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1993 Finest REFRACTOR # 86 Rickey Henderson AS Baseball card

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1993 Finest REFRACTOR # 86 Rickey Henderson AS 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 baseball, football, basketball, hockey, sports and non-sport cards and card collecting.
Baseball
Q9: What are some of the terms used for card grading ?

Using a system of grading codes based on those established by price guides such as Beckett, Tuff Stuff, Sports Collector’s Digest, collectors can determine the approximate condition of items offered by interpreting the following grades. Grading is very subjective and there can also be grades in between the levels below.

MINT (MT) - while we rarely use this grade, occasionally it can be found for items that we appraise as appearing nearly perfect to the naked eye. With respect to cards, it would be defined as one with 50/50 centering all around, razor-sharp corners, a photo that is well-registered and completely focused, and no visible imperfections on card front or back.

NEAR MINT-MINT (NRMT/MT) - is qualified by at least 60/40 centering, only the slightest hint of corner wear upon close inspection, and may have a barely visible print spot, lack of intense color, or a slight focus imperfection.

NEAR MINT (NRMT) - card displays at least 70/30 centering, may have a visible slight touch of corner wear all around, and/or a few slightly visible print spots, a lack of intense color, or a slight focus imperfection.

EXCELLENT-MINT (EX/MINT) - centering equivalent to NRMT (70/30), but 2 or 3 corners display an obvious "fuzzy" quality. Essentially, a card that would have been deemed NRMT if not for the corner wear being more apparent. May have a barely visible print spot, a lack of intense color, or a slight focus imperfection.

EXCELLENT (EX) - all four corners show visible signs of wear, but are not rounded. Centering at least 80/20. May have a visible print spot, a lack of intense color, or a slight focus imperfection.

VERY GOOD (VG) - Corners are rounded and the card may have creases or wrinkles.

FAIR TO GOOD - in this grade, card has rounded corners and other major defects such as scuffing, pinholes, loss of gloss, multiple creases. In general, a markedly worn card and often used as a "filler" until a better one comes along.

Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1952 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


1952 is often thought of as Topps 1st baseball card set, but it was not.
Topps issued the following baseball card sets prior to their huge 1952 set:
• 1948 Topps Magic Photos
• 1951 Topps Red Backs
• 1951 Topps Blue Backs
• 1951 Topps Connie Mack's All-Stars
• 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars

The 1951 Red & Blue Back issues (52 cards each) were similar to a deck of cards and could be used to play a baseball card game. The sets left out all the game's stars and were not fan favorites keeping Bowman far ahead in the baseball card market.

In response, Topps issued their "BIGGER is BETTER" 1952 Topps set they described as: "GIANT IN BOTH SIZE and NUMBER of CARDS" (407).

Series one cards (#1-80) can be found with black or red backs. The key card in the 1952 Topps set is card #311 MICKEY MANTLE. It is often called Mickey Mantle's Rookie card but it is not. The honor goes to his 1951 Bowman card. The 1952 Topps set also featured my favorite and THE greatest player of all-time, WILLIE MAYS !!! Again, this is sometimes called Willie Mays' Rookie card but it is not. That honor also goes to his 1951 Bowman card. Another 1952 Topps card of note is card #1 Andy Pafko. Pafko, a fine player, is basically just a "Common card" and should be worth no more than any other "Common" in the 1952 Topps set - But SURPRIZE !!! It's worth TONS more because it's card #1 and absorbed much more damage than most cards from rubber bands and other damage, thus high grade cards are very, very tough to find accounting for the super high values.
BUT --- That should not account for the super high asking prices on lower grade copies. THose prices do not make sense (supply and demand).

The 6th (last) series, starts with #311 Mickey Mantle and ends with #407 Braves Hall-of-Famer Eddie Mathews. These "High Numbers" are significantly scarcer and can almost be called rare. In addition to Mickey Mantle, other star High Numbers included #312 Jackie Robinson and #314 Roy Campanella.

The most common explanation for their scarcity is as follows.
This HUGE set was released in series weeks apart. When it came to the last series the baseball season was winding down and football was starting. Most candy store owners had boxes of baseball cards leftover from earlier in the year so most eliminated their orders for the 6th series of 1952 Topps thus creating the scarcity.

To add interest to the story, it is often said that the unsold 6th series cards (including THOUSANDS of 1952 Topps MICKEY MANTLEs !!!) were disposed of by Topps, dumped offshore into the Atlantic Ocean like most of New York's trash in those days.

Click for complete 1952 Topps Baseball card checklist, values and prices.
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Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1934,1935,1936 Diamond Matchbooks

During much of the Great Depression, matchbook collecting swept the country ! Sports matchbooks started appearing in the 1930s, most issued by Diamond Match Company of New York. Over the next few years, several series were issued with similar designs; b/w photo of the player on front with short write-up and stats on back. The player's name and team was also printed on the 'saddle'.

Please consider the following info as approximate.
1934's first baseball release featured 200 players, in 4 different background colors (red,blue,green and orange) for a total of 800 different covers. The set features plenty of Hall-of-Fame greats like Dizzy Dean and Mel Ott.

1935's issue was tiny with only 24 total covers (8 red,8 blue,8 green).

A third series was later released with 200 or more different covers (players/colors).

1930's matchbook covers appear to be huge bargains for collectors as their current values are fractions of the value of Goudey and other baseball cards from the same era.

Click for complete 1935-1936 Diamond Matchbook Checklist and Prices
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Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1956 Topps Pins

In addition to their regular issue 1956 Topps baseball card set, which in my opinion, was Topps' nicest regular issue set, Topps released a special pin set. This was the first pins ever issued by Topps.

Few issues can compare to the 1956 Topps Pins set. The colorful and attractive 1-1/8" diameter pins, just like baseball cards from the era, were packaged with bubble gum. The pins featured a full color photo of the player with a pin clasp on the reverse. Interestingly, some images for the pin set are the same as those on the regular 1956 Topps cards. Even if you don't want to collect the set, if you collect 1956 Topps cards than YOU MUST add at least one 1956 Topps Pin to your collection.

The 1956 Topps Pins set features most of the eras Hall-of-Famers including Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Duke Snider, Al Kaline, Yogi Berra, Eddie Mathews and also includes some super tough scarcities such as Chuck Stobbs, Hector Lopez and Chuck Diering. There is not firm opinion as to which of the 3 scarce short prints are the toughest to find.

In the end, collectors in the day preferred their cards to pins and Topps cut back the 1956 Topps Pin set issue from a planned 90 pins to just 60.


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