Do you want the answer to these and other questions about that old baseball card collection you have tucked away in a box in your closet or attic? Ask Bill Steinberg, your resident Villages sports card expert! Bill and his wife, Debbie, originally spent 4 years splitting time between their home in Syracuse, NY, and the Villages, but 2+ years ago they made the transition to full time residents of the Village of Fenney. “We love it here,” says Bill. Their story is one that is often repeated when you ask people how they heard about the Villages. “Friends invited us to visit them here in the Villages. We came down to see what all the ‘noise’ was about and we loved what we found here.” Along with all their possessions, Bill also brought his extensive baseball card collection and his 35+ years of knowledge about the subject gained during his time in the baseball card and sports memorabilia business.
Bill says he played a lot of sports as a kid: hockey, basketball, baseball. Sports were a big part of his life growing up, even though he admits he was never really good at any of them! But he has fond memories of collecting sports cards. “I remember torturing my Mother… begging her to buy me those 25 cent baseball card packs they sold at the checkout counter at the grocery!” That enthusiasm grew, and over the years Bill has put a lot of time into studying trends in the baseball card collectible and sports memorabilia industry. “People usually organize their baseball card collections in one of three ways,” he explained to me. “Every card has a number on it. So some people sort their cards by number. Others sort their cards by team and still others sort their cards by player.” Baseball cards were really hot in the 90’s, he says. Yes, I remember that’s when my boys were actively collecting and trading baseball cards.
“There’s still a lot of buying and selling and trading going on today,” says Bill, “though a few things have changed. Adults seem to be more into it today. Some people collect for the value, but a lot of them still collect for nostalgia.” Bill says that kids just don’t seem to be as interested in collecting sports cards anymore. Maybe it’s because compared to computer games, kids don’t find trading and collecting sports cards interactive enough to hold their interest. “That’s too bad, because even today, after all my years of collecting, I still come across cards that give me goosebumps!”
Bill enjoys sharing his expertise with others. He is happy to help people learn about their sports card collections. “I have met lots of people here in the Villages that have baseball and other sports cards collected over years. They brought the cards with them when they moved down here and don’t know what they’re worth or what to do with them.” Or maybe you’re like me. Your kids collected baseball cards, and you just didn’t have the heart to throw them out when you were packing up to retire to sunny Florida. Now
they are just taking up space in your attic or in a closet. Your kids don’t want them, and you don’t know how to sell them. Bill is very well versed in all aspects of collecting, buying and selling sports memorabilia, including appraising autographs and navigating auctions on internet sites like EBay. Bill is happy to talk to you about your collection. He invites you to call him at 315-263-8700 or email your questions to [email protected]
When Bill is not sharing his sports card knowledge, he and Debbie are out and about enjoying all the Villages has to offer. Debbie bowls and is an avid quilter. Bill is a member of a number of groups including the Yankee Club and the Syracuse Club. And he plays pickleball and golf when he can. “But some things haven’t changed,” he says with a chuckle.