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How Many Baseball Cards Are Produced Each Year?

how many baseball cards are produced in a year

Fans have been collecting baseball cards for decades, but the vast majority of them don’t know how many new cards are produced each year. The answer to this question might surprise you! Collectors are always looking to find rare and unique pieces for their collections that not everyone has – so let’s explore just how many new cards come out every year. 

The number of baseball cards produced each year is about 1 to 2 million. The number of baseball cards released in a given year can range from around 600-800 total sets of roughly 700 cards, with well over 1,000 different individual player cards being released.

Read on to discover how the trading card industry has changed and how many baseball cards exist. We will also discuss the history of baseball card collecting and how you can collect with ever-changing technology.

The Current Annual Production of Baseball Cards

Baseball cards are still manufactured annually. Between 600 and 800 sets of cards are produced each year that contain around 700 cards. An additional 1,000 cards are printed, with approximately 1,000 copies each, making the annual number of new cards between one and two million.

Some years see less than 600 releases while others exceed 800 total sets, which means more than 50% of all the baseball card production happens within a six-month window at the start or end of a calendar year. 

Is Baseball Card Collecting Dead?

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The answer to this question is no, but the number of baseball card collectors has declined. Skeptics will say that the hobby is dead, but this isn’t true. The number of collectors has fallen, and it’s not because there are fewer cards to collect or fewer ways to acquire them.

The decline in collector numbers reflects an overall drop in interest in sports card collecting among the youth generation who have grown up with video games as the more popular pastime. Video games took over as a pastime for younger generations in the nineties, eventually replacing card collecting.

Since collecting has shifted away from physical cards and towards digital, there’s a greater emphasis on what you can do with virtual cards. Digital cards can be used or collected in online games instead of being framed on your mantelpiece or desk at home.

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A New Way of Baseball Card Collecting

While die-hard fans still love collecting new cards and chasing down rare ones, many kids now grow up playing with video games or attending sporting events instead. The generational shift is evident in a marked decline in sales at hobby shops from $700 million to less than 300 million.

Baseball card collecting is still alive and kicking, just not for the same reasons it was a generation ago. In 1993 there were over 4 million baseball card collectors, and now there are only around 900,000. This decline in interest is because kids have less time to play outside and collect sports memorabilia due to the increased use of technology.

Where kids once collected to trade with friends or complete sets by purchasing packs of cards at hobby shops, many now buy digital card packs on computers or mobile devices. And while some companies have created apps that allow players to collect physical cards in digital forms,  the trend of playing games on digital devices has still largely overtaken the hobby.

For instance, where kids once collected to trade with friends or complete sets by purchasing packs of cards at hobby shops, many now buy digital card packs. Some digital cards can be used with apps for games and entertainment or just as collectibles. 

Are Baseball Cards Still Mass-Produced?

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Baseball Cards are still mass-produced.  There’s no shortage of baseball cards on the market today, and in fact, there is a lot more variety than before too! Baseball card collectors can find cards for nearly every MLB team from all eras and regional teams that were once popular, like the Portland Beavers or the Montreal Expos.

Topps produces baseball cards and is the most popular brand out there. Topps is the top baseball card producer, and because of a private contract, they are the only trading card company that can use MLB logos and images.

A History of Baseball Card Production

Topps produces baseball cards and is the most popular brand out there. Baseball cards are still made today but have evolved from their original form since 1935 when Goudey Gum Company first issued them as giveaways with gum and cigarettes at its stores in New York City.  

The baseball card industry boomed after World War II, and by 1950, there were more than 150 different manufacturers and over a thousand brands on the market. There’s no shortage of baseball cards on the market today, and in fact, there is a lot more variety than before too! 

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How Many Baseball Cards Are Currently in Existence?

ESPN estimates that there are more than 750,000 different baseball trading cards in existence. There is no definitive number because new ones are still in production, but according to a report from ESPN in 2005, there are more than 950 million different trading cards of all sports combined.

ESPN reports that over 950 million sport trading cards have been produced since 1875 and counting. The number is constantly increasing because new ones are still in production.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of statistics about the baseball card industry, but what does it all mean? The number of cards produced each year is around 1 million. The number of releases in any given year can range from 600-800 total sets, with over 1000 individual player cards being released. 

Baseball card collectors have shrunk as their video game counterparts grow more extensive, and they’re not alone – hobby shops are also seeing a decline in sales from $700 million down to less than 300 million. However, this doesn’t spell doom for the industry just yet. Digital baseball card collecting has become more prominent with technology.

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