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Monthly Archives: August 2021

Topps Dynasty Is Over: Does Fanatics Stand A Chance?

In what came as a shock to many, MLB and the MLBPA (MLB Players Association) signed a new exclusive deal with sports memorabilia company Fanatics, effectively ending the near 70-year dynasty for Topps.

The immediate reaction from collectors?

Surprise, confusion, and outrage.

Keith Olbermann, not afraid to speak his mind, said the deal orchestrated by the ‘Butcher Of Baseball’ (aka Rob Manfred, head of MLBPA) will lead to ‘ Shit Propagandist Cards’ due to  MLB’s involvement as an equity partner in the deal.

While Topps won’t win any awards for the junk-era designs and overproduction during the ’80s, the brand represents a certain nostalgia for many in the hobby that crosses generations.

And the fear is that Fanatics will flip the industry upside down, leaving the hobby in a state of disarray.

I’ve had a few days to digest this and had a lot of questions from collectors. Here’s a summary of my thoughts and answers to some of the biggest uncertainties regarding the deal.

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1950 Bowman Baseball Cards: Most Valuable (Top Picks)

50-bowman-robinsonThe early Spring of 1950 brought the release of Bowman Baseball Cards to local neighborhood corner stores. 

As kids ripped into new packs, a surprise awaited; beautiful full-color cards, a big improvement over the monochrome colors used in the 1949 Bowman issue.

The beautifully painted images in the 252 card set boast a mix of breathtaking ballpark backgrounds, action shots, and classic portrait photos. 

The thin white border leads the collector’s eye to focus on the brilliance of the artistry, a simplicity that makes it one of my favorite baseball sets

Like the 48 and 49 Bowman cards that preceded it, the cards are a smaller size (2 ⅙  x 2 ½), which was the norm, until Topps rolled into town in 1952 with larger size cards.

A few stars of the day are notably absent from the set, both Stan “The Man” Musial and Joe DiMaggio are glaring omissions. Neither had signed contracts with Bowman. (Note, however, that Joe’s brother Dom is a part of the set)

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BREAKING NEWS: PWCC Accused Of Shill Bidding By eBay

ebay-most-watched-cardseBay today announced that it would be restricting PWCC from selling on its marketplace due to allegations of ‘shill bidding’.  

For those not familiar with the term, shill bidding occurs when fake buyers submit bids on items in order to intentionally drive increased activity to a listing.  

The full statement from eBay:

As one of the world’s largest marketplaces, eBay has policies in place to protect our buyers and sellers. eBay was founded on trust, and we work every day to ensure a fair and positive experience for the entire eBay community.

Recently, it was determined that individuals associated with a trading card seller, PWCC, have engaged in “shill bidding,” which is prohibited on eBay. As a result, eBay has restricted PWCC’s selling privileges and listings, effective today. eBay’s policies and standards were designed to ensure a trusted marketplace where our community can transact with confidence. If we determine that a buyer or seller is not acting in good faith, eBay takes this seriously and takes action. Our customer service team will work directly with anyone who has a question about a recent PWCC transaction.
eBay is the destination for buying and selling trading cards – built over 25 years with our passionate community of collectors and sellers, as partners, on that journey. Trust is the cornerstone of eBay, which is why we felt it was important to share this information with our community. We assure you that eBay will continue to take actions to deliver on our commitment.
 
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HOF Cards From The Forgotten Yankees & Athletics Rivalry

1932-caramel-ruthAs the prosperous days of the Roaring Twenties inched toward conclusion, baseball fans were gifted with an all-time rivalry that played out over a 4-year period from 1927-1930.

It was almost like a final treat to Americans before they would be wreaked havoc upon by the Great Depression that loomed just around the corner after the conclusion of the 1929 World Series.

It was an interesting period for America’s Pastime. Most major cities on the east coast had two professional teams, between the AL and NL, because baseball had not yet garnered as much popularity in the west.

However, these four years saw one of the earliest battles between two teams who were in a quest to become major leagues’ supreme club at the time. 

It was a rivalry between the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Yankees

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Building The 1986 Fleer Basketball Set: A Collector’s Guide

jordan-rookie-psa-6One of my collecting buddies and I were recently discussing his quest to build a 1986 Fleer Basketball set.

Something that is not an easy feat, especially with the significant increase in values across the board on 86 Fleer Basketball cards.

While Jordan rookies have experienced a bit of a dip of late, I think all collectors could use a few tips in piecing together the set.  

Thus, here is his guide for collectors looking to build the 1986 Fleer set.  

Have anything you might add to the discussion?

Feel free to add any comments below!

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Top 10 Most Valuable Bobby Orr Cards

bobby-orr-rcBobby Orr is one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to witness much of his dominance in the league.

However, as a Bostonian, I’m forever reminded of the legacy of Bobby Orr. 

Orr is not only a Boston sports icon, but one of the most important figures in the history of hockey. 

Orr’s hockey cards have been hot in recent years, as all the GOATs have been bid up by vintage collectors. I still think despite the big increases, Orr’s cards are a great investment.

This is of course dependent on the card and the overall scarcity, so use your best judgment in evaluating any of these cards as an investment for your personal collection.

Let’s take a look at the ten most valuable cards of one Bobby Orr.

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1950 Toleteros Joshua Gibson: The Real Holy Grail?

josh-toleteros-gibsonFor me, there’s no more intriguing baseball issue than the Josh Gibson 1950-51 Toleteros card.

Donned as the “Black” Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson is widely believed to be the greatest player never to play in the major leagues.

Owners of the professional baseball teams at the time refused to hire black players.

Although the recording of statistics during the negro league era is perceived as tenuous, Gibson’s talent on the diamond was seen in the exact opposite light; his talent was utterly undeniable.

In this piece, I’ll take a closer look at the career of Josh Gibson and his Toleteros baseball card.

I also argue that Gibson’s card might just be the true ‘Holy Grail’.

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The Baseball Card Sets Of The 1940s

41-playball-tedThe 1940s saw a rather sparse issuance of baseball cards, with seven major sets produced.

Card production in the early 1940s was quite slow, which some blame on the lack of supplies (particularly paper and gum). However, things started to return to more normalcy in 1948, following the end of World War II.  

Although there were fewer sets produced in the 1940s, the era still produced some of the most beautiful sports cards of all time. And some, in my opinion, represent the most important cards in the hobby.

I will cover each set by discussing player and set specifics and fun facts for cards; going over the top cards from each set; critiquing set and card aesthetics, and commenting on recent market values for certain cards and grades using PSA’s population reports.

What’s your favorite set from the 1940s?  Let me know in the comment section below.

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How To Spot A Fake Tom Brady Autograph

brady-auto

Over the past year or so, I’ve become a bit more interested in autographed cards.

I’ve learned quickly that buying any autograph without authentication takes guts.

For any high-profile players, such as Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, or Joe DiMaggio, the forgeries typically outnumber authentic autographs by a wide margin

Autograph authentication is a tricky game and something I’m still trying to improve upon.

After exploring some local sales of un-authenticated Brady cards here in Boston, I realized that I didn’t have the chops to tell a real from a fake. 

So, I spent a few weeks examining hundreds of authentic Brady autographs to see how his autograph has evolved and how it differs from any of the fakes on the market.  The sad reality is that there are a ton of fakes out there.

I acknowledge I’m not a professional autograph authenticator but hoping to hone my skills by posting guides like this that others can help contribute to.  

See any issues here?  Have a Brady fake auto that you got scammed on? 

PLEASE let me know and I’ll add it to this guide.  Feel free to email me at chris@allvintagecards.com

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