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1962 Topps #481 Vic Wertz (Tigers) Baseball cardPrice = $ 18.95
EX/MINT to NM/MINT
Card has NEAR MINT or better corners and decent centering but there are several print marks on the front.
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Baseball card production was virtually halted in the early 1940's due to paper shortages created by World War II. The "Modern Era" of baseball cards began in 1948 when Bowman Gum Inc. offered one card and one piece of gum in a pack for a penny.
The first important football set was the Mayo set featuring college players in 1984. Other than the 1935 National Chicle set no other key football set was issued until 1948 when noth Bowman and Leaf produced sets.
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.
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 ?
1954 Bowman BaseballCompetition between Topps and Bowman was raging back in 1953 and 1954 and led to problems in both companies sets. In 1953 Topps had 6 cards that were never issued because those players had signed contracts with Bowman. In 1954 Topps got revenge by signing Ted Williams to an exclusive contract. Bowman had to pull Ted Williams (card #66) from their set shortly after they started printing. They replaced Ted Williams with Jimmy Piersall (who also was card #210). The short printing of Ted Williams' 1954 Bowman card makes it one of the 1950's scarcest and most sought-after searched cards.
Bowman, perhaps distracted by the competition with Topps, created a set filled with errors & variations. Nearly 20% (40 out of 224 cards) had some sort of variation, with some even having more than 2 !!!
The St. Louis Browns move to Baltimore after the '53 season also made things interesting
for Bowman. When the 1954 cards were designed, Bowman's artists had no idea what an Orioles jersey
would look like - so they made them up.
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 was not considered part of a complete set.
1974 Topps DECKLE EDGEThis 72-card test issue set was released with a very limited distribution only the East Coast around Massachusetts making them quite scarce. They were officially simply called "Topps Baseball Photos" but their serrated or "DECKLED" edge gave them the name they go by today. The 2 7/8" x 5" inch cards were sold in either a 2 card pack with gum or a 3 card pack with no gum for 5 cents.
Click to enlarge Complete Proof Sheet on left
The fronts look similar to the black and white Exhibit Postcards from the 50's and 60's featuring a photo with a facsimile blue autograph. The backs make this very scarce test issue even more interesting ! They feature handwritten script of the player's name, team, position & date and location of the photograph as well as a mock newspaper article on the player's career.
This was Topps 2nd "Deckle Edge" issue, their first being the smaller and much more common 1969 Topps Deckle Edge which were inserts in certain 1969 Topps packs.
Variations of 1974 Topps Deckle Edge do exist, making this issue even more fun and challenging to collect. The backs can be found in either gray or a much scarcer white version. Also, a more limited proof version with non-scalloped edges exists 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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