Flashback to 1981…

Not only do I like collecting baseball cards, I also like reading about baseball cards.  I started collecting in the early 1980’s.  I thought it might be fun to read what was going on in the hobby back then, so I started picking up old issues of Baseball Cards Magazine.  Recently, I found a copy of the 1st issue from 1981 in fantastic condition…


Here’s a big surprise, the hobby was a lot simpler 36 years ago.  Long before autos and relic cards.  The focus was all on the teams and the players.  Players did not have 40 different rookie cards.  Just one from each set.  Completists  had it easy.

Most of the articles in this issue are as relevant today as they were back then.  Considering the magazine was edited by the late Bob Lemke, that’s not a surprise…


Some of the ads in this issue just left me shaking my head.  A 1968 Nolan Ryan for $6.50?  A 1972 Carlton Fisk for $2.20?  How about a 1965 Mickey Mantle for $15.50?  Unbelievable.

The back cover is cool too.  1981 was the first time in a very long time that Topps had competition.  Fleer and Donruss started producing their sets too.


Reading through this time capsule was a blast!  Comparing the hobby now to how it was back then was a real eye opener.  It doesn’t have to be all about autographs and limited parallels.  It can just be about collecting players and putting together sets.  Not saying I’m ready to stop chasing autos, but it did give me something to think about.



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