Caps Cards from the 90s

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Posted August 20, 2017

(Caps Outsider)

Perhaps I was just young and naive but considering the number of investors who bought into the stock market craze in the late 90s, and then into housing in the mid-2000s, investing in the suddenly-saturated market of sports cards in the early 90s turned out to be trivial. But I, like others at that time, found myself at trading card shows, paying top dollar for cards that were sure to keep soaring in value. After all, we all heard stories about those baseball cards of yesteryear that were now worth hundreds-of-thousands of dollars, so of course those Upper Deck and O’Pee Chee Premiers would eventually pay for retirement.

As a Caps fan, I also felt I was investing in my favorite players, so buying all the Peter Bondra rookie cards not only made me a true fan, but would one day prove to be a wise investment. And when Jim Carey stormed into the league, going 18-6-3 his rookie season with the Caps, I didn’t just buy, but virtually gambled on him.

Sure enough, sports cards in the early-to-mid 90s were over-printed and awful investments. This article from a few years ago listing the highest-valued hockey cards are almost entirely pre-1990s, and the newest ones (a Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin) were made in extremely limited quantities.

All that money we spent on rookie cards of our favorite players could’ve been saved and invested in sure-thing stocks later on, like Enron and Worldcom, or McMansions with sub-prime mortgages.

But really, it wasn’t that bad. So we spent a bit more money than we should have. Unless our mothers threw our cards in the trash (where presumably most Honus Wagner ones ended up), we still have them stashed away. We pull them out, look at who we used to worship, then stuff them back into the closet in the hopes that perhaps our progeny will one day find what turns out to be a gold mine. My future generations are counting on you, Peter Bondra.