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Baseball can be played with a standard 52-card deck by mimicking the basic structure and flow of an actual baseball game. Here are the rules for playing baseball with cards:

The Deck: Use a standard 52-card deck with no jokers. The cards 2 through 9 represent themselves as the runs scored. The number cards 10 through Ace represent “outs” in the inning, with Ace being a one-out, 10 a two-out, Jack a three-out, Queen a four-out, and King a five-out or inning-ending out.

Teams: Split into two teams, one batting and one fielding. The batting team tries to score runs by accumulating number cards 2 through 9 before making three outs. The fielding team tries to record outs by flipping cards 10 through King.

Inning Setup: The batting team designates one player as the “batter.” The fielding team designates one player as the “pitcher” who will flip cards from the deck.

At Bat: The pitcher flips one card at a time from the top of the deck for the batter. If a number 2-9 is flipped, the batter has a “hit” and adds that run to their team’s score. If a 10 through King out card is flipped, that represents an out. The current batter’s turn is over and the next batter is up.

Three Outs: An inning ends after the batting team records three outs, at which point teams switch between batting and fielding. The batting team keeps any runs scored that inning.

Defense: The “pitcher” handles flipping cards for outs. Other fielders don’t directly affect gameplay but can call out what type of out card was flipped like “That’s a single!” or “That’s a double play!”.

Extra Innings: Play continues between teams batting and fielding through 9 “innings” or until a time limit is reached. The team with the most total runs scored after winning is the winner.


Base runners – numbered cards left “on base” stick around for next batters as runners to possibly score on hits
Sacrifice plays – certain card flips result in an out but move base runners
Special fielding cards that cause double/triple plays on multiples outs
Pitching stats tracked like walks, hits allowed for realism

Standard 52-card deck where number cards 2-9 are hits/runs and face cards/number 10s are outs. Teams take turns batting and fielding through 9 “innings” of game play with card flips, accumulating runs and outs to determine a winner. With the right house rules additions, it can truly recreate the strategy and fun of an actual baseball game with regular playing cards.


There are many different things you can do with your collection of base baseball cards. Whether you have cards from recent seasons or going back decades, here are some of the best options to consider for your collection:

Organize and Display Them: One of the most basic but satisfying things to do is to properly organize and display your baseball card collection. You’ll want to invest in organizing supplies like toploaders, sheets of cardboard or plastic, binders or pages to keep your cards safe and in order. Decide how you want to display the cards whether it’s in binders by player, team or year, or on baseball card display stands. Properly showing off your collection is a great way to enjoy the cards.

Sell Individual Cards: If you have any rare, valuable rookie cards or cards of star players, you can potentially make some money by selling individual cards. Do your research on websites like eBay to see recent sold prices for certain years and players. Grade the condition of any expensive cards to verify their worth. You can then list quality cards individually on eBay, your local card shop or collector website/app. Be prepared to ship safely.

Sell Your Whole Collection: For those wanting to part with their entire collection at once, you have the option to sell it as a lot. Again research recent sales of similar collections to understand market value. Take nice photos of the full collection and carefully describe what is included from the oldest to newest cards. Sell on a website allowing for shipment. You’ll get less than individual high-value cards but it’s convenient to sell everything at once.

Trade With Other Collectors: An enjoyable way to grow your collection is by trading with other baseball card collectors. Research local card shops, collector events or online trading forums to find willing traders. Decide what cards you’re open to trading and what you’d like in return. Always ship items safely and read trader/forum rules. Trades allow you to target acquiring specific players/teams you desire without big spending.

Donate to Schools or Youth Programs: As an alternative to selling, you could donate some or all of your baseball card collection to a local school, library, boys/girls club or youth baseball program. Contact the organizations to see if they’d accept the donation which could then be used for educational or recreational purposes with kids. You get satisfaction knowing the cards will be enjoyed while not having to sell or store them long term. Provide the organization with organizing supplies if possible.

Add to a Museum or Archive Collection: For truly historic or unique cards in your collection, you might consider donating items to a baseball hall of fame, major league team museum, or public/university archive collection. Contact the institutions to inquire about potentially adding to their permanent exhibits or research materials. You’d want only your most prized possessions to end up in a place where future generations can appreciate your contributions to important collections.

