Betting on baseball cards – Jul. 28, 2006

“There’s always buyers and sellers for that material.”

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Once a year, baseball-card collectors gather for the granddaddy of all sports collectible conventions – the National Sports Collectors Convention.

In fact, the fabled Honus Wagner card, which was produced by the Sweet Caporal Cigarette Company in 1909, is currently the most expensive card in existence, worth a cool $1.265 million. “It turned people off.”

Then there are the cards from the 1970s and 1980s, which predate the card explosion, that some experts like Kelnhofer say could experience the next wave of popularity.

Most valuable cards

But many in the industry, like Madec, who is currently attending the National Sports Collectors Convention, is certain that is there is a future for this enduring hobby, despite its setbacks in recent years. (See the most valuable cards.)

Best baseball books

What’s hot now

Earlier this year, the Major League Baseball Players Association lent their assistance, cutting in half the number of licenses it offers to card manufacturers in an effort to rid the glut of new cards on the market.

“It’s a tricky thing,” Kelnhofer says. “There’s no guarantee it will happen,” says Dickler. But with Ripken’s achievement faded from the minds of collectors, that same ungraded card would only fetch $40 today.

Cards dating back to the turn of the 20th century that were produced as promotional items for ice cream, candy and tobacco companies are some of the hottest cards on the market right now, according to collectors.

The market has been bouncing back, particularly vintage cards, those that date backs 25 years or more.

Even in good times, collecting is a tough hobby. But that was until the card companies tried to get in on the fun. In 1996, the year after Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record for number of most consecutive games played, a card in mint condition that had not been professionally appraised would have sold for $90. “Investors just need to hear it’s safe to go back in.”

Even though the hobby struggles to bring young collectors into the fold, there have been some promising signs for baseball card collecting as of late.

And in June, Major League Baseball and the players’ association teamed up with card manufacturers Topps and Upper Deck to launch the first ever National Baseball Card Day, giving out 500,000 card packs at hobby shops and retailers nationwide in an effort to promote the hobby.

Andy Madec, a dealer based in Camarillo, Calif., remembers that time vividly.

Up until the late 1980s and early 1990s, collectors were living in a golden age, says Madec – returns of 20 percent in just six months were not unheard of. “The questions are still out there as to whether it will have an impact or not.”

“It just got too out of hand,” says Madec, who runs his own firm, Andy Madec Sports Cards Inc. Flooding the market with multiple versions of new cards, the manufacturers drove down card values.

The hobby looks like it has rebounded from the doldrums of the 90s, but is there money to be made in collecting Aarons and Ruths?

______________

But there is a lot of fickleness too, says Scott Kelnhofer, editor of Card Trade, the monthly trade journal for the sports collection industry

Hope for future?

Steroids’ next victim: Baseball labor peace Top of page

Rookie cards of players like Mickey Mantle, who typified the golden era of baseball, are always in high demand among older collectors.

Currently underway in Anaheim, Calif., the four-day event will not only be a place for collectors to haggle over the value of their Lou Gehrigs and Jackie Robinsons, there’s bound to be a few collectors who reflect on how the hobby took a nosedive during the 1990s.. “The vintage market is still the place for people to get involved purely from an investment standpoint,” says Kelnhofer. “This market has incredible potential,” he says. Take Cal Ripken Jr.’s 1982 Topps rookie card. It boils down to a couple of simple principles — how many there are and what kind of condition the card is in.

Dealers like Stephen Dickler, who runs SD Trading, located just outside of Philadelphia, says moves such as this could work, but it’s too early to tell

Baseball Hitting Drills – Tips and Drills For Using Hitting Stick Trainers by Nick Dixon

+SKLZ Target is a registered trademark of Pro Performance Sports.

There are many versions of the “ball-on-a-rod” trainer. Check to make sure the batter is using proper grip, stance and stride mechanics.

