Food for Thought: Little League World Series

If I had driven 3 hours and some change to Williamsport, PA for a subpar meal and to melt away in the sweltering heat phrases like “getting the short end of the stick” may have come to mind. Fortunately luck was on my side.

In what seemed like some kind of back alley shady deal, I was handed two tickets to yesterday afternoon’s Little League World Series championship game. The quality of baseball that was displayed was better than some major league games you pay for.

Driving down to the game was the easy part. The drive home can be more difficult. At the same token, being a passenger on a road trip can give you time to think.

What if Topps or Panini produced Little League baseball cards? All it takes is some time on the road to brainstorm and working in the card industry to come up with that one. Now it doesn’t necessarily have to be a standalone product but could autographs of players be featured as special inserts in various baseball products throughout the year? There’s a debate to be had in that question.

There’re a couple of ways to look at this. From a collectors standpoint this could work out well in their favor. If the inserts were limited to a number such as 35 or less, the value of the card could be driven up. Collectors who pull these cards and sell on eBay could have a great success rate financially with little league autographs.

Piggy backing off that notion, collectors could also luck out if the kids featured in these products become a well-known name someday. There have been cases where kids who have played in the LLWS have grown up to play and excel at the professional level in different sports. A circumstance such as that could also increase the value of these cards.

Keeping a young audience captivated by the wonder of sports cards is just as important as the adults who collect. Seeing kids that were playing baseball on TV in packs of cards could be a way to keep things fresh and exciting with the younger generation. It could even motivate kids to try and grow up and get themselves on a card.

An idea like this could have a downfall too. To build an educated opinion on the matter you have to look at it both ways. The players are between the ages of 11 and 13 and you have to wonder if Topps or Panini were to try and put their autographs in live packs are they too young to be exploited like that? Because the chances are you have to pay them to sign an amount of autographs for the products.

Maybe something can be worked out where the parents monitor the money that is given to the kids, but there could be problems with the money being mishandled. What if each respective card company decides to take the money they’re going to pay the players and put it towards college scholarships or tuition for the kids who are participating?

It’s not too far-fetched of an idea. The possibility is there, but a few factors could sway the decision. Whether these kids are too young or if it’s a good idea money wise for the card companies, it’s definitely food for thought.

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