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1955 Topps # 4 Al Kaline (Tigers)


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1955 Topps #  4 Al Kaline (Tigers) Baseball cards value
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Baseball

Team Autographed / Signed Baseballs


Team signed baseballs were the thing well before single-signed balls exploded on the market.
What is a "Team Signed Baseball" ???
Simple answer: A ball with XXX signatures of a certain team for a certain year. What is difficult is the XXX. Baseball tons of roster moves make it nearly impossible to "Get Them All".

Generally, team signed baseballs from early 1900's had 10 to 15 signatures, the 1940's that jumped to 18 to 25. Joyce Sports Research Collection (Notre Dame) says "signatures must include only members of a specific team from a specific year, and there must be some approximation of completeness."

Not concrete but to me a "team ball" MUST have ALL the team's STARS (unless a rookie or in season trade) and in today's market at least 20, preferably more, and the manager.

Determining Age of Team Signed Balls
"Official" league balls have stamped signatures of current league presidents on the "sweet spot". Starting 1934/1935 balls were produced by Spalding (NL) and Reach (AL). Rawlings took over in 1977/78. Have a possible team roster at hand, ESPN & baseball-reference.com have great sites), decipher a few signatures then solve the puzzle.

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Baseball

1969 Topps Stamps
Checklist & Values


Only inserts in 1961 & 1962, stamps had their own issue in 1969 ! A nickel for a 12-stamp strip plus mini album !!!

The 1969 Topps Stamps set contained (240) 1x1-7/16 inch stamps. Stamps were released in both horizontal & vertical panels with the player's name in a banner. 1974 Stamps, the name was inside an oval.
Topps issued a mini albums to hold complete 10-stamp team sets and the back cover had facsimile autographs of each players.

The 1969 Topps Stamps set is packed with stars: Pete Rose, and Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente & more !!!


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1969 Topps Baseball Stamps checklist & prices
Similar Topps issues
1961 Topps Baseball Stamps checklist and prices
1962 Topps Baseball Stamps checklist and prices
1974 Topps Baseball Stamps checklist and prices
Baseball

1954 Bowman Baseball
Cards Checklist & Values


Competition was raging between Topps and Bowman in 1953 and 1954 leading to problems with both companies sets. Bowman caused Topps to missing 6 cards in 1953 with Topps getting revenge by signing Ted Williams to an exclusive contract in 1954. Bowman then had to pull Ted Williams card #66 from their set shortly after they started printing, replacing it with Jimmy Piersall, who also was on card #210 making the 1954 Bowman Ted Williams #6 one of 50's scarcest cards.

1954 Bowman Wax Box Perhaps distracted by it's competition with Topps, the 1954 Bowman set was filled with errors and variations. Nearly 20% (40/224 cards) had some sort of variation, with some having more than 2.

The St. Louis Browns recent move to Baltimore also made things interesting. Bowman's artists had no idea what an Orioles jersey would look like - so they just madeone up.

1954 Bowman Wax Pack TOP ROOKIES: Don Larsen, Harvey Kuenn, Frank Thomas
TOP STARS: Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto ... Ted Williams is not considered part of a complete set.
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Baseball
History Of O-Pee-Chee

O-Pee-Chee (OPC) based in Ontario Canada, is mostly thought of as the Canadian version of Topps but it actually pre-dates Topps by many years.

In 1933, OPC issued their first sports card set, the V304 Hockey cards and is currently in the tens of thousands. Their first baseball set was issued in 1937. It was similar to the 1934 Goudeys and Batter-Ups and the top player was Joe Dimaggio.

O-Pee-Chee created baseball card sets similar to TOpps from 1965 into the 1990's. At first OPC sets were much smaller than Topps and included just the first few series. Fronts & backs were nearly identical but with a small "Printed in Canada" on the back and the card stock was slightly different.

Baseball being much less popular in Canada, OPC print runs of their early years were between 1% and 10% of Topps making them exceedingly scarce !!!

Starting in 1970, Canadian legislation demanded all items produced in Canada carry both French & English so OPC baseball cards became bilingual with both languages included.
Other OPC differences include:
1971, OPC even changed the back design to a much more interesting back and also offered 14 different card photos not in the Topps set.
1972 OPC included a card of Gil Hodges mentioning his death that was not a part of the Topps set.
1974 OPC did not include any "Washington Nationals" variations.
1977 the card format remained like Topps but almost 1/3 of the OPC set had different poses/images than Topps.
In late 1970's, OPC card fronts appeared similar to Topps but sometimes included traded information saying "Now with XXXX". They were able to do this as the OPC cards were printed much later into the season.

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