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1958 Hires Root Beer
Hires Root Beer issued this 66 card set back in 1958. The cards came with an attached advertising tab. Cards with their tab intact are extremely difficult to find and thus are quite expensive. The actual card size varies from 2-3/8 in. to 2-5/8 in. wide and 3-3/8 in. to 3-5/8 in. high without the tab. Cards are numbered from #10 thru #76 with #69 not issued.
The card design - a wood grain "knot hole" through which the player is viewed - is a collector's favorite and was brought back by Bowman for their 2003 Bowman Heritage product. Although small at only 66 cards, the set did contain it's share of cards of Hall-of-Famers and Superstars such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Pee Wee Reese, Don Drysdale, Richie Ashburn, Bill Mazeroski, Duke Snider, Larry Doby, Don Newcombe and others...
Auction's most costly vintage baseball cards
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The history of vintage baseball card auctions is long and colorful.
T-206 Honus Wagner tobacco cards have sold for upto $2.8 million in
auction. The "Holy Grail of Sports Cards", it's extreme-high auction
value can mostly be attributed to great PR and "auction fever".
It's not close to being the rarest baseball card and Honus Wagner is not
Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. Yes, the T-206 set is beautiful & special but
because of the # of cards and scarcities, few collector's try to complete,
which should keep auction competition down compared to say 1933 Goudey
or 1952 Topps baseball card issues.
BUT IT DOES NOT...
There's a story Wagner banned his card because he was anti-tobacco
but there are other stories about financial considerations.
You surely have heard of PSA and may even know that this card was the
FIRST they ever graded. But did you know that dealer (B.l. .ast.o name
encoded) admitted tampering with the card, perhaps having it trimmed
down to size, before PSA graded it so highly for the auction.
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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