All Vintage Cards

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All Vintage Cards is the number one destination for everything related to vintage baseball, basketball, hockey, and football cards. Our love of card collecting and in particular vintage sports cards drives our desire to inform others of the joys of collecting.

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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A Collector’s Guide to Pre-War Strip Cards

ruth-cobb-stripWithin vintage collecting circles, “strip cards” (as they are known) have long been thought of as the forgotten step-child in the hobby.

The cards were initially either sold or provided to customers in various retail stores in the 1920’s.  The cards were issued in a long strip (hence the name) and either cut or distributed in partial uncut strips.

The anonymity of the cards (most have no known issuer), the low quality of the card stock, and a lack of a printed back has led to strip cards not maintaining the same level of popularity as some of the more well known candy or tobacco issues.

In addition, from a grading perspective, the cards remain a challenge, since the cards were meant to be hand-cut.  While some cards have surfaced in uncut sheets, those that have been cut get somewhat different treatment from the card graders.  PSA for example with label a strip card as only ‘Authentic’ with no numeric grade if the card has been cut within the pre-dotted line, despite the overall condition.

Yet, despite the obvious flaws, these cards offer baseball card collectors a more reasonable way to collect some of the biggest names from yesteryear, including Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner,  Christy Mathewson and more.

While some also complain about the ‘ugliness’ of many of the strip cards, I tend to overlook this in many cases, knowing that I can get a card of one of the big name baseball stars while they were playing for the fraction of the cost of say a T206 or American Caramel card.

Please enjoy this review of some of the most popular strip baseball card sets of the era!

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Five Cy Young Cards With Tremendous Upside Potential

cy-young-m116Denton True “Cy” Young is the most well known pitcher from the pre-war era.   Young’s baseball cards are among the most popular of all players in the early 1900’s.

Young’s lifetime baseball statistics are purely staggering and he still holds records that will likely never be broken, including most wins (511) and complete games (749).

His impact on baseball was so profound, that only one year after his death, the Cy Young Award was established to honor the league’s best pitcher.

Young’s baseball cards have always been in high demand and remain as sought after as some of the biggest names in baseball, including Cobb, Wagner, Ruth, Gehrig and Mays.

Many of Young’s early cards are somewhat out of reach for vintage collectors, but there are a handful that can still be found at a reasonable value.

Thus, here are five Cy Young baseball cards that we believe offer tremendous value for long term baseball card investors. 

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These Ten Babe Ruth Baseball Cards Look Woefully Undervalued

world-wide-gum-ruth

Babe Ruth baseball cards garner the most demand of any other single player in the history of the game.

The “Babe’s” lifetime baseball stats are purely staggering: .342 BA, 714 HR, and 2214 RBI’s, making him one of the best to ever play the game.

Add on the fact that he played for the Yankees, he cursed an entire franchise (the Red Sox of course), and had one of the most memorable personalities in baseball, and it’s no surprise that collector demand for Babe Ruth’s baseball cards remains very high.

But, you say that Ruth has cards that are (gulp) undervalued??

Part of our mission at All Vintage Cards is to help collectors identify baseball cards that look mis-priced in the marketplace. We utilize our research on Availability, Collector Demand, and Current Valuation to determine whether a card looks Fairly Valued or potentially Undervalued (or even Overvalued).

Using our research, we’ve identified ten Babe Ruth Baseball Cards that look Undervalued relative to investor supply and demand.  Enjoy!

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1886 N167 Old Judge: A Closer Look At The First Baseball Card Set

n167-old-judge-keefeAs we discussed in our first article about the history of baseball cards, there is some debate about what cards are actually the first true baseball card set.

Some believe that early “cabinet” cards from the 19th century deserve the honor, but as we noted, these cards don’t meet the true definition of a “baseball card”.

In most collecting circles the tobacco cards of 1886 included in packs of Old Judge cigarettes are indeed the first true baseball cards.

The set (cataloged as set N167 by J.R. Burdick in the historic American Card Catalog) is small in stature, as only twelve cards were created and feature cards from only the New York Giants.

Of the twelve cards, six are hall of famers, thus for a set with such diminutive size, it really packs a punch.

Finding the N167 cards is kind of like finding a needle in a haystick, thus the cards hold tremendous value.  Let’s take a closer look at the set!

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The 30 Most Valuable Baseball Cards of All Time

dimaggio-rookie-cardAfter our first article about the history of baseball cards we’ve had so many people ask us: what are the most valuable baseball cards?

With this list, I’ve narrowed down the field to thirty cards that both hold tremendous value and are considered to be some of the most sought after cards for baseball card collectors.

From a price standpoint, some of the baseball cards on this list may unfortunately be out of reach for many collectors.

However, if you come across a low grade version of one of these cards it will likely be more affordable and something you could consider adding to your collection.

Whatever the case, it should be well understood that the business of baseball cards is alive and well.  Pre-war cards or cards post WW-II can carry tremendous value.

If you have any of the cards on this list, consider yourself one of the lucky ones!

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A History Of Baseball Cards

honus-wagner-t206I’ve been collecting cards for over thirty years now.  Until recently I wasn’t really interested in learning about the history of baseball cards.

When I started back in the 80’s, I was more focused on collecting cards of the guys that I watched.  Rookie cards of Cal Ripken Jr., Wade Boggs, Eric Davis, Andre Dawson and Eddie Murray were more my speed.

Sure, I knew of the all time greats such as Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Robinson et al, but it didn’t interest me as much as my own heroes.

But as the years moved on, I slowly got this itching desire to learn more about the early days of baseball history and the associated trading cards.

Thus I embarked on a fact finding mission; to learn as much as humanly possible about where baseball cards got their start.

I consider this a living, breathing document, so if I have anything wrong–please let me know (I’ll fix it!)  I would also love to hear any stories you might have regarding early baseball cards.  Feel free to share your story in the comments section below!

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