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How did modern come to be?

Cards evolved from cigarette cards and small companies featuring athletes to dedicated companies like Topps Grading Company (the true T.G.C.) and eventually others.

In the late 80s and early 90s we experienced major advances in technology. This led to families getting computers and parents getting cell phones while card finishes improved and inserts became popular. People no longer watched the same TV line-ups, or the same televised sporting events, and genres of music began exploding. Commonality amongst the country was eroding; good, bad, or indifferent. It became harder to keep track of all the inserts and being a master set collector meant you really need to commit

Fast foward 20 years and everyone who wants a phone can get one. Fast forward to now and if you can't afford one then there are programs to get them free. You can get your favorite players rookie for $1 if it's a bottom shelf product and raw rookies of mid tier products are reasonable for rookie phenoms. Serialized cards, direct from vendor cards, and top shelf products can reach figures nobody would have imagined in the 90s, let alone the 50s. There are many options for autos, college pictures, variations, patches, and the options seem endless.

For the old school person, like myself, I miss the sense of commonality amongst our country. The days of going to work/school/anywhere and being able to discuss a show, event, song, etcetera with just about anyone is something I miss. If you were born in 2000+ then you will only understand this from stories you've likely heard or depictions in movies.

The sense of individuality is emphasized in today's world and technology surely helped. You cab listen/watch anything you want whenever you want and get an alert when something new is uploaded. People in 1st world countries do not relate to one another the way they had and societal norms have vanished. The elderly are burdens and the youth command the attention/respect.

Modern cards seem like everything else today. There's too much out there to see that it's overwhelming and the collector community is very fractured. Many of us don't have time to see all the products offered and we don't necessarily enjoy the insane variety. Cards, like everything else today, seem to "go viral". They can heat up at any moment and for any reason (there achievements, their relationship with another famous person, even bad publicity) and cool off even faster for one minor injury, one season missing the playoffs, or having an opinion on something the media doesn't agree with.

I don't necessarily dislike the product but I dislike the amount of time necessarily to understand the checklists and the volatility of the values. While I enjoyed the sense commonality between collectors more in the 90s, I do enjoy seeing people finding a product they can afford. I also enjoy the infectious energy the youth brings and I hope it's not purely instant gratification to get a desired card and then move onto the next 5 minutes later and forget all about the previous purchase.

I'm curious if anyone else has seen it similarly and what others have noticed.

Comments

  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,363 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Our country and our hobby have certainly evolved a ton over the past 50 years. You make a lot of good observations on the evolution of the hobby and the fragmentation of collections. I actually like seeing the variety of what others collect and can find common ground with any “collector“ as there is novelty in nostalgia in nearly every collection.

    I was very hung up on my childhood years of collecting, and my primary focus has been the 1970s through the mid-1990s. It was only about five years ago that I realized I was missing out on the amazing athletes playing today, by not collecting their cards too. I had to simplify my focus down to two primary brands in order to hold to a theme. For the sport of baseball, I chose Topps Heritage and Bowman. I loved the Heritage cards because they had yesteryear’s design, but today’s players and rookie autographs. I chose Bowman because it is has a players first on card autograph and is fun for prospecting. The simplicity of collecting only those has made the modern hobby enjoyable for me without worrying about chasing the latest patch card or insert. Collecting the modern stuff keeps me checking the box scores and watching the games like I did when I was a kid.

    I still collect my childhood years too, but adding modern has made watching sports fun again.

  • stwainfanstwainfan Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It was so much easier to keep up pre 1980. You basically had one set and one card per player. Now there is just too much product.

    I collect hall of fame rookie cards, https://www.instagram.com/stwainfan/

  • BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 885 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love the simplicity of the hunt back before the 90s. It's just easier, fewer sets and cards to collect.

    On the other hand it's so cool to see all the stuff out there so easily now and have visual access to all the things folks like to have. Back in the vintage area if you didn't see it in a handful of magazines, at a show or from a friend then you basically didn't even know an item existed.

    It's so much better today even though I still only like to collect the vintage. To each his/her own.

