By John Bloom
Provides a examine of baseball card accumulating within the top Midwest from the past due Eighties into the Nineteen Nineties.
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Extra resources for A House of Cards: Baseball Card Collecting and Popular Culture
Everybody else just blows it off. To illustrate his point, Bob told me that the MCC had bought forty tickets to an upcoming pro basketball game. Even though club membership had grown to more than three hundred people, he had only managed to sell ten tickets. At one time, when the hobby had been small in the area, the club had, in fact, assumed a more prominent role for local collectors. It promoted small monthly "meetings" (which were really shmall shows) held each week at a suburban mall, and it sponsored one or two large, nationally advertised shows every year.
The Company competes in the collectible picture card market by designing products which it believes will especially appeal to adult collectors, in addition to children, and by mailing promotional literature relating to such products to wholesale and retail hobby and collectible product dealers throughout the United States. (Topps Corporation 1990, 9) During the 1970s, primarily dealers, collectors, and hobby magazine publishers promoted baseball card collecting among adult men, but the story of Topps illustrates how, by the mid- to late 1980s, baseball card companies were aggressively getting into the act.
Some hired a dazzling array of former athletes as autograph guests, sometimes including two or more Hall of Famers at once. During the span of my research, local shows featured baseball legends such as Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Willie McCovey, Harmon Killebrew, Warren Spahn, and Eddie Matthews. Other promoters never hired a single autograph guest. These differences were important. At times they seemed to mark whether a show was "inside" or "outside" the area's most important hobby activity.