I've been thinking a lot about base cards lately.
You know....the cards that aren't strewn with autographs or jerseys or memorabilia and such. No fancy foils or scarce serial numbering. That's right.....the stuff a lot of us bypass nowadays.
Simple. Basic. Base cards.
There was a time when base cards were the only thing you'd get in a pack. Heck, there was a time when the cards were filler for the bubblegum that kids craved. Today, they seem to be the last, weak link in the hockey card chain.
Why is that?
I'll admit, there were a few years when base cards meant pretty much nothing to me. I still find occasions where I have too many of them sitting around. But I think I have a greater appreciation for them.
The designs on some of them can be really cool. The info on them can be very useful. They still hold some value to me.
I think part of the reason is that I have found a 'place' for base cards in my collection. No, I don't mean a section of closet space, but rather an identified aspect of my collecting habits where base cards are needed.
I think the toughest aspect of the hobby for the base card is that kids no longer yearn for them. When I was a kid, it was a lot of 'got it, got it, got it, need it'. But kids learn from their elders and now all they see is jersey cards, autos, big box hits and no use whatsoever for base cards.
I wish that more kids would get back into the enjoyment of collecting a set. Previous releases like OPC, MVP, Victory along with upcoming sets like Score lend those on a tighter budget the opportunity to collect. To be a part of the hobby. To enjoy base cards.
But kids don't want to for the most part. I don't think they will ever again. Much like rotary phones and TV antennas, hockey cards are something that your parents (or grandparents) had.
The next time you are at a card shop or at your local card show, take a moment to go through some base card boxes (if there are any). For nothing else than to enjoy the player selection (good, bad or ugly), the plethora of designs and the thought that these pieces of cardboard are fractions of the price of most cards out there.
What are your thoughts on base cards? Are they worthless pieces of cardboard? Are they something you collect?
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