The Fourth Blog Bat Around would make an excellent pamphlet (hard copy or digital) for the new collector, the confused collector, or the experienced collector who needs a recharged insight battery. In fact, we'd pay money for this wisdom.
But we don't have to, thanks to SCU (Blog Bat Around is Adam's brainchild), to Dave, the previous host, and to the wonderful group of citizen baseball card journalists willing to share their wide-ranging knowledge and depth of insight.
There are some new voices this time. Thank you one and all for coming through in the clutch, and without using blog-enhancing drugs! We learned a great deal. Without further ado, here are the links and our summaries:
Collected Blog Bat-Around Posts: Which Baseball Cards to Buy, Hold & Enjoy in 2009 (The Ten-Year Plan)
Current Sports Cards: In baseball, look to Michael Inoa, who signed with the Oakland A's last year. In basketball, Kevin Durant rookie autos are a good buy. For a set, consider 2007-2008 Chronology. In football, the best long-term bet is Adrian Peterson. 2007 Playoff Contenders is a good set bet.
Sports. Cards. Life: For a sound investment, consider Prince Fielder, whose power is fueled not by steroids but by Krispy Kreme and KFC. Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixiera also make the cut. And maybe David Wright and Ryan Braun, too.Paul's Random Stuff: Stay with vintage, and specifically with "retired players that transcended baseball to become pop culture icons." There's also a suggestion of something we often worriedly suspect: "modern players are hopeless." Paul acknowledges the vast difference between truly rare vintage cards versus today's manufactured rarity.
Saints of the Cheap Seats: No set today is a "must-have." The hobby aspect of card collecting is being lost as a result of too much product, too much choice. Many people in the hobby love a team, a player, or a set and don't buy for investment. Having said that, Dan's prediction for a card that will be worth more in ten years: CC Sabathia's rookie auto card.
The Nennth Inning: What is "worth"? Factoring in modern concerns, a sound buy-and-hold approach is the autographed-on-card rookie card, for several reasons that Bailey delineates. Also, look to Bowman. Bailey is himself currently collecting 2007 Bowman Chrome. PS He does not love Barry Zito's Bowman Chrome, but he owns one. All is forgiven, as we know for a fact that Bailey does like Barry Zito The Person.
Punkrockpaint: Tony Gwynn, okay, you knuckleheads? The favorite: 1983 Topps card of Mr. Gwynn. As for Buy and Hold, Mr. PunkRP is waiting to snag a "complete set of Goose Joak Originals."
Sports Cards Uncensored: Everyone's favorite linguistically pioneering news-source-card-curmudgeon notes that this is a good time to buy on eBay; that in this hobby, patience is a virtue; and that selling "at the first sign of peril" is unwise.
Indians Cards-the Amazing David: Oddball items (such as Milk Bone All-Stars, Post cereal cards, Pacific die-cuts), which hold value based on novelty and inherent rarity, are a wise bet. The fact that licensing issues make these, going forward, less likely to be manufactured at all, increases their value.
Nachos Grande: Retro-themed sets are the way to go.
White Sox Cards: Steve courageously reports from the Valley of Internet Disconnectedness (until Feb. 18) that the Wal-Mart 2007 Topps #292 Josh Hamilton is nothing at which to sneeze. As usual, Mr. WS delves beyond the basics...for instance, retro is good if it incorporates attention to detail.
Night Owl Cards: Difficult to summarize and retain punch. Suffice to say that if the bat-wielding Evan Longoria and the fending-off-a-bear-attack Chuck James stories do not engage you right away, perhaps consider checking your pulse.
Blue Diamond Cards: Short and sweet: go for 2001 Bowman Chrome, in large part due to the Albert Pujols rookie card. The career milestones of Mr. Pujols will only accumulate.
Ryan's Memorabilia: Go as vintage as you can afford. And rookie cards are a good bet, too. The 1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron rookie would be a place to start. Wary about modern cards maintaining value, Mike asks the mindbending question: "What is the difference between a Babe Ruth cut signature card from 2007 and [one from] 2008?" Opening packs and organizing cards is priceless family time, he reminds us.
