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Thread: Article: State of the HOBBY

  1. #46
    I have been thinking a lot about this subject recently and thought that I would throw out my two cents. I have been collecting pretty regularly since 1989 when I was six years old. I started playing T-ball that year and continued playing the game through about the age of 13 because it was just not feasible to continue playing because my parents couldn't afford for me to continue and they didn't have time for the fundraising that would have allowed me to continue due to work. When I got to high school only wealthy kids played the game. As a young kid my parents could still afford to buy my brother and I a pack each of Topps, Fleer, or Donruss for around a buck from time to time. I'll never forget the excitement of pulling a Chris Sabo, Bo Jackson, Griffey, or in later years one of the "Big Hurt"!!! When I was little these guys were larger than life. I think MLB has failed miserably at marketing their stars. Guys like Trout, Harper, Kershaw, McCutchen, Cabrera, Votto, and Verlander just to name a few should be names known by every little boy in this country. In addition, kids don't play the game anymore beyond the age of 12 because in my opinion it has become too cost prohibitive for lower income and middle class families. Plus the game is practically played year round now which adds to the problem. With MLB making record profits every year I find it shameful that they are not investing more in their future talent pool. How many future Mantles and Aarons have floundered out in football because their parents couldn't afford to have them play baseball year round. There has to be more interest in the game for kids to jump back on the collecting wagon. I think the love for the game starts for kids when they play the game. When they play the game they look for the best of the game to emulate. Then they will seek to collect anything attributed to their heroes. Without a future, our hobby and the game many of us love will go the way of the Dodo.

    Personally, my collecting habits have changed drastically in the past year. I am no longer willing to go out and spend $100 or $200 on a box only to pull a Billy Butler or Tim Raines auto numbered to 25 which I can then turn around and sell for $5. Outside of Topps Heritage, I just don't see the value in any product on the market. I have found it much more rewarding to just hop on EBay and take that $200 and buy a decent Nolan Ryan RC or mid grade 1960's Mantle. Instead of going out and buying a blaster for $20, I hop on EBay and buy a 1978 Pete Rose PSA 9 for that same $20. My collection grows far more slowly, but the quality of my collection has improved and I have found it to be more enjoyable.

  2. #47
    I haven't bought any baseball cards since last year due to the facts 1. too many sets to keep up with as a master set builder and 2. I have been in recovery from my motorcycle accident I had in September 2014.

    This time off gave me time to reflect on my closet full of half done master sets forcing me to make up my mind which I had done so giving up building any more master sets; not for lack of funds but there are just too many Topps sets to keep up with and another thing I do not like is all the card pictures of players are the same each and every years in every Topps set. I decided to build only one set which will be Topps Chrome sets no matter how much I love the look of other cards and there inserts I need to build only one type of set.

  3. Cpia's Avatar
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    #48
    Someone commented about leaving trading for the young kids.....I believe the hobby is dying off because kids are not interested as much as when I grew up.

    They can't go to a game because the price is too high.
    They can't buy packs because the price is too high.
    They can't watch free tv anymore .
    Cable packages are too expensive.
    Way too many other interests these days(computer games etc)
    Games on TV are limited.

    There are kids in middle class that can't afford bats,balls and glove to play in organized league such as little league
    etc
    This affects the hobby because kids are turning away not because they are not interested because their parents can't afford it...They are the future of this hobby.

    The adults today are just as bad.Everything is about BV instead of trading for the card one wants....
    We need to start enjoying the Hobby more and make it fun.. Just a thought

  4. #49
    So how are things now, site activity wise ?

    In my case, in addition to severely limiting what I collect, I quit coming around because the wood grain background made it nearly impossible for me to use the site easily. Glad to see it's gone !

  5. #50
    I still like to bust wax because I still build base sets. To me inserts, parallels and even GU cards are only good for trading for the rest of the base I need. I spend a few hours every week going through the sets just for the memories of watching the guys play.

    As for kids not taking part in baseball any longer I have seen a general decline in interest. I teach in a middle school of about 250 5th through 8th graders. The overall population around here has declined significantly over the past ten or fifteen years. As a result, the number of teams that the Little League fields is being reduced every year. For the school teams of 7th and 8th graders we previously had a team of 7th graders and a separate team of 8th graders. Now we have one combined team of 7th and 8th graders. When not enough boys signed up to play, a handful of 9th graders were brought in to field a team. At the high school level there previously was a varsity and a junior varsity team but now there is only a varsity. Is it cost? Since Little League and the school provide the balls, bats, helmets and catcher's gear, I'd hope not. I think it's due to a general decline in desire to complete I see in kids today. I don't any way to quantify this but there seems to be fewer boys who want to compete in anything.

    Conversely, I see a lot more activity in softball on the part of the girls in my school. There seems to be just as many player in Little League but in middle school and high school there three times as many players as there are baseball players.

    I have also noticed a sharp decline in following MLB among the kids who I teach during this same time period. I live in upstate NY and I am also a die hard Red Sox fan (grew up in the suburbs of Boston). When I first started teaching I could always count on dozens of kids engaging in friendly ribbing with me along the lines of Red Sox vs. Yankees. Now? Maybe a handful. Most kids' feelings towards baseball and even the Yankees is (to put in middle school terms) "meh". Guess maybe more and more kids' parents refuse to pay extra for the YES network to watch the Yankees.

    As for collecting, my LCS is about a twenty minute drive away. Same for the nearest big box store that sells cards. Unless kids go with their parents, they probably won't be able to readily purchase cards.

    As an adult, I can still afford to buy packs but at a minimum of what $2.50 a pack, what kid an afford invest in our hobby any longer?

  6. #51
    No topps and topps chrome in basketball really sucks

  7. #52
    Its a hobby I still build my master sets I may not use this site to trade but I do watch this site for trends and who is working on what sets. I have been using my brick dealer more and more these days yesterday 8/10/2016 there was a nice show at the VFW around the corner from my home I picked up 60 cards for my Topps master set on those hard to fine insert cards. In my world the hobby is just fine, I just to not try to build too many different sets like most do.

  8. #53
    Vintage cards are the way to go as far as I'm concerned.
    They are getting harder to find in nrmt condition.

  9. #54
    it seems to me like the site has gone from a trading site to a buying and selling site. every time I post a message about guys I want to trade for, I get a few pm's from guys who want to sell.

    the other points are valid also, times and costs are changing too much too quick. I wish I knew where all the traders are.

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