A Guide to Investing in Baseball Cards
For many, collecting baseball cards were a fun childhood hobby. However, by the late ‘90s, the multi-billion-dollar industry crashed resulting from too many mass-produced cards. Through the 2000s the supply was low, but so was the demand—until now. Entrepreneur and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck and sports analyst Adam Lefkoe headline some of the more famous people who have started investing in cards. Investing in baseball cards can be a smarter way to make money compared to gambling and more exciting than fantasy baseball. Here are a few ways you can make money off of baseball cards.
Buy Minor League cards. Bowman makes cards for prospects such as Wander Franco and Adley Rutchman. It’s a little bit of a crapshoot because we don’t know when or if prospects will make it to the big leagues. And when some highly-touted players get called up and struggle their cards can drop. That was the case with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who’s minor league card has fallen in value by nearly 50%. But if you know who is going to become a superstar before anyone else does like I think with Ronny Mauricio, that is one way to one way for a huge ROI.
Invest in Topps rookie cards. This is the first Major League card for players. I bought a rookie card for Fernando Tatis Jr. His Topps PSA 10 (the grade of the card with 10 being the highest category or in “Gem/Mint Condition) I bought this card for $60 before the season. It payed off: these cards are selling for more than $250 on StockX and eBay. In general, a five-tool player will always have value. Take Mike Trout: his Topps rookie card in a PSA 10 is a $3,000 card. Pete Alonso though, after a historic rookie year has struggled resulting in a hefty price drop from $80 on opening day to $45 today. If you believe that a player will have a significant season, then the Topps Rookie is one smart investment.
The safest bet is with vintage cards. Players like Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron no longer have the risk of getting injured or having a down season. Put simply: their value is historic and doesn’t really fluctuate much at all. Just like art, these cards will only appreciate over time. Vintage cards will most likely not give you a 500% return, But it’s less risky than the stock market.
When I started in March, I had $24. Now, I have $3,200. My biggest gains have been the Topps chrome Fernando Tatis Jr.. (I have made about $500, a profit 450%) and Ronald Acuna Topps Series 2; I have made $400 dollars and a profit of 600%. Through this journey I have learned a lot about investing. But most of all, I have learned to take risks and rebound when I fail. So, with the Major League Baseball playoffs right around the corner, there is no better time to get started.