Markusen: The Hall of Fame’s new baseball card exhibit

From SABR member Bruce Markusen at The Hardball Times on September 17, 2019:

It’s funny how certain events can spur interest in cards that I’ve previously treated as mere afterthoughts. Along those lines, a recent development has occurred here in Cooperstown at the Hall of Fame, where our curators unveiled a new baseball card exhibit, known as “Shoebox Treasures.” The exhibit details the history of cards, while exploring a number of themes, including the “holy grails” of collecting, the long tenure of the Topps monopoly, and the various “treats” that have accompanied cards over the years, from tobacco to Cracker Jack to bubble gum.

As fans have become aware of the new exhibit, some have generously donated part—or in some cases, all—of their collections to help the Museum fill in gaps in its own collection. (Prior to the preparation for Shoebox Treasures, the Hall had approximately 135,000 cards. Now that number is up to 200,000. Remarkable.) One particularly generous donor, a fan from Texas, gave the museum his entire collection of cards, which ranged from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. Included in that treasure trove are more than a thousand cards from the 1970 Topps set. Once we sorted through all of the duplicates (or doubles, as we like to say in the collecting universe), we realized that we had every card from the 1970 set, including each of the Hall of Famers.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 23, 2019. Last Updated: September 23, 2019.