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You've discovered your old baseball card collection in mom's attic. Now what? Show them off to the rest of the family or your kids, sure.
But before you go wild about your new-found fortune, take some quick steps to keep them from losing their value in less time than it took you to bring them back into the world!

Baseball and other sports cards are great to look at. They tell stories, bring back memories and are just fun to hold. But cardboard corners don't make for sturdiness. Drop one on the floor and that corner gets bent in a hurry.

There are two items that should be purchased immediately by anyone who cares about their cards. One is called a "top holder". It's a plastic holder that lets you slip your cards inside and protects them from damage. Any card shop or large show has them. Magazines like Sports Collectors Digest have ads from companies who sell them. You can buy them in packs of 25 for less than $5. If your cards have some sentimental value and you don't want to sell them or their value isn't going to put the kids through college, you might consider buying some plastic sheets as well. These are nine-pocket pages similar to those being sold for photo albums. In quantity, sheets can be purchased in the 10-12 cent each range. They should offer decent protection and allow you and your buddies to see them. With the sheets, it's a good idea to buy a 3-ring binder to hold them. Don't buy those in the department store; they don't work too well for cards. Try going to a card shop or show and buying them there. They'll be made with a "D" ring for easier page turning.

Follow those quick steps and keep those cards in nice shape!