If you're a serious baseball fan, then the odds are that you've bought a pack of baseball cards at some point in your life. For most spectators of our national pastime, buying a pack of baseball cards is a simple novelty. For others, however, the curation of a set of meaningful baseball cards becomes a serious hobby. Of course, merely buying the cards does not a collection make. It's a much more involved process, one that relies heavily on detail and organization. Check out these three tips to make sure that your baseball card collection is reaching its full potential.

Narrow a focus
One of the easiest ways to doom your collection before it has even gotten underway is by not having a clearly defined focus. Obviously, you know that you're collecting baseball cards, but that's still somewhat broad. Determine several subcategories that you're more interested in than others and stick with those. For example, it's far easier to build a successful collection of strictly American League players than it is to build an interesting collection without any restrictions. Collect around your favorite team, division or year in baseball history. Keeping this collection organized and well-kept may also raise its resale value as time goes on. Imagine if you had a full collection of 1920s Yankee's cards, rookies included. Pretty specific, right?

Authenticity
At a certain point, most collectors move from purchasing their cards in random packs to seeking out specific pieces for their collections. This transition means that you're starting to have a serious set, but it also means that you'll, more likely than not, be paying a good bit more per card. That said, it's to your advantage to ensure that any card that you buy individually is authentic. The last two decades have given birth to a rise in third party authentication services for sports collectibles, which makes it easier to be confident in your purchase. Before investing in any serious card(s) for your collection, ensure that you've seen both a PSA authentication and a certificate of authenticity. Also, make sure that these pieces come with you when you make your purchase in case you choose to sell the piece later on.

Seek out the community
Although collecting baseball cards is a somewhat introverted process, there exists a vibrant community around the activity that you'd benefit from being a part of. Seek out sports memorabilia auctions, collection showings and events regarding sports merchandise in order to stay near the pulse of the activity. Maintaining a consistent presence within the social circles of card collectors will allow you an inside connection to all the best sales and events, giving you the chance to constantly be expanding your collection for the better.