Vintage Baseball Cards: Definition of Vintage Baseball Card

Posted on May 13th, 2010 by Curtis in Baseball Card Resources


Baseball cards have been around since their introduction in 1869. More traditional looking Baseball cards showed up in the 1880’s. So how old do baseball cards need to be to be considered as vintage baseball cards. Simply put, I would define any baseball card pre-1980 or so as vintage baseball cards.

Let me explain my thinking. In 1981, Topps lost their dominance in baseball cards with the appearance of the Donruss and Fleer companies. It was during this time that baseball cards began to be mass produced and everyone starting “protecting” their baseball cards instead of “using” their baseball cards. The result is a glut of baseball cards from the 1980’s on and as a result, a reduced value of these cards. Old age definitely makes a baseball card vintage, but scarcity and as a result, value also make a baseball card vintage. So yes there are some cards produced after 1981 that are considered as vintage baseball cards.

One thing to keep in mind with old vintage baseball cards is that the older cardboard needs to be protected even more than the more modern cards. Additionally, for older vintage cards you should get them graded. Getting your baseball cards graded provides you the ability to determine their value, but you also get the added benefit of a protected case.

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