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Collecting Tips: Old versus New Cards

Should I buy old or new cards? When the card market turned down in the late 1980s and 1990s exacerbated by the baseball strike of 1994 cards issued prior to 1980 held their value far better than newer products. One of the major concerns for many was the abundance of sets and the quantity of cards produced at the height of the card craze. It was often difficult to decide on what cards or sets to buy. In the "old" days of the 40s, 50s and the 60s, for instance, sets were smaller in number (the 1948 Bowman set was only 48 cards and the 1960 Topps set was 572 cards); and far fewer were produced. For many of those years, there was only one national card manufacturer, although other companies occasionally produced "regional" issues. Thanks to moms who trashed thousands and thousands of cards, fewer collections survived. The same is true, of course, for cards that go back into the 1930s and to the wonderful era of the tobacco cards in the early 1900s. Consequently, a growing number of collectors elect to focus on cards of Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle and other stars and common players from the "older" days.

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by Richard Armstrong

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