In What Ways has the Hobby Improved Itself During the Past 25 Years?

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It is human nature to focus on our frustrations with the modern hobby.  In my opinion (which is hardly unique), too many sets, too many autograph cards, too many relic cards, too many parallel cards – all of these aspects of collecting in 2017 are not healthy for the hobby.  That said, I hope that we can all adapt to ever changing conditions with an optimistic and open-minded attitude.  The hobby has changed and will continue to change over time.  If we accept this reality, collecting will continue to be a wonderful and enjoyable hobby.  In other words, while reminiscing about and learning from the past can be healthy, dwelling on it often distracts us from moving forward.

For me, cards from the late 1990s are the most enjoyable to collect, but I recognize that the hobby then (as now) was far from perfect.  So I wonder what you think…in what ways has the hobby turned for the better during the past 25 years?

For me, I appreciate that the hobby has embraced the virtual environment.  You can find collectors blogging about cards, on YouTube, and interacting on a host of other social media platforms.  I think all of this is a great thing.  I grew up collecting in relative isolation, and would never want to go back to collecting how it was done during the 1980s and early 1990s.  I of course wish there were more traditional card shops around now, but all in all, I enjoy obtaining and learning about cards much more in the online environment.  I am thankful for the wealth of information that I now have access to.  It has made be a better collector.

We just passed Thanksgiving.  We should remember to be thankful for what the hobby is, and not just dwell on what it is not or what it has been.  So again I ask (in a slightly different way) – what are you thankful for regarding the current state of the hobby?

Word of the Day

fractious – tending to be troublesome; unruly; quarrelsome; a fractious crowd



  1. Great post!

    It is hard to say what is and isn’t good about the hobby today. In my opinion, license exclusives hurt. Card companies have little encouragement –except to not go broke– to create products collectors like. The part I enjoyed about the early to mid-1990’s was the simplicity of cards; Just a few releases a year with minimal inserts and only one parallel set.

    I am sure other people would say different, but collect how you want to collect.


    1. You make a lot of great points; thanks for taking the time to stop by. I miss the 1990s as well, although things were already starting to get quite complicated by the end of that decade – precisely the era that I find most intriguing. If you are further interested on this topic, I posed this same question recently on the Blowout Cards baseball forum; responses have been very interesting:


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