A baseball card is defined as “a small card printed on heavy paper stock, featuring one or more baseball players.” Generally, baseball cards have a player’s picture on one side with statistics or other information on the other side. While these cards may be of any size, the standard size 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Such cards are believed to have originated in the late 19th century. Then, the baseball cards were known as “trade cards” and were nothing more than a means of advertising for sports goods manufacturers.
The cards gained in popularity and soon all kinds of products, which had nothing to do with baseball, were advertised on them. Over the years, these cards have been associated with the tobacco industry, candy manufacturers, and chewing gum. As these cards fast became a collector’s item, quality improved and so did measures to prevent counterfeiting. Now, there are different series of cards that are issued every year or every season by different agencies.
Whether you are just beginning your collection of vintage cards or already have many, you need to be aware of the various tricks of the trade-so to speak. Get a good book which catalogues the real valuable cards and educate yourself on them. Buy inexpensive cards if you are not sure about their authenticity; you don’t want to pay a bundle and then find out you were ripped off! Approach only reliable sellers and preferable those with a guarantee or return policy.
You need to keep these points in mind even when you are trading baseball cards with a fellow collector. If you are looking to make some financial gains from your hobby, you can sell them at specialty card shops or shows throughout the country. Preserve your cards in plastic sleeves or use notebooks with plastic inserts. Keep looking up your cards in one of the many catalogues and you might just find a really valuable card some day.