2. The ball should be at a location just inside the batters back foot. MIDDLE STRIKE CONTACT – The holder will move around a couple more feet. ^Hit2win is a registered trademark of Nedco Sports Products. You can learn to hit without having to chase, pick-up or retrieve a single ball. The purpose of these swings is to make the batter use the hips as the batter turns and hits the ball. The batter should take a step and drive the ball.

4. The batter should keep the head still and the head should stay down with the eyes on the ball throughout the swing.

The batter takes 5 swings at 5 different ball locations. The ball hit is on the middle 3rd of the plate. INSIDE STRIKE – The holder moves toward the direction of the pitcher from the batter. The ball should be positioned at a location inside the batters front foot. The height of the ball should be raised and lowered in the strike zone to give the batter swings at both high and low strikes.

10. All of these are handheld units. The ball will be positioned in a location behind the front foot. First, the product is to be used as a “still” ball trainer. Make sure that the hitting area is safe with no one within 15 feet of the holder or the batter.

1. Then later came other versions including the Hit2win Trainer^ and the SKLZ Target Trainer. The batter should attack the inside strike earlier to keep from getting jammed.

9. Make sure the ball is directed at the batter’s back foot.

*HitnStik is a registered trademark belong to Easton Sports. It is welcomed in complexes and parks because it allows safe pre-game warm-up, requires little space, and does not damage fences. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator at http://BatAction.com. All of these baseball trainers basically work and perform the same. This location simulates hitting a pitch over the inside 3rd of the plate. The batter may have to take a slight inward step with the front foot to properly execute this swing.

6. Make sure that the batter is swinging in a direction that is free of persons should the batter lose the grip on the bat.

4. The holder will change the location of the ball by moving.

Baseball Hitting Drills – Tips and Drills For Using Hitting Stick Trainers

 by: Nick Dixon

2. You should not move the ball when using these trainers. These trainers are some of the most popular baseball batting trainers used today.

The http://BaseballCoachingDigest.com has a great selection of BASEBALL COACHING and TRAINING ARTICLES. The batter will drive the bat through the box. The first thing to remember is that the holder should always direct the rod and ball toward the hitter’s back foot. This simple rule insures that proper bat-to-ball contact is made. If the angle is wrong, the end of the bat will hit behind the ball and the bat will never actually touch the ball. I sometimes get frustrated because I observe the product being used incorrectly.

The popularity come from the benefits they offer the baseball player, baseball coach, and the baseball parent. The first and original version was the HitnStik*. The ball should be positioned slightly in front of the batters front foot. This teaches the batter to allow the ball down the middle to get inside the front foot so that maximum power can be generated during the swing. They have different names but they all are great trainers to teach and train young players. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

5. Make sure the batter does not over stride.

The key to proper use of any hand-held batting device is KNOWING AND USING THE CORRECT ANGLE FOR THE DRILL YOU ARE DOING! If you do not direct or point the ball at the proper angle, the batter will always make poor contact. AWAY STRIKE LOCATION – The holder will move around a couple more feet to give the batter a ball to hit that is on the outer 3rd of the plate. The holder should make sure that the trainer safety strap is used to prevent the holder from losing their grip on the trainer when the batter hits the ball.

3. Positive reinforcement should be given when the batter makes good solid contact.

As the inventor of the HitnStik*, Hit2win Trainer^, and SKLZ Target+ Trainer, I sometimes cringe when I see someone using the product incorrectly. Remember to direct the ball toward the belly button or back foot of the batter.

The 4X5 Baseball and Softball Pre-game Warm-up Drill

The holder changes location and height and allows the batter to take 6 swings at each location. It is important to know the proper angles when using this product.

Coaching Points:

3. The unit is portable and requires no setup. Second, the holder must stand at the proper angle to the batter and direct the ball at the correct angle to the batter. I often see coaches and parents working with players when I visit a park. 8. Every player on the team can take 30 warm-up swings each in less than 10 minutes. . The batter does not move. Allowing the ball to pass inside the front foot allows the batter to use the front foot and leg as a anchor and leverage to generate a more powerful swing.

