Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Who's Cataloging The New Stuff - Vol. 2

My post about reference books on cards had about four times the audience that I normally draw.  I'm really not sure why that was, but I'll expand my audience when I can.

Anyway, so I pointed out that there has been no detailed documentation (in physical book form) of any sets beyond 2010.  There are no currently available books that describe or provide checklists, values, or configurations of anything past that point.  Vintage - from the earliest issues up through 1980, is well covered.  There are older texts available for the 80's, 90's, and 2000's.  And the latest of those goes up through 2010 (printed in 2011.)

After that, nothing.

There are actually a couple choices for vintage, I've discovered.

The SCD catalog, last published in 2016:

There is also a Beckett version that I just saw ads for:

I haven't ever seen one of these, so I don't know what's in it, though the descriptions say that it's full listings, descriptions, photos, and of course pricing (however irrelevant) for cards from 1887 to 1980.

So we're good thru 1980.  That stuff really doesn't change much.  So whichever book you have should do for a long time.

Now, the last complete guide to newer sets was 2011's Standard Catalog.

Which is much more thorough than the regular Beckett Price Guide.

There's no way anyone can expect Beckett to be able to cover every set ever made in 816 pages.  So they pick their favorites.  One reviewer on Amazon said this:
Over 800 pages of prices. No Fleer Flair, no Leaf, no Select, no Pinnacle, no Skybox, no Collector's Choice. Yet, every card from the 1987 Fleer set, all 660, is listed and the entire set is worth $15. That's just one of many many examples.
Thanks for trying, Beckett.

What they really need to do, as I said before, is this:

Leave the vintage book as it is.

Produce either a couple smaller volumes for each decade afterwards, or one or two comprehensive books on the 80's, 90's, and 2000's.  I mocked up the covers of my proposed books.

The 80's book could either cover the whole decade, or just up to about 1985 or so.  That stuff is mostly just the first variations, and the emergence of Donruss and Fleer.

The next one would be 1990's or the Overproduction Era - otherwise known as the "Junk Wax Era".  Though that term has some resistance or resentment, apparently.  Years include 1985 thru 1994-ish.


Continuing the series, 1994 through 2000 could round out the decade.  Then you have a nice dividing line since there is so much more volume by then.

And finally, conclude with 2000 through 2010.  Or maybe 2015 if it all fits in a reasonably sized (and priced) tome.

At that point, you can update the editions or just wait for the next chunk of time.  2015 thru 2020, published in 2021, etc.


  1. Great job on these covers. If they made the catalog/book for the Overproduction Era... I'd be all over it.

  2. I'd buy five if they put out a Junk Wax Era book and put JUNK WAX in big bold letters.

  3. Nice job with the covers. I feel like there just isn't a demand for things like this anymore unfortunately. Nearly everything is already available at a few key strokes on your phone.

  4. Awesome! This is one area where the internet and overproduction of recent sets has killed the old-school catalogs. In fact, the Japanese Baseball Guide stopped printing the new sets as well and only has a print version of the Vintage Set. I'd definitely get one of the Junk Wax Era for sure!