How to Start a Baseball Card Collection

Four Parts:Building your baseball card knowledgePurchasing baseball cardsKeeping your collection in good conditionEnjoying your collection

For the avid collector who is also a die-hard baseball fan, creating a baseball card collection brings together both passions. The following instructions explain how to start a baseball card collection that will keep you fascinated for years to come.

Part 1
Building your baseball card knowledge

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    Learn as much as you can about baseball. When you open a pack of baseball cards, you might find an Albert Pujols and you might find a John Maine. If you want to get a deep understanding of the players behind the cards, do some research.
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    Decide what type of a collection you want. Do you want to collect the 2007 Topps set, a set of your favorite player or team, a rookie set? You may just want to buy random cards.
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    Pick a card company. Look onto the company's website (some are listed below) for card designs, special inserts, and checklists to see if that set appeals to you.

Part 2
Purchasing baseball cards

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    Buy a baseball card pricing guide. When you are an avid collector or have trading with friends in mind, this can be a useful tool for building your collection. If you can't afford it, borrow it from your local library.
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    Buy the cards. Look online for your nearest baseball card shop and go to your local card dealer. Check out certain cards you would like to invest, or simply just collect for the joy of collecting. Seeing them and handling them for real is part of the purchasing experience.
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    Go online on the team stores and eBay. Often you can find cheaper cards. Try marketing websites such as Craigslist as well.
    • Only buy eBay cards from reliable sellers. Topps has an eBay store called the Topps Vault which has some older cards for sale. If it is not a major company selling the cards, check the comments for that seller. If you read comments like "took 3 months to deliver" or "card was different then pictured card" be wary of the seller. Good comments would include "card was received in 1 week" or " (name of seller) gave me the pictured card".

Part 3
Keeping your collection in good condition

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    Protect your cards. Buy a 3-ring binder and plastic card-holding sheets to protect them. Use card-holding sheets that are recently made, in order to take advantage of the latest technology for keeping stored cards in great condition.
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    Get your cards graded by one of the top grading companies such as SGC, PSA, GAI and BVG/BGS to preserve the condition of your cards.

Part 4
Enjoying your collection

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    Do something with the cards. Unless you are an avid collector who would take a bullet for his cards, you should enjoy them. Make up lineups from your cards. Another fun idea is to take those lineups and assemble and play as them by making trades in a video game such as MLB 2K7 or Baseball Mogul 2008.
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    Don't stop collecting when you open up a big box of cards and don't end up with any stars. The baseball card hobby is a luck of the draw hobby.
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    Hang onto the cards. If you are investing, remember to always hold on to your collection, and save it for years upon years. Vintage cards are worth more than new. If just collecting because you just like the smell of a new card, or you are a crazy sports fan, simply have fun!


  • Trade with friends! As long as you trust them, be open to trading cards with them.
  • Research]baseball conventions in your area. They most likely have the card(s) you are looking for.
  • If you would like to be a card dealer, then you will need a faster, easier way to build up your card collection. Buying cards in huge lots would be advised, if you do not want specific cards.
  • Remember to always have fun, and never get rid of your cards until they go in the $1000 category.


  • Do not make trades with untrustworthy people. Too many people lose out on priceless cards that way.
  • Do not throw away any cards. The Lastings Milledge of today could be the Hank Aaron of tomorrow.
  • Do not spend extravagant cash amounts on baseball cards. Buy cards with extra money, such as work bonuses for adults and allowance for children.
  • Keep rookie cards in good condition. They could be possible All-Stars in the future.
  • Try to avoid jumping on the "hot" rookie card bandwagon. Last years cards of Chris Shelton that sold for $50, sell now for about $5
  • If you like playing with your cards, do not grade them. They are stuck into a plastic "shell" which is close to impossible to remove.
  • Do not try to dupe your friends into bad trades. Once they realize that they were duped they may try to take revenge, never trust you again or end your mutual friendship.

Things You'll Need

  • A 3-ring binder
  • Plastic card protection sheets
  • A computer (optional)
  • A baseball card pricing guide (optional)
  • A baseball video game (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Cards and Postcards