Posted by: portersprospectreport | June 29, 2008

Fav-5 Things That Need to Vacate the Baseball Card Premises

Here’s a change up from the normal daily minor league reports. While I do believe the baseball card market is in good health, there are trends and products in the market that need to be phased out altogether.

1. The confusion of the “RC logo”

  • The designation of the Rookie Card logo, placed on post-2005 products, was designated with the stated intent of clearing up the confusion felt by newer and younger collectors as to what is “officially” a player’s true rookie card.  Since this has begun, however, players that have already had cards in numerous sets and years have had cards that have been tabbed with the RC logo.  In my mind, this only adds to the confusion, and misleads those less experienced collectors into believing that they do “in fact” have a player’s true rookie card.  The fact remains that no matter how you present it, a player’s RC, in the minds of many collectors is, in fact, the player’s 1st issued card.  Maybe the who “Rookie Card” moniker needs to be scrapped in favor of “1st year card” or some other simple designation.


2.) The Proliferation of the Parallels

  • I love refractors and serial numbers just as much as the next person, but the inundation of multi-tiered parallels (Topps Co-Signers and Milestones and Moments being the worst) is making a mockery of this industry.  The concept of the serial numbered card is superb when used in moderation.  The thought of there being 165 variations of an Alex Rodriguez card within a set each serial numbered to #165 is tedious overkill defined.  If a parallel within a set does not have a significant increase in value or demand over its base set peers, it should be banished from the set F-O-R-E-V-E-R (just watched The Sandlot with my boy). 


3.) Redemptions?????

  • What a buzz kill to open a box to find that your prize is a plain text card stating that you received a redemption ticket for a J.R. Towles autograph.  Yippee!!! Strike up the band and parade through the streets…after you fish out a pen, develop writer’s cramp scrawling your name, address,phone number, work phone, social security number, pin number of your debit card, and waist and inseam measurements within lines the width of a toothpick.  Oh, and don’t forget that stamp…wait, you’re out of stamps!  Gotta go to the post office and buy a book of stamps because they don’t sell them in singles anymore (not in my town anyway).  Then you have to scrawl out the address of the card manufacturer with your off hand (because you are still cramped in your writing hand) on an envelope you hopefully have, praying the whole time that it will be legible enough for the postman to read.  A paper cut on the tongue and jog to the mailbox later and you are ready to receive your card.  Wait…if you read in the fine print you would notice that your card will take another 6-8 weeks to arrive, regardless of the fact that it takes 2-3 days for a package to reach virtually any cross-country destination.  Ah, a happy day is the day that your much awaited Albert Pujols redemption auto arrives in its nifty cardboard shipping box.  As you tear it open with childish delight, you are subjegated to the last proverbial kick in the chonies that the redemption boot offers; an apologetic letter from XYZ card company stating that your Pujols auto is out of stock, but an equally exciting auto has been issued in its place.  As you peek through the plastic hard case, you discover that Richie Sexson is not equally exciting and neither is the concept of the redemption card.


4.) Sticker Autos

  • Bold silver stickers obliterating the bottom 1/4 of a card is nearly as tacky as the sometimes smudged, sometimes cut-off sharpie autograph that graces it.  True, clear plastic stickers have done wonders to improve the visual appeal of the card, but it still compromises the pure allure of knowing that your card was held, signed, and sometimes hand numbered by the player featured on it.  For many of us, that morsel of child-like magic is enough sustenance to keep our passion for all things baseball alive.


5.) Dime-sized Mono-color Jersey Swatches

  • First of all, virtually anyone who owns a game-worn jersey from a major leaguer would tell you that jersey swatches, in general, stink.  I mean, have you ever tried to wear a jersey swatch?  The worst of these fingertip-sized pieces of polyester are the ones that are one color and ambiguous as to what part of the jersey it, at one time, belonged.  The card manufacturers’ intent with the jersey card was initially good.  The widescale distribution of bits of player uniforms evoked similar sentimental feelings that on card autographs have as many collectors (myself included) thought “Wow, I have a piece of a jersey worn in an actual MLB game!”  However, much like the error card era of the late 80’s and early 90’s and the insert craze of the early to mid 90’s, the overload of chinsy white, gray, or black jersey swatches with infinite variations (remember my distaste for parallel overkill?) has sapped the sentimentality of the game worn relics.  Even patch cards are ridiculous if you cant tell what part of the patch you have.  Also, what good is a patch if you only have the bottom right hand corner of it?  These scraps are no longer souvenirs, they are the rubble and chaff of a tired marketing campaign that needs to be revamped or scratched altogether. 


OK, there are my 5.  Feel free to agree, disagree or contribute some of your own.  As always, your imput is always welcomed as it is the lifeblood of this blog…or it will be…someday…

The sun is warm and my boy has a game tomorrow.  Sounds like the perfect recipe for baseball practice!



  1. […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  2. […] Original post here […]

  3. I’d agree on most of your points. I don’t hate the sticker autographs as much as you do, but I’d rather have an on-card autograph.

    I’d favor ditching the rookie and first year designation in favor of a “first card” logo. Topps and Upper Deck could each use it once per player — the first time they make any kind of card for him.

  4. Thank you Paul for your comments and best of wishes in all of your collecting endeavors!

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