A Primer On Collecting Baseball Cards This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Collecting baseball cards is one of America's foremost hobbies. Baseball cards are passed from generation to generation. This hobby is enjoyable, as well as financially rewarding. This hobby is not only enjoyed in America, but also in Japan, where baseball is a new, upcoming, popular sport. To me, baseball cards symbolize "the good old days," of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. I wish I was alive back then, so I could have seen Babe Ruth slug a home-run directly over green monster in Fenway Park.

Before you begin your collection of baseball cards you will need the following materials: baseball card book ($3-$7), one pack of cards ($.45, $.50, $1.00), at least one case, for cards over $5.00 in value ($.40), and one Beckett Price Guide ($2.50). Your lowest cost for this hobby would be: $6.35.

You need to know the brand of cards that are worth the most: Upper Deck ($1.00 a pack), Fleer ($.50-$.55 per pack), Dunruss ($.50 a pack) and Topps ($.50 per pack). You get fifteen cards in Upper Deck, and twelve cards in Topps, Fleer, Score, and Dunruss. The reason that "Upper Deck" are worth the most are: 1) they come in limited amounts, and 2) they have un-resealable, tamper-proof packs. The others (Topps, Donruss, Fleer, etc.) you can open and glue the pack back and sell it.

The next stop to becoming an "expert" baseball card collector is knowledge. You need to know: "rookie" cards (1st year of playing card) are always worth more. For example, Ken Griffey Jr.'s Upper Deck A89 (his rookie year) card is worth ten dollars while his Upper Deck A90 card is worth a mere $3.50.

Second, don't get ripped off! How? Look on the back of all wax packs and open it a little bit. If it's extremely hard (or easy) to open, they've been tampered with. Next, if you're going to buy a box of cards, first purchase two packs and use the method described above. Finally, when making trades always look at the card's condition and consult your Beckett Price Guide on all trades.

Don't let "so-called" dealers rip you off; be a wise consumer! With a little time, money and effort, you can become a part of America's history, legend, and tradition by collecting baseball cards.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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