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.

State Of The Hobby – Can We Trust The Card Graders?

trust-gradersI’m sure by now you’ve heard of the scandal that has rocked the sports card hobby. If not, the quick and dirty is that a notorious card doctor and trimmer was buying lower graded cards, trimming them, and then resubmitting to PSA.

All of this was done with the help of PWCC, the big eBay auction house, although to date, the company has denied any wrongdoing.

Let’s face it; PSA, SGC and Beckett are just third party authenticators.  There is no guarantee, whether intentional or not, that the graders will get it right.  It’s now on us, to be a ‘fourth party grader’ of sorts to ensure that we are not getting scammed.

Yet the graders provide a level of ‘certainty’ in what used to be a very uncertain marketplace.  But with the recent events, should we still trust the third party graders?  Is there any sort of indication that PSA or any other graders have knowingly graded altered cards?

In this piece I review the history of the grading companies, what has transpired in recent years, and whether we as collectors should continue to rely on the graders in providing this consistency to our beloved hobby.

I’ve also surveyed All Vintage Cards followers for their own feedback and will present the results at the conclusion of this article.

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Jordan Rookie Card Fakes – Don’t Fall For It

Jordan-Fake-One-Front

This is a FAKE Jordan rookie card.

Since writing about authenticating Michael Jordan’s 1986 Fleer rookie card, I’ve been inundated with inquiries.

When I offered up my services to anyone in need of help, I figured I might get a few responses.

But when I say inundated, I mean I have been INUNDATED…multiple requests per week, often multiple times a day.

Thus, it’s clear there is a TON of demand for Michael Jordan’s rookie card.

But, the problem I’ve found, is that many collector’s are getting scammed out of lots of money.

So it’s time for a follow-up.

I will REPEAT that the Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie card is the most counterfeited card in the hobby. 

So, my first recommendation to those who write me is to find a graded Jordan Rookie card, graded by either PSA, SGC or BGS.

Yet as I know many of you are the adventurous type, I write this article with hopes that we all can be more educated on the topic, and that the wide variety of fake Jordan cards are on display for the masses.

In this piece, I am posting many of the fake images that I’ve received, while helping to explain some of the differences between the fakes and the real card.

Some are REALLY bad counterfeits and it’s super easy to figure out.

But some are quite good and it’s hard for even me to tell.

I hope this helps everyone in their quest in securing a Jordan rookie card.

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The “Little Wonder” of Strip Card Sets

w515-ruthTo some, these are the ugliest cards ever created, yet I believe the 1923 W515 strip card set is one the most underrated baseball card sets of all time.

It’s got star power; two Babe Ruth cards, a Ty Cobb and cards of 22 other Baseball Hall of Fame players.

There are celebrity look-a likes, brother cards, print variations and some of the more interesting cartoon color combinations you’ve ever seen.

And with all of that, the cards can be found for a fraction the price of some of the other more popular tobacco or caramel cards of the era.

One variation to the set (aka W515-2) is known as ‘The Little Wonder Picture Series’ due to the additional words ‘The Little Wonder Picture Series’ (hence the title for this post) printed across the entire uncut strip.

Let’s take a closer look at the W515 Strip Card Set.

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A History of Basketball Cards

dr-j-rookie-cardWhile we already covered the history of baseball cards, we deemed it about time to delve into the world of basketball cards.

The history of basketball cards is quite interesting; notably the first official set wasn’t issued until 1948 by Bowman, even though the first professional league (the National Basketball League) was formed in 1898.

Thus, the path for basketball cards has gone down a bit of a different path versus baseball cards.  Basketball didn’t really become a household sport until the late 1940’s even thought it was quite popular at American colleges.

Please reach out at chris@allvintagecards.com if you have any feedback or questions.

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Introducing The All Vintage Cards “Value” Portfolio

value-portfolio

As you might have picked up in past posts, I like to find value when looking for new cards to buy.

I have an investment background so this is only natural for me–my whole life is involved with finding the best funds or stocks for a portfolio.   Of course, part of that equation revolves around finding good value.

There are definitely some similarities in picking a stock versus picking a card to buy!

As I always say, card prices are a determination of demand versus supply.  For stocks, it’s a similar story.

And if there’s excess supply (think 1988 Topps) with minimal demand, the cards are pretty much worthless.

But if there’s excess demand versus supply (think Tesla in the stock market or the Green Portrait Cobb) the price rockets higher.

With cards, we determine a card’s scarcity and attempt to evaluate the future demand based on a myriad of factors – player popularity, the card set popularity, etc.

This is NEVER a perfect science and not all collectors think this way, but it’s a good habit to get into if you are making some serious investments in baseball cards.

There are some givens for me.   Names like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner will never see a drop in future demand.

But depending on the card set we are considering, there could be more variability in demand over time.

Sure, there’s no certainty in any of this, but it’s the way I think about collecting.

I know common T206 cards might see an increase in line with inflation over time, but there’s no reason to think they should increase significantly in value.

I mean how much future demand should we expect for Buck Congalton’s T206 over time?

congalton-t206

So, with that said, I am assembling what I call the All Vintage Cards ‘Value’ Portfolio.

In the stock market, funds labeled as “value” tend to have valuation characteristics below that of the market.  Due to this value discrepancy, investors look for these lower valued stocks in hopes there is some reversion to the mean with valuation.

