Beckett 20 questions … on baseball cards



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There isn’t just one type of collector, and that’s crystal clear when you talk to people in the hobby.

Some people collect for fun. Some people collect for profit. Some people just collect to collect. Now just imagine trying to make a card set that would please everyone. (Actually, don’t … it’s not possible.)

To see where many of you stand on the world of baseball cards, here are 20 questions — some serious, some not — that we’re curious to see how you answer. We’ll publish the results in the next issue of Beckett Baseball along with some quips if you have more to say in the comments.

1. What type of baseball collector are you?

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2. What type of card do you like best?

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See the rest of the questions after the jump …

3. What type of product satisfies you most

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4. Retro-styled sets are my favorite

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5. Autographs: Would you buy wax without them?

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6. Which fully licensed baseball card company from the past is your favorite?

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7. Memorabilia cards: Would you buy wax without them?

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8. Commons: Necessary or necessary evil?

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9. Do really rare short-printed cards frustrate you?

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10. Do you collect other sports?

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11. Do you collect other baseball items beyond cards?

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12. Do you buy more or less than 10 years ago?

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13. Rubber bands are ...

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14. Beckett Grading Services: Have you used it?

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15. At what point is the price for a box of cards too much?

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16. Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?

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17. How often do you read Beckett Baseball?

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18. I want more ____ in the card industry most.

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19. The New York Yankees are ...

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20. If all baseball cards were suddenly worthless, I would ...

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Have anything else to add? Tell us in the comments below…

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. adam traeger 23 October, 2012 at 12:53

    nice survey. really gets you thinking on some of those questions like what would you do if cards were to become worthless? great job guys!!!

  2. dogfacedgremlin 23 October, 2012 at 13:11

    You should do this for other sports. I have 100 questions that can be proposed to hockey collectors. They are some of the most hobby educated, loyal, and rabid. Basketball too.

  3. John Bowman 23 October, 2012 at 13:24

    I was really surprised to see more people do not want more simplicity. How complex cards got in the ’90s is what drove me away. Now my 7-year-old has brought be back, but the industry is so complex I can’t begin to explain it to him.

  4. coffeyfan 23 October, 2012 at 14:42

    even if the card market crashed the micks and wagners would still be out of my price range because folk that have deeper pockets than i do (my “deep” is under $100) but dont have deep $100,000 pockets would buy them to fill childhood sets.

  5. card opinionator 23 October, 2012 at 14:55

    What about the big issues with card companies like sticker autos and redemptions? EVIL!

  6. Scott Bennett 23 October, 2012 at 14:56

    I can go a few different ways on the “I want more of” question. I said affordability because its ridiculous that the average person can only afford so many boxes of cards out there and still get VALUE. I collected as a kid in the 70s and 80s and I hate it that unless their folks buy for them they are way to limited in what they can buy. Thats the main reason I went with affordability. And then as I said previously I can’t even buy the cards I would love to buy. And I don’t mean $200- $400 cards..I mean $100 and lucky to buy 3 boxes a year. Anyway great survey. I hope the card companies not only see this but they should be doing more of this.. Great Job!

  7. bearcatlawjd 23 October, 2012 at 15:06

    The industry need to go back and look at what worked in the past and update that to meet the needs of the modern collector.

    Panini’s problem is that they can not release a set on time. How many months does someone have to wait until a real 2012 product is released. Cooperstown delayed, Signature Series, delayed, and you can bet Prime Cuts and Golden Age will held back into 2013. I have not figured out why they have dropped the Donruss name from some of their products because I feel the could use that brand name for a flagship set.

    Topps makes good cards but I always feel like I am missing something. Both Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome hit the mark but the legacy brands like Finest and the Topps flagship are not very exciting. I would to love to see Topps streamline their product lineup because too many products seem to do the same thing.

    Future keys will be affordable box prices, reasonable secondary market values that are both buyer and seller friendly, and creative card designs.

  8. Phil 23 October, 2012 at 16:24

    Probably should have asked if anybody buys any Panini products in baseball. The only thing I have bought is the Leaf Pete Rose boxes at Wal-Mart and that only because I wanted an autograph of him.

  9. Randy Rykiel 23 October, 2012 at 19:59

    Break up the standard Topps set in to 7 series like the past. You can release them once every 6-7 weeks and give collectors something to look forward all year long.

  10. mark 23 October, 2012 at 20:50

    nice quiz, I look forward to coming back in a few days to see if the results are different with a larger sample size..

    one question I would like to see on future surveys would be:

    what % of your card budget is spent on wax/packs vs singles on secondary market?

