Collecting baseball cards was once a kid’s hobby that nearly every american boy, and many girls, participated in. Those kids who watched their favorite baseball hero’s were always excited to collect the related baseball cards, as it created a connection for them to their heros. Thus this desire to be connected to their baseball heros was the main driver of this hobby.
In time, some of those kids became adults and they continued to collect baseball cards and evidentually there was enough of a market that some cards became quite valuable. When baseball cards became valuable, investors began to collect baseball cards for investmnet purposes and then it was no longer just a kid’s hobby. Collecting baseball cards has now been elavated to the same level as stamp collecting and coin collecting, although still not quite as popular as the other two hobbies.
Baseball cards were first created as premiums or free promotional gifts associated with the purchase of other products, most noteably, tobacco and chewing gum. The first baseball cards date back to the late 1800’s, but the modern era of baseball cards did not begin until the end of the 1940’s when baseball cards began to be produced after world war II. Topps was the driving company behind this hobby for the next four decades.
Once baseball card collecting became an adult hobby other companies entered the market and now the hobby card market is divided up by four or five card producig companies. The baseball card collector now has more choices and sources of acquiring baseball cards then ever before. In addition to the local retail channel for buying new baseball cards, there are now both on-line and local retail collectible stores that serve baseball card collectors, much like those that serve stamp and coin collectors.