What am I going to do with all these baseball cards?

It’s a question many 40-year-old men (and a few women) are likely pondering. If you were a baseball card collector in the late 80s and early 90s, chances are you have a pretty heavy set of cards. And even bigger chances that the majority of them aren’t worth diddly squat.

We’re talking complete sets, sets you tore through looking for the valuable cards, wax packs, you name it. Thousands and thousands of ‘common players’. Regardless, there they sit. In a box (or in my case, a large, foot locker) with no place to go.

what to do with baseball cards
There are literally thousands of cards in here. What to do?

The problem is, they made so many sets of cards from 87 – 93 and beyond that the card collecting hobby became overly saturated. I actually thought (back then) that my collection would cover the cost of my future child’s college education. For real. I actually thought that. Now I’d be lucky if it buys the sheets for the bed in the dorms. Curses!

unopened wax packs
One of the hardest things was not to open the wax packs. Who knows how’s hidden in these packs. The problem is, they’re not that valuable.

I was lucky enough to pick up a few cards in certain situations that are outside of the over-production years. These are older baseball, football, hockey and a few basketball cards. The problem is they are not in great quality. But of course, I haven’t gone thorough them in years. And I haven’t gone through them all for that matter. I do have a wooden box (within the foot locker) that contains the most ‘prized’ cards. So it’ll be fun to look through that and see if there is anything to salvage for massive profit. Laughable, likely.

1997 Topps Full Set
Good ol’ 1987 Topps. Wood grain sides and the whole bit.

But the next step is to find a way to offload all of these cards. One website I like actually breaks down different sets and the most valuable cards from that era. For instance, I remember getting the full set of 1987 Topps (the wood grain). I rifled through these looking for that Jose Canseco ‘cup card’. But Old Sports Cards is a great resource in telling me what’s good from that set.

I supposed the best approach is to go and get what I think are my best cards professionally graded. But spending money to making money seems to be the only solution here. That or put the whole locker up for sale for one price. But then in the event there’s a diamond in the rough – I’d lose out. Regardless, it’ll take time. Something I don’t have much of at all.

I have this card! Too bad mine is average shape. Likely get me $20-$50 if I’m lucky. Sigh.

So I sit and think what could have been. My college fund baseball card set. Sitting, collecting dust and waiting for my 40-year-old self to make a move to sell, hold or let it sit longer. (Side note: the foot locker is currently in my parents garage, so letting it sit longer probably isn’t an option. It’s time to make a move).

And I don’t feel like the values will increase much in the next 20 years. So why keep them? I should sell and put the money in a growth account. So perhaps a college fund is possible, after all?

I’ll keep you posted on my efforts to offload my collection. Should make for a good series of posts. If you have any advice, ideas, or experience in selling your baseball card collection, I’m all ears.

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Josh Benson

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Josh Benson


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