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1955 Topps # 4 Al Kaline (Tigers)
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Below are short bits & pieces on sportscard & baseball trading card collecting. |
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on vintage baseball, football, basketball, hockey, sport and non-sports cards.
Team Autographed / Signed Baseballs
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Autographed/Signed Team Baseball inventory
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.
Note: You may be on that page now.
1954 Bowman Baseball
Cards Checklist & Values
TOP ROOKIES: Don Larsen, Harvey Kuenn, Frank Thomas
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.
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.
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.
Click for complete
1954 Bowman Baseball card checklist, values and prices.
Note: You may be on that page right now.
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
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
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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