There a number of things that I know I’ll never have enough disposable income to afford. Right near the top of the list are old baseball cards. Now, I’m a big fan of buying older cards in lousy condition and then loving them as if they were mint, but if I was going to buy a 1934 Goudey card of even someone so minor as Babe Herman, I’d want it in pretty damn good condition. Call me a snob, I don’t care.
That said, there’s nothing better than forking over $6 or something for the book of Dover reprints, because not only do you get all of these famous cards in pretty good condition, you also get them with those ridiculous perforation bumps along the edges (usually a telltale sign if a card’s a Dover is if it’s got perforation bumps). For reprints, they’re great: unnaturally glossy front, white, readable backs, sharp colors (if sometimes a little off) and a nice variety of different sets completely out of my financial reach.
Dover reprints also bring up the fun, slightly philosophical idea of ‘fake’ cards. Card snobs could make a case that a reprint is a fake card, in that because it’s not the real, first original print, it’s not as good and doesn’t deserve a place amongst other cards. I don’t really agree with this argument, because I happen to like the idea of reprints, and Dover reprints are really pretty good.