When I was growing up in the 1980s, baseball cards were my life. When birthdays were approaching, my parents never asked me what I wanted for my present because they knew what I wanted. Sitting down in my room and tearing open packs was the best part of every birthday. The thrill of the chase, whether I was trying to find a Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck rookie, a Mark McGwire 1985 Topps USA Baseball Team rookie, or later, a Billy Ripken 1991 Fleer card with a 4-letter-word written on the knob of the bat, was about as much fun as a kid could have. The reward for uncovering one of those chase cards felt like millions of dollars to my 8-10 year old self.
As I became a teenager and then a young adult, I stopped collecting. The cards that were my carefully protected, top-loaded treasures were stacked in boxes in a closet in my parent's house. They sat there throughout college, and then for years after as I moved around from state to state. I didn't really think about them much, but figured that eventually I would grab them and see if they had any value.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened and I had a life changing moment, when I decided to make a $20 purchase, the first card I had bought since my childhood.
You may have a similar story, with boxes of cards sitting in some closet or storage facility that you haven't looked at in years. You have been seeing all the news reports about the resurgence of the sports card market, but you have no clue if your cards have any value or how to appraise them.
In this article, I will attempt to help you understand the modern day hobby, how to find the value of your cards, and answer some of the questions that I know I needed some clarification and guidance on when I first got back in to the hobby.