Keep for Future Enjoyment/Value: Of course, there’s nothing wrong with simply holding onto your baseball card collection for future enjoyment or possible increased value down the line either. Conditions, demand and player accomplishments can cause certain cards to significantly gain in worth decades later. By properly storing and maintaining your collection, you or heirs may benefit greatly years from now if there’s interest or opportunity. So displaying or keeping as an investment are totally reasonable options.

There are many great ways to enjoy and leverage your collection of base baseball cards whether displaying, selling, trading or donating depending on your goals. Taking the time to properly organize and research valuation will help you maximize options. The possibilities ensure your cards can continue bringing enjoyment for years to come.


There are a few different ways that you can play baseball using playing cards as substitutes for balls, strikes, outs, and other aspects of the game. Some of the more common card baseball games include 52-card baseball and 3-13 baseball.

In 52-card baseball, the full 52-card deck is used to represent all aspects of a baseball game. Suits represent different positions on the field with clubs being pitchers and catchers, hearts being infielders, diamonds being outfielders, and spades being base runners. Card values take on the following meanings:

Aces = Balls
Number cards 2-10 = Strikes/outs depending on the count
Jacks = Walks
Queens = Hits
Kings = Home runs

To start an inning, cards are dealt face down one at a time to represent pitches. An ace is a ball, number cards advance the count as strikes until three strikes are reached which results in an out. A jack walks the batter, a queen is a single, king is a home run. The suit determines which position records the out, hit, etc. This continues until three outs are made to end the half inning. Then teams switch sides.

Scoring works by tracking runs around the bases. A queen scores from first and second. A king automatically scores any preceding base runners. The team with the most runs after nine innings wins. There are no extra innings so games can end in ties. Variations include changing scoring values of certain cards or allowing steals/advances on certain cards.

In 3-13 baseball, only number cards from 3 through 13 are used in the deck along with two jokers. This simplified version removes aces, face cards, and kings/queens from the typical at bat results. Card values directly correlate to counting pitches:

3’s and 4’s = Balls
5’s and 6’s = Strikes
7’s = Singles
8’s = Doubles
9’s = Triples
10’s = Walks
11’s = Hit By Pitch
12’s = Strikeouts
13’s = Home Runs

Jokers are wild cards that can be used as any other card’s value. At bats continue by dealing a new card on each pitch until three outs or four runs are scored per half inning. Scoring is the same as 52-card baseball by running bases according to hit results. First team to a set run total or number of innings wins.

These are two of the more popular ways to play baseball using a standard card deck. The games emulate the basic flow and scoring of a real baseball game but use cards instead of balls/strikes/hits for variety and indoor playability. Other variants exist as well that tweak the card meanings and rules. The key aspects are using cards to simulate pitches, counts, and results to replay the sport in a portable tabletop version. With some imagination, playing cards can keep the baseball action going anytime and anywhere!

The thrill of baseball comes alive through simple card games that transport the action from the ballpark to a living room or anywhere a deck of cards may go. Classic card games like 52-card baseball and 3-13 baseball offer new strategies and outcomes each time yet maintain the traditional structure and objectives of America’s pastime. Playing cards remove the reliance on specific equipment, large space needs, and weather limitations – allowing the national sport to be experienced freely through this alternative portable option. Whether wanting a quick pickup game or full nine inning simulation, card baseball seamlessly brings the enthusiasm of baseball to any circumstance!


The tradition of including chewing gum with baseball cards originated in the late 19th century. At the time, many baseball card manufacturers sought creative ways to market and distribute their card collections. Including a small piece of gum was an innovative promotional tactic that helped drive card sales and kept costs low by bundling two small affordable products together. This tradition continued throughout much of the 20th century and became strongly associated with the baseball card collecting hobby.

In the late 1970s and early 80s several factors emerged that began changing the tradition of gum-included baseball cards. First, the rising costs of both producing baseball cards and including gum started significantly driving up the total costs of these bundled packages for manufacturers. At the same time, the baseball card and chewing gum industries were maturing and card/gumcombos were seen less as a novelty promotional item and more as a standardized product. Manufacturers had to decide if maintaining the gum tradition was still financially viable compared to alternatives like raising prices or removing the gum.

