Another quirk of this post is that it generates a lot of random emails from non-readers, all of them asking about the value of their miscut card (as though I am some sort of expert). I am sure I could throw up a half dozen of these emails with a simple search through my email folders, but I will instead show you this quick exchange between me and a dude named Kyran from last week as it perfectly captures what I am trying to say to anyone who writes me one of these emails.
On Thu, June 29, 2014 at 4:47 PM, kyran r <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I was checking out your cards and I have a 1976 Pete Rose miscut. Half him and half some other player. I have had it for 25 years and always wondered if it had value. Would you have an idea on its value?, its like new. Thanks
Okay, having worked at a baseball card shop and been to a thousand baseball card shows as both a vendor and a customer, I know what Kryan is looking for here. He wants to hear that what he is holding is very rare and unusual. He wants to hear that he is special and that he has hit the proverbial cardboard jackpot. He wants me squeal with girlish glee and tell him wonderful amazing things about his card. And, 99 times out of 100, hell 999 times out of 1,000, this does not happen. Alas, this is not that one time. While it sounds like he has a pretty neat card, it is not going to make him rich. I had to let him down easy. Sort of how Pete let Ray Fosse down easy.
On June 30, 2014 8:34 AM, "max meyer" <email@example.com> wrote:
I always love when people ask what baseball cards are worth. The first knee jerk answer is always "whatever someone will pay for them..." The most important thing to remember is that baseball cards are not commodities as much as they are a medium of nostalgia.
Seriously, a 1976 Topps Pete Rose books for about $20-25 in near mint condition. The modern trade of cards has rendered book value practically meaningless unless a card is professionally graded. When a card has a quirk like a print error or a miscut, that becomes even trickier. A professional grader will merely assess it as such and to a collector of such things, the card is pretty worthless. To a casual Reds fan or a Pete Rose fan, the card might have amusement value but not much more. A crazed lunatic who obsessively collects Reds or Pete Rose stuff might offer you a lot of money for it but the real trick would be finding that person.In closing, you will not be putting the kids through college with a miscut card from the 1970's, but if you enjoy owning it, it is priceless.Hope this helped.max
This reply contains a lot of the rote responses I have for people when asking about the monetary value of baseball cards. People somehow think they have intrinsic value rather than adscititious value. However, use these words and people will stare at you like a dog that's been shown a card trick. So I put it in terms people can understand, e.g., you won't be able to put the kids through college with a bunch of 1991 Donruss cards. A little stark humor can go a long way.
I must say, he took it well...
kyran r 3:32 PM (1 hour ago) to me
Kyran put it better than I ever could when he said he "thought it was the coolest" - you can't put a price on cool. That's the real point isn't it? If you enjoy what you have, you cannot put a price on that happiness or satisfaction. That goes for baseball cards or life. Too bad he didn't send me a scan of the card, perhaps I could get more cheap hits from it.