Five Rare Ted Williams Cards That Look Undervalued

goudey-premiums-williamsTed Williams (aka ‘The Splendid Splinter’) was one of baseball’s all-time greats and one of the purest left-handed hitters to play the game.

Even with his career interrupted for three full seasons during World War II and later in his career for duty in the Korean War, Williams amassed 521 home runs with a staggering .344 batting average.  If he hadn’t served in the military, it’s hard to say what Williams might have been capable of.  

Today, demand for Williams’ cards is still quite strong among vintage collectors, with his early Bowman and Play Ball rookie cards the most highly desired.

In this piece, I take a look at some of Ted Williams’ rarer and more obscure cards, while examining the population relative to some of his more widely produced cards during the early 1950’s. 

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Everything You Need To Know About Counterfeit Cards

real-fake-cardsThe advent of eBay and other card collecting marketplaces has opened up the lines of communication between buyers and sellers, creating a more liquid and transparent card market.

However, with the ease in buying and selling comes a dark and mysterious side of the hobby that continues to infiltrate for sale listings. 

Of course, I’m talking about counterfeit cards. Now, this isn’t a new thing, fake baseball cards have been circulating for decades. But, the sophistication of the printing methods will only get better and better as time goes on. 

To this point, we’ve put together single card forgery guides, such as the one on spotting fake Michael Jordan rookie cards along with the guide on detecting a Wayne Gretzky rookie card.  

This piece will take a closer look at the overall counterfeit market, including telltale signs of spotting a fake vintage card along with other key information to help you all become a more educated collector.

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T206 Hall of Famers – A More Attainable Goal for Collectors

t206-cobb-on-batThe T206 ‘White Borders’ set is most indeed a ‘Monster’.  The set features 524 cards, which for most collectors is a rather expensive and time consuming adventure.

A lot of vintage collectors I know forgo the actual Monster and head right to building out the T206 Hall of Fame subset.

While it’s still a pricey proposition, it’s a lot easier to hunt down 74 different cards (or 76 including Plank and Wagner) as opposed to the 524 that make up the entire set.

In this piece we examine the nuances of building a Hall of Famers only T206 set while also speaking to someone that’s one card away from completing the challenge.

Hopefully this piece provides the motivation to some of you on the fence! 

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T205 Gold Borders Set: An Underrated Gem

mathewson-t205If you’ve spent any time around vintage baseball card circles, it’s quite evident that the T206 ‘White Borders’ set gets ALL the attention.

And what’s not to love? The T206 cards are gorgeous; featuring breathtaking artwork with multiple player poses and eighteen different back variations.  The T206 Honus Wagner card has helped propel the T206 set to the most highly sought after set among vintage card collectors.

And while I love the T206 cards (and begrudgingly collect them myself) I believe the set’s successor deserves a bit more notoriety from collectors. 

The T205 set is smaller in size, more affordable, and scarcer than the T206 set. This for me also makes it attractive from an investment standpoint. And well, you all know what I think about cards as an investment. 

Let’s take a closer look at the T205 set, examining the history and detail of the cards, including pricing and what I think of the set as an investment for the longer term.

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The 30 Most Valuable Basketball Cards of All Time

fleer-chamberlain-rookieWe had such a great reaction from our ‘30 Most Valuable Baseball Cards of All Time‘ piece that we figured it was time to do the same for basketball cards.

In putting together this piece we utilized the PSA SMR Price Guide and found the most expensive cards listed in the directory, those valued at $5000 or more.

Note that the highest priced cards are normally the best condition examples- PSA 9’s or PSA 10’s (Mint condition) and thus lower grades of these basketball cards can be found for a lot less than the prices listed here.

We’ve narrowed down this list to cards produced in 1988 or prior.  Yes, the lines on what constitutes ‘vintage’ are quite blurred, but that still equates to over 30 years ago.   

Hope you enjoy this list!  I think it makes a great resource for any basketball card collector.  

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Are Baseball Cards A Good Long Term Investment?

Some cringe at the thought of baseball cards as an ‘investment’, but it’s hard to deny the appreciation in the most cherished vintage baseball cards.

