Sports Cards Today – Should Be Made of Plastic!

I personally enjoy collecting sports cards. It’s one of those hobbies that I’ve enjoyed since I was young and, while the glamour may have died down a bit with age, it still brings back fond memories. That said, as a collector, one of the things I would fuss about was whether or not a card was in Mint condition.

So far, it’s easy for a sports card to get ruined (and lots of money lost) in the event of a flood, earthquake, tornado, etc. If you carry cards in your pocket, that’s it as chances are very high that at the very least the corners will get dinged.

Having been to Starbucks recently and getting one of those gift cards where X amount of purchases amount to little deals here and there, I came across a revelation: Why can’t sports cards be the same way?

Hear me out. I get that “cards” stand for “cardboards.” In the past cards were made purely from cardboard meant to be placed as compliments in cigarette and then chewing gum packs. Due to the soft touch of the cardboard kids were able to play all sorts of games with them until the cards got so damaged that they became barely recognizable in the end. Kids used to use them as bike spokes since they were so soft. Today, no child I know still does that. Not to get too paranoid, but the world is no longer as safe and innocent as it was 50-60 years ago. Also, with the widespread usage of TV and video games, kids are more apt to play video games, go on the Internet or watch TV rather than buy baseball cards to use as bike spokes or play outside. In truth, those days are long gone.

Therefore I suggest that the sports card industry be redefined. Fewer kids are buying packs due to the rising costs and adult hobbyists (like myself) will only look for specific cards either in plastics or that are graded. What was once applicable 50 years ago doesn’t seem to apply today. In fact, most cards made today aren’t made of “pure” cardboard anymore! I thus openly introduce the idea that sports cards should be made of hard plastic with slightly rounded edges!

Think about it. Hard plastic has several advantages. Here are some:

  • They’re sturdier.
  • Rounded edges means less painful nicks on the fingers.
  • Also, you can make clear fronts and backs.
  • You can use a card to, say, redeem a 500 level seat at 30 cents less for a specific game at a specific stadium. Promotions rock.
  • You can use it to place cash on, sort of a gift/merchant card combo.
  • They can be traded more than just for the player on the front.
  • Career stats don’t need to be displayed in such detail since everything is online, where most people are on anyways.

Seriously, plastic might be more costly than cardboard, but if it might lead to more sales, how expensive can it be?