    I find myself buying more on secondary market and less packs past several years….

    thanks, mark

  11. Paul 23 October, 2012 at 21:51

    I wish Beckett Baseball Monthly (and Sportscard Monthly )was more about cards and less about price guide. I don’t care about prices and don’t collect for profit. Let those that need prices use the online price guide for that. That is the biggest reason that I don’t buy the monthly mags, why waste my money for mag that 3/4 of it I don’t use.

  12. chrisolds 23 October, 2012 at 22:03

    Thanks for all the comments. Keep them coming.

    Although they take a little more time to put together, I plan on making 20 Questions a regular feature in Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Beckett Baseball and Beckett Basketball. This one is just general baseball but I plan to focus questions toward our mag topics regularly. (This baseball issue is awaiting the World Series so I just went general BB.)

  13. Greg 23 October, 2012 at 22:13

    I am an avid Topps flagship collector and would like to see Traded return with just traded & rookies. The random all star cards, and debut cards are blah in my opinion. I would also like autographs to be more high end players in Topps sets. Bowman should be the only place that every player (for the most part) has an auto.

  14. ishkabbibal 23 October, 2012 at 22:57

    mlb needs to re-evaluate the card companies it gives licenses to…topps product is boring with hardly to any chamge each year and panini is crap that nobody buys. They need to bring back Donruss and Upper Deck. Limiting them to non team logo cards is a crying shame. That’s why I collect sets from 2000-2006. Can’t beat the product they were puting out then.

  15. blazen 24 October, 2012 at 03:15

    keep the rare ones comming! please never stop topps finest!!! cards were falling off the world and refractors/xfractors started 2 bring them back. autos jersey cardS followed. now seems like the good sets leaving and crap sets setting in BASKETBALL? bring the chromes/finest back in basketball! sad 2 see all theese rookies with no good cards. go2 ebay and look up anthony davis SAD! seems like a cycle and cards are going down the falling off the world again? really love the finest sets and hope 2 keep seeing killer refractors and xfractors different short prints.

  16. Jeff B 24 October, 2012 at 06:04

    Just so we’re clear: “Simplicity” is not 12 different insert sets in Series 1, 12 more in Series 2 plus even more inserts in Update…

    Without the autos & GU, the Series1/2 sets & update plus inserts is over 1000 cards…way too many.

  17. michael blade 24 October, 2012 at 07:58

    i really enjoyed the survey and i rarely,like alot of us enjoy surveys but i learned a little about my collecting habbits and i’m going to ramp it up in the coming months thanx guys keep up the great work you all do for us…:)

  18. Mitch Jomsky 24 October, 2012 at 12:08

    Nice survey …… and I’m surprised that the majority of my answers are in the majority (except for my “Yankees are The Best” answer) :) anyway, it was good food for thought. Hopefully the card companies look at this survey and make some small tweaks and changes to accomidate these answers.

  19. Joe C. 24 October, 2012 at 12:31

    You should have worded question #19…In terms of the baseball card hobby, the Yankees are……

    answer best would go from last to first…generally, no cards are more sought after nor fetch the highest trade/sale value.

    Thanks for the great survey and to everyone thier responses, opened my eys to a couple of things.

    One quick point to topps….don’t use the same photos in the other products as in the traditional base set…each products card/s photo’s should be completely different

  20. afff 24 October, 2012 at 13:00

    thanks for the survey

    as for #14 i would like to send some to get graded but the cost to send from Canada is way to much for me to pay maybe one day i’ll be able to send atleast 1 card

  21. bearcatlawjd 25 October, 2012 at 09:45

    I miss Donruss and Upperdeck too; however, Panini owns the IP for Donruss and we all know about the seperate Leaf brand.

    What I can’t figure out why Panini doesn’t use the Score, Donruss, and Studio brand names. Using Elite is a good choice but out of all the old brands they bring back….. Triple Play? Thats a great kid set but older collector’s would be happy to see some of the old names back. To be fair they are using Limited, Prime Cuts, and Signature Series but those are high end brands.

    I know I would interested in Donruss flagship set with Diamond Kings, Elite Series inserts, and press proofs. Too bad they use up those concepts in EEE because that set doesn’t need the gimmicks to stay hot.

  22. Paul 27 October, 2012 at 00:59

    I honestly miss having more brands to choose from. Being young and collecting my favorite players in the late 1980s and early 1990’s was so much fun. To know I had to look for a Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score and then Upper Deck cards was something I looked forward to each season. I am not as big a collector now although still look for base cards and affordable inserts of my favorite players from time to time, but it would be nice to see something besides Topps cards out there. Exclusivity is really a shame.

  23. PBR blue 27 November, 2012 at 22:02

    Question #21

    Rank these manufactures in product quality and design.


    And part 2 of the question would be

    _________ I would like to see having a license with MLB again.

    By the way I can’t stand the Panini product and would love to see Upper Deck product back again.

    Great survey though. Loved it.

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