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the fact that there are so many choices. Kind of like Baskin-Robbins ice cream. You can't partake in all of the flavors, but eventually you find something to your liking.
    Vintage is somewhat easier due to a limited variety, but there are upgrades to keep you busy as well.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • frankhardyfrankhardy Posts: 8,027 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is exactly why I focus on Cardinals team sets. Sure, I have a few other items, but my maim focus is on team sets and my Cardinals Topps auto collection. It helps me draw lines and stay focused.

    Even with team set collecting, I still have to say no to expanding. I can't collect everything that's out there. For instance, as extensive as my team set collection is, I have yet to include Stadium Club, Fleer Ultra, Topps Finest, OPC, Leaf, Salada Coins, and many regional issues, etc. One of these days I will fill some of those holes fairly easily, but for now, I have my focus. However, my Topps inserts and test issues I am very proud to own.

    Shane

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Big Fan of the refractors. I collect alot of the /25 or lower cards from stars and rookies.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • Copyboy1Copyboy1 Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭

    @stwainfan said:
    It was so much easier to keep up pre 1980. You basically had one set and one card per player.

    Exactly. My parents would order the Topps set from the Sears catalog and I'd get it for Xmas. Done. If I had money from my paper route, I'd pick up some packs here at there at PayLess or go down to the one tiny card shop in town.

  • thedutymon11thedutymon11 Posts: 624 ✭✭✭✭

    And then their were Manufactured Rarities Galore. Anything created after about 1980 or so that has some sort of NON Actual Vintage fake Circumstance (Meaning Purposefully Created to be some sort of FAKE A$$ Rarity) IMHO are just that...Crap!

    5, 10, 15 years from now you know what that Purple Orange, Baboon Cracked Ice Dazzler is going to be worth of Trout or whomever....about 1/100th of what you paid for it!!! $5 bucks in the 2040 Dollar Box at the Sports Show! All Day!

    YeeHaw! :D:D

    Neil

  • GroceryRackPackGroceryRackPack Posts: 2,325 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Copyboy1 said:

    @stwainfan said:
    It was so much easier to keep up pre 1980. You basically had one set and one card per player.

    Exactly. My parents would order the Topps set from the Sears catalog and I'd get it for Xmas. Done. If I had money from my paper route, I'd pick up some packs here at there at PayLess or go down to the one tiny card shop in town.

    Yep, my paper route cash supported my addiction back then...😀

  • thedutymon11thedutymon11 Posts: 624 ✭✭✭✭

    @olb31 said:
    Big Fan of the refractors. I collect alot of the /25 or lower cards from stars and rookies.

    In 2030 I have authorized my son to offer $1 each for these Clearly Manufactured Rarities Not Really Rare Cards! Good luck, my prediction, the Brady or similar Rookie card selling for $2-$5K now, which their are only 40 gadbillion of, in 5 years is a $200 card at best! Do you really think there are 100,000 collectors willing to pay 5-10K for a PSA 10 Brady Rookie :D:D:D , my best guess is 500-1000 maybe, which leaves 19500 to just go down & down & down........

    YeeHaw!

    Neil

  • CakesCakes Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @thedutymon11 said:
    And then their were Manufactured Rarities Galore. Anything created after about 1980 or so that has some sort of NON Actual Vintage fake Circumstance (Meaning Purposefully Created to be some sort of FAKE A$$ Rarity) IMHO are just that...Crap!

    5, 10, 15 years from now you know what that Purple Orange, Baboon Cracked Ice Dazzler is going to be worth of Trout or whomever....about 1/100th of what you paid for it!!! $5 bucks in the 2040 Dollar Box at the Sports Show! All Day!

    YeeHaw! :D:D

    Neil

    Respectfully you need to widen/change your thinking. I have heard people say that exact same thing for the last 20 years and it's just not happened. The modern market continues to thrive and have record auction prices.

    If it has meaning, it's there to be embraced, and it's not to be mocked. You should not be so smugly sure on one's taste to the point of denying a possibility of another taste.

    For example my Cousin makes modern art sculptures, many look like thrown together metal and wood and for the life of me I could not understand how someone would pay 10K to 20k for such a thing. After a successful, ongoing, 20 year career he is having the last laugh.

    Successful coin BST transactions with Gerard and segoja.

    Successful card BST transactions with cbcnow, brogurt, gstarling, Bravesfan 007, and rajah 424.
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ^^HUGE difference between the art your cousin creates and sports cards.

