Category Archives for "Baseball"

A Guide To Investing In Satchel Paige Cards

satchel-paige-rookie-leafLeroy ‘Satchel’ Paige was one of baseball’s most legendary pitchers and a trailblazer in that he was the first black baseball player to play in the American League. 

He played for an amazing 21 years in the Negro Leagues and was ready to call it quits at the age of 41, but then joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948.

While most baseball fans are familiar with the legend of Jackie Robinson, many aren’t as familiar with the story of Satchel Paige. 

It feels like collectors are finally starting to give Paige’s cards a bit more respect, as all of his baseball cards have increased significantly in value.

In this piece, we examine the baseball cards of Satchel Paige and help collectors determine whether his cards are still a good investment.


Do Screwdown Holders Damage Cards?

screwdown-holderIf you got started collecting in the 1980’s you might have kept some of your prized sports cards encased in what is commonly known as a screw-down holder. 

When protecting your cards starting becoming paramount in the ’80s the screw-down holder was viewed as the premier way to encase your card.  What better way to keep your card safe than holding it together with a big, gigantic piece of plastic held together with four tight screws.  

Although it used to be the preferred way of protecting valuable cards, screw down holders can cause significant damage to sports cards.  The pressure applied from the tightening of the screws can flatten out the card over time. 

This can make it appear as if the card has been altered, and the grading companies will often reject cards stored in screwdown holders, returning them as ‘Altered’.  


Can You Grade Your Own Cards?

psa-card-gradingCard grading has completely changed the hobby in the last decade.  While there have been some hiccups, a more standardized system has led to a more uniform and liquid market for cards. 

Most newer collectors think that they need to send in all of their cards for grading to maximize value, but this isn’t necessarily always the case.  

Collectors should certainly engage in self-grading their own cards.  The more one can become educated in the process of how grading works, the better-equipped one will be to decide whether to spend the money for card grading. 

And as more and more collectors become efficient in grading cards, the more accepted it might be to buy and sell ungraded (or raw) cards. 

Unfortunately, despite becoming an efficient grader, an ungraded card still tends to sell for less than any card that has been graded by a third-party grading company such as PSA, SGC, or Beckett.


1980 Topps Rickey Henderson Rookie Card: A Closer Look

henderson-rcIf you’ve followed along here, you might know that our definition of a vintage card is ‘loosely defined as anything pre-1980; however, we certainly have made some exceptions in regards to some other early to mid 80’s sports cards.

Thus, the 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card certainly toes the official line of a vintage card, however, it is now basically the pinnacle and must-own card from the 1980s for vintage baseball card collectors. 

The 1980 Topps set, while still generously produced, didn’t quite have the same sort of massive overproduction as other later 80’s sets did.   And Henderson himself is still probably one of the more underrated players of his generation, one of the best five-tool players of all time. 

Thus, it seemed like a good time to review Henderson’s 1980 Topps rookie card, which has experienced a bit of a renaissance of late; a recent Gem Mint (PSA 10) copy of the card sold for $180K at auction

As follows, we’ll examine the population reports for Henderson’s rookie card, current values, and take a look at his career, while providing thoughts on the future investment value for the card.


The Future Of Card Grading: Are Price Hikes And Massive Wait Times The Norm?

psa-logoThe last few years in the sports card market have been to say at the very least- a bit crazy.  Sports card grading has exploded, driven by a surge in values for both vintage and modern cards. 

This surge can largely be explained by increased speculation and greed, fueled by the advent of card breaks, flippers, investors, and the like. 

A global pandemic seemed to stoke the fire even further as bored, work from home collectors sought refuge in the hobby.  Stimulus checks seemed to keep it all afloat, although as the economy has started to reopen, there do appear to be some kinks in the armor. 

Through it all, the card grading companies have been beyond overwhelmed—PSA in an April letter to its followers, said that it had received more submissions in three days than it had in the previous three months.   Even SGC had said that over the course of a 24 hour span, the number of cards submitted to SGC for grading increased by over 500%. 

