Baseball Card Holiday Gift Buying Guide
Hobby boxes make an ideal gift for any baseball card collector. They come at several price points, so no matter your budget, there's guaranteed to be something great for the baseball fan on your list.
Thanks to online shopping, finding the right set hasn't been easier. Hobby shops aren't as plentiful as they used to be. And while retail places like Walmart and Target have cards, the ones sold there often don't have as many autographs or memorabilia cards. For most collectors, hobby boxes are definitely the way to go. On top of that, many sets are now hobby exclusives.
We've picked some great baseball card hobby boxes to give this season. Because boxes can range in price from under $50 up to around $400, we've highlighted some for all budgets.
Baseball Card Hobby Boxes Under $75
A favorite among rookie card collectors and prospectors, Bowman Draft has some of the first cards and autographs of recently drafted players in their Major League uniforms. Also popular are limited edition Refractors that come in many different colors. This year's set has autographs from more than 30 first round picks from the 2012 MLB Draft.
The Topps factory set is a great way to get capture the season. It has all 661 cards from 2012 Topps Series 1 and Series 2, including rookies of Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish and more. The 2012 Topps Baseball Complete Set Hobby Edition also has five orange cards that can't be found anywhere else.
Perfect for the young baseball fanatic, 2012 Triple Play Baseball offers a different spin on the game. Players are highlighted with original artwork instead of photos. Puzzles, Hall of Famers and stickers are all part of the fun. Randomly inserted cards with jersey and bat pieces are a hit with many youngsters.
Baseball Card Hobby Boxes Under $150
2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball is another set that is heavy on autographs of young players. Many collectors like these because they can rise in value as the players make it to the Major Leagues. Besides many top prospects, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish all have signed cards in the set. Every box has two autographs and an autographed relic card.
2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball focuses on the Hall of Fame. It's like a fascinating history lesson for the game. It's loaded with classic players as well as other sights from the museum. Every hobby box comes with at least autograph from a Hall of Famer. Other inserts include Hall of Fame plaques and Voices of Summer, which celebrate baseball's best announcers. The set also has a contest where the grand prize is a trip to Cooperstown.
Few sports cards offer more variety than 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter. Styled after a tobacco set that debuted in the 1800s, current superstars are mixed with champions from other sports and pop culture. Possible baseball autographs include Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Albert Pujols, Hank Aaron and Bryce Harper. Among the non-baseball autographs are Kate Upton, Michael Phelps and Arnold Palmer. The broad mix of mini cards are also very popular with most collectors. Boxes have three major cards, which are usually autographs and memorabilia cards with piece of game-used jerseys and bats.
Baseball Card Hobby Boxes Over $150
Every box of 2012 Topps Five Star Baseball has four autographs and a jumbo relic card with either a bat barrel, a knob from the end of a game-used bat or a jumbo piece of game-used gear. The checklist is loaded with greats from yesterday and today, including Pujols, Trout, Harper, Aaron, Willie Mays and Stan Musial. The price tag may be high but few products deliver as much high-end hits.
2012 Topps Museum Collection Baseball is similar to Five Star except it costs a little bit less. It might not have quite as many big cards, but they're definitely in here. Some collectors prefer that they can still open packs with Museum Collection instead of getting right to the cards like other pricier hobby boxes. The focus on retired greats is another plus for many. 2012 Topps Museum Collection boxes have four packs. Each has either an autograph or a game-used memorabilia card.
Always a favorite among many collectors, 2012 Topps Triple Threads Baseball mixes autographs and game-used cards with flashy designs and extremely low print runs. Each box has two autographed memorabilia cards and two additional memorabilia cards. Many cards include autographs from multiple players.