Sunday, November 2, 2008

Size DOES Matter

Take a look at the photo above. What do you see? A couple of Indians cards, a Pirate, a White Sox player... What else do you see?

The Doc Edwards card on the left is a "standard" sized baseball card. Everything else is all over the place. We have big cards (like the 1980 Topps Jumbo Tekulve), we have "oversized" cards (like the 1989 Bowman Allanson). There are "oddball" cards with sizes that could be anything (1995 Classic Phone Card Frank Thomas), and we have "throwback" cards like the 2008 A&G Hafner and the 2007 Goudey Sizemore.

We have seen cards on this blog that look like bookmarks, posters, you name it.

What's the big deal, you ask? For a collector, size can be a very big deal. At some point in history, when cards had come to the 'standard' size (usually 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches) someone realized you could divide a page up into 9 pockets and fit 9 (or 18 if you went back-to-back) cards into a 3-ring binder! Brilliant!

But then, we had to stop and think about the T206's we have, or the other non-standard-shaped cards. What do we do with those? Well, eventually, companies like BCW came out with pages to accommodate most sizes out there - 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, coins, bookmarks, minis, micros, etc.

Different sized cards are not a new thing by any stretch. Before there was even a such thing as a 'standard' size, candy and tobacco companies made cards to fit in packs. And then, as the creative teams at various companies came up with new gimmicks, size got put on the back burner. There are 1975 minis and Pacific micros, Topps jumbo posters and Pinnacle 5x7 "card-in-a-card" types. Heck, Pacific even came out with a card in the shape of a BOX, for crying out loud (for reference, see 1988 Pacific Aurora).

All of these 'innoventions' are great for the hobby in general, but can drive some collectors to start collecting liquor bottle labels instead of cards.

And just think, I haven't even started talking about how the THICKNESS of a card affects collectibility.... With all this talk of size and thickness, it's a wonder this post isn't being marked as SPAM...

Are the card makers and the pocket-page manufacturers in cahoots with each other? That may require some further investigation.

1 comment:

Dinged Corners said...

Thick cards are aesthetically annoying. Many double-autograph (sticker) cards fall into that category. If a smiling midair David Wright was matched with a smiling Micah Owings in a Reds uniform on a thick sticker auto card, I'm not sure we'd want it. That's how bad it is. :)