John Rokke displays a small part of the baseball card collection.

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School makes pitch to sell baseball cards

By Seth Schmidt


A 1953 Tracy High School graduate has loaded the bases for his alma mater’s athletic department.

Eddie McFarlane has donated more than 100,000 baseball cards to Panther athletics.  Many of the 1980s and 1990s vintage cards are in unopened packs and boxes.  The school district plans to sell the cards to the highest bidder, with proceeds going to Panther athletic programs.

“We really appreciate this,” said Athletic Director Bill Tauer. “It was fun talking to Eddie when we went to pick up the cards.”

Because of the time involved in trying to sell individual lots of the cards, Tauer said that it has been decided to offer the entire collection for $1,500.  It is estimated that the collection totals about 125,000 cards.  Most feature Major League baseball players, but there are also some football, hockey, and basketball cards.  Several albums are also included in the deal.

John Rokke, former THS principal and a certified baseball card appraiser, evaluated the McFarlane collection last week.

“It’s been a lot of fun going through them,” he said.

Whoever acquires the cards, Rokke said, should consider the collection as something fun to look at and organize, rather than an investment.

Because of the collection’s relatively recent 1987-1993 vintage, Rokke said, chances are slim that it contains any high-value cards.

“There’s not a lot of value in individual cards,” he said.  “Baseball card companies flooded the market starting in 1987.  Baseball card collecting was so popular that people were buying boxes of cards and putting them away thinking that they would appreciate in value.”


For more on this article, see this week's Headlight-Herald.