    I agree with Neil, the insane number of inserts is why I almost completely stopped collecting new stuff.
    If I do want a rookie card, there seems to be dozens to chose from with 2 choices, reasonably priced and insanely priced.

    When Byron Buxton was first drafted by the Twins, I figured I'd pick up a few of his rookies. His "good" rookies were several hundreds of dollars. Thank God I decided to pass.

    I decided to collect Kirby Puckett. It's amazing that he had only about 10 "true" rookie cards in 1985, 1 minor league card and 1 XRC.

    Things really exploded in the 1980's and to collect all of his cards from 1985-1996 you will need to buy 1260 different cards.

    105 cards per year!

    Very few of those are worth anything. I have been finding 10's for less than the cost of grading, or close to it, and 9's for as little as $5-6.00. Some of those 9's are "highest graded" too.

    I brought a few of my extras (mostly 9's but a couple of 10's) to a card show recently and even though I'm in Minnesota and he was "our guy" and a HOFer there was ZERO interest in my cards.

    I'm having fun collecting Kirby, but not delusional enough to think 99% of those cards have any value at all.

    GO TWINS!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • CakesCakes Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2, 2024 8:04AM

    You can agree with Neil, but respectfully you are both wrong. The modern collecting world has done great that last 20 years and there isn't any data to suggest the modern collecting world is declining or that the floor is about to give out. I have given these exact same responses for over 10 years and I haven't been proven wrong yet. When exactly do you expect it to collapse?

    My Puckett rookies have stagnated for close to 30 years.

    Successful coin BST transactions with Gerard and segoja.

    Successful card BST transactions with cbcnow, brogurt, gstarling, Bravesfan 007, and rajah 424.
  • BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 885 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't collect modern because I didn't grow up in it and don't understand it. I've basically been left behind by the modern collecting world, but that's still fine with me.

    Even though I don't get it, people who started collecting in the last 20/30 years get it, enjoy it, know it and will keep buying it. Those inserts will still keep growing in value too. I don't think the inserts have killed collecting, but they have definitely put a dent in the number of people who collect sets. People want the inserts and that's where collecting has evolved to.

    It's just different now. Not better or worse.

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Baboon Cracked Ice Dazzler - just picked up my first one of Tommy Soho Jr III, should be the investment of a lifetime. LOL!!

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cakes said:
    You can agree with Neil, but respectfully you are both wrong. The modern collecting world has done great that last 20 years and there isn't any data to suggest the modern collecting world is declining or that the floor is about to give out. I have given these exact same responses for over 10 years and I haven't been proven wrong yet. When exactly do you expect it to collapse?

    My Puckett rookies have stagnated for close to 30 years.

    Supply to me is the big issue. A nice PSA 9 of puckett, almost any Puckett is Barely worth $50. Now the 1985 Leaf is his best by far. Topps, 1984 Fleer, Donruss, just too many of them. The 1985 Fleer may be decent. The 1985 Tiffany and OPC are decent. 1986 and up - just about nothing,.

    And I like Puckett. I buy them when I see a nice one.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cakes said:
    You can agree with Neil, but respectfully you are both wrong. The modern collecting world has done great that last 20 years and there isn't any data to suggest the modern collecting world is declining or that the floor is about to give out. I have given these exact same responses for over 10 years and I haven't been proven wrong yet. When exactly do you expect it to collapse?

    My Puckett rookies have stagnated for close to 30 years.

    NEITHER of us are wrong. Where did anyone say collecting is going to "collapse"?

    Neil's comments are spot on regarding "manufactured rarities". They are created to hype a card, and very few have ANY value in the long run.

    "Modern" is simply what's selling currently, it was modern in the 1950's and now modern is today.

    The focus has narrowed lately, in the 1990's and before, 2nd year cards were valuable and even later issues that were hard to find. There was 1 rookie card.

    Now, things are different, worse from my standpoint, but certainly not everyone agrees.

    Pokemon is huge now. The last show I went to almost half the tables were Pokemon. I have zero interest in those.

    Your Puckett rookies have done a LOT MORE than stagnate, unless they are all PSA 10's.