Public health concerns were emerging about sugar consumption from chewing gum and whether encouraging children to chew gum to get baseball cards promoted overindulgence. While gum was never the primary motivator for most collectors, public scrutiny on the bundling emerged. Some schools even banned trading baseball cards at school over the perceived “unhealthiness” of always including gum. This created negative publicity challenges for manufacturers.

As the 1980s progressed, the biggest manufacturers like Topps, Fleer and Donruss all phased out including gum with baseball cards in favor of alternative models. Topps was the last holdout, ceasing gum-included cards in 1985. With the three giants out of the gum game, it signaled the end of an era for this baseball card tradition. Occasional smaller manufacturers tried to carry on the gum tradition but never regained mainstream popularity.

Since the 1980s, gum has been mostly absent from mainstream on-shelf baseball card packaging purchases. Some manufacturers have experimented with bring gum back in limited niche ways. In the 2000s, some companies included individual stick packs of gum randomly inserted in cases of cards sold to hobby shops as a throwback novelty. More recently in the 2010s, some high-end replica or retro-themed card releases included small gum pieces but these remained small promotional special edition products, not a return to traditional packaging.

Another development has been the rise of luxury or premium hobby boxes of cards targeted to adult collectors that sometimes bundle unique non-card bonuses like autographed memorabilia or mystery soft packs of modern gum. These are expensive specialty items separate from traditional young collectors’ on-shelf wax pack/gumbox models of old. The cost, health concerns and new options for card distribution today make a full-scale return of gum packaging unlikely for mainstream baseball cards going forward.

So in summary – while the tradition of including gum with baseball cards goes back over a century as an innovative promotional tactic, rising costs/health scrutiny and new collection/distribution models led manufacturers to phase the practice out by the mid-1980s. Occasional smaller scale throwback releases have included gum since, but gum is no longer a standard element of traditional on-shelf baseball card packaging purchases. Nostalgia lives on but the card/gum bundle trend has ended as the collecting hobby has evolved.


There are many options for what to do with your baseball card collection. Here are some of the most popular and valuable approaches:

Organize and Display Your Collection: One of the most common things people do with their baseball cards is to organize and display them. You’ll want to carefully store your cards to preserve their condition. Many collectors use plastic sleeves, binders with pages made for cards, or boxes to store their collections organized by player, team, year, or other categories. You can then display your favorites or sets in a baseball card album, on your walls using racks or shelves, or even framed as artwork. Properly storing and displaying your collection allows you to enjoy and appreciate the cards while protecting their long term value.

Sell Individual Cards: You may have valuable individual cards in your collection that are worth selling. The value of any given card is dependent on many factors like the player, year, condition, and popularity. Sites like eBay allow you to research recently sold prices for comparison. List popular rookie cards or cards of stars in near mint or mint condition to maximize value. Selling individual valuable cards is a good way to earn money from your collection. Be sure to carefully package cards for shipping to avoid damage.

Consign Cards to Local Card Shop: Local collectibles card shops often buy or consign individual cards or whole collections. They have experience evaluating cards and will know the regional market values. With consignment, the shop displays and advertises your cards for a set period and takes a small commission from any sales. This allows you to potentially earn money from cards without doing the work of individually selling them online or in person. Shops also appreciate local collectors using their business.

Sell Entire Collection as a Lot: If you want to sell your entire collection at once rather than individual cards, listing it as a single lot is an option. This is ideal for bigger collections that may contain many common cards in addition to some valuable stars. Selling as one lot requires less work and is attractive to collectors looking to add a large grouping of players and teams to their collections in one purchase. Again, research recent prices of comparable full collection sales to establish a fair asking price.

Donate to Schools or Youth Programs: Baseball cards have educational and collector benefits that some schools and youth organizations can utilize. Donating your entire collection allows it to be enjoyed and appreciated rather than ending up in the trash. It provides material for history and stats lessons as well as fosters hobby interests. Ask local participating groups if they would accept your cards for such use so they don’t go to waste. You gain goodwill from the donation.

