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Monthly Archives: March 2019

How To Buy Vintage Cards At A Discount

48-ruthLet’s face it, none of us want to pay full retail price for our vintage cards. Sometimes we don’t have a choice if we’re targeting some of the most in demand and valuable cards in the hobby.

But there are a few ways to save a few bucks, whether it’s utilizing various eBay discounts or cash back deals.

In this guide, we take a closer look at some of the easiest ways you can use to try and amass a killer vintage collection at a discount.

First, we’ll walk through a few methods of saving via online purchases and then we’ll examine some other ideas for striking a good deal.  Enjoy!

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How To Spot A Fake 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Card

52-topps-mantle

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card is one of the most iconic and valuable cards in the hobby.   A mint condition version of the card sold recently for nearly $3 Million.

It’s not even a rare card, as it was actually double printed by Topps, even despite the fact that thousands of the high series 1952 Topps cards were dumped into the atlantic ocean.

And while it is Mantle’s first official Topps issue it’s not technically his rookie card (that award would go to Mantle’s 1951 Bowman card), although many often refer to it as such.

As with all desirable cards, there exists a fairly prominent counterfeit market trying to dupe vintage collectors into believing their fakes are the real thing.

With this guide, we examine the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card and help collectors in distinguishing a real Mantle from a fake one.

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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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