The rise in value of old sports cards has led to a new line of thinking about how collectors should think about cards as a long term investment. 

Based on work from PWCC, a basket of some of the most expensive and popular cards has outperformed the S&P 500 by over 200% since 2008.  

baseball cards investment

Most collectors don’t entertain the ‘investment’ part of card collecting, but focus on building a collection that suits their interest, regardless of the value. 

Still, I think collectors and non-collectors alike should consider vintage baseball cards as an overall part of their entire investment portfolio. 

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Step By Step Guide to Spotting a Fake Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

gretzky-rookie-cardThe 1979-80 Topps (and corresponding O-Pee-Chee) Wayne Gretzky rookie card is one of the most iconic cards in the hobby.

‘The Great One’ as he is commonly referred is the NHL’s leading all time scorer, with more goals and assists than anyone in the history of the game.

His rookie card has forever been in huge demand, with his popularity among hockey card collectors akin to that of Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle in baseball.   The easily chipped blue borders make for a tough find in nice condition.

But as demand increases for Gretzky rookie cards, so does the counterfeiting activity.   While Gretzky’s O-Pee-Chee rookie card is more commonly counterfeited, this guide will examine both versions.

As always, buyer beware; we often recommend novice collectors opt for a graded version of a highly copied card such as the Gretzky rookie.  Still, we’ve found both PSA graded Gretzky and Jordan rookies that were complete fakes. Thus it helps to be armed with as much information as possible before investing your hard earned dollars. Onto the guide!

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Five Rare Mickey Mantle Cards That Sell For $1000 or Less

mickey-mantle-exhibit-cardThere aren’t many baseball players that had the same sort of impact on the game as the legendary Mickey Mantle.

Mantle carried the torch from the legends before him – Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig – while putting together one of the all time great careers in baseball history.

Although injuries got the better of him towards the end of his career, Mantle is considered one of the best ever to play the game of baseball.

It’s no surprise that Mantle’s cards to this day are still some of the most highly sought after.  His 1952 Topps card continues to break records, while his other early Topps and Bowman cards continue to be some of the most sought after in the hobby.

But since most of us don’t have the funds to access some of Mantle’s high grade six figure cards, I wanted to provide a list of five Mickey Mantle cards that can be purchased for $1000 or less.

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Step By Step Guide to Spotting a Fake Michael Jordan Rookie Card

michael-jordan-rookie-cardThe 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card is one of the most iconic basketball cards of all time.  Since Jordan’s retirement in 2003, the collector demand for his rookie card has grown even stronger.  Today, a PSA 10 Gem-Mint Jordan rookie card can sell for upwards of $30,000.  But with the popularity of the card, a thriving counterfeit market has emerged in which the Jordan rookie has become one of the most popular forgeries in the hobby.   

In several Facebook collecting groups I belong to, questions about the authenticity of a supposed Jordan rookie seem to be posted on almost a daily basis.   Those without a trained eye for a fake Jordan rookie could be duped out of some serious money.   The scammers are even resorting to putting the fake Jordan rookies in re-used or fake PSA holders.  

Thus, I wanted to make the most comprehensive guide available to help collectors pinpoint those fake Jordan rookies.  Hopefully this guide helps you avoid any potential disasters!

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Collecting The “Monster” – The Infamous T206 White Borders Set

t206-honusEven non-baseball card collectors are familiar with the historic T206 Honus Wagner card, the hobby’s most valuable baseball card.

While Honus Wagner was one of the best players in baseball, it’s the rarity of his T206 card which makes it such a prized collectible.

Despite the popularity of the Wagner card, the remainder of the T206 set as a whole has always been a target of for many vintage card collectors.

Filled with both major and minor leaguers (along with 75 Hall of Fame subjects), the 524 card set is also commonly referred to as the “White Borders” set.

Add on the fact that the cards were produced with thirty-six different backs advertising the various brands from the American Tobacco Company and it’s no surprise that many label the T206 set as “The Monster”.

In this piece, we discuss the history of the set and provide collectors with a background in collecting the T206 set.  Along the way we get some help from the terrific Scot Reader, author of the amazing ‘Inside T206’ book and the founder of the T206 Insider website.

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