Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Interest in Baseball Cards Mushrooms with Investors

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Interest in Baseball Cards Mushrooms with Investors

Article excerpt

McKenzie has collected the cards of his favorite players for 10 years. But today he's not only competing with other devoted fans for the palm-sized cardboard collectibles, but savvy investors and speculators as well.

Interest in baseball cards has mushroomed in the last few years. Collecting baseball cards, although still viewed primarily as a hobby, has caught the attention of buyers, who in addition to having fun, hope to score a tidy profit on what may initially be a small investment.

``I think that every year you see more and more people go from just collecting to investing in baseball cards,'' said McKenzie, manager of the newly opened USA Sportscards in Marietta, where about 1 million cards tempt buyers from glass-enclosed cases and wall displays.

``They'll come in and buy 20 cards of a single player who is supposed to have real good potential in three to five years,'' he said. ``They're hoping they'll make one whale of a profit in the coming years.''

One New York firm, formed two years ago as The Baseball Card Society, sells packages of cards only through the mail.

Michael G. Feldstein, the company's marketing director, estimates that overall, more than 5 billion cards are traded annually with a value of more than $150 million. His publicly held firm alone sold 2.5 million cards last year.

The firm has 5,000 member-customers, Feldstein said. He describes the company's operations as a sort of a baseball book-of-the-month club in which a selected group of cards is offered to its members. Prices range from $30 to $120.

Members have 10 days to look over the cards and return them if they decide not to buy.

Feldstein said cards have been popular investments because they're ``easy, affordable and fun. This is America's game and everyone loves some nostalgia. …

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