Disclaimer: The information presented below does not represent an endorsement. I have zero experience buying from any of these establishments, nor have I talked to owners. The info is all gathered from their websites, social media profiles, and other public-facing websites, but I always encourage you to do your own research before making any purchases.

I’ve never been to Ohio so I hope Buckeyes don’t roll their eyes too hard when I say this, but whenever I hear “Cincinnati” my mind instantly goes to the Big Red Machine. I also wasn’t alive to watch the storied squad in its heyday, but I am a baseball collector. Thus, I can only imagine what it was like to take in Bench, Morgan, Perez, and the rest of the crew wreak havoc on the diamond.

My second thought of the Cincinnati Reds isn’t as glamorous, being a lifelong A’s fan and knowing what Billy Hatcher and Jose Rijo did to my beloved Athletics in the 1990 World Series.

Anyway, I digress—the point is, though, if there was a city deserving of a solid baseball card shop, it’s Cincinnati in my mind, so let’s take a look. Of course, if you have a Cincinnati shop you’d like to add to the list:

HIT SEEKERS Sports Cards

Honestly, I’m not sure I can find the words in the midst of my second-hand excitement. So, I’ll just leave this here and let you form your own thoughts:

Yes, a “cold one.” The type of cold one you’re thinking and not just a dud of a box and the opposite of pulling fire:

“Customers lined up outside before the doors opened and were treated to what owner Greg Rouse says is a “modern style” sports card shop with unopened boxes and packs, single cards, the chance to drop cards off for grading and….beer.”

Cards. Beer. Enough said, right? I mean, I’d expect every review to look a little something like this:

Anyway, what about the kids? Here is a cool look at the shop from Local 12:

“Rouse opened Hit Seekers in Ft. Mitchell with his son, Jake, a couple weeks ago. It’s another venture of the Braxton Brew crew, with the idea that older collectors might come in and have a beer while the next generation of card fanatics fans out through the store.

“A lot of kids come in here after school and they’re amazing. I mean because they know what they want. And they want new. They want modern. They want flashy,” said Rouse. “They want to maximize every dollar that they spend.”

This just looks like a great shop no matter the age, with this video giving me all the vibes of what it was like when I was a kid, opening packs, excited to see something new and cool, sorting, and seeing new card things I’d never seen before.

At the end of the video you can see behind the glass at what looks like a live Loupe selling session, where it appears Hit Seekers has a large presence as well.

Ideal Baseball cards

Here is a tweet I want to talk about, and it just so happens to mention Ideal Baseball Cards so it fits.

When friends or family members wonder how someone can love baseball cards so much. It’s this. Well, this is at least a big piece of it. Yes, they are little pieces of cardboard with pictures of grown adults, which when you phrase it like that, might seem a bit silly.

But what people fail to realize is these are figures many of us grew up watching, in a game we played maybe all of our lives. They are names of athletes we saw do great things for our favorite team, who we’d try to emulate on the diamond. Cards, then, are a way for us to make one more connection between ourselves and the game we love.

So, when you combine that with the hobby side of it, as something to do that might either be therapuetic, wildly enjoyable, or both, you get something that is hard to describe to others.

Anyway, all this points to the fact that a card shop can be that source of giving us what we need and want to make a perfect night of watching baseball and sorting cards (even if it is junk wax).

Speaking of junk wax, I feel a theme with this shop, and how retro or vintage might be a specialty?

In fact, here is an article from 2020 focusing on the fact that Ideal Baseball Cards is a “retro sports gold mine.”

“The 3,000-square-foot storefront is stocked with about 2 million vintage baseball cards dating back to the late 1800s (including rare 1909 T206 and 1911 Turkey Red cards), 250 autographed baseballs, and shelves of bobble heads of Cincinnati Reds players, current and past.”

Needless to say, this sounds like the local sport for singles and/or set building: