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1953 Topps #116 Frank Smith [var: white let] (Reds) Baseball card

Price = $ 12.95
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1953 Topps #116 Frank Smith [var: white let] (Reds) Baseball cards value
         

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Below are some tidbits on baseball and sportscard collecting. Visit our web site for more info on vintage and current baseball, football, basketball, hockey, sports and non-sport cards and card collecting.
Baseball
Q2: How long have sports cards been around ?

(part 2)
The first important and mainstream basketball set was issued by Bowman in 1948. Other than a Topps set in 1957-58 and a 1961-62 Fleer set, there were no mainstream basketball sets issued until Topps started producing yearly sets beginning with their 1969-70 set featuring the rookie card of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who then went under the name of Lew Alcindor.

In hockey, there were a few sets issued in the 1910's and while O-Pee-Chee issued some sets in the 1930's, the real modern sets began in 1951 with the itroduction of Parkhurst's first set.

In racing, while cards go back as far as the early Indy car days of 1911, modern racing sets began in 1988 with the issues released by MAXX.

Baseball
The issue below is featured elsewhere on this website:

1959 Fleer Ted Williams

Ted Williams was one of the greatest hitters ever to play the game ! The 'Splendid Splinter' played from 1939-1942 and 1946-1960 all with the Boston Red Sox. He missed 1943 thru 1945 due to military duty when he was a pilot during the wars. For his career he hit .344 with 521 home runs. Ted Williams was one of the biggest stars baseball has ever seen, and his baseball cards remain very popular and valuable.

Ted's rookie card was in 1950 Bowman and he was exclusive with Bowman from 1950 thru 1954. In 1954 he also allowed Topps to make his cards which they did from 1954 thru 1958.

In 1959 Fleer signed Ted Williams away from Topps and assumed the star Ted Williams would be retiring, put out an entire 80-card set of cards highlighting Ted Williams and illustrating his life both in and out of baseball. Williams decided late in the fall to resign for another year perhaps damaging the sets impact. Today these cards remain extremely popular with most of the cards in teh set still quite affordable.

There is one very rare card in this set, #68 picturing Ted with Bucky Harris. UNFORTUNATELY Topps had Bucky Harris under exclusive contract and Fleer had to quickly halt production of this card making it a significant SHORT PRINT. Only a few made it out to the public. This card is quite rare, hardly ever seen and a plain old simple checklist making it the perfect candidate for counterfeiting.
NOTE: This card has been counterfeited in significant quantities so you should be very, very careful when looking to acquire this card.

Other interesting cards are those that picture Ted with Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Sam Snead and Jim Thorpe. In addition, cards of Ted fishing or with his airplane are also very popular.

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Baseball
The issue below is featured elsewhere on this website:

1963 Fleer Baseball

In an attempt by Fleer to circumvent Topps exclusive rights to baseball cards, Fleer issued their 1963 baseball cards with cookies instead of gum. It is commonly thought that the 1963 Fleer baseball card issue was intended to be a much larger set issued in multiple series but Topps sued Fleer after their first series was released stopping further production. Due to Topps deep pockets Fleer soon pulled the set from the market and cancelled their plans for the remaining series leaving this very, very popular set at just 66 cards plus one unnumbered checklist.

But what a 66 cards !!! The 1963 Fleer Cards are attractive and feature an extremely high percentage of stars. Some of the top stars in the 1963 Fleer baseball card set are Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Carl Yastrzemski, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, Don Drysdale and Warren Spahn.. The set also included 2 very scare Short Prints, Joe Adcock and an unnumbered checklist.

The most interesting card in this set is the Maury Wills Rookie card. Even though Wills started his major league career with the Dodgers way back in 1959 quickly becoming a superstar, his 1963 Fleer card is considered his rookie card ! How is this possible ? Well, back in 1959, 1960 and 1961, Topps did not consider Wills worthy enough to have a baseball card.

As hobby lore has it: Needless to say, Wills was very upset at this slight from Topps. After Wills won the 1962 N.L. MVP award, Topps quickly came a courting but Wills answered with a large "NO". From 1961 thru 1966, Wills prevented Topps from making any of his baseball cards. Wills and Topps finally made up making his 1967 Topps high number short print his first Topps card and also his most expensive card. Adding interest to the Wills baseball card story, Post Cereal released a Maury Wills card in their 1962 set making that the earliest Maury Wills rookie card. Wills was also pictured on a special 1960 Topps card featuring the 1959 World Series. The card features Luis Aparicio stealing 2nd base with Wills pictured trying to make the tag.

Much of the above is true but Wills has said there was no "fued" with Topps and that he simply had signed exclusive agreements with Fleer.

Click for complete 1963 Fleer baseball cards Checklist and Prices
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Baseball

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