How to Tell What Year a Baseball Card Is

By Jennifer Simon

Baseball cards have been manufactured, sold, and collected for decades. As a result, knowing how to properly identify the age and copyright date of baseball cards is important. Recent baseball cards usually have the name of the manufacturer as well as the copyright date clearly listed. However, identifying and determining the date of vintage baseball cards is usually more of a challenge. It is important that baseball cards are indentified correctly so that they are priced and sold correctly or saved and collected to accumulate a higher worth.

Pick up a baseball card, turn it over , and view the back in order to determine the card manufacturer as well as the date that the card was produced. The Baseball Cards Only website explains that vintage card information is usually nonexistent or abbreviated. Topps manufactured most baseball cards that were produced from the 1950s until 1981.

Look at the back of the baseball card and carefully review all of the information that is present. Baseball Cards Only explains that vintage cards usually contain a list of the player's statistics. Find the year of the last season of statistics that is listed on the baseball card. Add one year to the last year of statistics listed on the card in order to determine the year that the baseball card was manufactured. Vintage baseball cards are often released after the player's season so adding a year is necessary in order to determine the date accurately. Once you know the baseball card's age and manufacturer, you will be better able to determine the value of the card.

Subtract a year from the copyright date on newer baseball cards. Baseball Cards Only explains that many of the newer baseball cards were manufactured the year before they were released to the public.

Go to the Beckett website in the Internet. The home page of this website explains that a membership is required in order to gain access to the baseball pricing program. The Beckett sports card guide accurately provides the baseball card's worth using an extensive database. Enter the required baseball card information into the search database and wait for the program to return the card results.

Tip

It is important to know what a baseball card is worth before selling or keeping it. Vintage cards can be worth a lot of money, so correct research is essential.

About the Author

Jennifer Simon has been a copywriter since 2007, a copyeditor since 2004 and currently teaches English Composition at Full Sail University. Her edited articles have appeared in "The Washington Post," "The Huffington Post" and "The Network Journal." Simon has a Master of Arts degree from Duquesne University with a focus in modern English grammar, linguistics and editing.