After a decade long hiatus from trading cards during the 1980's, I jumped back into the hobby in the early 1990's. The hobby had changed quite a bit (more brands, more sets, nicer card stock, better photography) and cards were everywhere - CVS, Rite Aid, hobby shops, and card shows just about every weekend in hotels and shopping malls.
Another thing I discovered around this time was the existence of price guides - Beckett, Tuff Stuff and a host of other magazines that charted the "book value" of cards. Since Ebay was still a number of years away, there was no practical way to gauge the market and I, like many other collectors, just assumed "book value" was the same as "fair market value."
Like many collectors from this period, I have lots and lots of cards that look this
Notwithstanding the fact that these cards are "worthless" from a monetary perspective, they are (in many cases) beautifully designed and photographed cards. The fact that these sets and singles, many of which include fantastic cards of hall of famers, can be obtained for next to nothing makes them extremely "valuable" in the sense that they are an extreme "value" to purchase.
For a fraction of the price of any current hot or even marginally hot "prospect" who may or may not ever make a major league roster, you can obtain dozens of hall of famers and future hall of famers from their playing days.
What you prefer in your collection -
or a shiny, flashy card of some 16 year old kid you've never heard of who will probably never make it out of AA ball? What if I told you the shiny card would cost you a $1 out of a 4 card pack at Target and would probably be warped and chipped right out of the pack?