It’s a perfectly reasonable question in 2015. No matter what companies like Beckett Media or others who thrive off collectors’ money, this hobby is on life support. Baseball Card Shops, once a staple of the early 90s are all but gone. Competition from companies like Pinnacle Brands and Fleer have died out, while others like Donruss and Upper Deck are forced to make generic, unlicensed cards. Topps Company, the most iconic card manufacturer is single-handedly flooding the market with millions and millions of unnecessary parallels and collectors are just not buying it any longer.
As a player collector, times could not possibly be any better. I get the pick of the litter thanks to dirt cheap prices on eBay but for case breakers and even box busters, which I once was, this hobby simply doesn’t offer any kind of incentive any longer. Since returning to collecting, I have spent a fair amount of money to purchase cards at $7-$25 from products that cost anywhere from $70 per box to $700. Essentially, your brutal financial loss is my gain but just how much longer will the big case busters stick around?
Cards like the Kris Bryant Superfractor get all the media and hobby attention despite that time and time again collectors foolishly spend thousands of dollars on cards of kids who simply do not pan out. Does anyone not remember the $5,000 Joba Chamberlain Super and the Stephen Strasburg disaster? What’s worse is that rather than offer a voice of reason, publications like Beckett Media encourage and fan the flames of super cards just to sell another magazine or push their grading service that only adds value to cards that they themselves price! This is the very definition of conflict of interest.
We are now in the final days, believe it or not. As much as I love collecting and have loved it for nearly 25 years, no piece of card board will ever replace a smart phone, lap top, or gaming system. If companies don’t realize this soon, we will see more card manufacturers close their doors and sell of their printers in bankruptcy hearings. The time is now for a change to happen but no one will simply choose to make less money by producing less cards so nothing will change until everything that was great about our hobby is gone, much like the card shops.
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