Monday, June 22, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge: Day Seven

Today’s challenge: Best hobby trend to emerge this year

As much as I’ve enjoyed showing off many of my favorite cards, I’m equally excited to get into a philosophical discussion that I imagine will vary greatly from blog to blog. I feel like my selection might be very polarizing and I’m hoping it sparks some conversation. 

My favorite hobby trend to emerge in the past 12 months is the re-emergence of the valuable rookie base card.

I have been collecting as an adult since 2013. In the 6+ years of collecting, I have not seen nearly the demand for base rookie cards that I have witnessed in 2019-2020.  The two easy examples that come to mind are the Zion Williamson base card in 2019-20 Panini Prizm, and the Jasson Dominguez base cards in 2020 Bowman. 

What this craze has created, in my opinion, is an added value when purchasing retail products. It’s also made them much harder to find, which is a negative side effect, and I think the reason that some may disagree with my choice. To me, it’s worth it. For years, I was buying retail products with the hope of pulling some Pirates, some cards to trade, and in a perfect world, a nice hit or some young rookies that have promise and could develop into stars.  

Keep in mind that I’m not a set-builder. I think many of us buy packs in order to get a nice start on building a set. I am devoid of that motivation, but I still love ripping packs, and having the chance to pull some instant value out of a blaster box is pretty damn appealing to me. And the best part is, we’re talking about base cards here! These cards are no more rare or difficult to find than other card in the set. 

I know the love for the rookie card has always been there, but I think it’s near an all-time high. I also think this is a sign of the beginning of the decline of a trend that was huge over the past ten years – the trend of “hit” based products. i.e. products that offered autographs and memorabilia cards with few base cards.  I’m as guily as anyone of having fell victim to the trend. I purchased many of those products and chased many autographs. I still do, to a degree, but not like I used to.

Anyhow, I’m hoping I’m onto something here. I hope hit-based collecting trends decline in favor of more traditional products. It seems like many of the most valuable cards being put out there recently are rookie base cards, not “hits,” and that's pretty cool to me. 

I’m really curious to hear others and I’m hoping to hear your thoughts in the comments. Have you enjoyed seeing the rebound is rookie base card value? Do you love it like me? Do you hate it? Have you not noticed? Let’s hear it!


  1. I do for sure and the best product for that is Panini Prizm basketball and football. That’s a must have every year

  2. The prices have really skyrocketed, especially considering how few cards come in packs/boxes and how difficult it is to pull the big name rookies/prospects. If I was able to get to Target and I was interested in these sets, I'd be very annoyed.

  3. I've never been interested in rookies, at least not until the player has actually done something of note, so it doesn't bother me in the least if everyone is going crazy over them again.