Klein’s Korner: The Hobby Continues to Grow with New Supporters – I have all these really cool items written down for columns but since we’re just fresh off the National, the time to discuss Gary Vee again is here. But this time, with a slightly new angle.
As I was sitting at home the other day in the AOL music trivia room (and yes there is still such a thing) is my mind wandered to thinking about why he is so polarizing within the hobby? Suddenly it occurred to me one of the reasons he tends to be polarizing is he reminded me of what occurred when “Coin Dealers” invaded the sports card hobby circa 1981. In case you were not around in those days, Coin and Metal dealers were recovering from the 1979-80 explosion and the subsequent calming down of the gold and silver market. Gold has, of course, recovered its value but silver is still no where near those peak days. When you are moving tons of silver as the price reached $50 per ounce and people are buying and selling as if there is no tomorrow, you are having a happy business. But those days ended and many of those dealers started moving to the baseball card market.
I know there were many people, and I was one of them, who did not understand the value of having people from that market entering the card market and buying/selling/trading without being active collectors. Many of us were aghast that you could be a card dealer without being a collector. Almost everyone by 1981 who had gone full time had gotten their basic background by starting as a collector and accumulating so many cards we all became dealers. Frankly, the best way for any of us to become dealers in those days was the acquire as many older cards as possible, figuring out what was truly difficult and then selling them primarily at shows but with some mail order thrown in for good measure. No, we had no idea how many nearly 40 years later it would be to reach directly to collectors and offer your wares.
No they were not coin dealers but this photo I found on the internet of BA Murry and Paul Marchant who had a very good pricing publication titled Card Values Review was kind of cool.
Why all this background as relating to Gary Vee? Well, if you think about this, many of the complaints are pretty similar. For Gary and his followers, there is the mix of people who just wish to flip cards and those who wish to remember what their 1980’s-90’s cards were and to see if they can have the same fun they did when younger. But there is a group of old-line dealers and collectors who don’t want to deal with those people whose previous experience were in dealing in sneakers, blue jeans or other similar clothing items. And yes, that is the same general arguments we heard about those pesky little coin dealers during the early 1980’s.
At the Net 54 Dinner a nice man named Mark Arentsen told a story of a 1969 Topps Ernie Banks card passed around his childhood friends. He detailed how this one card made the rounds and still exists in its well loved condition but was later signed by Mr. Banks. The card, which he brought to him at the National was symbolic of the reasons many of us collect and have such great memories. And that is why some people are afraid of Gary. Not because he’s bringing a ton of positive energy to the hobby, and not because he has more money than almost all of us. No we’re afraid of Gary because he seems to be bringing some changes to the hobby and change usually is very scary for all concerned. My comment is: bring it on and the more followers he brings to the hobby, the better off we are as some of them will stick and become collectors!
There is plenty of room for all of us to exist in this business. Next time, a Ramblings type article.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.
Klein’s Korner: The Hobby Continues to Grow with New Supporters
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