    Seven's and Eights are worth little or nothing, 9's are often worth 10% of what a 10 goes for. It's even worse if they are ungraded, put a raw NM/MT rookie up for auction that's slightly off center, see what happens.

    Is this a bad thing? Depends on your point of view. I always tried to collect nice cards and didn't do it for an investment, so it doesn't matter to me.

    Thousands of dollars for an autographed Chrome card of a player who has never played in a Major League game? No thanks.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BBBrkrr said:
    I don't collect modern because I didn't grow up in it and don't understand it. I've basically been left behind by the modern collecting world, but that's still fine with me.

    Even though I don't get it, people who started collecting in the last 20/30 years get it, enjoy it, know it and will keep buying it. Those inserts will still keep growing in value too. I don't think the inserts have killed collecting, but they have definitely put a dent in the number of people who collect sets. People want the inserts and that's where collecting has evolved to.

    It's just different now. Not better or worse.

    I would agree with all of what you said with the exception of inserts growing in value, unless it's a rookie insert graded PSA 10.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • EstilEstil Posts: 6,813 ✭✭✭✭

    Traditionally 1981 or before that 1948 was the start of the modern era. Come to think of it traditionally MLB's modern era starts in 1901.

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P+S, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 61D, 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • thedutymon11thedutymon11 Posts: 624 ✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @Cakes said:

    Now, things are different, worse from my standpoint, but certainly not everyone agrees.

    Pokemon is huge now. The last show I went to almost half the tables were Pokemon. I have zero interest in those.

    And just when you thought it couldn't get any STUPIDER! I just did a show with about 70 tables in Tempe, Az. There were at best guess about 8-10 tables selling these Idiotic Freakin' Bobble Head looking things! And at least 10 tables selling that Far Side Lotus Eating Black Bamba Special First Print Cards! I literally watched a Dude pay $500 for a Bo Jackson Bobble! Standing at the next table the Dude wasn't pleased when I kept making Wretching sounds! JFK, though Seriously, really!!! I assume he took it home to put on the shelf with his Cabbage Patch Dolls, Franklin Mint Plates of Star Trek ( And I am allowed to make fun of this as I was going to Send one of my boy to Harvard from the Three sets I bought and then sold at a Garage sale for $1 a plate!), and stack of 200 each Topps 1987 Graded Mark McGuire PSA 8's!

    More worthless MANUFACTURED RARATIES!

    When will the Madness end???

    YeeHaw!

    Neil

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In my view it just seemed more interesting when "rarities" happened by unexpected events. Such as the T206 Wagner because of anti-smoking with the player. The Topps 1952 Mantle because Mickey became a popular superstar. Many other examples of how cards became valuable thru no intent by the card companies.

    Whereby now the card companies create their own rarities. Like a 1/1 type card, limited editions, etc. I mean even though the 1952 Mantle was a short print, it was only because kids back then didn't buy as many cards when the baseball season was winding down. That Mantle card still sold for a cent just like the early series commons cards.

    Now the card companies, in theory, basically have their own license to print money. Which is fine if ya can do it. But it just doesn't seem as interesting to me when card rarities are intentionally created, again and again.

  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,038 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Somewhere there is a lawn missing an old man.

    Why is it one or the other? I have both and have no sense of impending doom. I like the fact that there a lot of product options in the modern hobby. If I want to collect autos of rookies, I can buy at many price levels. If I wanted to collect rookie autos of Peyton Manning in 1998, they were always relatively expensive. Today I can get rookie autos of the key QBs for less than $100 or 4 digits if I want, it's my choice. To me that is good for the hobby.

    Mike
  • EstilEstil Posts: 6,813 ✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    Whereby now the card companies create their own rarities. Like a 1/1 type card, limited editions, etc. I mean even though the 1952 Mantle was a short print, it was only because kids back then didn't buy as many cards when the baseball season was winding down. That Mantle card still sold for a cent just like the early series commons cards.

    Actually, believe it or not, the 1952 Topps Mantle was a double print.

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P+S, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 61D, 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Estil said:

    @stevek said:

    Whereby now the card companies create their own rarities. Like a 1/1 type card, limited editions, etc. I mean even though the 1952 Mantle was a short print, it was only because kids back then didn't buy as many cards when the baseball season was winding down. That Mantle card still sold for a cent just like the early series commons cards.

