Category Archives for "Baseball" Vintage Card Articles

Five Rare Ted Williams Cards That Look Undervalued

goudey-premiums-williamsTed Williams (aka ‘The Splendid Splinter’) was one of baseball’s all-time greats and one of the purest left-handed hitters to play the game.

Even with his career interrupted for three full seasons during World War II and later in his career for duty in the Korean War, Williams amassed 521 home runs with a staggering .344 batting average.  If he hadn’t served in the military, it’s hard to say what Williams might have been capable of.  

Today, demand for Williams’ cards is still quite strong among vintage collectors, with his early Bowman and Play Ball rookie cards the most highly desired.

In this piece, I take a look at some of Ted Williams’ rarer and more obscure cards, while examining the population relative to some of his more widely produced cards during the early 1950’s. 

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Everything You Need To Know About Counterfeit Cards

real-fake-cardsThe advent of eBay and other card collecting marketplaces has opened up the lines of communication between buyers and sellers, creating a more liquid and transparent card market.

However, with the ease in buying and selling comes a dark and mysterious side of the hobby that continues to infiltrate for sale listings. 

Of course, I’m talking about counterfeit cards. Now, this isn’t a new thing, fake baseball cards have been circulating for decades. But, the sophistication of the printing methods will only get better and better as time goes on. 

To this point, we’ve put together single card forgery guides, such as the one on spotting fake Michael Jordan rookie cards along with the guide on detecting a Wayne Gretzky rookie card.  

This piece will take a closer look at the overall counterfeit market, including telltale signs of spotting a fake vintage card along with other key information to help you all become a more educated collector.

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T206 Hall of Famers – A More Attainable Goal for Collectors

t206-cobb-on-batThe T206 ‘White Borders’ set is most indeed a ‘Monster’.  The set features 524 cards, which for most collectors is a rather expensive and time consuming adventure.

A lot of vintage collectors I know forgo the actual Monster and head right to building out the T206 Hall of Fame subset.

While it’s still a pricey proposition, it’s a lot easier to hunt down 74 different cards (or 76 including Plank and Wagner) as opposed to the 524 that make up the entire set.

In this piece we examine the nuances of building a Hall of Famers only T206 set while also speaking to someone that’s one card away from completing the challenge.

Hopefully this piece provides the motivation to some of you on the fence! 

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T205 Gold Borders Set: An Underrated Gem

mathewson-t205If you’ve spent any time around vintage baseball card circles, it’s quite evident that the T206 ‘White Borders’ set gets ALL the attention.

And what’s not to love? The T206 cards are gorgeous; featuring breathtaking artwork with multiple player poses and eighteen different back variations.  The T206 Honus Wagner card has helped propel the T206 set to the most highly sought after set among vintage card collectors.

And while I love the T206 cards (and begrudgingly collect them myself) I believe the set’s successor deserves a bit more notoriety from collectors. 

The T205 set is smaller in size, more affordable, and scarcer than the T206 set. This for me also makes it attractive from an investment standpoint. And well, you all know what I think about cards as an investment. 

Let’s take a closer look at the T205 set, examining the history and detail of the cards, including pricing and what I think of the set as an investment for the longer term.

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Are Baseball Cards A Good Long Term Investment?

Some cringe at the thought of baseball cards as an ‘investment’, but it’s hard to deny the appreciation in the most cherished vintage baseball cards.

The rise in value of old sports cards has led to a new line of thinking about how collectors should think about cards as a long term investment. 

Based on work from PWCC, a basket of some of the most expensive and popular cards has outperformed the S&P 500 by over 200% since 2008.  

baseball cards investment

Most collectors don’t entertain the ‘investment’ part of card collecting, but focus on building a collection that suits their interest, regardless of the value. 

Still, I think collectors and non-collectors alike should consider vintage baseball cards as an overall part of their entire investment portfolio. 

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Five Rare Mickey Mantle Cards That Sell For $1000 or Less

mickey-mantle-exhibit-cardThere aren’t many baseball players that had the same sort of impact on the game as the legendary Mickey Mantle.

Mantle carried the torch from the legends before him – Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig – while putting together one of the all time great careers in baseball history.

Although injuries got the better of him towards the end of his career, Mantle is considered one of the best ever to play the game of baseball.

It’s no surprise that Mantle’s cards to this day are still some of the most highly sought after.  His 1952 Topps card continues to break records, while his other early Topps and Bowman cards continue to be some of the most sought after in the hobby.

But since most of us don’t have the funds to access some of Mantle’s high grade six figure cards, I wanted to provide a list of five Mickey Mantle cards that can be purchased for $1000 or less.

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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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Ten Babe Ruth Baseball Cards That Look 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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