All About the Base

The Crown Card Connection hopes to accomplish several different things through its existence: connect readers by sharing stories of collecting, set a foundational understanding for new or returning collectors, and also provide advice and reviews for the avid hobbyist.

Due to so many changes in the hobby since I began collecting, there’s much benefit to those who are just beginning or jumping back into the hobby to understanding the fundamentals of today’s collecting. Over the next several weeks, we’ll look into various types of cards, what options are available for buying, how to take care of your cards, and the best things to know when trying to sell.


As with anything, card collecting begins with a foundation upon which everything else is built: base cards. Some collectors strive to collect complete sets of these base cards, and are typically known as “set builders”. This is a fun way (and can be a less expensive way) to re-engage in the hobby.

If you were to go to Walmart or your local card shop (LCS), you’d find in a typical pack of cards that the majority of them are “base” cards. This is why they’re frequently called “commons” – because they’re more common (in quantity and style) than other types of cards.

As we take a look at a few examples of base cards, we’ll try to note some of the characteristics that are frequently found in this type of card.


You’ll notice the appearance of the base card is pretty simple. Some may have more of a glossy look, while others may have a common appearance. Here are a couple to demonstrate the look:

Number on Back

The number on the back of the card will further help categorize what type of card you have as well. Many inserts (which you can learn more about here) will have characters in addition to a number. Neither of these cards have any special characters, indicating that they are part of the base set.


Many sets begin with a checklist of veteran players before any of the rookie cards would be found. So, as we can see in both of these sets, the rookies are all numbered after the 100-card base set.

As a quick review, base cards are the most common cards in the world of collecting. As we’ve seen, the cards are pretty simple and can contain rookie or veteran players. In our next articles, we’ll look at some of the other types of cards that collectors can find in packs and boxes.

Discussion: Have you ever tried collecting an entire base set? If so, which one(s)?

We know that there are many elements to the card hobby. Whether you’re just starting out or have been doing it for years, we’ll do our best to help you better understand the ins and outs of collecting. If you’d like to receive our updates, we’d be happy to have you join us on this journey!

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