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2003-04 Upper Deck Basketball #301 LeBRON JAMES ROOKIE Basketball card

Price = $ 39.95
NM/MINT



2003-04 Upper Deck Basketball #301 LeBRON JAMES ROOKIE Basketball cards value
         

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Below are some tidbits on baseball and sportscard collecting. Visit our web site for more info on vintage and current baseball, football, basketball, hockey, sports and non-sport cards and card collecting.
Baseball
Q5: What are some useful to know baseball card collecting terms ?

(part 1)
Certificate Of Authenticity - a document that is used to verify the legitimacy of a collectible. In reality, it is worthless, unless it shares a counterfeit- proof serially-numbered hologram that is attached to the item, and the certificate bears the signature of a notary public, or written verification by the manufacturer.

Common - any card which is not short-printed, an insert, a bonus card, or has an insertion ratio. In short, the cards that comprise the manufacturer’s basic set.

Condition - the physical appearance of a card/collectible. Centering, corner wear, photo clarity, edges, the presence of foreign material, signs of misuse are the critical components. Along with rarity/scarcity, it is a major factor in determining the value of a card or collectible.

Crease - an obvious paper wrinkle defect usually caused by bending the card [i.e.- the result of being tortured on a rear-wheel bicycle spoke during the early ‘50s and ‘60s].

Die-Cut - an insert/parallel card that differs from the basic card by a process of the manufacturer "cutting" portions of the card revealing a special design. Recent issues may also be individually and serially-numbered.

Baseball
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1956 Topps Baseball Cards

1956 Topps Wax Box 1956 Topps Wax Pack I have a fondness for the 1956 Topps issue. When I first started collecting back in 1964, my friends and I would wander nearby neighborhoods in search of "old cards". Back then, the oldest cards we ever found in dealing with other kids were 1957 Topps.

Eventually I saw my first 1956 Topps card - I was hooked. It was larger, on a thicker, fluffier card stock making it look much, much older compared to 1957 than just 1 year. We thought they looked "ancient" !!!

I changed neighborhoods in 1966 leaving my childhood friends behind. Before I left, I gave away all my cards except for a small cigar box full of my favorites - and I stopped collecting. I had a great 3 year run but I sure wish I would have been collecting in 1966 and 1967 with those tough high numbers. I would have loved to have had a cigar box full of them in place of my hoard of 1964 Topps Felix Mantilla and Gary Peters cards.

The regular 1956 Topps baseball card set is one of my favorites. Topps again went with a slightly larger (3-3/4" by 2 5/8") horizontal card design, similar to their 1955 Topps cards. Several of the portraits are even the same used on 1955 Topps cards some even back to 1954 Topps.

1956 Topps was the first issue to feature team cards and checklists. In addition Topps also included cards of the 2 league presidents, William Harridge and Warren Giles.

With Bowman now gone, Topps could again make cards of Mickey Mantle who was missing from Topps issues since 1953. Once you get past Mickey Mantle, this is a fun and relatively simple set to complete as there are no high numbers or extremely expensive rookie cards with Hall-of-Famer Luis Aparicio being the top rookie.

The set contains over 200 variations making things quite interesting for master set collectors. Most variations deal with the card stock (gray and white card back variations).
Cards #1-100 gray backs are scarcer with a slight premium
Cards #101-180 white backs are much scarcer with a larger premium
... rumor has it gray outnumbers white about 9-to-1 in the above run.

There are also several cards that have color line variations on the card front. Most notably is the Ted Williams card which has either no line over his name or a thin green, red, blue, or yellow line between the white border for a total of five variations. Whitey Ford and Early Wynn also have no line or a thin red or yellow line. In addition, many team cards had 3 different variations with the team name either on the Left, Centered or Right.

