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’.


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.


How To Spot A Fake Tom Brady Autograph


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


Ted Williams Cards: Ranking His Best Cards By Decade

Ted Williams is considered by many to be the greatest hitter in the history of baseball.  In the 1941 season, Ted finished with a batting average of .406 and is still the last person to hit over .400 in a season; his career batting average is .344.

There is an old video of a 1995 Discussion Table show on ESPN Classic that Ted did with Tony Gwynn, one of the game’s greatest hitters and the last player to retire with a career batting average of .300 or better.

During this interview, Ted was excitedly rambling on about the science behind hitting and all the variables at play, while Tony was nodding along with a perplexed expression, almost like he was wondering what the hell this old-timer was talking about.

Ted’s mind for hitting seemed to be on another level, which is probably why he’s one of the only players to play professional baseball in four different decades—1930s, 1940s, 1950s & 1960s.

He played from 1939 to 1960. He also has at least one baseball card released in every single decade he played in.  

Therefore, I have prepared a collection of what I think are the four best Ted Williams cards, where each card is from a different decade.  

Be sure to also check our piece discussing five of the most undervalued Ted Williams cards!


Three Vintage Baseball Cards With Cameos In Movie Classics

sandlotI love movies about baseball and there are three movies specifically where I can remember a cameo for three big-time vintage baseball cards. 

The movies: “Needful Things”, “The Sandlot”, and “The Lou Gehrig Story”.  

I know there are others but these are the ones that stand out vividly for me.  In fact, I wonder if anyone had the cards slabbed and maybe even identified as actually being on film;  because, if so,  I’m sure the cards would probably garner a big premium. 

Usually, the more things a card has going for it — grade, scarcity, popularity, career success, iconic stories — the more ways value may be seen in the market.  Even cards that have been a collection of popular figures have shown to sell for more at auction.

Let’s dig into the three movies.

And if you’ve spotted a vintage card in a movie, let us know in the comments at the end of this article!


Is CSG A Worthy Competitor To PSA?

csg-card-gradingThe sports card grading market has witnessed a lot of change over the past few years; excessive demand has led to an extreme shortfall of grading availability at the top tier graders, specifically PSA

Like any burgeoning industry, entrepreneurs have launched into action, attempting to pick up the slack from some of the biggest grading companies.  

One new entrant – Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) which is backed by a successful comics and coin grading company launched this past February and is headed by a few former high-ranking card graders from Beckett. 

But, we’ve seen many new upstart grading companies come and go in the past.

Does CSG have what it takes to compete against PSA?

Disrupting any of the top three grading companies (PSA, SGC, and Beckett) would be a monumental task, but I think CSG at least has a fighting chance to become a major player in the space.  Their team of experienced card graders and success in other grading verticals gives them a higher probability of success.  In my mind, probably the fiercest competitor we’ve seen in a long time. 

Let’s explore CSG the company in more detail and discuss some of the reasons they may or may not be successful with their card grading venture.

Note that I did reach out to CSG multiple times to try and arrange an interview, but no one responded. 

Have any experience with CSG? 

Let us know in the comments or always feel free to shoot me an email at chris@allvintagecards.com


Can I Still Buy Sports Cards At Target or Walmart?

walmart-targetWhile the bulk of my card collecting and writing on All Vintage Cards is focused on older cards, I admittedly have had the urge to buy some modern cards while shopping at Target or Walmart in the past.

However, when I went to Target recently to pick up some household items, I was disappointed to find the shelves that used to hold sports cards galore completely barren.  So I set out to find the truth.  

Can you still buy sports cards at Walmart or Target?

Unfortunately, it’s much harder today to find sports cards at Walmart or Target, as they both have suspended the selling of many sports and trading cards. They still sell some sports cards in-store and online, however, there is a huge variation in availability based on your specific location. 

The surge in modern card pricing and the resultant ‘rise of the flippers’ has led to some not so pretty situations in these stores.  And while there are rare cases where you might find some cards, the odds are quite slim.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for the supply disruptions and if you still might be able to score a find at your local Walmart or Target. 

Do you know of a location that is still selling cards?  Drop a note in the comments below to let us know!


Are Tom Brady’s Rookie Cards Still A Good Investment?

brady-bowman-chromeAs a diehard Patriots fan, one of my all-time worst moments was seeing Tom Brady leave New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  I was still happy when Brady won the Super Bowl with the Bucs, but still painful to see my beloved #12 playing for another team.

With the Super Bowl victory, Brady pretty much cemented his legacy as the best quarterback to ever play the game.  While Montana and Manning and maybe Namath used to get lumped into the conversation, I don’t think many can argue against Brady’s GOAT status any longer. 

With the rise to the top, Brady’s rookie cards have followed.  Over the past two years, his 2000 Bowman Chrome rookie card has increased nearly tenfold.  Other rookie card issues from Brady have followed the same path.  

After a dreadful 2019 season with the Patriots, many had assumed that Brady’s days as a leading quarterback were over.  Some even thought Brady might call it quits.  It’s amazing how quickly the tides can turn.  

I get a lot of questions from collectors asking about Brady rookie cards and while his cards don’t technically hit the ‘vintage’ radar that we so loosely defined, his cards are so iconic, that it would be a disservice to collectors not to discuss Brady and the ultimate investment potential of his rookie cards. 

So, sit back while I dig into Brady’s most investable rookie cards, examining the population reports, values and ultimate long-term investment potential.


Why Are Rookie Cards More Valuable?

lemieux rcFor those that have been in the hobby for a while, this might seem like a strange question.  It’s sort of just an accepted fact that a player’s rookie card is worth more than any later issued card. 

But why is this true?  There has to be a reason, right?  I wanted to get to the bottom of this.  And my findings were kind of along with what I expected. 

The excessive demand for rookie cards leads to the cards having more value than any other later-year issues for a player. 

A rookie card is a player’s first official entry into the card collecting world, and these issues are in high demand by collectors hoping for the next big thing.

Plus, the first card issued for a player is their oldest card, which collectors tend to associate as being ‘more valuable’. 

In addition, there has always been a mystique that has developed over time with player ‘rookie cards’ being more sought after by collectors.   

Let’s dive into these a bit further.


All Vintage Cards Large Cap Hockey Portfolio

large-value-hockeyThe All Vintage Cards Large Cap Hockey Portfolio is a collection of ten Large-Cap (or “higher-priced’) vintage hockey cards that we think have strong long-term investment potential. 

As we discussed in our introduction piece, we are launching three portfolios for each major sport–Large Cap, Mid Cap, and Small Cap.

For those not familiar with the lexicon, this corresponds to mutual fund portfolios in the investment world.  Large-Cap within the investment space equates to an equity portfolio of the largest companies.

For this All Vintage Cards Large Cap Value Hockey Portfolio we have selected ten cards, each with a value of $3000 or greater.

Note that these selections are based on what we perceive as ‘relative’ value in the marketplace, meaning that we think these cards offer a good value versus other comparative cards. 

I will also note that this information is not investment advice, nor are we making any promises in relation to future performance.  Please use your own judgment and budget when accounting for any acquisitions of cards in this portfolio. 

Please also see our All-Vintage Cards Small-Cap Hockey Value and All-Vintage Cards Mid-Cap Hockey portfolios.