By John Bloom
Provides a examine of baseball card gathering within the top Midwest from the past due Nineteen Eighties into the Nineties.
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Additional resources for A House of Cards: Baseball Card Collecting and Popular Culture
Even though club membership had grown to more than three hundred people, he had only managed to sell ten tickets. At one time, when the hobby had been small in the area, the club had, in fact, assumed a more prominent role for local collectors. It promoted small monthly "meetings" (which were really shmall shows) held each week at a suburban mall, and it sponsored one or two large, nationally advertised shows every year. These had been, as Bob said, among the only large shows promoted in the area: "There was like about three big shows a year and then the monthly meetings.
Terry, a fifty-year-old computer company employee and one of the founders of the club, recalled that he had been critical of Dave's leadership. In fact, he had signed the letter that had called for financial disclosure by club officials. He characterized the crisis as a "rough period" for the MCC and placed the blame squarely on Dave's shoulders: We had this president [who] would see that if he could incorporate the club somehow, he could make money for himself. Up until this time, it had been a private, or it'd been a nonprofit deal....
In fact, this particular dealer kept careful records of the cards and inventory he sold, and did not cheat on his taxes. However, he too took a remarkably serious approach to trading and bargaining at shows. When I arrived, for instance, he complained that the first four people who approached his table asked if he would buy their cards. He told me that he did not pay $130 per table to buy baseball cards. On a superficial level, the kinds of behavior I observed at shows did not seem like very much fun.
A House of Cards: Baseball Card Collecting and Popular Culture by John Bloom