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How to Collect Baseball Cards

Baseball card collecting, even if it's just for fun, can become an expensive hobby. Learning the basics is important, or you'll wind up wasting your money.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame website Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame website. Learning about the great teams and players in game history is a prerequisite for a beginning collector.
  • Step 2: Learn card collector jargon Learn card collector jargon. A "set" is a series of consecutively numbered cards, and a "jersey card" can include an embedded swatch from a player's uniform.
  • Step 3: Decide what your collection focus will be Decide what your collection focus will be. Some collectors focus on individual players or teams and others concentrate on building a full set.
  • TIP: A "super collector" might aim at collecting every card ever produced for a team or player.
  • Step 4: Learn card values jargon Learn card values jargon. "Book value" is a card value based on a baseball card guide price and "sell value" is the actual price paid for the card.
  • TIP: "Exclusive spokesperson cards" are autographed or jersey cards from a player with an exclusive card company contract.
  • Step 5: Learn card grading terms Learn card grading terms like "mint," "near mint," "very good," "fair," and "poor." Physical defects include corner wear, creasing, trimming, and stains.
  • TIP: If you want to buy a rare card, get one that's been professionally graded.
  • Step 6: Visit a sports memorabilia convention Visit a sports memorabilia convention for an overview of card prices, or visit a dealer shop authorized by a card company like Topps or Upper Deck.
  • TIP: A graded card in an unopened plastic holder guarantees that the card grade remains unchanged even if traded multiple times.
  • Step 7: Start your collection with a box of new baseball cards Start your collection with a box of new baseball cards. Rarer cards are sometimes randomly placed in a box; these are called "hits."
  • Step 8: Learn how to protect and store your cards Learn how to protect and store your cards correctly. You can put them in individual plastic holders or in a three-ring binder containing nine-card plastic pocket sheets. You can now begin to enjoy your new hobby!
  • FACT: The world's most valuable card, a 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco trading card, was once owned by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Authorized card dealer locations
  • Box of new cards
  • 3-ring binder with 9-card plastic pocket sheets
  • Individual plastic card holders

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