Wednesday, August 16, 2017

No Pictures of Baseball Cards. Will Anyone Read This?

Last week I asked a question and I got a great response from the blogosphere.

The question I asked was, "When was the last time you bought a Beckett magazine?"

Let's take a look at the 52 responses.

Never - 7
1992 - 5
1993 - 1
1994 - 1
1995 - 2
1997 - 1
1998 - 3
1999 - 1
2002 - 2
2003 - 1
2006 - 3
2007 - 2
2008 - 1
2009 - 3
2010 - 3
2011 - 1
2012 - 3
2013 - 1
2014 - 1
2015 - 3
2016 - 4
2017 - 4

Seven respondents have never purchased a Beckett. Let's remove them from the rest of the data.

That leaves 45 people who have actually bought a Beckett.

Four of the 45 either have a current subscription or have bought the magazine at some point this year. So we'll remove them from the equation as well.

Now we're at 41 people who have bought a Beckett, but it's been at least 8 months ago.

78.04% of people who responded haven't purchased a Beckett magazine in the last 5 years and for more than half, 53.65%, it's been more than 10 years.

If you're like me, and I'm assuming you are, because you're reading a blog written about baseball cards, then I think it's safe to assume that you're obsessed with baseball cards and with a monthly magazine dedicated to baseball cards it's hard to believe that 78% of us haven't bought one in the past 5 years.

I used to love Beckett. I never had a subscription, but I would buy them on a regular basis and I collected those with my favorite players on the cover. I would even check them out from the library as well. There was a time when the price guide was important to me, but more than that I loved reading about cards and other collectibles. I enjoyed seeing a breakdown of a new release, reading about star players, former players, and errors cards. I loved seeing other peoples collections. I loved the artwork on the front and back inside covers.

I never really left the hobby, but I wasn't as active as I am now between 2000 - 2009, so when I found others baseball blogs and returned full steam in 2009 I started looking at Beckett again and was instantly disappointed. This disappointment came from many of the same reasons you all described in your responses to my question.

The price guide portion of the magazine is irrelevant and the articles are almost non existent. Not sure if you've noticed, but my url is because what  I loved about Beckett was a way to connect with other collectors. I loved reading peoples questions and comments in the Readers Write section. I loved seeing homemade cards that other collectors had made. I loved seeing pictures and reading the article about Super Collectors.

Everything that once made Beckett great in my eyes was now gone, or at least had been whittled down to near extinction.

When I selected as my web address it was because the blogosphere had replaced Beckett for me. I think this is true for many of us. My blog title is It's like having my own Card Shop because I really feel like my blog and the blogosphere gives me an opportunity to look at cards, discuss cards, and buy and trade cards just like I could back in the day at my local card shop.


  1. Yes I did notice your URL a long time ago. I agree our blog connections offer much more than Beckett does, or can. I've learned more about our hobby -with its obscure cards and odd collections- here than I ever did in the magazine. It's in real time with real folks -
    the interaction is hard to beat! Thanks for being part of all that is good among the hobby!

  2. Interesting! Like you, I used to like reading the features, pictures of new releases, etc. There just isn't a need for it anymore with content so readily available.

  3. As one of the current Beckett subscribers, I must add it's not for the price guide (I think that is manipulated as to what is well you know). I pay $36-41 bucks a year and give most of them to a buddy I get cards in trade from. I make out on the better side, and I wind up always having a Beckett around from the current or previous month. I actually look up more cards from my Tony Gwynn cover from Sept 2014 more than I do any other Beckett (it has vintage in it). It is also at my finger tips when sitting at my desk.

    1. I didn't realize the subscription was so much cheaper before reading your previous comment and checking online. That's not a bad deal. I just wish it had more content. I need your address John as you were one of the winners in the bottom 5.

  4. I always preferred Tuff Stuff because the articles were so much better.

  5. I used Tuff Stuff a good bit because they had more content on Starting Lineup figures which I heavily collected in the mid to late 90's.

  6. If they were more affordable, I'd buy issues to read. The price guide might not be accurate, but the articles were interesting. I also really enjoyed reading the Reader's Write section and seeing their Top 20 lists.

  7. I didn't see this when you were doing the survey... But it's been since the early 1990s for me.. Mainly because anywhere I've been had Hockey or other hobby related publication..
    I haven't even seen a Beckett for probably 8 years now.. I didn't know they still published magazines..

  8. I agree with Julie. My knowledge of card collecting has increased exponentially since I discovered the card blogs. I would dare say I have as good of a pulse on the hobby, or even better, than the two LCS owners that I know. I still like Beckett as a common ground to evaluate trades sometimes, but there just isn't much meat to the magazine anymore.

  9. Very well written. I never felt the connection to Beckett that you did, but I agree wholeheartedly with how you feel about the blogs. Our community is everything I wish I had when I first started collecting cardboard back in my middle school years.

  10. I actually have a subscription...and I do use the price guide to look stuff up. Before I found the blogs, that was all I it's just a supplement to the blogs.

  11. Great article and interesting perspective. I was always more a fan of Tuff Stuff back in the 1990s.

  12. Your post fits fit situation to a T... It's kind of ironic because as I was getting into collecting as a teenager in the late 1980's, Beckett was key in providing information I was needing to learn about collecting. Late 1980'ss Becketts were valuable tools for the hobby...

    Now it's just ads for auctions of ubercards...

    Thanks for the Expos you sent, I needed them all!