    Actually, believe it or not, the 1952 Topps Mantle was a double print.

    Yes, a double print of a short print series. LOL

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ndleo said:
    Somewhere there is a lawn missing an old man.

    Why is it one or the other? I have both and have no sense of impending doom. I like the fact that there a lot of product options in the modern hobby. If I want to collect autos of rookies, I can buy at many price levels. If I wanted to collect rookie autos of Peyton Manning in 1998, they were always relatively expensive. Today I can get rookie autos of the key QBs for less than $100 or 4 digits if I want, it's my choice. To me that is good for the hobby.

    I agree with ya.

    My main point was about "rarities" and value. I mean they're printing a card, and the player signs it. The autograph on a piece of regular paper is worth perhaps a hundred bucks if that. But combined, they can call it a 1/1, a created rarity, and suddenly the item could be worth many thousands of dollars?

    Sort of reminds me a bit of the tulip craze in the 17th century. 😆

  • detroitfan2detroitfan2 Posts: 3,305 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2024 3:43PM

    I always thought that modern came to be simply because my version of the present is now so old that it is vintage. In other words, because 1975 is closer to 1935 than it is to 2024. Or something like that. Does that help any?

    All I know is twice now I have seen modern become vintage. I would love to live to see it happen at least once more if not twice.

  • CardGeekCardGeek Posts: 392 ✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2024 5:04PM

    Back in 1987 you had to go to a show and pay 20 bucks to get your card signed. Or wait outside the arena and beg. Or know the guy. Now those autos for the most part have very little value. Not considered authentic if you and the card to the guy to get it signed. But hey if the Topps guy hands a big stack to the guy. Big bucks.

  • lahmejoonlahmejoon Posts: 1,663 ✭✭✭

    I'm definitely a vintage guy and feel the endless modern parallells are a bit outrageous, but if people like collecting those, then more power to them. I only PC one modern guy and will chase some parallells, but I'm very selective in which ones I want. I don't want sticker autos. I don't want Panini non-licensed with 40 parallel variations of the same card. If I like the card and there aren't a ton of parallells, I will try to collect those. Heritage comes to mind because it feels like vintage. There are a variety of parallels, but nothing outrageous like the Panini counterpart.

  • sayheywyosayheywyo Posts: 432 ✭✭✭

    I don't even know what vintage is now. To me, it's '69 and before and certainly can't include the '80's. I think a lot is modern and then there is the ultra modern...... driven by parallels, numbered 25 & under plus autos. I could just visualize the marketing team sitting around passing a joint and a bottle of jack coming up with kaboom, disco, dragon skin and laughing their asses off.

  • tulsaboytulsaboy Posts: 281 ✭✭✭

    Is this where I point out that a PSA 10 is also a "manufactured rarity" because it's usually a common product, subjectively graded, and then encased in plastic? Because the grading gods can "create" as many PSA 10s as they want, within reason. (Ducks and slinks away...)
    kevin

  • thedutymon11thedutymon11 Posts: 624 ✭✭✭✭

    @sayheywyo said:
    I could just visualize the marketing team sitting around passing a joint and a bottle of jack coming up with kaboom, disco, dragon skin and laughing their asses off.

    Exactly what I had imagined!

    YeeHaw!

    Neil

  • @tulsaboy said:
    Is this where I point out that a PSA 10 is also a "manufactured rarity" because it's usually a common product, subjectively graded, and then encased in plastic? Because the grading gods can "create" as many PSA 10s as they want, within reason. (Ducks and slinks away...)
    kevin

    He ain't lying

  • CrashingwavesCrashingwaves Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Combined with breaking, I feel modern card companies market this way based on gambling addiction... over hyped, over produced, bedazzled cards with silly names meant to create a dopamine spike (reminds me of walking through a casino with flashy slot machines). The amped collector does not seem to care that the card is part of an endless amount of parallel duplicates.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Crashingwaves said:
    Combined with breaking, I feel modern card companies market this way based on gambling addiction... over hyped, over produced, bedazzled cards with silly names meant to create a dopamine spike (reminds me of walking through a casino with flashy slot machines). The amped collector does not seem to care that the card is part of an endless amount of parallel duplicates.

