Infinite Baseball Card set by Gary Cieradkowski
Dimensions: 2 x 3 1/2
Collector score: ** (2 Stars)
Unusual oddball cards with original art, created by graphic design artist and amateur baseball historian Gary Cieradkowski. Featuring great write-ups on the back, the legitimate offset-printed versions of this set have become pretty much extinct. The Infinite set has ceased to be produced in the offset-printed litho form, and Cieradkowski is offering “home made” inkjet-created (see giclee) cards now.
This is quite disappointing to those who started collecting a set of offset-printed cards that would last nearly forever, only to have the production changed in mid-stream into “temporary cards” made on a home printer.
It is very easy to tell the difference between the litho versions and the ink jet versions. The litho versions are thicker and have a glossy UV coating on both sides. The inkjet versions lack the thick glossy surface, and are sometimes poorly cut.
Book value for Infinite cards produced on an inkjet printer is of course, zero, because:
1. The print run never ends. They may be reproduced forever, by anyone with an ink jet printer.
2. The ink used in inkjet printers degrades quickly, and these cards will not last long enough to acquire any age-related value.
(NOTE: Although manufacturers of ink jet printers and papers claim their prints will last as long as 120 years, these claims have been refuted by Wilhelm Imaging Research – a research lab which is regularly hired by printer vendors to test longevity of various printers and inks. For example, Kodak claims a life of 120 years for prints using their best archival papers. Wilhelm’s research found such prints will last only 11 years.)
Retail value for the early litho-printed Infinite cards is in the $5-10 range, with the exception of two cards:
#1 Leon Day, was Ceiradkowski’s first card. It is very scarce, and should retail for $10-15 in mint shape.
#27 Sandy Koufax, University Of Cincinnati. This particular card was withdrawn by Ceiradkowski after he was instructed to do so by someone at the university, because they said it violated licensing laws. It probably didn’t, but Gary erred on the side of caution, and the Koufax card was yanked, and thus remains extremely rare. Retail value for #27 should start at $15.00 on the low end. On the high end, well, I’d say…. infinite!
PRICING: If you own one or more of the inkjet versions of the Infinite cards, and wish to sell it, how much should it go for? Assuming you’re going to be honest about it, you can’t really sell it as a collectible, because it is new, and because it is only temporary. So it becomes a modern reproduction, an “objet d’art” if you will. As with all art, it should be priced based on aesthetics and whatever similar items are selling for. There are people who buy these cards all the time, apparently knowing exactly what they are getting. In describing the item, I would advise that you avoid two terms: “rare” and “collectible” because inkjet-created cards are not rare, since they have a print run which is open-ended and can be easily reproduced by anyone. And, as mentioned above, they will not last long enough to be collectible.