Objectively speaking, a card is simply cardboard with a picture and some numbers on it. To some, that’s all they see and it is worthless to them. But for a collector, we simply don’t see it that way. It is so much more. For some, that picture has our favorite player on it, or our favorite team, or a picture from a game they attended and had a once in a lifetime experience. Maybe that card was an heirloom from their parents, or a fond memory of quality time spent together. For some other collectors, it’s an investment opportunity. They see the value and rarity in cards and it’s appreciation in value over time. They see the history of the league, the players, and the cards that represent that moment in history. They see the journey of that card and how it got to them. They know over time, there’ll be less and less of that card, even if it’s not already the only one printed. Each year has a limited print run for manufacturing, and the rarity increases. Rarity, popularity of the player, and the quality of the card adds to the value. Some others find community with others that share their enthusiasm for the hobby. They make lifelong friends, and they cherish their cards like they do their friends that they met while collecting them. So for whatever reason we get into this hobby, we have different things that we place value on. So, we send off our cards to be graded and encapsulated for preservation’s sake, or to add value to the card. We go to trade shows and make connections and add to our collections. We scour the internet for the next deal. We talk about it on social media, blogs and podcasts. Trading cards didn’t become a billion dollar industry because they’re worthless pieces of paper. Money itself is just a piece of paper as well, objectively speaking. The value comes from what we agree to place on it. There’s value beyond the tangible, which is the essence of the collector culture. We know these vestiges are pieces of history that have a story to tell.