Sports Trading Cards Collecting In Our Home

When I watch my husband and son work on their sports trading cards, I'm not sure if it's more of a hobby, a father and son moment together, or trading card wars. My husband has been collecting cards since the 1960's I believe, and my son is 11, and his first Topps Baseball Card Set is from the year he was born. He has watched his dad collecting since he could understand what was going on. My husband had watched his dad since he was younger, so I guess it was inevitable.

There are different ways to collect your sports cards, by sport, by manufacturer, by years.

There are so many different names sports trading cards are sold under. Some of the cards that are out there now or are no longer produced are: Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, Donruss, Score, Pacific, Bowman, O-Pee-Chee, Leaf, Stadium Club, Pinnacle and more. Some cards are off shoots of the same company. Topps has so different types it's so difficult to keep track of. Topps has been around since 1952 and is probably the top name (no pun intended I think) of Sports Trading Cards.

Sticking with Topps just to give you an idea about cards quickly before I get to my husband and son collecting together, here is a brief blurb. Let's take the year 2009 and Topps Baseball Cards for that year. Topps in 2009 put out these sets of cards:

  • 2009 Sterling Baseball
  • 2009 Bowman Sterling
  • 2009 Topps Tribute Baseball
  • 2009 T-206 Baseball
  • 2009 Unique Baseball
  • 2009 Updates and Highlights Baseball
  • 2009 Triple Threads Baseball
  • 2009 Bowman Chrome
  • 2009 Ticket to Stardom Baseball

Holy Cow, I can hardly keep up, and that's just one company, and people wonder why the hobby isn't what it once was. I think when there were only one or two different sets to worry about collecting each year it was not only easier to keep track of but also affordable. Not to mention now so many of the card packs have inserts which are worth more, so the card packs are so much more expensive now because you might get an insert. I'm not sure how many kids have $5.99 to $9.99 to buy "one" pack of cards these days.

Sports trading cards are sold in Boxed sets which have all the cards in the set, except the inserts or special cards, so there is no hunting down a card to complete your set, but there isn't much fun in opening a box and everything is there, the fun is opening packs of cards and hoping you get cards in the pack that you need. They also come in boxes of packs which is more expensive but more fun and you can get the inserts there. There are jumbo packs which is a pack or group of cards in cellophane type wrapping. Or then the old standby single packs which is basically a box of cards full of packs that the store will just open the box and set it on their shelf and you pick out a few packs and go with the luck of the draw.

Now back to my husband and son, they usually get a hobby box, which is packs in a box and split the box evenly. Then they start opening their packs to see who got who. Then they get the cards they got in order by card number from #1 to the highest number they got opening the packs. After that they separate out the doubles or multiples they have for future use, (that's the card war part). Then my husband will get the two new binders they bought usually a dollar or two, and to help to protect the cards they put plastic sheets which are plastic pages fit neatly into 3-ring binders for displaying your cards and the ones they buy are the 9 pocket sheets, so you can fit 9 cards per page, and since they are plastic, when you turn the page you can see and read the backs of the cards without having to remove them and damaging them from too much handling.

So now they have the binders out, the sheets in the binders, and the cards looked through and sort out in a pile, with doubles off to the side. Now they start putting the cards into the sheets, one at a time until the cards are gone, being very careful to skip the pockets where the cards would go that they don't have. Did I mention there is usually a sporting event on the television at the time.

Now they play what cards do you have that I need and vice versa. Then the trading begins, I always have to pay attention to that part because the dad always tries to take the kid for better value cards. I always have to tell my son, that card he wants is way worth more than the card he's giving you, make him give you two or three cards in the trade lol.

And so it goes until they are done with the cards they got in the box. The next step is on occasion they will buy a few packs of cards at the store and during the winding down part of the night get the folding card table out, get their cards open then, get their binders and the games begin anew. Now when they get down to needing 30 to 50 cards each, it's kind of not worth buying packs which can get expensive, then they drag their behinds to a card show or card shop and look for those individual cards they need to finish their sets for that year. It's a project and it's fun to watch them go at it. They do this usually with different cards, baseball, football, hockey and basketball.

Just the Major Leagues as in Major League Baseball, The National Football League, the National Hockey League and the NBA. There are minor league sets as well for Baseball and Hockey but who has the room for all those cards. Also I forgot to mention as part of the ritual, you have to get the label gun thingie out and label the binders according like "Corey's 2009 Topps Baseball Cards" oh and one more thing, my husband says when you open the packs try and do it carefully so you don't rip it to shreds because you "HAVE TO" save at least one to put in a sheet pocket inside the binder so you know what the packages look like that the cards came in.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoy watching them have their card wars.

Linda