Million dollar cards: baseball sports cards are booming
Anyone who thought the sports card era was long over was wrong. Collectible cards may have been forgotten for about three decades, but now they are experiencing a real renaissance. Several baseball cards have recently been sold for millions of dollars, and the most expensive may still be ahead of us. Sounds random? Well, here’s what caused the sudden boom in sports cards.
Sports fans are bored because of the pandemic
The main reason why baseball cards have become so popular over the past year after decades of neglect is the pandemic. Sports fans are used to following season after season and watching regular shows (or watching games). Because of the lockdown, they had nothing to look forward to for months. Naturally, new entertainment options have exploded in popularity. Video games have become an almost universal pastime. Several online gambling platforms accepting Bitcoin have emerged. Streaming services have increased their subscriber base.
While baseball cards are by no means a new form of entertainment, their sudden rebirth is also the result of foreclosure. Dedicated sports fans were desperate for something sports related, and eSports and sports cards came to their rescue. After all, looking for a rare vintage card might not be as exciting as watching the Mets play, but it is something. Unfortunately, that also means baseball cards will likely be forgotten again soon.
Everyone is looking for a sense of community
Live sports are not the only loss the world has suffered in the past eighteen months. One of the things the pandemic has taken away from us is the fun of spending time with groups of people who love the same things we do. Even dating close friends was off-limits to many people, let alone casual acquaintances from sports bars. For this reason, everyone has been looking for new ways to connect with others.
This is how the baseball card collecting community saw a huge influx of new members. Many sports card enthusiasts meet every now and then in person, but it’s also easy to trade and find like-minded people online. There are baseball card forums where collectors can spend hours communicating. So it’s not hard to understand the allure, especially during confinement.
Some hope to take advantage of it
On top of that, baseball cards can be extremely profitable. Some new and rare baseball cards and collections of old baseball cards are priced comparable to masterpieces of art. Until recently, several hundred dollars were the limit (with a few exceptions), but the card boom caused by the pandemic has changed that. Now the record belongs to the T206 Honus Wagner issued by American Tobacco around 1910: it sold over $ 6 million a month ago.
In addition, there is a specific group of baseball card collectors who have engaged in collecting specifically for profit. They treat cards like stocks and are sometimes referred to as types of Wall Street. The guys on Wall Street aren’t very popular with real enthusiasts both because they lack passion for cards and because they drive up the prices.
The blow of nostalgia
Finally, nostalgia and love for vintage has also contributed to the recent increase in demand for baseball cards. The late 1980s was the height of the popularity of sports cards. Now people who were kids at the time and who played with them are nostalgic for their childhood and the “good old days”, so they buy old cards to relive their memories. Plus, anything vintage has been trending over the past five years or so. Many young people find it cool to spend hours shopping for thrift stores and looting grandparents’ attics. It’s easy to see how old baseball cards fit into this trend.