1956 Topps Hank Aaron 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle
The only errors in the set are a handful of uncorrected errors the most famous of which is card #31 of Hank Aaron which actually pictures Willie Mays sliding into home. Card #135 Mickey Mantle is also an interesting card. The card pictures Mantle leaping high into the stands trying to catch a home run ball. The artist did a great job and Mantle makes the catch !!! An awesome play to put on this great card - right ? Only problem is that on the real play, Mantle missed the ball. 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle Catch
And as always for vintage Topps sets, take a quick look at Don Mossi and his famous ears !

Collectors of 1956 Topps should also take a look at their side issue '1956 Topps Pins'. In addition to their 1956 Topps baseball card set, Topps released their 1956 Topps Pins set using the same portrait photos as the cards. In the end, collectors of the day preferred cards to pins and Topps cut back the 1956 Topps Pin set from a planned 90 pins to just 60.
Click for complete 1956 Topps PINS Checklist and Prices

Click for complete 1956 Topps baseball cards Checklist and Prices
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Baseball
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1968 Topps Action All-Star Stickers
Baseball Cards Set checklist/info

Another one of my favorite Topps test issues !!!   In 1968, trying to catch the fancy of young collectors, Topps produced a set of "Baseball Action Stickers", often called "Action All-Stars Stickers". It was a big year for Topps test/oddball issues. Topps 1968 offerings also included Game cards, Player Posters, 3-D cards, Plaks, Discs and Punchouts.

The Topps 1968 "Baseball Action Stickers" set consists of 16 numbered 3-part vertical sticker panel strips containing individually removable, die-cut stickers; loaded with stars like Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Seaver (2nd year), Yastrzemski ... While there are (16) different three-panel stickers in the set, only 12 contain totally different panels. Stickers #13 thru #16 mix and matched previously used panels making 36 different panels, not 48.

Each strip (15 3/4" tall and 3 1/4" wide) was made up of three 3 1/4 x 5 1/4 inch panels, perforated at the joints for separation. Each three-panel strip featured a large image of a star player in the center panel, with smaller pictures of three players on the top and bottom panels. Facsimile autographs accompanied the large sticker and some, but not all of the smaller stickers. The manila-colored, peel-able back is blank-backed. The full strip was folded along the 2 perforations and inserted into it's pack.

Sold in 1-sticker packs in 1968 with 12 packs per box; at ten cents a pack, sets could be put together for just $1.60. Today, if you could find them, a mid four figures or more would be needed to build a set. Today a complete 3-panel sticker with Mantle in the center commands up to $2,000 alone.

Complete strips with the 3-panels still attached are so scarce and fragile AND EXPENSIVE that collectors usually collect individual panels and the grading companies including PSA grade the individual panels. The single panels themselves are quite scarce and in the 23 years PSA has been around they have graded just over 200 of them TOTAL. That's less than 9 per year !!! The pop report is on the average of only 4 to 5 of each individual panel !!! To put that into perspective, PSA has graded 1,132 1952 Topps Mickey Mantles !!! Collectors who understand the concept of supply and demand know how cool these are and if you pass them by, it might be awhile before they pass by again.

Proofs without the perforations have shown up over the years, usually from the Topps vault sale. Note - this proof sheet is missing the facsimile autographs.

Click for complete 1968 Topps Action All-Star Stickers baseball cards Checklist and Prices
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      Click here for a larger image of the above proof sheet

Baseball
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1974 Topps DECKLE EDGE

This 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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Baseball
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1993 Topps Inaugural Rockies

1993 Topps Rockies Inaugural logo In 1993 Topps produced a limited number of special gold foil enhanced factory sets to honor the first season of the Colorado Rockies. A special gold foil Rockies logo was added to all the cards.

With an initial print run of 5,000, the Rockies had another 5,000 sets made for a total of only 10,000 total factory sets. Since cards were only available as factory sets which most collectors kept complete. and no packs were sold making singles and team sets quite a bit tougher to find.
Click for complete 1993 Topps Inaugural Rockies checklist and prices
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Baseball

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