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Go Back Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Modern Baseball Cards Forum (1980-Present)

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Old 05-09-2017, 09:52 AM
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Comiskey Comiskey is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Can someone explain the state of modern card collecting?


I primarily collect vintage cards, but now that I have a young son who already loves baseball, I would like to get him a few modern card/sets. The problem is I have no idea which sets to get him because there are so many! What are the standard topps sets? I looked on their website and they have 4-5 different sets for 2017, not even including Bowman. Basically, I am trying to figure out what is the gold standard of modern baseball card sets? And, what other companies are out there producing cards sets as well. I remember when I was younger I was collecting topps, donrus, fleer, etc., but now I don't even know what sets and companies are out there to collect anymore!

Thanks in advance to anyone looking to help me understand modern baseball card collecting!

Jeff W.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:31 AM
Bill77 Bill77 is offline
Bill Avery
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 226

If you are looking for rookie cards I would say go for the Bowman sets other wise Topps, Topps Chrome, or Topps Heritage are a good starting point.

I usually look for the Fairfield boxes at Target where they have 20 packs for $20 just because I'm cheap and like opening a lot of packs. The cards are usually year old Topps and Topps Opening Day with a few older card packs to fill it out and maybe a 1 or 2 premium packs like Topps Chrome or Allen and Ginter. Its a good way to find some of last years rookies and every once in a while you get lucky and find an autograph or jersey card.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:39 PM
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Rookiemonster Rookiemonster is offline
Dustin Mar.ino
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Nj
Posts: 1,341

Yup what Bill said. To modern collector Chrome is king.why do you ask because they are sheeple. They just follow the pack ( all puns intended). They also like that the prospect is in a MLB uniform.

I have a young son as well. I usually get him 80s and 90s stuff. It's cheap and he likes that they are already old ( to him lol).

I do buy him new stuff . Last week we hit up the card show and I got him some opening day packs. A few time before that is was Topps Heritage but I took the one good hit and gave it some protection. Idk how old your son is but mine is 5 so he just thinks it fun ripping stuff. I guess when he gets to the point of knowing modern players and sets that will change.

Good luck
Just a collector that likes to talk and read about the Hobby. 🤓👍🏼
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:17 PM
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AGuinness AGuinness is online now
Garth Guibord
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 503

I've got two boys, 7 and 4, and for the past few years I buy a box of Topps Opening Day to open at the start of the baseball season (we're Red Sox fans, so we usually catch the first game while doing the rip-n-tear). They enjoy them, it's cheap and gets them started with some cards. I think their favorites are the mascot cards.

I also get them some packs for their birthdays, along with giving them some of my "old" cards along with a note about the players/sets in the cards (I do Red Sox players so they can get familiarized with the team's history).

Topps offers series 1, 2 and "updated" packs throughout the year. I enjoy the Heritage and Archives packs, with designs from yesteryears.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:56 PM
Smapdi Smapdi is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3

There is only Topps producing licensed, official Major League Baseball cards, through various Topps and Bowman brands. Panini also produces cards with current and past major leaguers, under either the Panini or Donruss brands, but they are unlicensed, in that they don't show logos or team names. Both companies churn out sets of all types. I was looking at Topps's release schedule the other day and they are about to start putting out a set every week through August, on top of the four or five sets they've already put out this year.

While this can be overwhelming at times, the bright side is that there is something for everyone. Do you like retro style sets with modern players? You can get Heritage, Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen, or Archives. Or do you like rookies? Bowman brands and Topps Chrome are popular for autographs of current young and future stars. Do you like high-end, low-print-run products heavy on autographs, premium relics, and dubious box ROI? Tier One, Tribute, Dynasty, Triple Threads, and probably a few more are good. Do you like a simple, basic, affordable set with a checklist primarily current MLers? Base Topps, Opening Day, Heritage, Topps Chrome, A&G, or Gypsy Queen. Base Topps I believe is still the biggest selling brand by volume in the hobby, and this year I like the design and checklist. Series two is coming out in a few weeks.

Panini, while they are less popular in general, also puts out a wide range of stuff from basic Donruss to top-end National Treasures and Flawless. They have a chrome-style set called Optic, with all the refractors and such you might expect. They also are the licensee for USA Baseball, I believe, so if you like that style of ball that's where you go.

About a decade ago there still were all the brands you knew. But in 2006, IIRC, Upper Deck bought Fleer when they went bankrupt. Donruss went out in 2005, I think, but they got bought by Panini and started putting out the logoless cards in 2008. Score also folded at some point and was bought by panini. Upper Deck was still going but in 2010 MLB decided to have only one licensee, Topps. UD put out a 2010 base set, but it contained logos and team names, violating trademark and copyright. They tried a lame legal maneuver justifying it, but that didn't fly, and were immediately told to cease by a judge, and pay outstanding licensing fees, which basically crippled them and took them out of the baseball game for good. UD still owns Fleer and their designs, and puts out NHL cards, which are popular, and Marvel cards often using old Fleer basketball designs (the original basketball cards from the 90s are some of the hottest in the hobby).

Speculation is that Panini might gain a license in 2020 when Topps's exclusive is up, I think, but no one knows. And if they do, would Topps lose theirs? Or would we finally get some competition back in the hobby?
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