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1993 Finest REFRACTOR # 98 Don Mattingly AS Baseball card

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1993 Finest REFRACTOR # 98 Don Mattingly 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
Q3: Are sports cards valuable ?

Like all collectibles, some sports cards increase in value and a few can become very valuable. Determining a card's value is based on a number of factors including the popularity of the player, the card's scarcity, it's condition, and demand among collectors. A card can be scarce but if there's no demand for it, it's value may not be to great.

Q: What are some of the ways to collect cards ? There are several different ways to collect cards. For example, you can try to collect all the cards in a given set. Or you can focus on cards of your favorite team or even just your favorite player.

Some people only collect Rookie cards while others only collect cards of Hall-of-Famers. Because of the high cost of vintage sports cards today a growingly popular way to collect sportscards is "Type Collecting".

"Type Collecting" is collecting just one of each "type" (or different issue) made. To keep costs down, on some of the scarcer more expensive issues you can simply add a less expensive "common" to your collection. While on more common or recent issues you can select your favorite player or a card from your favorite team.

No matter how you collect - the key is to have fun !

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:

1951 Bowman Baseball

1951 was Bowman's largest set to date, both in the card size and number of cards. Thanks to the several major rookies, led by Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, the 1951 Bowman set is by far Bowman's most valuable.

Bowman again used hand-painted color reproductions of actual photographs. The 1951 Bowman card fronts were very similar to the 1950 set, with several players 1951 Bowman cards look like larger versions of their 1950 card.

Cards #243-#324 are scarce high numbers. The rookie cards of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays are in this series making them very difficult to obtain.

TOP ROOKIES: Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Whitey Ford, Monte Irvin, Nellie Fox, Joe Garagiola, Jackie Jensen, Jim Piersall ...
TOP STARS: Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Duke Snider, Richie Ashburn & MORE !!!


Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1967 Topps WHO AM I ?

It's easy to see why the 1967 Topps "Who Am I? set is a favorite of both sports and non- sport collectors. The set's 44 cards feature mostly important figures from world history but what makes this set even more popular was the inclusion of 4 of baseball's most popular players: Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays (pictured above) !!!

The players picture on the front is covered with a scratch-off disguise with silly, exaggerated features like hair, moustaches, hats, noses... and a clue to help kids identify the famous person pictured. The backs contained additional clues and instructions to "Scratch off disguise on front to discover Who I Am. Use a coin or fingernail."

Cards with their scratch-off coating intact are worth many, many times cards with the coatings removed. For example, NM/MINT Mickey Mantle with the coating is in the $200-$400 range while a NM/MINT Mantle with the coating removed is closer to $50.

Cards came in wax packs with 24 packs per box and the set is packed with desirable cards: Shakespear, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Einstein, Queen Elizabeth, Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar, Columbus and Jackie Kennedy to name just a few.
Click for complete 1967 Topps Who Am I? checklist and prices
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