Hold a Baseball Card Show or Swap Meet: Organizing a local show or swap meet with vendors and collectors brings the community together around the hobby. Vendors can rent tables to sell individual cards or collections while attendees browse or trade cards with one another. You can potentially earn money as an event organizer by charging a small vendor fee. It drives traffic and sales while providing an enjoyable event for fellow card collectors. Promoting the show helps clean out your extras and unwanted doubles.

Consider Consignment or Auction House: If you have extremely rare and valuable cards in pristine condition, the big auction houses like Goldin or PWCC may be interested in featuring select cards from your collection in one of their collectibles auctions. Their big platforms and extensive databases of serious buyers maximize prices and visibility. You let them handle research, promotion and sale in return for a percentage of the final value. This approach works best for true high-end investment-quality cards.

In the end, do some research to learn more about your cards and options, set reasonable financial expectations if selling, and find an approach that allows you to properly manage your collection long term while potentially earning some money back or sharing your cards with others. With the right strategy, your baseball cards can remain appreciated assets well into the future. There are many viable paths, so choose what works best for your individual collection and circumstances.


There are several ways that collectors can make money from their baseball card collections. One of the most common ways is to buy cards that you expect will increase in value over time, then sell them later for a profit after they appreciate. To do this successfully requires research into the baseball card market to identify cards from certain years, sets, or of certain players that are likely to gain value as the years pass. Focus on cards of star players early in their careers before they achieved major success and fame. Rookie cards or early career cards of future Hall of Famers often experience some of the biggest appreciations decades later. Condition is also extremely important – high grade mint condition cards will appreciate much more than worn or damaged ones. Keep cards in protective sleeves and get expensive or valuable cards professionally graded to maximize their condition and appeal to serious collectors.

Another way to profit is to purchase collections or individual rare and valuable cards at auctions or from estates when the original collectors or families may not fully understand the cards’ worth. Do thorough research to identify hidden gems that are undervalued. Then you can resell them individually online through platforms like eBay or through reputable auction houses for a premium. Such rare cards could include incredibly scarce early 20th century “tobacco era” cards, rookie cards of all-time great players from the 1950s and 1960s before the structure of the modern baseball card era existed, and any autographed or game-used memorabilia cards of legendary players. When selling valuable vintage cards, working with an established auction house can maximize the selling price versus an individual sale.

For modern cards from the 1980s to today, focus on rookies and stars, but also look to investing in sets with short print runs before manufacturers increased production levels. Unopened wax packs or boxes that are still factory sealed also have collecting potential if purchased at reasonable prices. These can be resold unopened much later for profits once supply dwindles. Always stay up to date on the latest hobby trends and which young stars are emerging as future Hall of Famers who could drive future demand. Continually use price guide resources to monitor your holdings’ values.

Provide a consignment card selling service to other collectors too timid to deal with eBay themselves or lack the required expertise. Consignment allows owners to sell high-value cards through your auction relationships while giving you an agreed percentage as commission. Building an online store with a large inventory of fairly-priced vintage and modern cards is another option. Use detailed photographs and descriptions to attract buyers. Offer competitive flat-rate shipping. With scale, profits from sales, commissions and store traffic can be substantial.

Consider starting a YouTube or blog focused on the business, investing and collecting aspects of baseball cards. In-depth content on identification, grading, tracking market trends, evaluating investment potential and providing buying/selling advice can build an audience over time. Monetize through ads or paid online memberships for premium perks that reward loyal followers. With significant scale, influencer revenue streams from the hobby become realistic.

There are many viable avenues for profiting from baseball cards, but it does require passion, patience, diligent research habits and knowledgeable understanding of the unique market dynamics that drive demand and price changes over decades. While short-term speculation is possible, the most reliable profits result from strong long-term strategic positions established over years in desirable vintage cardboard that captures the imaginations of generations of collectors.


There are several things you can do with old baseball cards rather than letting them collect dust in the attic or basement. One of the most common options is to sell the cards if they contain valuable players. To determine value, you’ll want to carefully examine the condition and grade of each card. Things like centering, corners, edges and surface affect condition. Grading services like PSA can professionally grade cards to verify their condition. They assign grades from 1-10, with 10 being gem mint. Cards in higher grades tend to be worth significantly more when selling.

