psa-monopoly

by

I was shocked when I heard that Collectors Holdings (the parent company of PSA) had acquired SGC. I felt the same when Collectors acquired Goldin Auctions (the hobby's most prominent sports card auction house).

Our portfolio focuses on service providers that bring expertise, quality and value to hobbyists, and SGC has built a strong reputation on these three fronts. We recognize that every collector has their own preferred authentication and grading provider, and we look forward to providing expertise that will continue to enhance SGC’s customer offering.. 

- Collectors CEO Nat Turner

The big three third-party sports card grading companies (PSA, SGC, and Beckett) have held onto their competitive positions for years, weathering the somewhat unsuccessful challenges of other competitors (such as CSG). 

Read More

junk-wax-era

by

The 'Junk Wax Era' of baseball cards, spanning from 1986 to 1993, marked a period of massive overproduction by card companies, leading to a market saturation that significantly diminished the value of these cards. 

Initially swept up in a wave of hysteria, collectors once believed their cards would be worth fortunes, only to find them nearly worthless today.

This era served as a stark lesson for card companies, catalyzing a shift in production strategies to balance supply and demand—a cornerstone in today’s thriving sports card hobby.

In this article, we'll delve into the Junk Wax Era, exploring its lasting impact and the subsequent evolution of the hobby.

Read More

1986-fleer-most-valuable

by

The 1986 Fleer Basketball set is one of the most iconic basketball card issues ever.

It was issued at a time when basketball was finally getting its due in terms of fan support. Driven by the continued dominance of the likes of new players such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and, of course, the legend himself, Michael Jordan.

The set was small in number (132 base basketball cards plus 11 stickers) but loaded with big-time rookie cards, including the iconic rookie card of Michael Jordan.

The cards themselves aren't necessarily rare. However, gem-mint (PSA 10) copies are a challenge due to the propensity of easy damage to the red borders of the cards and common centering issues.

In this piece, we will provide a look at the top twenty most valuable cards in the 1986 Fleer Basketball card set. 

Read More

csg-grading

by

I wrote a piece on CSG Card grading in 2021 and there have been some requests for an update, given some of the changes at CSG.

The most significant change happened in 2022, with the launch of a new label and a revamped grading scale.

In my last article, I noted the following about CSG's slabs:

In a simple word--ugly.  This is where I wish they tried to survey the collecting world before pulling the trigger on a slab/flip design.  I have to admit, I don't like the design--it feels too busy and suited for a more modern day card.  

Well, maybe they were listening to me? Because they made a significant change.

Here was the slab before (that I was highly critical of):

Read More

joe-dimaggio-world-wide

by

I've been pretty supportive of SGC over the years, even used their card grading services for a lot of cards in my own personal collection.

However, another recent discovery of a trimmed card in an SGC holder has me somewhat concerned.

Here's the deal: a Blowout Forums user (who else?) discovered that an SGC 6 1936 Goudey World Gum Joe Dimaggio card was trimmed, resubmitted to SGC and ultimately rewarded with a new SGC 8.5 grade. 

Check out the comparison from user CornDog below.

Read More

1949-bowman-baseball

by

The 1949 Bowman Baseball card set is an important one for the hobby and one of the best sets of the 1940s

The set (along with the 1948-49 Leaf Baseball Card set) marked the start of colorized baseball cards.

Also, the set contains the first cards of some of the first black players in baseball, such as Jackie Robinson, Satchell Paige, and Roy Campanella.

It's a small set by most standards (only 240 cards). But, completing the entire set is an expensive endeavor for collectors.

Herein, we outline the ten most valuable cards in the 1949 Bowman set, providing our thoughts on the investment potential of the set.

Read More

pele rookie cards

by

When it comes to soccer players, none have had the same level of impact on the game as the late Pelé. 

Here in the US, soccer has only started to gain in popularity over the past decade, and soccer cards of past stars are becoming highly sought after. 

Pelé's greatness in soccer can be equated to the other greats in sport history; think Tom Brady in Football, Michael Jordan in Basketball, or Wayne Gretzky in Hockey

Given his recent passing, Pelé's soccer cards have spiked in value, especially his rarest and most valuable rookie cards. 

In this piece, we take a look at the ten most valuable cards of Pelé, providing guidance to collectors considering an investment in the soccer legend's cards. 

Read More

twenty-most-valuable-rookies

by

During the 1970s, there was an uptick in the production of baseball cards. Topps, the only licensed baseball card issuer at the time, was at the forefront of this trend. 

Kids were still the target customer, but adults started to become more fascinated with the hobby.

Some of the Topps baseball card sets from the 1970s are among collector favorites. And many big-name Hall Of Fame players had their first issue card released during the decade. 

This post will examine the twenty most valuable Topps baseball rookie cards from the 1970s. Including iconic rookie cards from the likes of George Brett, Mike Schmidt, and Dave Winfield.

Read More

most valuable 70s bask

by

The 1970s was a seminal decade for basketball, with some of the greatest players in the history of the sport making their debuts.

As such, rookie cards from this era are sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices at auction. 

This post will examine the fifteen most valuable basketball rookie cards from the 1970s. I'll explore values and the investment potential of each card.

If you're a long-time collector or a newcomer to basketball cards, this post will provide insight into some of the best vintage basketball cards from the 1970s.

