I collect many things. Some things I have, like a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey signed by the Steel Curtain or a mint edition poster from the 1977 United States Grand Prix signed by Mario Andretti I have kept and could be worth lots of money in the future. Other things like a David James Liverpool goalkeeper jersey from 1995 probably won’t increase in value but I personally love it.
A recently discovered collection of 19 packs of unopened baseball cards from 1948 was sold for $521,180. Each pack sold for a nickel and even in today’s money, would go for 51 cents per pack. 69 years later, they sold for $27,430 per pack.
These cards have a notable place in history. These packs, which contain five card and three pieces of gum, were some of the first packs of bubble gum cards to be manufactured after World War II.
But that wasn’t the only thing being auctioned off for big bucks. A complete set of Fleer basketball cards from the 1961-62 season went for $108,039, while a complete set of Topps NFL cards from 1961 went for $119,978.
While the trading card industry has suffered in recent years, trading cards are a great way to look back on the history of sport. I doubt the buyer would be crazy enough to open any of these packs but imagine opening up these packs from generations ago and discover a Wilt Chamberlain or a Jim Brown or a Joe DiMaggio card.
Hopefully the buyer of these cards appreciates the history they are buying and not just because they think it’ll increase in value. Whether it is you collect, collect the things you love and enjoy and not if it’ll someday make money.