Think baseball cards are for kids? Think again. Whether you’re just getting into collecting, or you’re picking back up where you left off years ago, here are seven reasons why adults should get in the game.
1. They’re tangible and a viable alternative to traditional investments.
A T206 Honus Wagner was purchased in 1977 for $1,500. Forty years later that same card is worth in excess of $1,000,000. That’s a pretty great return, and one that couldn’t be matched by many traditional investments not named “Apple.” While the Wagner card is of course an extreme example, there are thousands of cards that have appreciated in value over the years at a better and more predictable rate than many stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
For example, a Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps rookie card in Near Mint condition sold for $2,629 in 2011… and then sold again for $31,000 in 2016. One more example, and perhaps a more typical one, a Near Mint Sandy Koufax rookie sold in 2006 for $1,000, and was selling for $2,700 in 2016. That’s still a pretty great return. Baseball cards can be great investments --- if you know what you’re doing.
2. They’re great conversation pieces.
Few have ever walked into the home of an adult friend, noticed a baseball card or piece of sports memorabilia on display, and not asked about or commented on it. It’s just a great icebreaker. And if your guest is intrigued and happens to be a fellow collector, you now have a new friend for life.
A stunning T205 collection and memorabilia display --- photo credit: Jim Sexton network54.com
3. Collecting is just plain fun
Whether you’re opening a fresh pack of cards or the FedEx envelope containing the autographed photo you ordered on eBay, getting new cards and memorabilia is fun!
4. Collecting can help maintain perspective
The grown-up world can be a daunting place. But it’s impossible to feel too anxious when you’re looking through your baseball card collection. Try it. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, open a pack of baseball cards and see what happens.
5. Collecting improves self-esteem
Collecting stimulates a desire to learn more and more about a particular topic. The collector will continue to seek information until he feels he is an expert on the thing he is collecting. That feeling of mastery carries over, so the collector believes himself able to master other areas of life, too.
6. Collecting keeps you youthful
It’s the thrill of the chase. The excitement of finding and finally adding that hard-to-find card or piece of memorabilia that’s been missing from your collection is the same whether you’re 8 years old or 80. The same goes for showing off your collection. Adult collectors are just as giddy about showing their prized card, autograph or game used memorabilia as any youngster. That feeling never goes away, and it never changes.
An incredibly tough Shoeless Joe Jackson rookie card --- photo credit: user MattyC net54baseball
7. Collecting is good for your brain (and your health)