Baseball cards have come a long way from the days when they were distributed as a novelty item in cigar boxes around the turn of the 20th century. Serious collectors look to purchase baseball cards which will appreciate in value over the course of time. One of the methods collectors use is purchasing cards by the box. There are different types of box cards on the market.
An HTA Box refers to a box that is classified as "home team advantage" box. Card manufactures ship cards that have a higher percentage of home team cards to that region of the country. For instance, an HTA box shipped to the New York area would have a higher percentage of Yankees and Mets cards. A box shipped to Boston would have a higher percentage of Red Sox cards.
A hobby box is a type of card box that is shipped to sport card shops throughout the country. The hobby boxes are intended to be purchased by collectors. As an incentive for people to purchase cards, hobby box cards have a higher percentage of cards with a significant value than standard boxes of cards which are shipped to national chain retailers such as Walmart, Target or Kmart.
Amount of Cards
Hobby boxes tend to have more packs per box than the "retail" boxes shipped to the national chain retailers. This is because, in theory, a collector will buy more packs from a hobby box than a casual shopper purchasing a pack of cards for a friend.
Types of Inserts
It is common for sport card manufacturers to produce special or insert cards for each set they produce. Hobby boxes will have more of these special cards or inserts. This adds an incentive for collectors to purchase packs from a hobby box.
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