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How much does the non-collecting world know?

Brewer Andy

Active member
Aug 10, 2008
A post by Hive in the undervalued thread about how cheap some Miguel Cabrera autos are got me to thinking. I get that the popularity of "baseball cards" may be at an all-time low yet there are still countless "Legends of the Field" type stores in malls all over the country hawking insanely high priced prints. Granted these are display quality photos, lithos, etc. but does the non-collecting population realize how easy and cheaply it is to obtain CERTIFIED autographs of today's players?
We all know our hobby can be confusing, it is to us at times even. I know I personally I've heard comments when discussing autographs pulled from packs along the lines of "yeah but those aren't real". Is the general populace so misinformed, confused, or ignorant about the hobby that things have gotten that bad? Or is there really that little interest because of what the autos are displayed on? anyone have any good stories of "outsiders" to share beyond the obvious individuals who think they're sitting on a gold mine of '88 Topps in their attic? I don't know, maybe things aren't as cheap as it feels sometimes and it's more that $5 isn't worth as much to me now as it was when I was young and had no income at all


Active member
Sep 9, 2011
I own a card store since 1998, where do I start?

Well, here's a few:

You know those souvenir team STAMPED balls sold at parks? Non collectors think they are real.

They also have absolutely zero idea how to figure out the date of a card.

Best story I have of this is when someone called, told me they had cards from 50s and 60s and of course they turned out being late 80s. The person thought the player's date of birth was the card production year!

Or when a local team's popular, though common player is thought of like a legend. "But it's Willie Randolph card from 1978, it HAS to be worth something"

Or thinking facsimile autos on older topps cards are real.

ANY card of Babe Ruth is valuable.


New member
Aug 25, 2008
I would assume most non-collectors who are sports fans, prefer auto'd 'display pieces' for their man caves, not little itsy-bitsy cardboard.


Dec 12, 2012
You know those souvenir team STAMPED balls sold at parks? Non collectors think they are real.
This brings up a story for me. I was at a local auction. It's a weekly auction that takes place in a barn/Morton building so usually consists of old toys/tools/furniture. Every now and then they get some sports stuff, usually a small collection of some old timer who passed away. One particular week there were a lot of baseball cards, sets, memorabilia type stuff so I went. They had some "signed" baseballs being auctioned. To me it was very clear, there were a handful that were team stamped balls that were bought at a store and there were a couple that clearly were actually signed, every signature on those were signed in different pens and running into each other, messy etc. The stamped balls were clean, clear auto's, all the same cursive writing, all spaced the same on the ball, all the same ink etc. The real autographed balls went for just a few bucks each, and every one of the stamped balls went for, I want to say, somewhere around $50. I felt bad for the buyers and the auction house. It was clearly out of everyone's realm of what is usually sold there, and I truly believe the auctioneer and buyers thought they were the real deal.

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