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1963 Topps #459 Dick LeMay [#a] SCARCEST MID SERIES (Cubs)


Price = $ 29.95
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1963 Topps #459 Dick LeMay [#a] SCARCEST MID SERIES (Cubs) Baseball cards value
         

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Baseball

1953 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


The 1953 Topps set is a collection of gorgeous portraits drawn by the leading sports artists of the day. Key cards in the 1953 Topps set include: Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays & Satchel Paige. Satchel Paige had his name spelled incorrectly (2 'L') on the card front.

As with all Topps sets from the 1950's & 1960's, 1953 Topps was issued in series, (#1-85, #86-165, #166-220 & #221-280) with the final series "High Numbers" the least produced, least available and thus the most costly. Topps and Bowman still at war likely accounts for the 6 missing #'s from the High Number series.

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Baseball

1974 Topps DECKLE EDGE
Checklist & Values


This scarce 72-card test issue set was released with very limited East Coast distribution making them quite scarce. Officially simply called "Topps Baseball Photos", their serrated or "DECKLED" edge gave them the name they go by today. The 2 7/8" x 5" inch cards were sold in 2 card packs with gum or 3 card packs without for 5 cents.
Click to enlarge Complete Proof Sheet on left
Fronts are similar to b&w Exhibit Postcards from the 50's with photos and facsimile autographs. The backs make this very scarce test issue more interesting ! They feature handwritten script of player's name, team, position & date and location of the photograph as well as a mock newspaper article.

This was Topps 2nd "Deckle Edge" issue, their first being the smaller and more common 1969 Topps Deckle Edge inserts in 1969 Topps packs.

Variations of 1974 Topps Deckle Edge exist, making this issue more fun and challenging to collect. Backs can be found in gray or a much scarcer white. Also, more limited proof versions with non-scalloped edges exist and can be found with and without card numbers.

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Baseball

1952 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


1952 is often thought of as Topps 1st baseball card set, but it was not.
Topps issued several smaller baseball card sets prior to their huge 1952 set.
Topps buzz word was "BIGGER is BETTER" for their 1952 Topps set which Topps described as: "GIANT IN BOTH SIZE and NUMBER of CARDS" (407).

Key card in the 1952 Topps set is #311 MICKEY MANTLE. Often called Mickey Mantle's Rookie card - BUT IT IS NOT. That honor goes to his 1951 Bowman.
1952 Topps "High Numbers" (#311-#407), are very, very scarce with an interesting story:
This HUGE set was released in series weeks apart. By the last (6th) series, baseball season was over and football starting. Candy shops had plenty of baseball cards from earlier series so most cancelled their orders for the last series creating the scarcity.

Adding interest is how Topps disposed of the now un-needed cards including THOUSANDS of 1952 Topps MICKEY MANTLE's. They dumped them into the Atlantic Ocean like most of New York's trash in those days.

Click for complete 1952 Topps Baseball card checklist, values and prices.
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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