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Vintage Baseball cards
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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
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 vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

Auction's most costly vintage baseball cards


The auction history of vintage baseball cards is long and colorful.

The 1909-1911 T-206 Honus Wagner tobacco card has been auctioned reaching as high as 2.8 million in one auction. Often called the "Holy Grail of Sports Cards", to me it's super-high auction value can mostly be attributed to good PR and "auction fever". It is not even close to being the rarest baseball card and Honus Wagner was not the most popular or important player. Yes, the T-206 set is beautiful and special in it's own right but because of it's huge size and many scarcities, it is not one many collector's ever try to complete, which should keep auction competition way down compared to say the 1933 Goudey or 1952 Topps baseball card issues.
BUT IT DOES NOT...

There is a back story about Wagner banning his card because of his anti-tobacco stance but there are other stories about a more financial consideration.

I am sure you have all heard of the grading company PSA. You may also already have heard that this card was the FIRST card graded by PSA. But did you know that a dealer (B... .a...o) admitted in court to tampering with the card, perhaps by trimming it down to size, before PSA graded it so highly before it was placed in the auction ?

Click for more info on my Weekly Vintage BASEBALL CARD AUCTIONS


Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1961 Topps Baseball Cards Set checklist/info/information

The 1961 Topps baseball card set included 587 standard size 2" x 3" cards (#1-#598 with several skipped numbers). 2 cards were accidently numbered #463, one of them (the Braves Team card was supposed to be card #426).
The 1961 Topps set included the following special "subsets":
* League Leaders (10 cards)
* World Series highlights (10 cards)
* Highlights (11 cards)
* MVP's (16 cards)
* Checklists (7 cards plus several variations)
* Team cards (xx cards)
* Special Multi-Player cards (xx cards)
* Managers (xx cards)
* Topps Rookie All-Star Trophies (xx cards)
* Sporting News All-Stars (#566-#589)

1961 Topps was the first of the very popular and continuing Topps Rookie All-Star Trophies subsets. Cards from the last series (#523-#589) are scarce "High Numbers" making the set fairly expensive to complete.

MLB Baseball expansion led to one of the least attractive aspects of the 1961 Topps baseball card set. The American League made several changes. The Los Angeles Angels were added, the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins and a new franchise was granted to the Washington Senators who also debuted in 1961. Possibly because of these team changes, many players had their portrait photos taken without their baseball caps. Not only did most of the players look awful without their caps, they looked more like your old, not so handsome uncle then athletes!

Card backs were black print on an army green background on a dark card stock making them somewhat difficult to read. TOP ROOKIES: #35 Ron Santo, #141 Billy Williams, #417 Juan Marichal, Willie Davis, Zoilo Versalles & Jim Maloney; are popular players but still reasonably priced.

More interesting tid-bits from the 1961 Topps set:

Card #1 features All-American basketball player Dick Groat
Card #2 features Roger Maris, right prior to his record breaking 61 Home Run season
........Maris once ran back four kickoffs for touchdowns in a single game!
Mickey Mantle had 6 cards making the 1961 Topps set that much more costly.
  #.44 American League Home Run Leaders
  #300 Mickey Mantle's regular card
  #307 Mickey Mantle 'Slams 2 Home Runs' World Series
  #406 Mickey Mantle "Blasts 565 ft. HR"
  #475 Mickey Mantle MVP card
  #578 Mickey Mantle's scarce high # All-Star card
Other than the checklists, the set has no other variations.

Collectors of 1961 Topps cards may also want to take a look at 3 other baseball issues Topps released that year: a Topps Dice Game, Topps Magic Rub-Offs and a series of Topps Stamps.

Although some dealers and collectors consider this set boring, with it's clean design, many special subsets and multiple cards of some of the games top stars including 6 Mantle's I rate it much higher.
And, as I end most of my write-ups on vintage Topps sets, grab a glance at Don Mossi and those famous ears !

Click for complete 1961 Topps baseball cards Checklist and Prices
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Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1970/1972/1973 Topps Candy Lids

1973 Topps Candy Lids Box 1973 Topps Candy Lids Tub
Thru the years, Topps has tried some crazy products, often called "test issues". Test issues were usually only distributed in limited areas and were somewhat difficult to find. One of Topps most unusual were the 1970 and 1973 Topps Candy Lids; little tubs of candy with player's photos on the bottom of their 1 7/8" lids. The unnumbered lids were issued in 10 cent containers, 24 to a box. Sealed tubs can still be found with asking prices in the $150 to $200 range. Called "Baseball Stars Bubble Gum", the 1970 Topps Candy Lids set had 24 different players, the 1973 Topps Candy Lids set had 55.

1970 Topps Candy Lids Front 1970 Topps Candy Lids Back 1972 Topps Candy Lids Ryan Topps released their first Candy Lids in 1970. The 1970 Topps Candy Lids are very, very hard to find. The 1970 lids had small photos of Tom Seaver, Carl Yastrzemski and Frank Howard on the top.

They returned in 1973 with some minor changes. The candy was replaced by gum, the mini photo of Frank Howard was gone from the top of the lid and team logos were airburshed off the player's caps. Even the tiny Yaz and Seaver photos had their logos removed. 1973 Topps Candy Lids are hard to find, but not nearly as scarce as the 1970's. There was also a 1972 Topps Candy Lids issue in the works but it was never released although a very few proofs do exist.

1973 Topps Comics Topps released two other test issue sets in 1973 (1973 Topps Pinups and 1973 Topps Comics), each with very limited distribution. The 1973 Topps Comics and 1973 Topps Candy Lids shared many of the same photos. Just like the candy lids, those sets had no team logos. If you're thinking "licensing dispute", you are likely right. Topps received player's union's permission for these test issues, but not Major League Baseball's permission. Apparently issues over rights and fees with Major League Baseball Properties and the player's union resulted in Topps shutting down future production of test issues, supplemental sets and insert sets, putting an end to some of their most "fun" collectibles.

Due to licensing issues, after 1973 Topps released very few "oddball" issues. In 1975 did release a "Minis" set but they reportedly cut production on the regular set to produce the minis, so the players and owners probably got nothing extra. Topps next major test issue was the 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers. Afterwards Topps started producing sets for other distributors like Burger King, Zest Soap and others having the distributors cut the licensing deals, saving them the aggravation.

Click for complete 1973 Topps Candy Lids Checklist and Prices
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