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1971 Topps #509 Jim Grant (Pirates) Baseball card

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NM/MINT to NEAR MINT

1971 Topps #509 Jim Grant (Pirates) Baseball cards value
         

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Vintage Topps, variations, oddball, autographs, comics...
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Below are some tidbits on baseball and sportscard collecting. Visit our web site for more info on vintage baseball, football, basketball, hockey, sports and non-sport cards and card collecting.
Baseball
Q7: What are some additional useful to know baseball card collecting terms ?

(part 3)
High Numbers - vintage cards were issued in the 50s-70s in a series. During the baseball season, the largest number of cards were made. As the schedule progressed into September, when there would be less interest in baseball cards , Topps for one, specifically decreased production and hence much less product was available. As a result, a scarcity-factor was created and a premium holds for these first type of "short-printed" cards.

Inserts - special randomly-inserted cards which are not part of the regular set. Many modern inserts are sequentially-numbered and rarer than the card sets into which they are inserted.

O-Pee-Chee / OPC - a subsidiary of Topps, this card issue was produced specifically for distribution in Canada.

Promotional Card - generally referred to as cards issued to show what the product will look like on release and intended to help spur future sales. Often called a "promo" card.

Reprint - cards issued to reproduce the originals. With the current trend of vintage reprints, the new versions have a distinguishing characteristic evidenced by numbering.

Restored - a card or piece of memorabilia which someone has tried to return to a "like-new" condition. A restored card is considered to be of very little value.

Rookie Card - any league-licensed, widely distributed card to feature a player in his first year of trading cards.

Series - a group of cards within an issue deliberately split up by the manufacturer to distribute at different times of the year. (i.e.- vintage 1st series cards 1-100 were released in April and 2nd series cards 101-200 were released in July, etc.).

Short Print (SP) - a card printed to a lesser quantity than other cards in a set. Many recent short prints are also individually & serially-numbered.

Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1952 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


1952 is often thought of as Topps 1st baseball card set, but it was not.
Topps issued the following baseball card sets prior to their huge 1952 set:
• 1948 Topps Magic Photos
• 1951 Topps Red Backs
• 1951 Topps Blue Backs
• 1951 Topps Connie Mack's All-Stars
• 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars

The 1951 Red & Blue Back issues (52 cards each) were similar to a deck of cards and could be used to play a baseball card game. The sets left out all the game's stars and were not fan favorites keeping Bowman far ahead in the baseball card market.

In response, Topps issued their "BIGGER is BETTER" 1952 Topps set they described as: "GIANT IN BOTH SIZE and NUMBER of CARDS" (407).

Series one cards (#1-80) can be found with black or red backs. The key card in the 1952 Topps set is card #311 MICKEY MANTLE. It is often called Mickey Mantle's Rookie card but it is not. The honor goes to his 1951 Bowman card. The 1952 Topps set also featured my favorite and THE greatest player of all-time, WILLIE MAYS !!! Again, this is sometimes called Willie Mays' Rookie card but it is not. That honor also goes to his 1951 Bowman card. Another 1952 Topps card of note is card #1 Andy Pafko. Pafko, a fine player, is basically just a "Common card" and should be worth no more than any other "Common" in the 1952 Topps set - But SURPRIZE !!! It's worth TONS more because it's card #1 and absorbed much more damage than most cards from rubber bands and other damage, thus high grade cards are very, very tough to find accounting for the super high values.
BUT --- That should not account for the super high asking prices on lower grade copies. THose prices do not make sense (supply and demand).

The 6th (last) series, starts with #311 Mickey Mantle and ends with #407 Braves Hall-of-Famer Eddie Mathews. These "High Numbers" are significantly scarcer and can almost be called rare. In addition to Mickey Mantle, other star High Numbers included #312 Jackie Robinson and #314 Roy Campanella.