Read More

jeter-rookie card guide

by

Derek Jeter is considered by many to be one of the best baseball players of his generation.

He played his entire 20-year career with the New York Yankees, winning five World Series titles and becoming the franchise's all-time leader in hits.

Values of Jeter's rookie cards saw a significant increase upon his election to the Hall Of Fame in 2021, but have since cooled dramatically. Still, his rookie cards remain highly sought-after by collectors. 

Here's everything you need to know about the top Derek Jeter rookie cards, including a gallery of some of the most valuable cards and investment ideas.

Read More

best-places-sell-cards

by

Has your old sports card collection been collecting dust in a closet?

If so, it's time to get rid of them and make some extra cash in the process!

Today, there are many options for collectors to sell sports cards online or offline. 

I've had decades of experience buying and selling sports cards, so this guide will help you avoid some of the same mistakes I have made in the past. 

Read More

top-mickey-mantle-investments

by

Mickey Mantle was one of the most accomplished players in the history of the game, and his baseball cards continue to reflect that status. 

As a recent example, investors in a Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card would have tripled the returns of the stock market over the past eighteen years!

So, it's not unusual to consider some of "The Mick's" baseball cards as an investment right alongside our other savings or stock investments. 

We've analyzed all Mickey Mantle baseball cards and decided on ten cards that should be solid long-term investments.

Remember, this is not investment advice, please do your own research!

Read More

best-baseball-card-books

by

When I'm not scouring the web or local card shows for deals on vintage cards, I enjoy reading a good book.

I've discovered some excellent baseball card books over the years.

Here, I wanted to share a few different ideas for fellow collectors.

Not by any means an exhaustive list, so if you have a vintage baseball card book recommendation, please leave a comment below.

Read More

rarest FOOTBALL cards

by

The 1894 N302 Mayo's Cut Plug John Dunlop card is one of the rarest football cards in existence.

However, the 1925 Star Player Candy Red Grange has a lower graded population.

The Cut Plug Dunlop card is often referred to as the 'holy grail' of football cards and is a part of the first football card set in history-the N302 Mayo's Cut Plug set.  

The cards featured ivy league football stars of the day and are the first 19th-century trading cards dedicated solely to football players. 

Read More

rarest basketball cards

by

As we noted in our discussion of The Rarest Baseball Card of All Time, identifying the rarest basketball card of all time is a challenge.

The reason? Over the history of basketball cards, many oddball misprints, or error cards or type cards were produced with a very low population.

In addition, basketball truly had a late start in terms of becoming a mainstream sport (as compared to baseball); hence, the first widely produced basketball sets didn't begin until 1948

Thus, in answer this question, I like to focus first on the players that people care about, thus avoiding the common players that might be rare but aren't really in demand aside from set builders. 

In addition due to the dearth of early mainstream basketball card sets, we need to also examine some of the regional basketball card issues.

Read More

rarest baseball cards

by

It's a question I get constantly 'What's the Rarest Baseball Card?"

While immediate thoughts for many center on the T206 Honus Wagner card, the population data that shows the card isn't as rare as most people think (about 50-75 copies of the T206 Wagner are thought to exist).

So, what is the rarest baseball card? The question is not an easy one to answer.

As follows, we dive into several pre-war tobacco cards to examine existing population reports and relative scarcity.

Read More

t200

by

Most collectors eyeing an investment in the pre-war tobacco baseball cards shoot for the big time hall of famers like Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson as a few examples.

And most without a strong familiarity of tobacco card options, head straight for the premier sets from the early 1900's such as the ever popular T206 White Borders set.

However, what if I were to tell you there's a much cheaper (and rarer) option than the T206 set, with the ability to get cards featuring multiple hall of famers on one card?

That set is the 1913 T200 Fatima Team Card set, and although there are only sixteen cards in the set, it is one that all vintage card investors need to be familiar with. 

Read More

psa-card-grading

by

PSA's card grading prices have been quite volatile thoughout the past several years.

To offset an onslaught in demand during the midst of the pandemic, PSA shut down all card grading services at its most affordable price points 

The acquisition of Collector's Universe (the parent of PSA) has brought about a multitude of operational changes to improve PSA's grading service. 

Still, that hasn't stopped collectors from thinking PSA (aka Professional Sports Authenticator) is the devil of the industry, controlling the fortunes of the hobby, and squeezing every last dime from grading fees.  

Read More

mantle

by

If you've followed some of my past writings, you might know that I often opine on the investment side of the sports card business.

And even pure collectors need to keep an eye on market activity!

Since one might be foolhardy to not at least take advantage of some of the immense market gains (or at least think about it).

Last January, I suggested that the vintage sports card market might indeed be in a bubble.  And in March, I said we definitely might be there

While, the card market definitely deflated in 2022, the most damage was done in the modern card market and newer vintage cards (think Jordan rookie card) with more overall supply.

Read More

ebay-authenticity

by

It's been a little while since eBay announced the first steps to help alleviate the wrath of counterfeit cards sold on its platform.  

I thought it would be a good time to update collectors on some of the feeback from the program, while helping to provide more clarity on the details.

First things first, let's take a step back to discuss the details of eBay's Authenticty Gurantee for sports cards.

Read More