By Kelly Burrington aka yazfan71

Well, I started this as a reply to an article that I had read on here and I didn’t want to seem like I was hijacking the very well written article, so I decided to just make this its own separate thread.

 

Now, I can only speak from my experiences and my love of the hobby, so that is what I will use as a primary example to address some of the issues I’ve seen that others have with the hobby. (A.K.A.-The ramblings of an old man!)

 

Counterfeit or fake cards

I have to agree with many that the industry “dropped the ball” when it comes to the verification process on game used memorabilia used in their cards. But I believe that even those cards have their place in the hobby. To be honest, I don’t see much difference between those and some of the “homemade” cards that are out there now. As a single player collector, I would still want that card even if the swatch is fake. I can remember a few decades ago when there was a big uproar over counterfeit 1963 Topps Pete Rose RCs. A substantial amount of these cards were discovered and rather than destroying them, they were stamped as being counterfeit. At the time, I knew several collectors of Rose cards that were chomping at the bit to find one to add to their collections.

 

Serial numbering

We have all seen these auctions and I will use Yastrzemski as my example. 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Carl Yastrzemski Red #8/249 His Jersey Number! 1/1! Now we all know this is not a true 1/1, but to some collectors this does mean something. Personally I love getting a serial numbered card of Yaz that is #8/whatever  and some will go out of their way to get these. As far as true 1/1s are concerned, in my opinion the market has been flooded with these as well, but this is not a bad thing. Yes, it means that I will never own 1 of every Yaz card out there since there are 1129 1/1′s and counting, but this is ok with me. I wouldn’t want to own them all as that would take that “magic” away from another collector. I have my 1 and I am very happy with that.

 

 

Parallels

This could almost go hand in hand with the serial numbering as pretty much all of them anymore are either actually serial numbered or the production numbers get released anyway. Pretty much every set released these days has a parallel of it and some more than 1. What sets these apart from serial numbers is that this is not a newer concept. Topps made these in the late 50s with the Venezuelans and the O-Pee-Chee’s of the 60s. Post Cereal’s had Canadian issues and Jell-O parallels. In the 70s it was the discs which had nearly a dozen different variations depending on the year and Hostess had their regular and Twinkee releases. I’m pretty sure the same was true with the old tobacco cards with different backs, but without doing the research I won’t swear to it. Like I said, I’m only going with my experiences.

 

The price guide

Love or hate it, this alone forever changed the hobby for everyone involved in it. I got my first one in 1985, it was the yearly almanac and I can honestly say after looking through it the first time I loved and hated it. I loved it because it made me aware of cards that I would have never known existed living in the small town I was in at that time. It also made me sick to my stomach when it listed the price of the ’55 Topps Killebrew RC that I had given away as a gift to a friend a few years earlier. This was the first time I didn’t think of card collecting as a hobby. It had taken that away from me in an instant & changed the way I traded. I also don’t recall ever getting any more shoeboxes full of cards from any of the neighbors cleaning out their attics or kids’ rooms after that. I did however talk to that old friend of mine last year for the first time in over 20 years and he still has that card…So that made me feel good about that decision to know the card still survives and I have to wonder, would it still if not for the price guide?

 

The Internet

The killer of the LCS, maybe, but the overproduction of the late 80s and early 90s didn’t help either. Now, while I do feel bad for the owners and patrons of LCS that closed due to the Internet, it did give collectors everywhere access to practically any and all cards. It also knocked the price guide loose of the stranglehold it had over the hobby. It opened up trading again for those of us in small towns that were hours away from LCS and card shows. This is by far the single greatest tool used in assisting the hobbyist today.

 

Lottery winners

We’ve all seen them and many of us have dealt with them in one way or another. For a player collector like myself, when I see one with a card I would love to have, I can never understand why they would part with their prize. But I also know however, if it weren’t for them I would never even see some of these cards, let alone save up for the chance to buy one. The last box or pack of cards I bought was the 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classics when they first came out. My wife wanted to put the set together but I wanted a Yaz auto from that set. Out of the roughly 2 1/2 boxes that we bought that day at the LCS, my wife finished the base set, but I never hit my lottery back then. I will forever be thankful that these collectors aren’t like me!

 

What everyone has to realize is that there are many ways to enjoy this hobby that may be different from the way that you collect. You just need to find the best way to approach the hobby to meet your collecting goals. This hobby has changed so much over the years and what and how you collect determines whether or not you feel these items are good or bad. I have been fortunate enough to have shared my love for this hobby with my wife and our 3 children over the years and I look forward to introducing my grandkids to it as well in the next few years. Thanks for your time!