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WIREPHOTO: Michael Jordan - {10/03/91} 'Air Time' (Bulls)


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WIREPHOTO: Michael Jordan - {10/03/91} 'Air Time' (Bulls) Basketball cards value
         

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Baseball

1961 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


The 1961 Topps baseball card set had 587 cards (#1-#598 with some missing numbers). In addition to the missing cards, 2 cards were accidently numbered #463 (the Braves Team card was supposed to be card #426).
1961 Topps set was packed with special "subsets":
League Leaders (10 cards), World Series cards (10), Highlights (11 cards), MVP's (16 cards), Checklists (7 cards plus several variations), Team cards, Special Multi-Player cards, Managers, Topps Rookie All-Star Trophies, & Sporting News All-Stars

Of note - 1961 Topps were the first cards bearing the very popular Topps Rookie All-Star Award Trophies. "High Number" cards (#523-#589) are very scarce.

The least attractive aspect of the 1961 Topps baseball card set were the capless players !!! Baseball expansion led to the problem when Los Angeles Angels were added, the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins and the Washington Senators got a new franchise. Because of these changes, tons of players were capless and looked awful. picture you 50 year old grand-dad. Life was obviously tougher back then.

More 1961 Topps card info:
Card #1 was All-American basketball player Dick Groat
Card #2 was Roger Maris, right before his record breaking 61 Home Run season
Mickey Mantle was on (6) 1961 Topps cards adding to the sets cost.

Topps released 3 other sets in 1961: Topps Dice Game, Topps Magic Rub-Offs & Topps Stamps.

Click for complete 1961 Topps baseball cards Checklist and Prices
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Click for complete 1961 Topps Autographed baseball cards Checklist and Prices
Baseball

1974 Topps DECKLE EDGE
Checklist & Values


This scarce 72-card test issue set was released with very limited East Coast distribution making them quite scarce. Officially simply called "Topps Baseball Photos", their serrated or "DECKLED" edge gave them the name they go by today. The 2 7/8" x 5" inch cards were sold in 2 card packs with gum or 3 card packs without for 5 cents.
Click to enlarge Complete Proof Sheet on left
Fronts are similar to b&w Exhibit Postcards from the 50's with photos and facsimile autographs. The backs make this very scarce test issue more interesting ! They feature handwritten script of player's name, team, position & date and location of the photograph as well as a mock newspaper article.

This was Topps 2nd "Deckle Edge" issue, their first being the smaller and more common 1969 Topps Deckle Edge inserts in 1969 Topps packs.

Variations of 1974 Topps Deckle Edge exist, making this issue more fun and challenging to collect. Backs can be found in gray or a much scarcer white. Also, more limited proof versions with non-scalloped edges exist and can be found with and without card numbers.

Click for complete 1969 Topps Deckle Edge checklist and prices

Click for complete 1974 Topps Deckle Edge checklist and prices
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Baseball

1993 Topps Finest Refractors
Checklist & Values


Topps went all in in 1993 with their most premium baseball card set to date, the famous 1993 Topps Finest set with RARE parallel issue REFRACTORS. With only 199 cards, 7 per team, the 'Finest' set only had room for the 'Finest' players !

Rare REFRACTORS were randomly placed in some packs. REFRACTORS looked exactly like regular cards unless you knew where AND how to look. Tilting a REFRACTOR in sunshine released a rainbow of colors, "refracting light" Topps scientists liked to say.

Current info is only 241 REFRACTORS were issued of each card making this parallel issue one of the scarcest. Collecting a complete set is made even more difficult by the hoarding of certain cards by collectors AND even major league baseball players !

Click for complete 1993 Topps Finest Refractors checklist, values & prices.
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Baseball
Baseball card collecting terms (part G)

Grade/Condition Centering, corner wear, photo clarity, edges, creases, print flaws ... all combine to determine a card's condition or grade. Along with rarity/scarcity it is the major factor in a card's value.

Graded Card As values increased the condition of cards and the determination of fakes and alterations became increasingly more important. Various companies became "graders" of your cards. For a fee they would grade your card (usually on a 1 to 10 scale) and then placed in a sealed plastic holder with labelling of the vital information.

From past experiences, most people are NOT HAPPY with the grades they receive. To keep values up, graders can be extremely picky. Things you don't see, they do so don't be surprized when the NEAR MINT card you send in ends up with an EX or EX/MINT grade.

There are TOO many grading companies - if you do, do choose carefully. PSA / SGC / GAI / BGS are some of the many companies. It is good to know that getting a card graded by a company that people do not recognize or respect will usually just cost you time and money and not help you in any way.

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