Collecting baseball cards have been a great hobby for years. People used to purchase them and keep them just like Pokémon cards. It used to be a way to support, show respect, and appreciate former baseball players. The players who changed the history of baseball made it a household name through incredible gameplay.
However, recently the sale of these baseball cards has witnessed an exceptional surge. They are not just being bought but are also being traded and sold for millions of dollars. You heard it right! A piece of cardboard with the image of a baseball player sold for million dollars. Years back, it was initially purchased for a few bucks.
In fact, before 2020, the sale of such sports cards was good, and the price was some bucks. The most expensive used to be of some hundreds of dollars. But now, the story is completely different. These baseball sports cards are being sold for millions and people are going all crazy for them. But what caused such a sudden surge?
It is a rather important question that must be answered. Many people are clueless about when these sports cards actually came into existence. Therefore, before discussing the surge, let's understand the core history of baseball sports cards.
It was somewhere in the 1880s when an American tobacco company started printing baseball players on a piece of cardboard. They were the pioneers of introducing such an idea. The reason for such printing was to support the baseball players and community and give them royalty over the purchases. But the core reason was to support the flimsy packaging of cigarettes. Back then, the packaging was too delicate, making it possible to cause damage to the cigs.
Later in the 1930s, the baseball sports card industry did a bit better than before. Instead of a single card in a cigarette packet, now printing businesses started to print in packs. With multiple cards, the buyers were getting more value than before. However, the market was not completely mature for repeat purchasing. In such a stance, printing companies started to add a piece of bubble gum to incentivize purchases.
Finally, it was the period of the 1980s that saw the real boom of the sports cards industry. The adults who were once kids and teenagers started purchasing baseball sports cards without any incentive involvement. It was a time of nostalgic feeling, remembering the brilliant baseball players of old times. The former glories and stars became the reason when the industry took a great turn, making it profitable.
However, the baseball sports cards industry has never been so profitable as compared to what happened in 2020.
2020 was the year when the COVID-19 pandemic came into existence, forcing everything to stop in its tracks. People were restricted from leaving their homes, businesses were closed, shops were sealed. Everything went into lockdown mode.
That was the time when many businesses thought they wouldn’t survive anymore. The sports cards industry was also in the same boat, where cards printing businesses were sure they may get bankrupt. However, everything went against their expectations. And the puzzle pieces fall into the places exceptionally.
Since people were at home doing nothing at all, everyone tried to find a different hobby. Some started deep cleaning their homes while others started meddling with diversified online forums. While cleaning the homes, some people found the baseball sports cards, wrapped in the dust. This reminded them of the past glory of baseball and the sports cards of their favorite players. During this time, the adults shared their love for sports cards with their kids.
Some people found sports cards on eBay and other platforms and started ordering. The boom was great and interesting. However, the boom that turned into a blast of interest happened when the investors jumped in. Social media influencers started sharing their ideas and love for these baseball cards. The investors on the other hand found a gap in the market and evaluated the worth of old cards.
They quickly jumped in and started investing instantly. These sports cards started being auctioned in auction houses where their worth hit in millions. Everyone found interest in getting their hands on them, and thus the market became a million dollars industry within a few days.
To date, the most expensive baseball card ever sold amounts to $6.6 million. It was the Honus Wagner T206 baseball card issued by the American tobacco company between 1909 and 1911. The second most expensive sports card from the baseball category was auctioned for $5.2 million. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card was in pristine condition, and the fans went all gaga over it.
The 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card is rare to find. It's because Topps Company printed only a single rookie card of Hank Aaron, the true “King” of home runs. The condition of the card is not great with stains and tear marks all over. However, it was still sold for a whopping amount of $357,594.
This indicates the exceptional worth and value of baseball sports cards. How crazy the fans are for it and are willing to do anything to get these cards. They are showing their love and respect to these incredible players of glorious times.
It was all COVID-19 pandemic and people forced to stay at home that caused the sudden surge in the baseball sports cards collecting industry. An industry worth thousands of dollars became millions of dollars overnight.
Many baseball sports cards are available at an affordable cost. However, the condition might not be exceptional. If you are interested in getting a baseball card of the legendary home run king, then click here to see Hank Aaron sports cards. So, if you too have any baseball sports card, check its condition, maybe you too are sitting on a million dollars’ worth of card.
Scott Trick has collected sports cards since the early 80's and because of his love for collecting he started the website sportscardsauthority.com. His favorite players are Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, but he cherishes all sports and all cards like they are art.
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