Saturday, November 27, 2010

Planting Seeds

Every once in awhile, the topic of kids and cards will pop up around the blogs. Many times it is within the context of card companies' failed attempts to market cards to kids and you get arguments both for and against the way manufacturers go about it. As a father and a collector I have pretty strong feelings about this and it's like a lot of things. You can't expect society, or in this case, the card manufacturers to take responsibility for doing the job of the parent/grown-up.

I can't sit back and criticize society if my kid is cussing and treating people like garbage if I don't set any limits on the television, movies or video games he sees. From the hobby perspective, I can't criticize the card manufacturers for not marketing cards to my kids if I don't first expose them to the hobby in a real, personal way. My oldest son is well on his way to being a collector. I don't know if it will stick long term, but he's learning the ins and outs of the hobby. My youngest son doesn't care at all about cards. That's ok too. It's not for everyone.

I think it's fairly evident that this hobby is slowly dying. Does it help that with my son, I might have a collector in the making? Sure it does. Does replacing one aging collector (me) with one young collector solve the problem? No. There are many things which need to be done to not only create new collectors, but keep those of us who have been involved in the hobby for a long time coming back. However, that's a different post. This is all about one small idea that might just make a small difference for the future of this hobby.

I'm going to start planting seeds in December. I've started putting a few cards into team bags for my son to give out to his friends and classmates. Of course, around here, the Texas Rangers are most kids' favorite team so I'm including a lot of those in the team bags. Not just base cards either. The occasional insert, relic, and even an auto or two will be included.

My hope is that by doing this early in the month, maybe some kid will see all those packs on the card aisle at Wally World and ask for some cards for Christmas. I don't expect to change the world with this idea. It's not going to stop the North Koreans from shelling the South, put an end to poverty or hunger or cancer. But it just might spark an interest in this hobby in some kid who never saw a baseball card before. It might give my son someone to trade with besides me.

It's something we can all do, even if we don't have kids. Give the cards to nieces, nephew, grandkids, neighbors' kids. Whatever. If we plant enough seeds, we'll end up with a forest in the future.


  1. very cool idea.

    my daughters are into cards quite a bit, but with them I'm busting boxes of Harry Potter, Scooby Doo, and Charmed.

    it's the same, but different.

  2. This is a great idea... I do something similar with my students. They love looking through cards and finding players they recognize (even the girls).

  3. Nice! When I begin teaching group classes for my dog training, I was planning on buying a box of Opening Day, or something cheap, to hand packs out to all the kids that the parents brought along. I don't know dude, I think would take over... I mean, "change" the world here. Bwahaha

  4. Awesome idea! Speaking from experience, my entry into the hobby didn't come from my parents. I was 8 and my best friend gave me a box full of doubles from 1991 Topps, 1992 Topps, and 1994 Upper Deck. I've been hooked since, and even though those cards are worthless these days, I still have them because they mean a lot to me.

  5. What a great idea man, I might have to steal this when I have kids.

  6. Great idea! I have a guy on my team at work who coaches a Pop Warner football team, so I put together some team bags with football cards in them and gave them for him to give to the kids on his team. He said the kids really liked them. Anything we can do to help spread the hobby!

  7. This is fantastic! If I had any sort of outlet to kids (I'm the youngest in the family at 30), I'd be right there with you.