The deluge of grading requests forced PSA to halt all submissions below its Super Express ($300) grading level effectively putting a pause button on things to help its graders get caught up.   Along the way, PSA also hiked prices for all of its grading services, thus, once operations resume (expected in July) it will cost collectors $50 to grade a card (unless it is submitted in a bulk value or grading special submission).


PSA has pretty much shut down grading unless you want to submit at the $300 level


How To Spot A Fake 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Card


A 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle card.

The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle card is one of the most iconic vintage baseball cards in the hobby. 

Oftentimes, the 1952 Topps Mantle or Mantle’s second year 1953 Topps card get all the attention but the 1951 Bowman Mantle is still his true rookie card. 

Today, even a mid to low-grade 51 Bowman Mantle can fetch upwards of $20,000

Of course, as prices go higher, the more we need to worry about fakes.  And there are no shortage of 51 Bowman Mantle fakes. 

This guide should give you all the information you need to avoid getting scammed on a fake 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle cad.

As always, if you spot a suspect card and need some help or if you’re trying to sell an authentic 51 Bowman Mantle, feel free to shoot us a line at


Step By Step Guide To Spotting a Fake T206 Card

While the majority of present-day card scams relate to more modern era cards that are easier to reproduce, there are most certainly counterfeit cards dating back to the Pre-War era.  

We have covered the evaluation of old counterfeit cards before, yet this piece will focus on detecting some of the more common fakes from the infamous T206 White Borders set.  

Hopefully, this guide will arm you with all of the knowledge you need in order to avoid buying any fake T206 cards.

As always if you come across a good fake or if you need any help in authenticating a T206 card, shoot us an email at


How To Safely Package And Ship Your Sports Cards (Complete Guide)

I’d say one of the most common stumbling blocks I encounter when speaking with novice (and even more experienced) collectors concerns shipping sports cards.

For someone that hasn’t sent a valuable card through the mail, the process can be a bit of a daunting experience.  However, once you do it a few times, it becomes a fairly simple and easily repeatable process.

I put this guide together to help fellow collectors and to provide some further instructions on shipping sports cards.  This guide will cover supplies needed in order to ship your cards, how properly package your cards, along with different methods of shipping and how the process might vary if sending to any third-party graders.  

If you have any questions on this, feel free to leave a message in the comments section, or as always feel free to shoot us an email at


Lou Gehrig’s 1932 U.S Caramel Card Is A Great Investment

gehrig-us-caramelWhen I think of Lou Gehrig’s best card, six cards come to mind: the 1932 U.S Caramel, the two 1933 Goudeys, the 1933 DeLong, and the two 1934 Goudeys.

Each card is beautiful in its own right and each showcases different qualities that make them alluring to collectors and investors.

However, I’m here to say that Gehrig’s best card for collectors looking to make a long-term investment is his 1932 U.S Caramel card.


Collecting With My Dad: How A Frank Robinson Rookie Card Started Our Love For The Hobby


The 1957 Topps Frank Robinson rookie card is one of the key cards in the set.

I’ve always taken an interest in collecting things. I get it from my father, who first began collecting Lionel trains before transitioning into collecting vintage sports cards.

I remember the first card he bought.  He dropped it on the kitchen counter, right in front of my mom and me, saying “Frank Robinson Rookie. First card; we’re going to start collecting vintage sports cards!” with a content little smile.

That ungraded 1957 Topps Frank Robinson Rookie Card was purchased at a tiny sports card store right outside of the Oxford Valley Mall, tucked away, almost hidden, and unknown to most people in the surrounding area.

The store was right near his office, so he would always make it a habit to go there on his way home from work. He would end up staying for hours, looking at and talking sports cards with the owner. 

It got to the point where he’d call my Mom and say he was “going to Warren’s after work”; Warren was the owner of the card store called “All-Star Collectibles”. Anyway, that Frank Robinson rookie was later graded at a Near Mint (PSA 7) and has now realized a modest 2,300% growth in value over 2 decades

It was THE card that ignited a passion for collecting between my father and me. 

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