1988 Score: He goes back to the past, to a 1990 Donruss Steve Avery Rated Rookie acquired when he was nine years old. Fast forward to the present: What is that card worth? To the person who collected that card, its value transcends time. Maybe someone in ten years will be inspired by his collection.
Card Junkie: Well-reasoned argument leads to this conclusion: Alex Rodriguez 1994 SP #15.
1972 Topps: It was a simple question to answer in 1979: Honus Wagner, 1952 Topps. It's harder to answer the question in 2009. There are only two card companies, but they produce too many cards. Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Randy Tate and Johnny Bench are mentioned here, but you need to see the discussion of those cards in context. I think most people would agree with the viewpoint expressed in the final paragraph.
Fielder's Choice: "Collectors nowadays tend to be very cynical about the future value of their cards," says Dave. But should they be? For one thing,"the era of overproduction is long gone." Dave also notes that if more kids don't become card collectors, future demand will plummet, as has occurred with coin and stamp collecting. Other than pre-1980 cards, Dave values David Price and Evan Longoria cards. Best bets in descending order of risk: vintage; relic and auto cards of legendary players; top prospects and young players.
House of Cardboard: For ROI, consider vintage; established stars; autographed cards, and some GU. The twist here is the recommendation to seriously consider what people AREN'T collecting now, such as complete sets of base cards that come from products driven by hits. A decade hence, who shall proudly display a binder filled with Sweet Spot or Bowman Sterling base? Who will be able to locate every single National Treasures football base card? If history is a good indicator, then that which collectors toss to the side in a race to grab the GU may be a wise focus now.
Cardboard Junkie dayf: After providing the knowledgable historical and personal perspective that is unique to Cardboard Junkie, not to mention excellent illustrations, dayf summarizes his Buy-Hold advice down to a five-step process. If you're wise, you will ready every word of this post. Twice.
Sac Bunt Baseball Card Blog: 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken, Jr: this card is "timeless," and so is the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey rookie card. He tells a story about driving all over with his parents to pursue the next Ripken card to add to the collection. Chris builds to the conclusion that "value in baseball cards depends entirely on the values of the collector."
JayBee's Topps Baseball Card Blog: Guided by his signature use of rich detail and factual support, JayBee mentions 1992 Bowman rookie cards and then settles on 2001 Topps and Topps Traded & Rookies as a wise buy-and-hold, partly due to the first appearances of Ichiro Suzuki and Albert Pujols. He also raises the question: has there been anyone as comparably great as these two players since 2001?
Achiever: This is another post that may have you hyperventilating due to laughter issues, so enter cautiously. His imagined interview (based on a regular feature presented by The Mighty Chemgod) with the Craigslist Idiot whose handle is 'ModestlyPricedReceptacles,' whose "avatar is a bowling pin," is classic Motherscratcher. Would you want to drive 37 hours round trip unless it's worth your while? But please see for yourself, as there are also serious recommendations contained within. MS is the only blogger to acknowledge the obligation for all contributing bloggers to meet for enchiladas in ten years, but that's okay, as we have your addresses and know where to send the invitations.
Grand Cards: The Curtis Granderson maven presents economic formulas pertinent to collecting and analyzes the impact of "artificial scarcity" (similar to what Paul's Random Stuff calls "manufactured rarity") and "elasticity" (how many "close substitutes" a card has) upon the value of cards. He concludes that the collector's objective is to buy, hold...and enjoy.
Mark's Ephemera: Seek the usual suspects. But the unusual too, for instance, the 1936 Goudey "Wide Pen" Premium, Type 1. Mickey Cochrane. You must read why. [dabs eyes]
Heartbreaking Cards: In which Matt channels Jim Cramer. Perfectly. With sound effects. Tips include 1989 Upper Deck. Ichiro's Japanese rookie cards. Remember, yesterday's A-Rod is tomorrow's A-Roid.