Which Was Your Favorite Old-Time Baseball Cards Publication?

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39 thoughts on “Which Was Your Favorite Old-Time Baseball Cards Publication?

  1. Baseball Cards Magazine was the first sports card magazine I purchased and that magazine in particular held an elevated position in my heart for many years to come. By the late 1980s, Beckett was quickly becoming the hobby standard as far as pricing cards (whether you were trading cards with friends or buying cards at a shop or show). However, Beckett magazine contained more “fluff” content and less insider information about the hobby. For someone who even at a young age liked to read, a publication like Baseball Cards Magazine offered far more substantive knowledge (the good and the bad of the hobby) than Beckett. Beckett seemed to concentrate primarily on promoting the stars of the hobby with its colorful layout and “sunny disposition” content.

    1. I loved both of them early on, but Baseball Cards Magazine was definitely more gritty and irreverent. The Constant Rater feature was always a fun read.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  2. My first publication that I received was The Sport Hobbyist in 1973 — gave me the info on the new Hostess cards hitting the bread aisles in 1975, and yes, had classifieds selling the 1972 Topps Football rare 3rd series at the somewhat low price of $9.50!

    1. I wasn’t even aware of The Sport Hobbyist … I’ll have to look it up! Good deal on the ’72 football cards, though $9.50 was about as much as my parents paid for their house back then. 🙂

  3. Wow, what a great topic! I bought Baseball Cards magazine every month primarily because of the cards (which were of a very high quality), but the rest of the magazine was such a mixed bag. Sometimes it could be brilliant, other times sloppy and sophomoric. I always thought the editor (Kit Kiefer) had a ginormous ax to grind against Topps for a number of reasons, and he clearly showed biases toward other companies (Pro Set, Upper Deck). But then “BBC” would surprise you with something great and unexpected. (I distinctly recall a first-person piece in which the author complained about having to dole out $25 for a Choo Choo Coleman to complete a ’66 Topps set. Another time, Kit Kiefer predicted — in 1989 — that current-issue cards would ultimately be worthless because of high print runs and collecter hoarding.)

    Beckett was so much more professional in writing and design, but also quite bland, corporate and predictable. But it also was what the “cool” kids in school read to see how that ’89 Upper Deck Jerome Walton was doing, so there was that peer pressure to buy an issue here or there to keep up appearances. And as the above poster noted, Beckett definitely had a “sunny disposition” to it that could be annoying at times.

    Great memories!

    1. Kiefer could be quite acerbic, but I generally enjoyed his stuff. I always liked the “silly” types of pieces, so one of my favorites was Pepper Hastings in the back of Beckett.

      Thanks for helping to keep the memories flowing with your recollections and the Choo Choo mention — I’ll have to look that one up!

  4. Baseball Cards magazine is what I have the most of; looking through my old magazines, it looks like I bought a Beckett about once per year, but I must have had a subscription to Baseball Cards at one point. I have a few other magazines, also from Krause Publications who published Baseball Cards. The main reason I think that I preferred Baseball Cards over Beckett was the large number of ads. I would only order from them occasionally, but I would read all the ads and imagine buying much more than I was actually able to.

  5. It’s funny to think of it that way, but I loved the ads, too. As an adult, I usually prefer magazines and websites with no ads, but Baseball Cards and Sports Collectors Digest were like Christmas wish books when I was a kid!

  6. I remember something from the early 80s called “The Baseball Advertiser” – it was mostly sales but also had a couple of feature articles. Lots of oddball stuff in it…i enjoyed it as a kid.

    1. I never heard of that before but did some searching and found that the Baseball Advertiser was a catalog put out by TCMA in the 1970s and 1980s. Seems like lots of folks have the same fond memories of it that you do. Thanks for pointing it out!

    1. I could never find copies of that one but always wanted to … it was coveted (by me, at least)!

    2. CCP was my dad’s publication… I worked for him on weekends & summers when I was a kid. Glad to hear you have fond memories of it!

      1. That’s awesome. What a cool summer job, especially since you were working with your dad.

    3. We would get the CCP from the local card shop. Every week, say mid week, we would wait with excitement For the new one to arrive. Love the CCP!

      1. I always heard about it but could never find a copy. Still sounds like it was pretty fun to read thorugh!

  7. CCP was our card price bible growing up. We bought it, and other publications religiously throughout the 80s. I had a rather massive (for kids standards) collection of about 95k cards, all lost in a burglary. I felt like my heart was ripped out. They never found who did it, but my love for the hobby died that summer of 1990. Thanks for creating this website. I read it regularly, love all the articles and pictures, and think from time to time about resurrecting my collection. At least somewhat. Thanks again for all you do.

    1. Thanks for your note and kind words, Greg! Glad you enjoy the site. Card theft was a constant fear when I was a kid … can’t even imagine how devastating that was. The good thing about collecting today is that you can find most of your childhood dream cards for relative peanuts. Good luck if you take the plunge!

      — Adam

      1. I took the plunge alright. Got back into collecting after inheriting a big box of 50s and 60s vintage stuff. Mantle, Mays, Koufax….all the big guys. Have bought more than 100k cards in the 3 months I have been back. I’ve got the itch again. Want to make sure they done get stolen this time!! Love your site still.

    2. Like I mentioned above, CCP was my dad’s publication & I worked for him on weekends & summers when I was a kid. My father would’ve really liked hearing that it was your card-price bible (he passed away a few years back). Thank you!

  8. I enjoyed them all! But, I worked at Tuff Stuff magazine in the early 90s and that was a blast!

  9. I’m late to this Poll, but I’m enjoying the comments and I remember ALL of the pubs mentioned above and one called SportsCollector News. (I pronounced it as Snooz) It was interesting reading, but I gravitated toward SCD, which had more content and ads and was more readily available.And then it was a thrill to see an actual full-coior mag, with card inserts; BB CARD Mag. The first pub. I ever saw was The Trader Speaks around 1975, which contained a lot of quality articles by early hobby pioneers and dealers before the “Boom”. However, their content (and Ads) concentrated on true vintage stuff like Tobacco and Goudeys, which was beyond my youthful means. Thinking about those 1975 prices now, I only wish I was prescient enough to spend just a littttle bit more.

  10. What was the small thick one with the red cover? A monthly? I got that for a couple of years when I was a kid.

  11. I liked the Larry Fritsch ads in the different pubs. Beckett was fluff and it changed the hobby speak. Everything became about “book value” or referenced Beckett in value.

    1. Beckett really did change the hobby vernacular … hi, lo, hot list, even “Beckett” itself.

  12. Krause Publications Baseball Cards magazine. I could buy it in the local drug store. I have also have Street and Smith Baseball from the mud 70’s.

  13. Baseball hobby news, reading about other collectors always was a hi-light for me. Great articals and features. I was sad to see it go. Current Card Prices (CCP) was a price guide so I would not include it as a hobby publication. Baseball Hobby News (BHN) would be a 2nd.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I think I read a couple copies of BHN and really enjoyed it, too.

  14. My Sports Trader collector’s magazine (1964-1970) was the inspiration for “The Trader Speaks” (1968 till early 1980s). For a three month period “Sports Trader” was the ONLY sports collector’s magazine published. oxfordsoandso@yahoo.com

    1. That must have been quite a job to put together at the time. How many subscribers did you have?

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