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1950 Bowman #217 Casey Stengel (Yankees)


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1950 Bowman #217 Casey Stengel (Yankees) Baseball cards value
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Baseball

Team Autographed / Signed Baseballs


Team signed baseballs were the thing well before single-signed balls exploded on the market.
What is a "Team Signed Baseball" ???
Simple answer: A ball with XXX signatures of a certain team for a certain year. What is difficult is the XXX. Baseball tons of roster moves make it nearly impossible to "Get Them All".

Generally, team signed baseballs from early 1900's had 10 to 15 signatures, the 1940's that jumped to 18 to 25. Joyce Sports Research Collection (Notre Dame) says "signatures must include only members of a specific team from a specific year, and there must be some approximation of completeness."

Not concrete but to me a "team ball" MUST have ALL the team's STARS (unless a rookie or in season trade) and in today's market at least 20, preferably more, and the manager.

Determining Age of Team Signed Balls
"Official" league balls have stamped signatures of current league presidents on the "sweet spot". Starting 1934/1935 balls were produced by Spalding (NL) and Reach (AL). Rawlings took over in 1977/78. Have a possible team roster at hand, ESPN & baseball-reference.com have great sites), decipher a few signatures then solve the puzzle.

Team Signed Baseballs Values
Pricing team signed baseballs is difficult due to subjectivity and factors involved suce as: Signatures placement, quality, strength, number of autographs, stars, age, team significance, and eye appeal considering fading, whiteness, scuffs, shellacking, staining, overall wear...

Team autographed baseballs on official league balls get higher values. They are "official", made better, preserve better and even help in dating especially with balls signed at "Reunion" baseball card shows which brought together great teams of the past.

Facsimile Autographed Balls
1960's/1970's machine-printed "autographed" team baseballs were sold at stadium gift shops for around $1.95. Easy to identify as all signatures were uniform in ink, color, size and look. "Facsimile" signatures are also often found on baseball cards.

Click for our current Autographed/Signed Team Baseball inventory
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Baseball

1969 Ajman & Manama
Official Postage Stamps



In 1969, Ajman & Manama made baseball card collector's happy with their official government issued baseball "Champions of Sports" stamps with 6 of the greatest stars ever: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Honus Wagner & George Sisler. Manama and Ajman stamps are neqarly the same except for color and country.       The pictured notice from the Ajman post office stated stamp sheets & sets were limited with & w/o perforations.       For an incredible website on Ajman sports stamps visit golowesstamps.com.
Click for my complete 1969 Ajman Baseball Postage Stamps Checklist & Prices
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For another stamp issue - click for complete: 1972 Manama Baseball Postage Stamps Checklist & Prices
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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