For example, today Ford (ticker F) would be considered a ‘value’ play, as it trades at a very low multiple versus its earnings (or P/E ratio).  Whereas a company such as Tesla (TSLA) is very optimistically valued and trades at a significant premium to its expected future earnings.

Hence, I’m attempting to put a portfolio together of cards that I think offer good relative value and have opportunity for future appreciation.

Before getting started, I will reiterate this IS NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE.  While I think cards are a good portfolio diversifier, please do your own homework.  Don’t assume that I will be right about any of this!

Thus, without further adieu, here are the components of the All Vintage Cards ‘Value’ Portfolio.

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T206 Ty Cobb Green Portrait: Is It Worth The Premium?

green-cobbIf you’ve spent any time in the tobacco groups on Facebook, you’re well aware of the popularity and the mystique of the T206 Ty Cobb Green Portrait Card.

If you’re new to the ‘Monster’ you might not realize that Cobb has four cards in the set.  A green and a red portrait card along with a ‘Bat off Shoulder’  and a ‘Bat on Shoulder’ card.

The portrait cards have consistently over time been the most valuable of the four, with the green portrait card the rarest and most valuable.

In this piece we take a closer look at the values and the scarcity of the Cobb cards and attempt to determine the future values.  Our main goal of this piece is to determine whether the Green portrait Cobb is worthy of the premium it holds over the other Cobb cards in the set and other Cobb cards in different sets.

From a popularity standpoint, Cobb’s cards remain in high demand, with his four T206 cards remaining among the most highly sought after in the hobby.  In fact, using the tools at All Vintage Search we can see that the Cobb cards in the white borders set are among the top ranked for ‘watchers’ at eBay.

Follow along as we examine the population reports and historical values.  Have a question on a T206 Cobb?  Feel free to get in touch with me at chris@allvintagecards.com

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The Most Valuable Football Cards of All Time

namath-rookieIn continuation of our coverage of the most valuable sports cards of all time (see our recent Baseball and Basketball pieces) in this article we present the Most Valuable Football Cards of all time.

Many older vintage football cards don’t quite get the same level of respect as their baseball counterparts.  Sometimes I wonder why; I guess baseball being America’s past time has led to a sort of lack of attention for older football players.

Because of this, I do believe that vintage football cards offer good value for collectors seeking a good investment opportunity.  The only problem is that I’m not sure what the catalyst would be to help close that gap between older baseball and football cards.

I’m all ears–let me know in the comments if you can envision a scenario in which vintage football cards start to appreciate significantly versus vintage baseball cards.

Whatever the case, we hope you enjoy the following list of the most valuable football cards of all time.  Some of the cards are quite rare, such as the first card on our list (N302 Dunlop) and some are not as rare and are mostly supported by the strong demand for the player and card.

We try to update these lists every year, but if you see something that should be on the list, let me know via email at chris@allvintagecards.com.

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Exhibit Baseball Cards: A Comprehensive Guide

1921-Exhibits-RuthExhibit Baseball Cards were often overlooked by vintage card collectors and little known to newcomers to the hobby.

The over-sized Exhibit cards were produced by the Exhibit Supply Co out of Chicago, with the first set produced in 1921.

The larger ‘postcards’ were sold out of vending machines in arcades and amusement parks and featured not only ball players, but other stars of the day including actors and actresses.

The Exhibit cards have become more popular in recent years, as for vintage collectors, the cards offer a more affordable way to purchase cards of star players during their playing days.

In this piece we take a look at the history and various issuance’s of Exhibit cards, along with examining some of the more valuable Exhibit cards over the years.  We hope you enjoy.

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Are We In A Vintage Card Bubble?

baseball-bubbleFor any stock investors that were active traders during the late 1990’s the mention of the word ‘bubble’ brings back some rather unpleasant memories.

A more recent ‘bubble’ that younger collectors would be more familiar with involves the recent hysteria surrounding Bitcoin and other associated cryptocurrencies. Cards even experienced their own bubble during the early 90’s.

While I’ve advocated that vintage cards can be viewed as a good long term investment for collectors, there are some warning signs that we should all be aware of.

I want to review some of my concerns and alert collector’s to some of my research on the topic.

Note this isn’t meant as a piece to scare collectors into selling their entire collections but something that I think at least warrants a discussion.

I hope you will provide some commentary as to your thoughts on the subject.

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T3 Turkey Reds: An Over-Sized Beauty

chase-t3I had always been vaguely familiar with the Turkey Red (T3) Tobacco Cabinet cards, but it wasn’t until I had one in my hands that I truly appreciated their beauty.

These over-sized ‘cabinet’ cards feature beautiful full length lithography and were issued as a premium for customers of Turkey Red cigarettes from 1910 through 1911.

The 100 card set is chock full of Hall of Famers, including Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Cy Young and Nap Lajoie.

What I found to be the most appealing feature of the set is the fact that the images (for the most part) are identical to their T206 counterparts, yet in a beautiful over-sized lithograph.

The cards are actually scarcer than the T206 and T205 cards, and in my opinion undervalued comparatively.

In this piece, we’ll take a deep dive into the T3 Turkey Reds set, examining the details and history of the cards, along with ways to collect and distinguish from counterfeits on the market.

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