Baseball card peeps, we're checking in from our road trip to Colorado.
This morning we saw a news article about why kids don't seem to be collectors any more. In the piece, the president of a rare coin and precious metals trading firm claims that the days of kids avidly collecting baseball cards are over. Kaputski. Why?
"Because of the United States Mint." Hmm, okay. We hadn't yet heard that theory. He went on to say, "The state quarter program, new gold and silver coins, and the new Lincoln pennies for 2009 have brought coin collecting to center stage."
We would now like you to guess what both our kids a while back decided--without any outside encouragement--that they would like to collect? [Answer: the U.S. state quarters.] Our older daughter was tiny when this became a goal of hers. It was not a deterrent that it would take years. Even today she always looks at any quarters given as change to make sure she has them all.
Many children attend coin shows, and the American Numismatic Association provides quite a vast background to help interest young collectors. There is an active online community of coin collectors at cointalk.com that includes a way for older collectors to mentor the younger generation.
It's clear by comparison that there's little effort made to attract young people to the baseball card hobby. Is this because baseball card collecting has just become too pricey and businesslike?
Many families put effort into the process and use baseball cards as one more way to build common ground and even make life a bit more fun. They do this with little or no help or encouragement from Upper Deck, Topps, or Major League Baseball.
MLB and the sports card companies have not used technology to entice young collectors to the degree that them there numismatists have. Baseball card collecting is directed now almost entirely to grown up collectors, except for that couple of years when boys go crazy for game used and auto hits. (Then they may or may not come back to cards after getting older.) Otherwise, is baseball card collecting being left behind in the wake of coinage?
If kids don't care much now, then in twenty years, who will collect baseball cards?