Beverly Hills has long been a hub for collecting rare and valuable sports memorabilia. Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills attracted many wealthy residents over the decades who enjoyed spending money on their hobbies and passions. Baseball cards emerged as one of the most popular collectibles starting in the late 19th century, and Beverly Hills saw the rise of specialized card shops catering to serious collectors.
One of the earliest baseball card stores in Beverly Hills was Bob’s Baseball Cards, which opened its doors in 1956. Bob Klein had amassed a huge personal collection of vintage cards and decided to share his obsession with the local community. He started by selling cards out of the spare room in his house, but demand quickly grew. In 1960, Bob opened a small retail shop on Little Santa Monica Boulevard. His inventory focused on high-end vintage cards from the early 20th century, including prized specimens from the T206 and E90 sets.
Bob worked closely with auction houses and dealers around the country to acquire entire collections. He became known for having some of the rarest exemplars available, including specimens that showed little wear. Serious collectors from across the United States would make pilgrimages to Beverly Hills just to peruse Bob’s inventory. His deep knowledge of the hobby helped verify authenticity and establish fair market prices. By the late 1960s, Bob’s had grown to occupy a 2,000 square foot storefront and was a major destination for anyone passionate about the history of the sport.
As the baby boomer generation came of age in the 1970s, baseball card collecting exploded in popularity across the nation. New stores opened in Beverly Hills to meet the growing demand, like Sportscards Galore on Wilshire Boulevard. Owned by brothers Mark and Michael Stein, Sportscards focused more on supplying the latest wax packs, boxes, and sets for kids just getting into the hobby. They also offered a consignment service for people looking to sell off parts of their collection. By catering to casual and serious collectors alike, Sportscards Galore found great success and remained a mainstay in Beverly Hills for over 30 years.
The 1980s saw several new specialty shops enter the scene. One that stood out was High-End Cards, founded in 1982 by Robert Marks. Drawing on his background in fine art and antiques, Marks curated a boutique-style inventory of only the most pristine vintage gems. He was known for having specimens so flawless they appeared to have just been pulled from their original packs. While prices were quite steep, serious collectors from around the world were willing to pay top-dollar for the opportunity to add true condition census cards to their collections. High-End Cards helped further cement Beverly Hills’ reputation as a mecca for those seeking investment-grade memorabilia.
As the 20th century drew to a close, the internet began reshaping the collectibles industry. While online sales boomed, many local card shops struggled to compete and eventually closed their doors. Bob’s Baseball Cards was one of the casualties, shuttering in 1995 after nearly 40 years in business. Some enterprises proved adept at adapting to changing times. Sportscards Galore launched an e-commerce site in the late 1990s and became one of the first specialty retailers to successfully transition online. Under new ownership, High-End Cards also kept their doors open by leveraging a strong web presence.
Today, Beverly Hills remains home to a handful of renowned card shops. In addition to the modern iterations of Sportscards Galore and High-End Cards, Beverly Card Shop has carried the torch since 1989. Located steps from Rodeo Drive, Beverly Card Shop maintains an immaculate showroom of rare vintage inventory alongside all the latest releases. Proprietor Jason Marks has cultivated strong relationships with Hall of Famers, players, and memorabilia companies to keep a steady stream of one-of-a-kind items in stock. For serious collectors, Beverly Hills continues to hold a special allure as a place where you can see – and possibly acquire – pieces of baseball history.