not inside.

he fixes the cable?
Guest
he fixes the cable?
2 years 7 months ago

This. You need to buy these to be sure.

You bought them, right?

Clark D
Guest
Clark D
2 years 7 months ago

Danny Peary = Dayn Perry?

I can only assume the co-author, this Chadwick fellow, is dead…probably at the hands of a drunk Danny Peary.

todd mcg
Guest
todd mcg
2 years 7 months ago

This brings back memories. Too many. $10 Bo Jackson cards that I drooled over. Very nice.

dave
Guest
dave
2 years 7 months ago

Recalling can’t miss prospects like Todd Van Popple and Ben MacDonald

Scott
Guest
Scott
2 years 1 month ago

I recall looking at my 60, 61, and 62 Topps baseball cards in 1989, and figuring they were worth $4k to $5k, according to Beckett’s guide.

I sold 80% of them in 2010 for $600 total.
What happened? The internet.

Suddenly, people found cards and could sell them with zero hassle.

But worse than that….card grading. Now, you had to pay $50 per card, to get it graded. A top-graded Mickey Mantle, which had been $5000, went down to $2000, and the typical “good” Mantle card went down to….$50!

Notice how the card, and the grading went together in price. And, if you refused to grade, then… no sale! Or, $50.

Suddenly, it was the merchants selling the gold miners picks and shovels all over again. Gold became harder to find, but the shovels kept on selling.

wpDiscuz