The Baseball Card Craze

The baseball card craze was from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. It has been profitable for people who took advantage of baseball card collectors during the craze and after.

This page provides two stories of people were able to turn their baseball cards into cash.

When I was a boy I never collected baseball cards but many did. I was more into comic books and marbles.

Many young boys collected cards and they put them away for decades. Some men have made good sums of money off of this early hobby.


A Closet full of Money – The Baseball Card Craze
While I was living in Redondo Beach California a roommate Marty told me an incident earlier in his life about a friend who made a small fortune with baseball cards.

One evening Marty and his friends were sitting around at some friends house talking about the new baseball card craze and how people were making a lot of money from old baseball cards.

One of Marty’s friends (who was always complaining about being poor) mentioned that he had an old plastic milk carton (the size of a small box) full of baseball cards.

Everyone immediately stopped and you could hear a pin drop. Someone asked Marty’s friend: “Did you say you had a full box of baseball cards, or you have a box of baseball cards?”

He casually said: “I have a box of baseball cards. It is in one of my closets.”

A member of the group told him to get the box. Marty’s friend went off to the closet and brought the box of baseball cards back with him.

Until the wee hours of the morning the group of friends sorted through the baseball cards. They put what looked like the most important baseball cards in one pile, the next most important cards in another pile and so forth.

Sometime later Marty’s friend was able to get an estimate of the value of all the cards. They were worth about $35,000.

Marty’s friend shared his windfall by occasionally selling some of the cards and taking his friends out to dinner. This was a great way to thank the friends for helping him discover the small fortune, and a fun way of using some of the proceeds from the windfall.

Marty’s friend ended up putting the rest of the baseball cards in a safety deposit box.

Like any trend the baseball card craze finally died down. I don’t know if Marty’s friend he ever sold the remaining cards or still has them to this day.

As noted in Investing in collectables, it is best to sell when the market is hot. In other words, get while the getting is good.

Although the baseball card craze, “economic bubble” whatever you want to call it popped, there is still a demand for cards from avid collectors. This next story is such a case.


Mike’s Baseball Cards – The Baseball Card Craze
A co-worker named Mike collected baseball cards for years when he was a boy. He purchased small groups of cards that were made by a company called Topps. Over the years he collected thousands of baseball cards.

In late 2011 Mike read that some top baseball players were going to be visiting and signing autographs at a local casino here in Tucson Arizona.

Mike selected several player starter cards from his collection and went to one of the local comic and card shops. The shop was interested in the cards, because customers who would be going to the casino to meet the athletes and get signatures would want something for the players to sign.

Mike sold six of the cards for around $200. Not bad for a couple of hours of fun work!

Of all of the cards Mike has he estimates that about 10% are worth some money. Mike has no interest in the cards any longer. They are taking up space in his home and he has moved on to other interests.

Mike could sell these cards on eBay, or some other sites that handles baseball card sales. He could generate an income for awhile to augment his income from work.


Final Thoughts – The Baseball Card Craze
There is money to be made from some hobbies. You never know what treasures you may have that others are willing to pay handsomely for.


“One mans trash is another man’s treasure.”

Return from the Baseball Card Craze to Investing in Collectables