You might have heard me say before that sports have no meaning except the one we give it. In a vacuum, it’s a game, but when put in context of culture, civic pride and historical legacy, then it’s suddenly the most important thing in the world. South Bay Baseball Cards in Lomita is one of the institutions that ensures that sports will always have meaning.
For hobbyists and enthusiasts, these places are a rarity. With the decline of the trading card market, there aren’t a lot of places in business that still specialize in the collection, trade, buying & selling of these cultural artifacts. They carry more than just baseball cards — more than just cards, in fact. Their collection of sports memorabilia is a great resource, especially for Christmas shoppers.
If you like even one sport, be it basketball, hockey, or even car driving, there are at least a couple of items that will turn your head within South Bay Baseball Card’s walls. The store is absolutely filled from top to bottom with glass cases of autographed memorabilia or framed jerseys & photographs. It’s up to date — it’s not all just classic Magic Johnson & Ken Griffey Jr. jerseys, there’s signed Puig jerseys and autographed Kevin Durant shoes.
Boxing gloves, hockey blades, bobble heads; Tracy McGrady, Tony Hawk, Mickey Mantle. It’s tempting to just go off on a list of the names and items they have signed and on display. If you’re a sports fan, it’s really something you should see for yourself. One of the bonuses of a place like this is that it caters to all kinds of budgets. Sure, you’re probably not going to afford that 1995 Michael Jordan signed jersey for over a $1,000. But you know, that Jordan Farmar basketball for $85 wouldn’t make a bad secondary option, right?
There’s a not-insignificant smattering of pop culture items, too. I spotted some Spice Girls items, Star Wars collectibles, Michael Jackson pins, Flinstone animation cells and general Disney memoribilia. It was hard to keep track of it all. Every corner reveals more and more items as you focus in on it, like staring into a blank spot of the night sky.
It would be remiss if I didn’t mention the sports cards here. Despite the store’s name, they carry every kind of collectible trading card from all the brands you expect like Upper Deck. It may be hard in this day & age to see the value in a single pack of a dozen cards wrapped in foil. But maybe that’s why South Bay Baseball Cards offers you gigantic superboxes stuffed with hundreds of cards. These unopened boxes are sure to contain something of interest. If you ever grew up with a binder full of sports trading cards, just the idea that you can buy entire unopened boxes is a weird fantasy you never knew you had.
They go far back into history, too. There are unopened boxes from the 1992 NBA season, or baseball cards from the 1950s baseball bearing the likeness of Sandy Koufax. There’s something beautiful about vintage baseball cards — the bright colors, clear graphics and nostalgic aura have made the retro aesthetic a desirable decorative tool. Any baseball fan would get a lot out of merely displaying one of these pieces of cultural history.
South Bay Baseball Cards – (310) 530-5818
1751 Pacific Coast Hwy
Lomita, CA 90717