You can sort through your collection and check recent sold prices on sites like eBay to see if any cards are worth individually grading and selling. Often common players in good condition can sell for $5-10 each, while stars and hall of famers in high grades can fetch hundreds or even thousands depending on the player and year. Once you know the potential value, you can consign high-end cards to auction houses like Goldin Auctions or pioneer who handle million dollar baseball card sales. For common cards, directly listing them on eBay is a good option. Just be sure to thoroughly describe condition and include high-quality photos from multiple angles.

Rather than selling individually, you could also package groups of cards together based on certain themes. Some ideas are all stars from a specific year, rookie cards from a decade, a complete team set, or Hall of Famers. Themed lots tend to sell for more than just random individual cards. Another alternative if you don’t want to deal with selling is to donate valuable cards to a sports museum, hall of fame, or local baseball card shop. They may provide you a tax receipt, and the cards will be preserved and appreciated by fans.

If you have cards that won’t sell individually or in lots due to lower values or poorer condition, don’t throw them away. You can repurpose them into new works of art or practical items. One cool project is to carefully mount cards onto canvas or artist panels using glue or adhesive and frame them. This creates unique baseball-themed wall art. Shadowboxes are another nice display option for cards. You can also decoupage cards onto items like mirrors, trays, clocks or make personalized photo frames holding memorable family baseball photos. Getting creative is a fun way to showcase cards rather than storing them away.

Another cool reuse idea is to cut out player photos and signatures and seal them between sheets of clear contact paper or laminate them to make coasters, bookmarks, bookmarks or gift tags. Kids especially love when cards are incorporated into crafts. You can cut out teams or players and let children glue them onto paper to make baseball books, turn them into puzzles by cutting into piece shapes, or use in other educational projects. As long as the cards aren’t in mint condition, repurposing into gifts, décor or activities helps preserve baseball memories for future generations.

If you enjoy the challenge of collecting and want to continue maintaining your baseball card collection, there are also options to consider long-term storage and organization. Magnetic one-touch sheets paired with semi-rigid card holders or storage boxes provide protection while still allowing display. Or you can organize cards by year, team or other category in custom binders or modular card albums. No matter the size, all collections benefit from being stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight which can damage the cardboard and ink over time. Proper storage helps preserve cards optimally whether keeping for sentimental value or future resale.

Old baseball cards can have many potential uses beyond clearing out clutter. Selling valuable rare finds or complete sets provides income. Donating preserves history. Creative crafts repurpose into art or gifts. Displaying your collection keeps cherished memories front and center. With so many options, you’re sure to find enjoyable ways to put your cards to further use rather than storing them away unseen. Proper handling, exhibiting or reusing collection items ensures baseball card hobbies remain enjoyable both today and for future generations.


Collect them – Perhaps the most common activity people engage in with baseball cards is collecting them. You can collect cards from your favorite team, favorite player, rookie cards from a certain year, or simply collect cards to accumulate a large overall collection. Building a baseball card collection takes time and effort but can be very rewarding.

Display your collection – Once you start accumulating baseball cards, you’ll want to properly store and display them. Many collectors will organize their cards inside special binders that have sheets to safely hold the cards. You can categorize your cards by team, player, year, or other criteria. You can also invest in special collectors’ cases or frames to showcase select prized cards. Displaying your collection is a great way to enjoy looking at the cards you’ve accumulated over time.

Trade or sell cards – Baseball card collecting involves building relationships with other collectors so you can trade or sell duplicates and cards you no longer want. You can trade cards to fill in holes in each other’s collections. Online communities and card shows are excellent places to find other collectors to swap or sell cards with. Establishing your cards’ values and knowing the market is important when trading or attempting to sell cards for profit. With rare and valuable vintage cards, you could make a substantial amount of money from trades or auction sales.

Research players and teams – Part of the fun of collecting cards is learning about the history of your favorite players, teams, and baseball in general. Looking through your collection can spark you to research things like a certain player’s career stats and accomplishments, the team rosters from specific seasons, or how uniforms and design elements have evolved over the decades. Baseball cards transport you back in time and can trigger deeper dives into baseball’s rich history.

