Evolution of the Hobby

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Evolution of the Hobby

Post by ullmandds on Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:14 pm

Having been collecting vintage BB cards for almost 30 years to some extent...I have seen many cards come and go in popularity and value...as many of you have.

As previously discussed...the t207 Lowdermilk, 33 goudey Lajoie were once looked at as icons of the hobby...with values to reflect that...not so much these days!

Over the years as new information is discovered...tastes change...cards fall in and out of favor.

When I was young...condition was king...and any misprints, double images, errors in alignment, etc...were frowned upon...and were not very desirable.

So can we name other examples of cards that were once very valuable and sought after...that have fallen out of favor with collectors...or vice versa...cards once lepers that are now into the stratosphere in valuation and desirability?

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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by sabrjay on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:20 pm

Pre-war rookie cards. No one cared. Mainly because it was too hard to determine which was the true rookie. The other reason probably being that the same image was used repeatedly on many cards so a rookie card would have the same image as a card issued 5 or 10 years later. Also given the scarcity of many sets most collectors were just happy to have an example or two of most HOFers.

I think m101-4/5 have gone from leper to stardom mainly for the rookie cards of Ruth, Thorpe and others.

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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by ullmandds on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:51 pm

I agree with you Jay...I guess a lot of what it really is is the "maturation" of the hobby. Back in the day...the more common...more popular stuff was just that...more popular!!!

As more info was revealed relating to scarcity levels and obscurities...these more obscure issues have increased in popularity as the hobby and the collectors tastes and interests have matured.
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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by sabrjay on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:59 pm

Caramel cards were unloved until about turn of the 21st century. Then they took off like a wild fire. Strip cards are still the bastard son of the hobby getting very little respect out side of the w514 set.

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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by pariah1107 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:33 pm

The w514's are all over the place. When I started my set a couple years ago there may have been 40-60 on ebay, mostly in poor condition or worse, and none in auctions except the Black Sox. Now, there are 250-275 everyday, 10-20 in VG/EX condition or better, and many auctions have at least a couple examples of different strip cards.

I think this has to do with the economy. It is still a reasonable way to assemble a pretty decent collection on the cheap, and keep in the hobby without going broke. Tough to gauge the more expensive, and quite frankly, more desirable cards while we're still amidst a recession.

Really surprised by some of the collections being sold off in this uneasy economy. For example....

http://legendaryauctions.com/viewuserdefinedpage.aspx?pn=TheDreierCollection
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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by m-mac on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:08 pm

I find the persistence of t206 to be interesting. t206 relative to other t series have done well over the past 30 years. I think it is probably easier to begin a collection of 19th century material today compared to 30 years ago, even though there are probably more collectors.

Compared to 1980s, what surprises me a little, goudey & other 30s series have not held up well, I think, relative to other series.

When I look at old hobby mags, there appears to be more dealers of publications relative to today. Today the focus seems to be graded material and rarities, while in the older mags from 30+ years ago, the offering were more varied and broad. To some extent, some online sources have replaced the old TTS, SCD, etc. The last time I went to a card show, and when I attended lots of shows in the 80s, there used to be very few publications offered, forget specialized dealers present.

10 years ago, I was interested in what the internet might do to cards, and over the past 20 years, what might books showing card images might do to cards. I thought maybe a book would be as good as the card. I'd say, for now, that's not the case. We still like cards.

I am a little surprised that over the past 30 years, I have no idea how cards were made, and I know the information is out there, but I should know.

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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by sabrjay on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:15 pm

While I've never been to their 'museum', Doug made provided me with many photos of their collection over the years. All of which he had asked me to not show others. Now you all know whose stuff I was talking about when I said I couldn't show you the picture. I'd love to get that giant Indian leather on the wall behind them. A picture of that wall was the first thing Doug ever showed me as at the time I was collecting Native American cards. Wish I had the coin to buy something from their collection.

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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by bowlingshoeguy on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:16 pm

THe dynamics of the hobby changed with the advent of the internet with more cards and information accessible to more people. In the past the information on vintage cards came from a handful of people that published books and thus left many of the knowledgeable people not getting there info out if they wanted to.

Plus to be able to find vintage cards in many areas of the country very tough to find at shows in your area it kept the interest down because of lack of product.

All these factors have helped to shape our hobby today. You never know what the next big thing is going to be because there is a fair number of collectors that jump on the bandwagon of an issues and go hot and hard for a while then lose interest and sell them off for a fraction of what they bought them for.

I always get a kick out the people that are mad or upset when the cards they are collecting drop in value. If your in it for the money, sell when it's hot, otherwise be happy the prices have lowered so it is cheaper to buy more cards.

Lee
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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by Bosox Blair on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:41 pm

If you look at the old price guides found within the Lew Lipset encyclopedias, there are some interesting ones. Back then, the T206 Kleinow Red Sox variation was one of the handful of most valuable cards in the set. It was still very expensive when I got mine back in about 1996. Now that card has fallen down the ranks in a huge way.

Since those days, stars and HOFers other than the major ones have risen a lot too (by this I mean that major stars have risen a lot, but it was always known that they were worth a lot more than commons). The premium above common status for these non-major-HOFers back in the day was modest. Now there are a lot more tiers of stars/HOFers with a much higher premium over commons.

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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by Bicem on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:03 am

ullmandds wrote:I agree with you Jay...I guess a lot of what it really is is the "maturation" of the hobby. Back in the day...the more common...more popular stuff was just that...more popular!!!

As more info was revealed relating to scarcity levels and obscurities...these more obscure issues have increased in popularity as the hobby and the collectors tastes and interests have matured.

Agreed, but I still think we have a loooong way to go.
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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by jbonie on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:35 pm

The advent of the internet, plus the grading companies, changed things in many ways in the 90's because it democratized collecting. No longer did the casual collector have to go to a card shop and get low-balled by a shop owner in order to sell his card.

During the economic boom of the mid-2000's, E-cards took on a life of their own while T206's were considered "boring". After the economic collapse brought about the end of the E-card craze, people ran back into more "classic" T206's.

Now the same types of speculators in E-cards are hustling into rare-backed T206's. It is the next "bubble", and it should last a couple of more years. The reason is because those same wealthy collectors who were likely going after every player in every set (causing E-cards to explode in worth) are now going after the T206 Master Set.

There are probably 2 or 3 of them bidding up the prices, and seeing how they are quite wealthy, the improving stock market should supply them with ample funds moving forward. That's why T206 rare backs still have 50-75% upside from these price levels over the next couple years. Only when there is some sort of economic weakness and one or more of these Master Set collectors pulls out will prices drop, and drop hard.

It will be disaster in the long run, but over the next couple of years it should be exciting. I think it's too late to get in, however.
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Re: Evolution of the Hobby

Post by sabrjay on Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:26 pm

Jamie is probably right. As soon as one or two of the whales stop buying and decide to dump their back collection, prices will continue to rise. Once they do sell the market will cool and prices will fall. The m101-5 Thorpe is a good example. From 2002-2009 There was maybe 3 or 4 copies put for auction. When the SGC 20 went 12k a few years ago they started coming out of the woodwork and there was one in almost every major auction. Now that most people have the card that want it, demand and price have slipped and we are not seeing one in every auction. Although I think that if a Famous & Barr back Thorpe came on the market again it would probably command a strong price as I have not seen one for sale in a few years.

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