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1957 Topps # 55 Ernie Banks (Cubs)
Baseball card


Price = $ 95
EX/MINT

1957 Topps # 55 Ernie Banks (Cubs) Baseball cards value
         

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Baseball

1971 O-Pee-Chee Baseball

Also referred to as OPC or Topps Canada, most vintage OPC sets were near replicas of the Topps cards from that year. Exactly same in design they usually only differed with the addition of French to the backs and some fronts.
To the benefit of collector's OPC made several changes in their 1971 set. The most obvious and useful was a complete redesign of the card backs and the addition of another player photo ! Additionly, over 20 cards were changed including the inclusion of what could be considered the first "Traded" cards. Another difference: Topps cards #202 and #289 were changed to allow the addition of 2 more Expos to the set.
The 1971 OPC set is legendary for its short print run, estimated at perhaps just 5% of Topps’ Production. This issue is considered quite elusive, even in Canada.
TOP ROOKIE: Steve Garvey
TOP STARS: Nolan Ryan, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Pete Rose, Ted Williams, Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Don Baylor/Dusty Baker RC & MORE !!!

Click for complete 1971 OPC/O-Pee-Chee Baseball checklist and prices
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Baseball

1934,1935,1936 Diamond Matchbooks

During much of the Great Depression, matchbook collecting swept the country ! Sports matchbooks started appearing in the 1930s, most issued by Diamond Match Company of New York. Over the next few years, several series were issued with similar designs; b/w photo of the player on front with short write-up and stats on back. The player's name and team was also printed on the 'saddle'.

Please consider the following info as approximate.
1934's first baseball release featured 200 players, in 4 different background colors (red,blue,green and orange) for a total of 800 different covers. The set features plenty of Hall-of-Fame greats like Dizzy Dean and Mel Ott.

1935's issue was tiny with only 24 total covers (8 red,8 blue,8 green).

A third series was later released with 200 or more different covers (players/colors).

1930's matchbook covers appear to be huge bargains for collectors as their current values are fractions of the value of Goudey and other baseball cards from the same era.

Click for complete 1935-1936 Diamond Matchbook 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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