Play casual games – While serious trading card games exist, baseball cards also lend themselves to more casual games you can play with family or friends. Examples include creating your own scenarios to have card players face off against each other, putting together team lineups and rotations from your cards to simulate games and seasons, or competitions like seeing who can assemble the highest overall team based on subjective player ratings. Simple games allow you to interact with others based on your shared baseball card collections.

Feed your memorabilia interests – For avid baseball and memorabilia fans, cards satisfy a desire to preserve small pieces of history and remember specific moments. Rookie cards, autographed cards, rare serial numbers, and other unique memorabilia-style cards are especially prized. High-grade vintage cards valued in the thousands or that feature legends of the game allow collectors to feel a tangible association with all-time great players even generations later. Collecting cards integrates with interests in historical artifacts, autographs, and tangible links to our collective baseball past.

Invest for potential profit – As with any collectible, the value of certain desirable baseball cards can substantially increase over time. While speculation should never be the primary motivation, experienced collectors learn that vintage rookie cards featuring players who went on to Hall of Fame careers as well as rare promotional sets can potentially appreciate well and provide an avenue for financial returns rivaling traditional long-term investments. The baseball card market is unpredictable, so investing requires research, patience, and a love of the hobby rather than solely a profit-focused mindset.

Stay involved in the present game – Modern card collecting allows you to accumulate cards featuring today’s top players as they establish their careers too. Following the newest releases, promotional packs, and specialty inserts keeps collectors engaged with what’s happening presently in baseball while simultaneously building a long-term collection. Higher print runs mean today’s cards may never achieve the scarcity of vintage cardboard, but modern sets let collectors welcome each new season.

Baseball cards provide a gateway to learning about the sport’s history, facilitate connections between collectors, and enable casual play in addition to possibilities for investment or profit. Whatever the motivation, cards offer tangible links to America’s pastime that encourage lifelong hobby enjoyment in a variety of ways far beyond simply accumulating cards.


If you have a collection of old baseball cards stored away in your attic, basement, or tucked away in an old shoebox, you may be wondering what to do with them. Baseball cards can be a nostalgic window to the past, but they also may have accumulated value over the years depending on the players, year, condition and other factors. There are a few main options to consider when it comes to old baseball cards:

The first option is to simply keep them. If the cards hold sentimental value to you as a connection to your childhood or memories of collecting them, there is certainly no harm in continuing to store them safely and passing them down to future generations in your family. Properly storing cards in plastic sleeves or cardboard sheets in dry, temperature controlled areas like a basement can help preserve them. Over time, cards belonging to star players from past eras that are in good condition may increase in value as rarer and rarer specimens remain. So holding onto a collection purely as a keepsake is a viable choice.

If space is an issue or you’re more interested in potentially gaining some value from the cards, there are sale and appraisal options to explore. One approach is to have the collection professionally appraised. A reputable sportscard appraiser can evaluate each card, identify valuable and rare pieces, check conditions, and provide an estimated current market value for insurance or estate purposes. Many local comic book and collectible shops offer such services for a fee. An appraisal will give you a better sense of whether you have any true “gems” worth substantial money in the bunch.

If interested in selling, either individual cards or the full collection, there are also multiple potential avenues. Online marketplace platforms like eBay allow you to list cards yourself and potentially reach a wide buyer base. With the vast number of listings and variability in value estimates, actually getting top dollar this way requires time, effort in photography, descriptions and negotiations with bidders. For a easier sale option with less work, local collectors and hobby shops will often buy entire collections outright for a consolidated price, though it likely won’t be as high as selling pieces separately over time.

Another choice when looking to sell is to work with a respected auction house. National companies like Heritage Auctions, Robert Edward Auctions and others regularly facilitate sports memorabilia sales, providing authentication services, pre-sale estimated values, and promotion to reach serious card buyers both domestically and internationally. Putting a collection up for auction lets the market set the prices and can result in higher prices than a flat shop buyout deal if any true “keys” are present. Consignment auction options are available where the auction house only takes a small cut of final prices.

Before pursuing any sale, it’s important to have realistic expectations based on several key factors that determine a card’s worth:

Player/Year – Cards from the early 20th century along with legendary players from any era most likely hold higher values. More recent players need a high level of fame.

Condition – Near mint or mint condition cards that show little to no wear will be far more valuable than ones that are worn, faded, creased or damaged. Professional grading helps buyers verify condition.

