Guest article by gosens151911

No matter how many of us think that we aren’t affected by the cash that drives this hobby, the truth is the majority of us are. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that keep the hobby from truly reaching its full potential. Case in point, try thinking back to when you were younger and had never heard about Beckett, and probably didn’t even know any of the names of the sets you had. You only cared about the player or the team you pulled. If you traded a ten dollar insert for a penny base card, you wouldn’t have cared; you got the card you wanted. That’s what the hobby was originally about. These days seem to be long gone…

Imagine if our younger selves saw us now, checking eBay and reading Beckett to find what the exact value for out cards is. They would have thought we were crazy! Back then, it was all for fun, never about the money. Once we grow up, we realise cards are an investment, we have to take care of them. Years ago, most of us probably didn’t use top loaders or penny sleeves, what was wrong with dinged corners; you could still perfectly tell what card you had. Now, it’s all about protecting your collection, even going as far to grade the cards you have; corners, edges, centering…everything is considered. How times change!

This attitude to protecting our cards has also caused us to lose part of the “fun” in collecting. A great example would be the mini jersey series cards in hockey. There are very few people now who actually open the packages of the mini jersey, knowing it lowers the value of it. Now that’s just crazy. If we were kids, we would be wondering, why wouldn’t you open it? It’s a jersey, not really a jersey if you just let it lay their in the package. Another smaller example is hockey’s ITG Superlative; all the cards in packs came in top loaders sealed with an ITG sticker. Some people end up buying them on eBay and such, only to discover the card in a new top loader, not the ITG one. How tragic, the card’s been moved, but the market says that lowers the value of the card.

Although we like to think money doesn’t control us in this hobby, truth is; it does. It may be the one thing holding the hobby back from being as fun as when we were younger and carefree. No longer are we trading cards based on whom the players are and nothing else. Gone are the days when everything we got we opened to look at it closely. This would surely be a recipe for disaster as our greasy fingers would actually touch the card! Everything must be protected. Nevertheless, there is still a kid inside all of us, which keeps us trading. There are still those who are willing to help people out, regardless of Beckett value and occasionally condition of cards. The money behind the hobby drives it, but it is up to us to decide how.