I have enjoyed collecting sports cards since my father introduced me to them over
30 years ago. I feel it is a wonderful hobby that can help connect families with a
common bond. The fun of trading cards and sports autograph collecting with my father (and now my daughter) has
left me with life long memories.
The history of baseball cards and collecting is also very interesting. The best site I have
found that details baseball card history can be found at
the Library of Congress - American Memory website. Here is
my brief overview of the beginning of baseball cards and
In the early 19th Century (over 100 years ago) the Goodwin & Co. began including
cards in with their cigarettes packs. Other tobacco companies, such as the
American Tobacco Company, began to create sports cards of their own between 1909-1911.
Out of these baseball cards came the now famous T-206 set, which includes the industries
most valuable baseball card of Honus Wagner which
Beckett.com values at an amazing $400,000!
Collecting cards became much more prominent in the late 1940's when Bowman began selling them
with their chewing gum for mere pennies per pack (currently packs can range from
about $.99 per pack to over $100 per pack) Wow! Bowman was soon purchased by Topps
Inc. and became the first company to
mass produce baseball cards. Topps
continued as the only major baseball
card producer from 1955 to 1980
Following a successful Monopoly lawsuit in 1980 against Topps, two other companies (Fleer & Donruss)
also began mass producing sports cards (primarily baseball). The added
competition created a race for better baseball card quality and design.
Trading cards in today's market include a variety of items including
autographed cards, game used memorabilia (i.e. pieces of jerseys, face masks, hats and sports autographs. inside the card) and
some contain both. The baseball card quality has improved dramatically and the condition of the card has
become much more important in today's market. Grading Services
including Beckett Grading and PSA now offer
to rate the condition of your card which can add (or sometimes
detract) from the value of your card.
Beckett publications also began to print and sell Baseball Card Price Guides
(along with other trading cards - sports cards guides) in the late 1980's,
which many dealers feel transcended baseball card collecting from a simple hobby
to its' current billion dollar a year industry.
We here at Magoo's Baseball cards have enjoyed collecting for over
30 years and I now currently enjoy collecting and trading
sports cards with my daughter (Age 6). I hope you enjoy this site and would
welcome any suggestions to make it better.