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1973 O-Pee-Chee/OPC #462 Ron Blomberg (Yankees) Baseball cardPrice = $ 2.95
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Common - any card which is not short-printed, an insert, a bonus card, or has an insertion ratio. In short, the cards that comprise the manufacturer’s basic set.
Condition - the physical appearance of a card/collectible. Centering, corner wear, photo clarity, edges, the presence of foreign material, signs of misuse are the critical components. Along with rarity/scarcity, it is a major factor in determining the value of a card or collectible.
Crease - an obvious paper wrinkle defect usually caused by bending the card [i.e.- the result of being tortured on a rear-wheel bicycle spoke during the early ‘50s and ‘60s].
Die-Cut - an insert/parallel card that differs from the basic card by a process of the manufacturer "cutting" portions of the card revealing a special design. Recent issues may also be individually and serially-numbered.
1956 Topps Baseball CardsI have a fondness for the 1956 Topps issue. When I first started collecting back in 1964, my friends and I would wander nearby neighborhoods in search of "old cards". Back then, the oldest cards we ever found in dealing with other kids were 1957 Topps.
Eventually I saw my first 1956 Topps card - I was hooked. It was larger, on a thicker, fluffier card stock making it look much, much older than the just 1 year younger 1957. We even thought they looked "ancient" !!!
We changed neighborhoods in 1966 leaving my childhood friends behind. Before I left, I gave away all my cards except for a small cigar box full of my favorites and I stopped collecting. I had a great 3 year run but I sure wish I would have been collecting in 1966 and 1967 with those tough high numbers. I would have loved to have had a cigar box full of them in place of my hoard of 1964 Topps Felix Mantillia and Gary Peters cards.
The regular 1956 Topps baseball card set is one of my favorites. Topps again went with a slightly larger (3-3/4" by 2 5/8") horizontal card design, similar to their 1955 Topps cards. Several of the portraits are even the same used on 1955 Topps cards and even back to 1954 Topps.
1956 Topps was the first issue to feature team cards and checklists. In addition Topps also included cards of the 2 league presidents, William Harridge and Warren Giles.
With Bowman now gone, Topps could again make cards of Mickey Mantle who was missing from Topps issues since 1953. Once you get past Mickey Mantle, this is a fun and relatively simple set to complete as there are no high numbers or extremely expensive rookie cards with Hall-of-Famer Luis Aparicio being the top rookie.
The set contains over 200 variations making things quite interesting for master set collectors.
Most variations deal with the card stock (gray and white card back variations).
There are also several cards that have color line variations on the card front. Most notably is the Ted Williams card which has either no line over his name or a thin green, red, blue, or yellow line between the white border for a total of five variations. Whitey Ford and Early Wynn also have no line or a thin red or yellow line. In addition, many team cards had 3 different variations with the team name either on the Left, Centered or Right.
The only errors in the set are a handful of uncorrected errors the most famous of which is card #31 of Hank Aaron which actually pictures Willie Mays sliding into home. Card #135 Mickey Mantle is also an interesting card. The card pictures Mantle leaping into the stands and making a fantastic catch. An awesome play to put on this great card - right ? Only problem is that on the real play, Mantle missed the ball. If you do some research you can find the exact photograph that the card was painted from. The artist did a great job and in his version, Mantle makes the catch ! And as always for vintage Topps sets, take a quick look at Don Mossi and his famous ears !
Collectors of 1956 Topps should also take a look at their side issue '1956 Topps Pins'. In addition to their 1956 Topps baseball card set, Topps released their 1956 Topps Pins set using the same portrait photos as the cards. In the end, collectors of the day preferred cards to pins and Topps cut back the 1956 Topps Pin set from a planned 90 pins to just 60.
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1956 Topps baseball cards Checklist and Prices
1969 Topps StampsThis was Topps 3rd stamp issue in the last eight years and it was a good one !!! The stamps were not inserts but a totally separate issue . For a nickel you got a strip of twelve stamps plus a mini album. The 1969 Topps Stamps complete set contains 240 stamps. The 1 x 1-7/16 inch stamps were unnumbered and featured a color photo with the player's name, team and position inside a colored banner at the bottom of the stamp. The stamps were released in both vertical and horizontal strips of 12 stamps. The 1969 Topps Stamps are often confused with Topps' 1974 issue. The 1974 Topps Stamps have ovals rather than banners at the bottom and were released only in 12-stamp horizontal panels.
Along with the stamps, Topps also issued a set of 24 albums, one per team, to store them in. The 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" orange albums were the same size as a baseball card and held a complete 10-stamp team set. To add even more collecting fun, the album's back cover had facsimile autographs of the ten players shown in the album.
The 1969 Topps Stamps set is packed with stars like Pete Rose along with tons of Hall-of-Famers including MICKEY MANTLE, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente & many, many more !!!
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1969 Topps Baseball Stamps checklist and prices
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