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Full Version: Alan Rosen, the 'million dollar baseball
Collector Zone > Collector Corner > Hobby Talk
Saturday, April 21, 2012,

It is five o’clock in the afternoon and “Mr. Mint” is sitting at his desk in his office in Mahwah, N.J., looking longingly at the telephone.

“I need this phone to ring,” he says. “I need to hear from somebody — anybody — with a treasure trove in their attic. It’s been too long. I need one more big find!”


Alan Rosen, aka “Mr. Mint,” aka the “million dollar baseball card dealer,” aka “the buying machine” (as he variously describes himself on his telephone voicemail) is the last of a dying breed of baseball card dealers who make house calls — trying to hang on in a business that, like so many other businesses, has gone the way of the Internet and the changing times and cultures in America. In his 1980s heyday, Rosen routinely did around $8 million in annual sales of baseball cards, achieving a high of $9 million in 1989. In his 34 years as the pre-eminent baseball card dealer, Rosen, 66, estimates he’s bought and sold over $200 million worth of cards, including the crème de la crème, ultra-rare T206 Honus Wagner (of which there are about 40 known to exist) eight separate times.

“I think the longest I ever had a Wagner was about half a day,” Rosen said matter-of-factly. “To me, a Wagner is just like a cheeseburger or a pair of sneakers. It’s just merchandise. I even sold ‘half’ of the Wagner once. The card was literally torn in half. I saw it in a rare coin store and paid the guy $5,000 for it and then advertized it in Sports Collectors Digest as ‘half a loaf is better than none’. Sure enough, somebody paid me $10,000 for it!

“The secret to my success is always knowing what something will sell for.”

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even though this dude was super sucessful, hes such a shmuck. lol
I saw that name and his face and a cigar went into my head!!!!!!
It's the 21st century. "Mr. Mint" is as relevant to the hobby as Fleer, foil inserts, and bicycle spokes.
His reputation has caught up to him. Back in the 80's he was able to take advantage of people who had vintage cards and didn't know their true value. He came calling with his stack of cash and hustler/Big Dealer persona and was able to convince people to sell to him.

Now, people can do research on the internet and know what they have. Also, there are only so make attic treasures. When the card market exploded in the late 80's/early 90's everyone went searching through boxes in their attics. Finally, sportscards are more well know now than when he was making his large purchases back in the 80's. People were just happy to get some cash for the 'junk' they had in the attic or basement.

Within the sportscard collecting community, he has a reputation as a hustler and self promoter. I don't believe anyone wants to deal with him. Also, someone could get more for their cards selling them on Ebay or the collecting websites than being lowballed by him.

I think that everything has caught up to him, and he has to look internally for blame rather than external.
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