Baseball

Willie Mays Cards: The Definitive Guide

52-topps-maysWillie Mays was one of the best five-tool players to ever play the game.  A rare combination of blistering speed and defensive prowess complemented his blend of power and accuracy at the plate.  

Willie Mays defined the way that the game should be played and his early childlike love for the game earned him the moniker – ‘The Say Hey Kid’.

Despite all of the success on the field, Mays had to endure racial pressures and a bit of an odd relationship with the media and fans alike.

Still to this day, Mays remains well respected as a ballplayer and to this day is considered to be on the all-time greats. 

In this piece, we examine the most important and valuable baseball cards for Willie Mays, most of which are still highly sought after among vintage collectors.  This covers Mays’ cards dating from 1951 through 1960. 

Read More...

Ty Cobb Cards: The Definitive Guide

cobb-off-shoulder

Tyrus Raymond Cobb was one of the most fierce, determined and successful baseball players of all time.  

His intensity often got the best of him and despite his immense talents he was known to be hated by many of his peers.

Yet as for his baseball abilities, none will argue that Cobb was among one of the best all around baseball players to ever play the game.

Ty Cobb’s baseball cards remain among the most desired among vintage collectors, ranging from his ever popular T206 Portrait cards to his T3 Turkey Red card

In this piece, we take a look a Ty Cobb’s career as a baseball player, while providing collectors with a list of his most popular and valuable baseball cards.  

Read More...

Allen & Ginter’s Chromolithographic Issues

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the October 2002 edition of The Vintage and Classic Baseball Collector (VCBC) magazine. We have received approval from the prior owners of VCBC magazine to republish this article in digital format.  We are thrilled to be able to re-circulate the fine works of VCBC magazine for today's vintage collectors. 

by Dennis C. Purdy, Sr. 

n28-king-kellyThe chromolithographic issues of Allen & Ginter are considered by many baseball card collectors to be the most beautiful baseball cards ever produced. Released in 1887 and 1888, the cards were inserted into brands of Allen & Ginter cigarettes.

The N28 (1887) and N29 (1888) sets were inserted into 10-count packs of cigarettes while the N43 set (also released in 1888) was inserted into 20-count cigarette packs. It is not known if any of the three sets was inserted into Allen & Ginter tins, but no advertising or other evidence has yet been documented to suggest that they were.

Some hobby literature (lore) suggests that the tobacco companies inserted the cards as a stiffener to protect their product. While this may have been true with some issues, it was clearly not the case with the Allen & Ginter issues.

They were inserted solely as a means of getting customers hooked on buying their product and remaining loyal to it, and there is evidence to back this up. This evidence comes from an investigation into the chromolithographic process itself. 

Read More...

Jackie Robinson Cards: The Definitive Guide

1948-jackie-robinson-rookieJackie Robinson remains one of the most important figures not only in the history of baseball but in the history of human and civil rights.

His baseball cards leave behind a legend of Robinson’s greatness on and off the field.

For me, revisiting Robinson’s past history was at times heartbreaking.  Robinson was a victim of the rampant racism that plagued the country at the time.

In this piece, I take a quick look at Robinson’s background and success in baseball, while providing collectors with a guide to Robinson’s most important baseball cards.

I always love when there is a reason beyond the statistics to hold the card of a particular player. 

With Robinson, you own cards of both an amazing athlete while also holding onto the legacy of someone that changed the sport of baseball for all that came after him.

Read More...

Berk Ross Cards – A Closer Look at An Underrated ‘Champion’

berk-ross-ted-williamsThe 1951 and 1952 Berk Ross “Hit Parade of Champions’ sets have started to gather more interest from collectors in recent years. 

The massive star power across each of the 72 card sets is one reason for the popularity.  The cards are also scarcer than any of the popular national issues from the era. 

I’ve always like the Berk Ross cards; something about the grainy images has always appealed to me. 

Yet it wasn’t until I started diving into some the population reports when I recognized that the Berk Ross cards were significantly undervalued.

Of course, values are often subject to collector interest in a particular issue.  However, the Berk Ross scarcity combined with the star power make these sets one of the better buys for vintage collectors.

In this piece we dive into the background of the sets, more details about the issues, along with the players in the sets and the corresponding availability and values.

Read More...

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.  

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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. 

Read More...
>