Rarity – Especially for older decades, the scarcer a particular card the more coveted it will be by collectors. Very low print run promotions are quite valuable.

Completeness – Make sure cards still have intact fronts and backs, and are not cut, trimmed or missing parts as that damages value.

Current Player Interest – Cards depicting players still generating fans and social media buzz are hot right now. Cards need to appeal to contemporary collectors.

Getting cards professionally appraised is also a good idea before sending them off for online auction to avoid accidental fraud. Reputable auction houses will screen submissions to prevent inflated consignments. Always disclose cards’ true conditions up front.

Old baseball cards provide the chance to potentially gain value from nostalgia, make a profitable sale, or pass a piece of history to new generations. With reasonable expectations set by professional guidance, collectors have multiple smart options for what to ultimately do with their stored cards from the past. Taking the time for accurate appraisals or testing auction waters allows owners to make informed choices for how best to manage their baseball memorabilia possessions over time.


If you have old baseball cards collecting dust in your attic or basement, there are several options for what you can do with them. One option is to sort through them and see if you have any valuable cards worth selling. To determine value, you’ll want to consider the player, the year it was printed, the condition of the card, and whether there are any special traits that make it rare. Good places to research estimated values include eBay completed auction listings, Beckett Baseball Price Guides, PSA or BCG grading company websites. See if any of your cards could reasonably sell for over $50 or $100 before deciding to sell.

If you have cards in pristine mint condition, especially of star players from the 1950s-1980s, it may be worth paying to have them professionally graded and encapsulated for protection by the PSA or BCG third-party authentication/grading companies. Graded high quality vintage cards can sell for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The grading process does have costs that need to be factored in. You’d only want to grade and sell your absolute best vintage cards in top condition.

Another option is to sort your cards by player and year and see if you have any complete full sets from a given season you could potentially sell as a complete set lot on eBay. Full or nearly complete rookies sets especially from the 1950s-1970s can demand high prices since collectors covet completing their entire rookie card collections for certain years. Full sets are also easier for resellers to market than individual unsorted cards.

If you don’t have any individual cards or sets worth professionally grading/selling, you could still potentially sell your unsorted lot of cards on eBay or to a local card shop. There are always collectors looking to add to their collections through unsorted lots to find hidden gems. You’d only make a few dollars but it gets the cards to collectors. Make sure to include an accurate count of cards and highlight any notablestar players to fetch the best price.

Rather than selling, another option is to donate your card collection to a local library, school, nursing home, or children’s hospital where other children/patrons could enjoy looking through them. Obtain a letter acknowledging your donation for tax purposes. Or you could keep the collection intact yourself for sentimental reasons and just store them safely in sleeve pages and binders instead of leaving them loose to deteriorate further over time.

Before selling or donating, the cards would need to be properly organized, stored, and in some cases preserved. Most experts advise placing each card in a plastic penny sleeve protector then arranging them numerically or alphabetically in baseball card sheets, boxes or binders. Storing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, moisture and temperature fluctuations helps prevent further damage over time. If any cards have creasing, discoloration or other flaws, there are archival safe supplies that can help flatten/repair them without damaging the card stock. Proper storage helps maintain the collection’s condition and value for display, your own enjoyment, or future sale/donation down the line.

As a final option worth considering – if you have a true investment-grade vintage collection with hundreds of high value 1960s/1970s rookie cards, you may want to consult with a sports memorabilia auction house about potentially doing a formal private sale or auction of your entire collection as a lot. They could better assess the full scope and value, market it to serious card collectors/investors, handle the auction/sale logistics and provide a professional appraisal of the collection’s worth for tax purposes after their commission is deducted from the final sale price. For most hobbyists’ collections, selling individual cards or smaller lots online or to local shops is typically a more realistic route.

If you have old baseball cards, sort through them to find potential high value/key/rare vintage cards to sell individually, consider sets, or sell the overall collection or donate after properly archiving/preserving them. With some research and effort, these nostalgic pieces of memorabilia from your attic could become a source of fun, enjoyment or funds for years to come. Proper handling ensures they remain available and treasured by collectors and fans for future generations to enjoy as well.