The most common explanation for their scarcity is as follows.
This HUGE set was released in series weeks apart. When it came to the last series the baseball season was winding down and football was starting. Most candy store owners had boxes of baseball cards leftover from earlier in the year so most eliminated their orders for the 6th series of 1952 Topps thus creating the scarcity.

To add interest to the story, it is often said that the unsold 6th series cards (including THOUSANDS of 1952 Topps MICKEY MANTLEs !!!) were disposed of by Topps, dumped offshore 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.
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Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1970/1972/1973 Topps Candy Lids

1973 Topps Candy Lids Box 1973 Topps Candy Lids Tub
Thru the years, Topps has tried some crazy products, often called "test issues". Test issues were usually only distributed in limited areas and were somewhat difficult to find. One of Topps most unusual were the 1970 and 1973 Topps Candy Lids; little tubs of candy with player's photos on the bottom of their 1 7/8" lids. The unnumbered lids were issued in 10 cent containers, 24 to a box. Sealed tubs can still be found with asking prices in the $150 to $200 range. Called "Baseball Stars Bubble Gum", the 1970 Topps Candy Lids set had 24 different players, the 1973 Topps Candy Lids set had 55.

1970 Topps Candy Lids Front 1970 Topps Candy Lids Back 1972 Topps Candy Lids Ryan Topps released their first Candy Lids in 1970. The 1970 Topps Candy Lids are very, very hard to find. The 1970 lids had small photos of Tom Seaver, Carl Yastrzemski and Frank Howard on the top.

They returned in 1973 with some minor changes. The candy was replaced by gum, the mini photo of Frank Howard was gone from the top of the lid and team logos were airburshed off the player's caps. Even the tiny Yaz and Seaver photos had their logos removed. 1973 Topps Candy Lids are hard to find, but not nearly as scarce as the 1970's. There was also a 1972 Topps Candy Lids issue in the works but it was never released although a very few proofs do exist.

1973 Topps Comics Topps released two other test issue sets in 1973 (1973 Topps Pinups and 1973 Topps Comics), each with very limited distribution. The 1973 Topps Comics and 1973 Topps Candy Lids shared many of the same photos. Just like the candy lids, those sets had no team logos. If you're thinking "licensing dispute", you are likely right. Topps received player's union's permission for these test issues, but not Major League Baseball's permission. Apparently issues over rights and fees with Major League Baseball Properties and the player's union resulted in Topps shutting down future production of test issues, supplemental sets and insert sets, putting an end to some of their most "fun" collectibles.

Due to licensing issues, after 1973 Topps released very few "oddball" issues. In 1975 did release a "Minis" set but they reportedly cut production on the regular set to produce the minis, so the players and owners probably got nothing extra. Topps next major test issue was the 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers. Afterwards Topps started producing sets for other distributors like Burger King, Zest Soap and others having the distributors cut the licensing deals, saving them the aggravation.

Click for complete 1973 Topps Candy Lids Checklist and Prices
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Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1967 Topps WHO AM I ?

It's easy to see why the 1967 Topps "Who Am I? set is a favorite of both sports and non- sport collectors. The set's 44 cards feature mostly important figures from world history but what makes this set even more popular was the inclusion of 4 of baseball's most popular players: Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays (pictured above) !!!

The players picture on the front is covered with a scratch-off disguise with silly, exaggerated features like hair, moustaches, hats, noses... and a clue to help kids identify the famous person pictured. The backs contained additional clues and instructions to "Scratch off disguise on front to discover Who I Am. Use a coin or fingernail."

Cards with their scratch-off coating intact are worth many, many times cards with the coatings removed. For example, NM/MINT Mickey Mantle with the coating is in the $200-$400 range while a NM/MINT Mantle with the coating removed is closer to $50.

Cards came in wax packs with 24 packs per box and the set is packed with desirable cards: Shakespear, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Einstein, Queen Elizabeth, Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar, Columbus and Jackie Kennedy to name just a few.
Click for complete 1967 Topps Who Am I? checklist and prices
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