1906 Fan Craze Baseball (Better Investment Than T206 Cards?)

fan-craze

Before the days of TV's and iPads and iPhones, US consumers were forced to keep themselves occupied without screens (can you imagine!?).

In the late 1800's and early 1900's board games were quite popular in the states. 

Between 1904 and 1906 a company named Fan Craze out of Cincinnati, Ohio offered its own spin on the table game movement.

The less popular 1904 Fan Craze game featured a set of cards without player images. Each card included a baseball play (such as 'Bunt' or 'Homerun') and players would take turns selecting a card to advance their batter on a playing board (shown below).

(side note, PSA has erroneously labeled the 1906 Fan Craze AL set as 1904 Fan Craze and still does to this day even though both the AL and the NL sets were released in 1906).

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1906 Fan Craze Baseball (Better Investment Than T206 Cards?)

How Much Does It Cost To Build A T206 White Borders Set?

COST-T206-MONSTER

The most popular pre-war tobacco card set is the 1909-1911 T206 'White Borders' set.  

Known as 'The Monster' for its large size (a complete set is 524 cards), collectors remain drawn to the beauty and mystique of the set. 

The popularity has never wavered, even in times of stress in the sports card market, as we are experiencing at the moment.

The low existing supplies and the high demand from collectors have kept prices on a steady upswing over the years. 

Those with existing investments in T206 cards are more than happy to see prices rise.

Yet, for those looking to enter the T206 game, the high costs of many of the key HOF cards can leave many budget-minded collectors out of the loop.

Today, we estimate the cost to build a near complete 520 card T206 White Borders set to be $65K.

Note that these estimates are for a T206 set consisting of 520 cards. This leaves out the big four (Wagner, Plank, 'Magie', and Doyle NY), which are scarce and cost prohibitive.

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How Much Does It Cost To Build A T206 White Borders Set?

Can’t Afford The Monster? Here Are 11 Ways To Collect T206 Cards

t206monster

Most vintage collectors, at one time or another, have had their eye on the T206 White Borders set.

For set builders, the complete 524 card set is nearly impossible, unless your pockets are lined with gold

The reason?

The elusive holy grail card of Honus Wagner will cost at a minimum in the many millions.

Not to mention a very cost-prohibitive and rare Eddie Plank card.

And two very, very hard-to-find (and expensive) error cards of Sherry "Magie" and Joe Doyle (N.Y. Nat'l variation).  

Thus, some collectors land at a target of 520 for the T206 set, skipping the impossible four of Wagner, Plank, Magie, and Doyle.

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Can’t Afford The Monster? Here Are 11 Ways To Collect T206 Cards

1957 Topps Baseball Cards: Most Valuable (Top Picks)

1957 topps baseball

The 1957 Topps Baseball card set was the sixth baseball card issue for Topps and one of the all-time classic baseball card sets

In our ranking of the best Topps sets of all time, we listed the 1957 Topps set as the fifth-best Topps set overall.  

The set blends the simplicity of design with excellent star power (Mantle, Mays, Aaron). A solid rookie class, highlighted by the Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson rookie cards make it a desired set for vintage collectors.

Follow along as I explore the 1957 Topps Baseball Card Set. As follows, I dive into scarcity, investment potential, and the most valuable cards in the set. 

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1957 Topps Baseball Cards: Most Valuable (Top Picks)

The Legend Of Smoky Joe Wood And His Baseball Cards

smoky joe

As I was profiling the 1912 T207 'Brown Background set, I was reminded of the legend of one Howard Ellsworth 'Smoky Joe' Wood

I was vaguely familiar with the path of Wood and knew that he had a few great years with the Red Sox before getting injured. 

Yet, after researching his background and baseball career, I soon found that there was a lot about Wood I didn't know.

Such as pitching duels with Hall Of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson and an attempt late in his career to become an outfielder due to an injured arm.

In this piece, I profile the history of baseball legend Wood, while reviewing his baseball cards, many of which, I believe, deserve another look. 

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The Legend Of Smoky Joe Wood And His Baseball Cards

1912 T207 Brown Background Set: A Forgotten Tobacco Gem

t207
The T207 baseball card issue from the American Tobacco Company is a curious issue.  The set followed a successful and historic three year run (T205 and T206) of tobacco card sets issued from 1909 thru 1911. 

Known through the hobby as the 'Brown Background' set, the T207 issue took a step back in terms of the beautiful colors offered in the previous two issues. 

Instead, ATC produced a rather dark and somber 200 card set that left out some of baseball biggest stars of the time.

Cards are prone to cracking due to a glossed card front and backs offer different advertising variations, some (Red Cross) are nearly impossible to find. 

Still, collectors of prewar tobacco cards view the 1912 T207 cards as an exciting challenge due to some of the tougher to find cards and back variations.

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1912 T207 Brown Background Set: A Forgotten Tobacco Gem

1955 Bowman Baseball Cards: Most Valuable (Top Picks)

The 1955 Bowman set is an important one in the history of the hobby.

First, it marked the last full year baseball set produced by Bowman, before being acquired by Topps in 1956.

Second, the card's tv design made for one of the most unique and memorable sets from the 1950's.  

Due to fairly widespread distribution, the set tends to be more affordable than early Bowman issues, yet collectors are quite fond of the set's big stars, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

The brown borders make the set a condition sensitive issue, as the cards are quite commonly found with chipped corners and borders. 

Follow along as I explore the 1955 Bowman Baseball issue, providing data on scarcity, investment potential, and the most valuable cards in the set

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1955 Bowman Baseball Cards: Most Valuable (Top Picks)

Tom Brady Autograph Database

We’ve assembled a collection of authentic Brady autograph images. These are all authentic Brady signatures. If you have a good auto you’d like to showcase here, please shoot me a photo at chris@allvintagecards.com. Please also see our guide to identifying fake Brady autographs.

Tom Brady Pre-Rookie Signatures (2001 and Prior)


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Tom Brady Autograph Database

SGC Card Grading (A Collector’s Guide)

sgc-grading

PSA gets all the fanfare, but SGC is the second oldest grading company in the hobby. 

Launched in 1998, about seven years following the start of PSA, SGC has built a reputation as one of the most trustworthy and reliable card graders in the business. 

Unfortunately, PSA graded cards still sell at a sizeable premium to both SGC and Beckett graded cards. 

My hope is that at some point, SGC graded cards earn the due that they deserve. 

As follows is a full review on SGC.

Please let me know your thoughts on SGC in the comments section.

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SGC Card Grading (A Collector’s Guide)

Beckett Card Grading (A Collector’s Guide) BGS, BVG, BCCG

beckett-grading

Beckett has long been a powerhouse in the media business. 

It's monthly price guide magazines are synonymous with card collecting from the 80s and 90s.

Beckett Card Grading was launched back in 1999 and remains among the top tier of today's card grading companies. 

In this piece, we review the history of Beckett Grading and explore some of the details of its different card grading options.

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Beckett Card Grading (A Collector’s Guide) BGS, BVG, BCCG