Are Baseball Cards Worth Anything Anymore?

It’s a scenario that happens all too often. Someone walks into a sports card shop with a faded box tucked under their arm, hoping to sell their good cards and walk out with a wad of cash. The overwhelming majority of the time, however, the customer walks out disappointed because they are told that their baseball card collection doesn’t have any value. Even Hall of Famer cards are worth very little, if anything. Why is this?

Sports cards are like any other collectible item, and it comes down to supply and demand. Most people collected baseball cards in the 1980s and 1990s when the cards were mass produced and easy to get. You could walk into any retailer, flea market, garage sale, toy store or discount store and buy a pack of sports cards. During this time, the demand was high, so people were able to sell their cards, too.

Today, however, the majority of baseball cards sell for .10 cents, if that. This is certainly disappointing for all the collectors who believed that their fancy collection would have paid for their child’s college, or at least afforded them a small vacation. Now, most baseball cards won’t even get a pack of gum. Ouch. Will the prices ever go back up? Are baseball cards worth keeping at all?

The short answer is no. Especially with the hobby of collecting baseball cards today: cards are limited to just one copy and are cheap and easy to find. And, the number of people that do collect baseball cards are in the thousands rather than the millions like back in the late 80s and 90s. The hobby, while still a dedicated one for some, is not nearly as big as it once was.

It’s important not to generalize, though, as there are a few cards out there that do have value. Think along the lines of Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. These cards could all be worth a little something in the future.

In the meantime, don’t beat yourself up for starting a collection that is no longer worth anything. Enjoy the cards for what they are and the fun they’ve brought along the way.