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1971 Topps #550 Harmon Killebrew (Twins) Baseball card

Price = $ 29.95
NEAR MINT

1971 Topps #550 Harmon Killebrew (Twins) Baseball cards value
         

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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
Q1: How long have sports cards been around ?

(part 1)
The first baseball trading cards date back to 1869. For many years, baseball cards were packaged in packs of tobacco as a way to increase sales the same way that today prizes are packaged in boxes of cereal. In the 1920's and 1930's, candy and gum companies started packaging baseball cards in their products as well.

Baseball card production was virtually halted in the early 1940's due to paper shortages created by World War II. The "Modern Era" of baseball cards began in 1948 when Bowman Gum Inc. offered one card and one piece of gum in a pack for a penny.

The first important football set was the Mayo set featuring college players in 1984. Other than the 1935 National Chicle set no other key football set was issued until 1948 when noth Bowman and Leaf produced sets.

Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1956 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


1956 Topps Wax Box 1956 Topps Wax Pack My fondness for 1956 Topps started way back in 1964 when I first started collecting as an 11 year old. My friends and I wandered 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, thicker, fluffier making it look much, much older compared to a 1-year old 1957. "Ancient" we thought.

I changed neighborhoods in 1966 leaving my childhood friends behind. Before I left, except for a small cigar box of my favorites, I "donated" all my cards to the neighborhood - and stopped collecting. I had a great 3 year run but 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 was Topps first issue to feature team cards and checklists. A much moire boring addition was the addition of the 2 league presidents.

With Bowman gone, Topps could again make cards of Mickey Mantle missing from Topps issues since 1953. After Mickey Mantle, it is a fun and simple set to complete with no high numbers or extremely expensive rookies with Hall-of-Famer Luis Aparicio being the top rookie.

With over 200 variations, things are much more difficult for master set collectors. Most deal with card stock (gray or white backs).
Cards #1-100 gray backs scarcer with slight premium
Cards #101-180 white backs much scarcer with larger premium
... rumor has it gray outnumbers white about 9-to-1 in the above run.

There are also several cards with color line variations on front. For example: Ted Williams' card has either no line over his name or a thin green, red, blue, or yellow line between the white border for a total of 5 variations. Whitey Ford and Early Wynn also have no line or a thin red or yellow lines. In addition, many team cards had 3 different variations with team name either on the Left, Center or Right.

1956 Topps Hank Aaron 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle
There are a few uncorrected errors, the most famous being card #31 Hank Aaron which actually pictures Willie Mays sliding home ! Card #135 Mickey Mantle is also an interesting card. Exciting 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 likely love Topps side issue '1956 Topps Pins' which used the same portrait photos as the cards. Seems collectors preferred cards to pins and Topps cut 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 card checklist, values and prices.
Note: You may be on that page right now.

Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1952,1953,1954,1955 Red Man TOBACCO

Red Man Tobacco issued baseball cards in 1952, 1953, 1954 and 1955, making them the only tobacco company to do so since 1920. For 20 cents you got a pouch of Red Man tobacco and one baseball card. The 1952 to 1955 Red Man Tobacco cards all measured approximately 3 inches by 4 inches with the cutoff tab and 3 inches by 3 5/8 inches without the tab. The cards are very attractive with a large, painted portrait and a short player's bio on the front. On the back is company advertising. 1/2" tabs at the bottom of each card could be exchanged for a prize. The exchange rate was 50 tabs for one free Big League style baseball cap from your favorite team ! The cap's were made of felt with "Red Mans Baseball Cap" on the inside. Cards with their tabs still intact are much, much, harder to find making them more valuable.

Without the tabs it is difficult to determine which year certain players were issued. It is usually easiest to determine the year by looking at the expiration date on the back. Subtract 1 from the expiration year to determine the year of the card.

Each set is made up of 25 players from each league all personally selected by Editor J.G. Taylor Spink of the "Sporting News". Red Man did not waste much effort once they designed their set. They even used the same artwork for players with different backgrounds, year after year, as long as the player did not change teams. If a player changed teams between years, the new team name and logo were "painted over" the old one.

Managers from each league were included in the 1952 and 1953 sets. The 1954 set had four different variations. If you ignore the many variations of the expiration dates, that brings the total to only 208 cards to complete your Master Red Man Tobacco Baseball Card Set !!! Start collecting now !

Click for complete 1952,1953,1954,1955 Red Man Tobacco cards checklist and prices
Note: You may be on that page right now.


Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

Top Vintage Baseball Card Auction Companies


There are more auction companies/houses than you can shake a stick at. Some offer inexpensive smaller groups and individual items while others offer massive groups with the average auction ticket price into the thousands.

  • www.Baseball-Cards.com (what, you thought I'd leave myself off my list?)
  • Huggins and Scott Auction House
  • Heritage Auctions
  • Lelands Sports Memorabilia and Card Auctions
  • Pristine Auctions
  • Clean Sweep Auctions
  • SCP Auctions
  • Sotheby's Auctions
Click for more info on my Weekly Vintage Baseball & Football card auctions

Baseball
The vintage issue below featured elsewhere on this website:

1954 Bowman Baseball

Competition between Topps and Bowman was raging back in 1953 and 1954 and led to problems in both companies sets. In 1953 Topps had 6 cards that were never issued because those players had signed contracts with Bowman. In 1954 Topps got revenge by signing Ted Williams to an exclusive contract. Bowman had to pull Ted Williams (card #66) from their set shortly after they started printing. They replaced Ted Williams with Jimmy Piersall (who also was card #210). The short printing of Ted Williams' 1954 Bowman card makes it one of the 1950's scarcest and most sought-after searched cards.

1954 Bowman Wax Box Bowman, perhaps distracted by the competition with Topps, created a set filled with errors & variations. Nearly 20% (40 out of 224 cards) had some sort of variation, with some even having more than 2 !!!

The St. Louis Browns move to Baltimore after the '53 season also made things interesting for Bowman. When the 1954 cards were designed, Bowman's artists had no idea what an Orioles jersey would look like - so they made them up.

1954 Bowman Wax Pack Through the years companies would try out various card numbering schemes. The 1954 Bowman set was made up of 14 cards for each of 16 teams. Cards were numbered in a rotation with all the cards of a single team being 16 apart. Example: the Yankees were card #1,17,33,49...

TOP ROOKIES: Don Larsen,Harvey Kuenn,Frank Thomas TOP STARS: Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto ... Ted Williams was not considered part of a complete set.


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