    I agree with ya about the comparison. Especially those boxes that sell for mega prices with the hope of finding some big winners.

    Also not unlike paying big bucks for a vintage wax pack to bust, in the hope of finding a Mantle in there.

  • CrashingwavesCrashingwaves Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Excuse my ignorance on this aspect of hobby history. Modern cards are dominated with 'parallels'.... when were parallel base cards first included in a release? Wondering how far back this goes.

  • EstilEstil Posts: 6,813 ✭✭✭✭

    @Crashingwaves said:
    Excuse my ignorance on this aspect of hobby history. Modern cards are dominated with 'parallels'.... when were parallel base cards first included in a release? Wondering how far back this goes.

    1992 is credited as when "insertmania" really took off, though Fleer was doing inserts as far back as 1986. 1992 saw Topps Gold and Leaf Gold...interestingly 1992 Upper Deck did their factory sets with gold holograms on the cards as opposed to silver on the regular cards.

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P+S, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 61D, 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • SoxPatsFanSoxPatsFan Posts: 187 ✭✭✭✭

    I consider 1993 to be the start of the modern era because there were 2 major "firsts".
    1) Super premium "chrome" card stock (1993 Topps Finest).
    2) Refractors (also Finest).

    Both innovations have been used ever since, and both are still a major part of the hobby.

    While other parallels were introduced earlier, refractors are by far the most popular.

  • ArtVandelayArtVandelay Posts: 634 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 9, 2024 2:59AM

    The origins of modern begin with inserts in 1990 with this card (imho). This is the exact moment where base cards became less important than the inserts.

    Rookie Sensations were all the rage and the Robinson was like $50 which was crazy back then. In 1991/1992 small companies like Classic and Front Row put the potential to hit autos in their product which was a few years later you saw the bigger companies take and push. This was the start of the gambler's aspect of opening packs.

    Around the same time you also saw these smaller companies like classic start to short print and number cards which created the sense that you could get something that was rare. This too was taken by the larger companies and used to perfection in the later 90's

    Lastly, my personal favorite refractors came into existence via Topps. These bad boys had eye appeal that made most normal cards look basic.

    The modern era owes alot to those smaller companies that were trying to create a niche for themselves by offering something different. Unfortunately for them the big boys came in and took their ideas and ran with them once they saw the appeal.

    In my opinion, the hobby has something for everyone. For the vintage collectors, the pack collectors, auto collectors, refractors, gambling on breaks, etc, etc. Even if some of these are not your cup of tea they should all be embraced as the hobby is much better for having the variety.

  • CrashingwavesCrashingwaves Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Thank you and everyone for the detailed answers... really appreciate the card history! Quite fascinating

    @ArtVandelay said:
    The origins of modern begin with inserts in 1990 with this card (imho). This is the exact moment where base cards became less important than the inserts.

    Rookie Sensations were all the rage and the Robinson was like $50 which was crazy back then. In 1991/1992 small companies like Classic and Front Row put the potential to hit autos in their product which was a few years later you saw the bigger companies take and push. This was the start of the gambler's aspect of opening packs.

    Around the same time you also saw these smaller companies like classic start to short print and number cards which created the sense that you could get something that was rare. This too was taken by the larger companies and used to perfection in the later 90's

    Lastly, my personal favorite refractors came into existence via Topps. These bad boys had eye appeal that made most normal cards look basic.

    The modern era owes alot to those smaller companies that were trying to create a niche for themselves by offering something different. Unfortunately for them the big boys came in and took their ideas and ran with them once they saw the appeal.

    In my opinion, the hobby has something for everyone. For the vintage collectors, the pack collectors, auto collectors, refractors, gambling on breaks, etc, etc. Even if some of these are not your cup of tea they should all be embraced as the hobby is much better for having the variety.

  • Copyboy1Copyboy1 Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭

    Like I said, to each his own, but as someone who works with designers, that Jordan refractor is an abomination. Total design vomit. I think that's one reason I've never liked or collected Modern - they're just so ugly to look at.

  • Nathaniel1960Nathaniel1960 Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1973 Topps. All that’s wrong with the modern world.

    Kiss me once, shame on you.
    Kiss me twice.....let's party.
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