Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Top Ten List- Part 2

Recapping the top ten events that changed the hobby.

5) The autographed card. First delivered to the market by Upper Deck in 1990, the company randomly inserted 2,500 hard signed and hand numbered autographs of legendary slugger and future Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson. This groundbreaking achievement paved the way for one-ups-man-ship that continues between card companies today.

4) Game-used memorabilia cards. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay and in fact have proven to be crucial for the success of any modern day trading card product. First introduced to the Hobby by, yet again, Upper Deck, in 1997, the company provided collectors a true "thrill of the chase" by inserting cards of Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, and Rey Ordonez (How can you even put him in the same sentence) containing a piece of his jersey worn in an actual game.

3) The official RC logo. Mandated by the MLB and MLBPA a few years ago to help clarify confusion amongst collectors and lay people alike, pundits have argued that it was also highly influenced in collusion with the trading card companies to eventually recreate the same year debut demand that the industry saw in 2001 with Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki. The only problem is that with Topps continuing to thumb its nose at the "rules" by producing sets containing prospects and non-40 man roster players thus doing nothing to eliminate the confusion that caused the supposed need for the RC designation in the first place.

2) Player exclusive contracts and licensing monopolies. The seemingly run-away trend of manufacturers securing the exclusive production and distribution rights to star players for use in their products has caused, in my mind, a clear violation of anti-trust laws by forcing me and other collectors to buy products from a specific manufacturer that I may not want to simply because they have the rights to a player I collect. In addition, this has greatly watered down product content across multiple brands in all sports. If that doesn't meet the burden of proof necessary to be in violation of anti-trust than this fact certainly does. The blatantly obvious monopoly that Upper Deck holds with the only active player NHL trading card license.

1) The Internet and eBay. Viewed by many in the Hobby as a curse and a blessing, the advent of this technology has had numerous impacts on the Hobby which could be a Top 10 List all on it's own. But why don't we save that for another post.

What do you think?

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