Time for a base card makeover

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They’re boring, you hate to see them, and for the most part they’re worthless. What are they you ask? Base cards.

You enter your local store with a few extra dollars in hand and quickly buy the best card pack you can. Ripping it open, you can’t wait to see what you’ve hit. Five seconds later, you leave the store somewhat disappointed. In your hands are a few worthless base cards that you just wasted several dollars on. You return home and toss those base cards in your storage box, where you’ll probably never see them again.

One of the biggest problems in this hobby is the base card. Except for the star players, the majority of base cards are worthless except for maybe the team  a person collects. People just don’t like them. For example, it’s extremely hard to sell a set after you put it together, because no one wants to buy them. Year after year, you open packs to get those plain boring old cards of players you couldn’t care less for. Isn’t it about time that card manufacturers do something about this problem? How about making base cards interesting and making people want to collect the whole set for kicks. Here are my top five ways to make base cards worth collecting.

This idea is already in use in the MVP set. It’s the facsimile signature of the player that graces the front of the card. At least with this way, you actually look at the card, curious to see what each player’s unique signature looks like. Put together, it’s a fairly nice looking set with a large variety of different signature styles gracing each individual card.

Include the entire team roster. O-Pee-Chee is the only set that almost pull sit off, with a 600 base card set. But why is there no set that features every single player from every team? Sure it will make the base card set huge, but for team collectors, this would be a dream. Imagine when you put your team set together, it would look pretty nice. On top of this, team sets would probably have some resale value, as they would definitely appeal to some people not willing to put in the effort of putting one together.

Why not have base cards with a nice white or clear (think Glacial Graphs from UD Ice) space for a player to sign? We all know there are many people out there who go and get autographs in person at games or special events. Many of them trade for base cards to get signed. Well, if we put blank spaces on the base cards, it would make the autographs that you got in person look that much nicer. Of course they’d probably have to stay in your personal collection, as forgeries could become a problem. Still, to have this in one set (maybe BAP) would be a nice touch.

This idea would be the poor-man’s version of the letterman. UD Black has letterman cards for rookies, where the letters spell out the last name of the player. How about doing this for base cards. It would make it a fun task to try putting together the names of all your favorite players, or even your favorite team. The best part is, it would be affordable. Kids would especially like this one. The big plus side with this is that it would also encourage the trading of base cards, with people trying to put names together.

This idea has been used in the past, and I wonder why they don’t bring it back. Have “animated action” cards. These are the cards that you tilt, and there’s a 3-D picture that moves. Whether it’s just a player’s face moving from the side profile to facing you (96-97 SPx Hockey) or having a short action shot of a goal being scored (96-97 McDonald’s Ice Breakers), these would look beautiful. Imagine pulling a card of Ovechkin’s famous goal against Phoenix. I could see myself tilting that card for hours, replaying that goal without a TV or computer. This idea should definitely be used again, even if it needs to be a small base set, it would be one worth collecting. Everyone would want to try putting it together.

There you have it, just a few ideas which I think could truly make base card collecting interesting again. Let’s try and get things back to the way they were when we were kids. You remember, when collecting was just plain fun and affordable. SCM

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