Starting a baseball card collection is actually pretty easy. You go buy some. After that, it becomes both more fun and a bit more complicated.
This year’s offerings from the baseball card companies are usually pretty easy to find in local general merchandise retailers. For those who want to collect baseball cards simply as a hobby, this is a very good place to start. Many people have a lot of fun purchasing inexpensive packs of cards, then collecting and trading them to get all their favorite players. For example, I was very impressed with Jason Heyward during his first game with the Braves, so I went to my favorite local retailer and picked up Topp’s entire series for that year. Last time I checked, the Jason Heyward card I have is selling for about $2.00 – $3.00. That value will increase over time, and will depend on how well he does throughout his career.
If you want to start a baseball card collection as an investment, then I recommend that you visit a specialty retailer. These folks generally collect baseball cards themselves, and so are in a better position to help you find the ones that are likely to increase in value. Do you have $4,000.00 (or more) for a Mickey Mantle card? Maybe $150.00 for a late 1960′s Hank Aaron? These cards started in the same place as my Jason Heyward card – on the shelf at a local store, maybe in a pack of five or so with a piece of gum. They’re just very old, rare and in really good condition.
A word about card condition. As you start your baseball card collection, you also want to start your method of preserving them in the best condition possible. Other than the obvious (keeping your baseball card collection dry and not bending them) you want to preserve them from scratches, frayed edges, fading due to sunlight – really anything that changes the look of the card. You want the card(s) to stay in as close to new (mint) condition as possible.
There are several ways to do this. You can get special sleeves that will fit into a 3-ring binder and protect your cards. The sleeves are inexpensive, and can usually be found in the same area as the cards at your local retailer. However, you may want some extra protection for your more valuable cards. Specialty retailers usually offer semi-rigid and rigid card protectors. You could also look at storing them at a secure location like Palmdale Extra Space Storage.
Whatever your goals when you decide to start collecting baseball cards, the tools are out there to help you keep them in excellent condition. Who knows, you may end up with a treasure. Even if you don’t, you’re sure to have a lot of fun along the way.