7. The batter swings and drives the ball in a direction that would be to the opposite field. This is what I call “coning out”.

1. HIP TURNER LOCATION – The holder stands slightly behind the batter directing the ball at the batter’s bat pocket

Betting on baseball cards – Jul. 28, 2006

Flooding the market with multiple versions of new cards, the manufacturers drove down card values.

But many in the industry, like Madec, who is currently attending the National Sports Collectors Convention, is certain that is there is a future for this enduring hobby, despite its setbacks in recent years. (See the most valuable cards.)

“It’s a tricky thing,” Kelnhofer says. “It turned people off.”

The market has been bouncing back, particularly vintage cards, those that date backs 25 years or more. In 1996, the year after Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record for number of most consecutive games played, a card in mint condition that had not been professionally appraised would have sold for $90. But with Ripken’s achievement faded from the minds of collectors, that same ungraded card would only fetch $40 today.

Hope for future?

But there is a lot of fickleness too, says Scott Kelnhofer, editor of Card Trade, the monthly trade journal for the sports collection industry

And in June, Major League Baseball and the players’ association teamed up with card manufacturers Topps and Upper Deck to launch the first ever National Baseball Card Day, giving out 500,000 card packs at hobby shops and retailers nationwide in an effort to promote the hobby.

Andy Madec, a dealer based in Camarillo, Calif., remembers that time vividly.

Steroids’ next victim: Baseball labor peace Top of page

What’s hot now

Rookie cards of players like Mickey Mantle, who typified the golden era of baseball, are always in high demand among older collectors.

The hobby looks like it has rebounded from the doldrums of the 90s, but is there money to be made in collecting Aarons and Ruths?

In fact, the fabled Honus Wagner card, which was produced by the Sweet Caporal Cigarette Company in 1909, is currently the most expensive card in existence, worth a cool $1.265 million. Even in good times, collecting is a tough hobby.

______________

“It just got too out of hand,” says Madec, who runs his own firm, Andy Madec Sports Cards Inc. It boils down to a couple of simple principles — how many there are and what kind of condition the card is in.

Cards dating back to the turn of the 20th century that were produced as promotional items for ice cream, candy and tobacco companies are some of the hottest cards on the market right now, according to collectors.

Up until the late 1980s and early 1990s, collectors were living in a golden age, says Madec – returns of 20 percent in just six months were not unheard of. But that was until the card companies tried to get in on the fun. “The vintage market is still the place for people to get involved purely from an investment standpoint,” says Kelnhofer. “There’s always buyers and sellers for that material.”

Currently underway in Anaheim, Calif., the four-day event will not only be a place for collectors to haggle over the value of their Lou Gehrigs and Jackie Robinsons, there’s bound to be a few collectors who reflect on how the hobby took a nosedive during the 1990s.

Most valuable cards

Earlier this year, the Major League Baseball Players Association lent their assistance, cutting in half the number of licenses it offers to card manufacturers in an effort to rid the glut of new cards on the market.

Even though the hobby struggles to bring young collectors into the fold, there have been some promising signs for baseball card collecting as of late.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Once a year, baseball-card collectors gather for the granddaddy of all sports collectible conventions – the National Sports Collectors Convention.

Then there are the cards from the 1970s and 1980s, which predate the card explosion, that some experts like Kelnhofer say could experience the next wave of popularity.

Best baseball books . “This market has incredible potential,” he says. “There’s no guarantee it will happen,” says Dickler. “Investors just need to hear it’s safe to go back in.”

Dealers like Stephen Dickler, who runs SD Trading, located just outside of Philadelphia, says moves such as this could work, but it’s too early to tell. “The questions are still out there as to whether it will have an impact or not.”

Take Cal Ripken Jr.’s 1982 Topps rookie card