As a fan of sports card hobby history and a person who tries to follow the vintage sports card market, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of reference material. This post will summarize the interesting books, magazines, and catalogs from my library and explain their value to collectors and me.
Card Catalogs and Reference Material
Of the major sports, I’ve mainly been a baseball card collector, and the 2010 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards is my go-to reference.
There are two great references I have related to unopened material (I hear a new book is in works), the first are Mark Murphys Unopened Pack, Wrapper, and Display Box Guides and the second is the Ultimate Sports Unopened Wax Pack Price Guide.
Reading old annual reports from when Topps was a publicly traded company has been a great way for me to learn about the “junk wax” era.
Next, are a smattering of reference books that summarize or guide collectors through various hobby segments and eras.
Periodicals and Magazines
There are numerous monthly magazines in, and out, of print that have covered the hobby over the years. Below are a small smattering of back issues I have from some of the biggest.
Non-Fiction Related to Sports Cards
These are mass-market books related, in some way, to the hobby.
A great way to learn about iconic cards and memorabilia is the descriptions the auction houses use to summarize & market items. So old catalogs (catalogues for non-Americans) are a great reference tool.
The following SCP Auctions Catalog was from the famed Dmitri Young Collection, with the run up in prices, you could say he liquidated his collection about 9 years too early.
Non-Fiction Related to Sports Icons and Events
I enjoy relating iconic events and athletes to cards and memorabilia, so these are a few books I’ve read to learn sports history.
I use a smattering of digital resources to augment my education in the hobby like eBay, Vintage Card Prices, 3rd Party Grader websites, Google Images, message boards, Twitter, Facebook groups, and blogs.
I’m a pretty ferocious reader, so I’m sure I’ll find more items around the house and provide a Part 2 to this blog. Plus, I’m eyeing some vintage acquisitions related to hobby history. If you have any unique items in your sports card library, I’d love to hear about them over on Twitter or in the comments below.