History of Baseball Cards

The oldest and most popular category of sports trading cards; baseball cards have been produced since the late 1860’s. Originally included in packs of chewing gum, tobacco, and cigarettes as a marketing tool; baseball cards were not mass produced until the 1930’s.  The early tobacco cards are among the most collectible cards in the sports collectible hobby, due both to their age and scarcity.  The 1933 Goudey set is considered by collectors to be one of the first mass produced baseball card sets, and features the first cards for some of the game’s greatest stars: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  The 1934 Goudey set is smaller, but also very popular.

1962 Jello Mickey Mantle cardThe production of baseball cards declined during the Second World War, but exploded again in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Between 1948 and 1955, the baseball card industry was dominated by the Topps and Bowman companies. The rivalry ended in 1955 when Topps purchased Bowman in a dispute primarily over Bowman’s exclusive contract with Mickey Mantle.  Topps essentially monopolized the industry until the early 1980’s, with only limited competition from companies such as Fleer and Leaf.

Fleer sued Topps over Topps’ exclusive agreements with Major League Baseball and in 1981, Fleer and new company, Donruss, re-entered the baseball card industry. Combined with an explosion of interest in the hobby, the arrival of new competition (including Upper Deck in 1990) spurred what has been dubbed the “Age of Overproduction.”   The value of baseball cards declined drastically as the market was flooded with new sets.

In the late 1990’s, with a declining customer base and sagging card prices, card companies began including ‘memorabilia cards’ in their sets, featuring game-used pieces of jerseys, bats, gloves, and even bases. These insert cards have been largely responsible for revitalizing interest in the hobby. In late 2009, Major League Baseball signed an exclusive contract with Topps, granting Topps the sole right to use MLB team logos. The long-term effects of this contract on the industry remain to be determined.

1987 DONRUSS
1987 DONRUSS "HIGHLIGHTS" 87 CARDS WITH CLEMENTE PUZZLE IN ORIGINAL BOX
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2002 Box Score Wave Of The Future Josh Beckett Game Used Jersey Marlins
2002 Box Score Wave Of The Future Josh Beckett Game Used Jersey Marlins
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ROGER CLEMENS - 1987 BRODER PRESS BOX Card #8 of20 - RED SOX
ROGER CLEMENS - 1987 BRODER PRESS BOX Card #8 of20 - RED SOX
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1991  Score  Baseball  Player Cards and Trivia Cards
1991 Score Baseball Player Cards and Trivia Cards
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2002 Box Score Press Clippings Josh Beckett Game Used Jersey Marlins
2002 Box Score Press Clippings Josh Beckett Game Used Jersey Marlins
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2010 Topps Pro Debut series 2 sealed case 12 boxes Mike Trout jersey books $150
2010 Topps Pro Debut series 2 sealed case 12 boxes Mike Trout jersey books $150
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Ken griffey jr unopened boxes 1993 cereal boxes unopened.
Ken griffey jr unopened boxes 1993 cereal boxes unopened.
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2009 Topps Series 2 Baseball Sealed Hobby Box 36 packs NIB
2009 Topps Series 2 Baseball Sealed Hobby Box 36 packs NIB
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1990 Bowman Big Box Set Baseball Card Factory Sealed
1990 Bowman Big Box Set Baseball Card Factory Sealed
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20 UNOPENED BASEBALL CARD BOXES DONRUSS - SCORE - FLEER - UPPER DECK - TOPPS  #4
20 UNOPENED BASEBALL CARD BOXES DONRUSS - SCORE - FLEER - UPPER DECK - TOPPS #4
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2008 Topps Baseball Box---Series-1---Hobby---Factory Sealed---36 Packs
2008 Topps Baseball Box---Series-1---Hobby---Factory Sealed---36 Packs
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1989 Score baseball wax box Opened Cards In Perfect Condition
1989 Score baseball wax box Opened Cards In Perfect Condition
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