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Hobby Chatz

We’re in an age of social media now that relies largely on companies attracting large audiences to their products through influencer marketing and the sports cards and memorabilia market is no different. 


Sports card companies need to better utilize the influencers they already have on their payrolls, the athletes who are their card subjects. In speaking to various athletes throughout American sports over the past few years, very few have ever even received a base card of theirs from a manufacturer. 


I don’t know about you all but if I made it to the big leagues, one of the first things I’d want from my career would be my rookie card. 


Considering the high volume that most flagship products are printed at, it shouldn’t be burdensome for companies to send a box containing a team’s base cards each year to a club’s headquarters. Club social media teams would eat that up and it provides players with the opportunity to become collectors themselves. 


This solution is right there for card companies to utilize ASAP.


And the rest of Hobby Chatz….


A Paper Ticket Sighting!


I’ve long lamented the loss of the paper ticket as admission to sporting events and concerts but Chicago Fire FC’s reserve team, Chicago Fire II, brought back the paper ticket for the U.S. Open Cup. Hosting amateur team Chicago City SC in the first round of the nation’s oldest soccer tournament, Fire II gave paper tickets to everyone who attended the match (which was free). Not only did fans get to watch some of their team’s young players showcase themselves in a knockout format but they had a free souvenir from the evening to take home. There should be more of that in sports. 


Isringhausen Jersey


During my travels I stumbled upon a sports store in Wisconsin where I found a relative jewel: a Jason Isringhausen St. Louis Cardinals jersey. Now, I’m becoming more of a general baseball fan these days because the Chicago White Sox are a laughing stock. Isringhausen was a player I loved when I was younger. His knuckle curveball was something to remember fondly and 300 saves in Major League Baseball is nothing to roll your eyes at. In the end, the jersey was a  conversation piece that I couldn’t say no to. 


Unauthenticated autographs


How do you all feel about buying an autograph that someone has clearly waited in line for? The same store where I purchased the Isringhausen jersey was filled with autographed cards for sale but most, if not all, were clearly signed by the players at a game or event rather than through the card maker. Some had Certificates of Authentication but the autographs all looked too big for the standard card they were signed on, typically with an oversized permanent marker. There were so many cards I would’ve inquired about if they hadn’t been signed and I chose to go in a different direction because, honestly, why should I pay the premium for a card someone waited in line for rather than getting something authentic from a card manufacturer?


Retail On Sale?


I made my first trip back to Ohio since 2020 a few weeks back and found something I hadn’t seen since before my alma mater told me to stay home after spring break: discounted Topps MLB retail boxers at a major store. My heart raced as I had four 2023 Topps Series 1 retail options to choose from and, naturally, I picked the box that had very little. Oh well, it happens! I was still thrilled to see the price drop.


adieu


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