For the man who has everything, Joe Casey and Ed Anderson suggest baseball cards.
The two men own five Baseball Cards Etc. stores in the Salt Lake Valley and they say baseball cards are not only the fastest-growing collecting hobby in the country, but a better investment than most Wall Street stocks.Casey, who manages a Baseball Cards Etc. store on the second level of the ZCMI Mall, said baseball cards have zoomed in value over the past few decades. Old cards from the early days of baseball are worth hundreds of dollars, he says.
For instance, a complete set of 240 Topps baseball cards from 1954 is worth $5,000.
One of Casey's most expensive items at the ZCMI store is a framed 11-by-14-inch sepia-and-white photograph of Babe Ruth with an accompanying autograph, from the 1930s, that sells for $2,500.
Or you can get a mounted 8-by-10-inch color glossy photo of Mickey Mantle, signed by the home run king, for $59.
"Brand new cards make a great gift for a man or a child who is into sports. The Topps 1988 set of 792 baseball cards, which pictures just about everybody who played National or American league ball this year, sells for $24.95, complete with bubble gum. A box of 540 cards sells for $18, complete with bubble gum."
And if there isn't enough gum in the sets to satisfy young appetites, Casey said, "We always have extra bubble gum."