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Friday, June 17, 2011

Sports Illustrated for Kids - A This Card Is Cool Feature

Flashback: 1989. A Scholastic Book Club order had brought me my first selection of baseball cards and I was just getting into sports - I was 10, so it happened a little late, but when you grow up without a father this stuff happens.

1989 SI For Kids -
I was more of a bookworm back then. I owned hundreds of books, and I had read hundreds more. I would have been in middle school then (6th grade), and I found refuge in the school's library. It wasn't long before I was helping out, shelving books and organizing the back-issue magazines in the back room. That's when I found the Sports Illustrated for Kids magazines. There was only a small stack then, but every issue would have been represented, and each one still had its cards inside. I tried unsuccessfully to obtain the cards, but I found an interest in the magazine.

Sports and playing on computers both moved into my life, and my book reading slowed down. I forgot about SI for Kids, and while my card collecting interests were strong throughout my high school years, I never thought about the magazine.

When I returned to collecting in 2003, one of the first collections I started was Women in Sports. Searching for cards on eBay brought me to SI for Kids cards on a frequent basis, which inspired me to subscribe in 2005.

The most recent SI For Kids cards (June 2011)
Why are these cards cool? They're fun. They're designed to be a supplement for kids, instead of jersey-encasing, autograph-carrying, shiny foilboard pieces of mojo. Each issue has nine cards, and they always feature at least two females in sports. I would like to see more, but I guess it's hard finding several without always featuring golf, softball, and WNBA, or pulling from roller derby or wrestling. The designs have become more modern and professional over the years, but the backs still contain only a minimum of statistics and a trivia question. While my focus is on baseball and the women in sports cards, it's fun seeing some of the other sports and players the magazine chooses to include.

These things aren't easy to come by. It seems that investors hoard them hoping one of the younger athletes hits it big and the card can then be sold for a profit. This doesn't work as well with major sports, but when a star like Nastia Liukin or Lance Armstrong is popular, the only truly authentic cards tend to be from SI For Kids. Perhaps they expect to have the next $100,000 Tiger Woods card in their mailbox. I have 53 of the approximately 265 issues that have been issued so far. I'm mainly in need of issues before 2005, and I'm only interested in full issues or uncut card sheets. Let me know if you have any for trade!

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