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Tag Archives for " Vintage Baseball "

How To Spot a Trimmed Card

blowout-trimmed-berraWith all of the latest trimming scandals running rampant throughout the hobby, we’ve had many collectors ask us about how easy it is to spot a trimmed baseball card.

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how to detect counterfeit cards, but haven’t spent much time discussing cards that have been altered or trimmed. 

My hope is that this guide will become the premier resource for collectors and help educate everyone in order to avoid buying any altered cards.

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 all of us, to be a ‘fourth party grader’ of sorts to ensure that we are not getting scammed.  

If you come across any graded cards that look like they might be trimmed, shoot me a note at chris@allvintagecards.com

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An Expert’s Guide To Collecting Vintage Wax Packs

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An unopened box of 1948 Bowman Baseball wax packs

Collectors often dream about some of the unopened wax packs owned by Steve Sabow.  Sabow is one of the hobby’s preeminent dealers of vintage wax packs.  In fact, Sabow has sold more unopened vintage wax in the last three years than anyone else in the country.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sabow recently and found him to be an all-around great guy and a wealth of information in relation to buying and selling vintage wax packs. Sabow has been at this for a while; he started out selling cards at flea markets back in 1976 and started branching out into local card shows while also promoting several shows throughout the NY and CT area.

He’s been selling packs since the 1970’s, but it was only recently that he started getting heavily involved with vintage packs.  In fact, Sabow credits his vintage card business as allowing him to stay alive in this hobby longer than most.  He’s had a booth at the National Convention every year except for the first four.

Steve is retired now, but still quite active as a vintage card and wax pack dealer (although COVID-19 has slowed down business a bit). His list of packs for sale is one of the most impressive lists of packs I’ve ever seen.  We’ve summarized our discussion with Sabow, providing some of the most important points for any collectors interested in vintage unopened wax.

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1933 Goudey Babe Ruth Cards: Overvalued Or Good Investment?

The 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey cards (note there are four of them) have been among the hottest vintage cards in recent years.  Given the significant price increase for the cards, many collectors wonder if Ruth’s Goudey cards are still worthy of an investment?

Ruth’s 1933 Goudey cards (despite the significant price increases) remain one of the best longer-term investments for vintage collectors.  The four cards are not cheap by any means, but if you have the funding, Ruth’s Goudey cards should continue to appreciate over the next several years.

In this guide, we take a closer look at the four Goudey Ruth cards and provide collectors with more information on the current values, scarcity, and the ultimate investment potential. 

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The four Babe Ruth cards from the 1933 Goudey Gum set.

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Cracker Jack Baseball Cards: A True American Classic

1914-cracker-jack-cobbIn thinking of what represents true Americana, the things that come to mind include  – Baseball, Apple Pie, and yep Cracker Jack.

In the 1896 song “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”, Cracker Jack was given its official stamp of American approval in the line “Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack“.

While the Cracker Jack brand first got notice at the World’s Fair in 1893, it was its association with baseball which brought it to the forefront of American culture.

Many kids are most certainly familiar with the small toys included in boxes of Cracker Jack, yet it was two years (1914 to 1915) that Cracker Jack showed its true allegiance to baseball by including cards with its caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts.

The Cracker Jack baseball cards are today one of the most revered sets in the history of the hobby.  In this piece, we take a look at the history of Cracker Jack and examine the details of the two card sets.

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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. 

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Ty Cobb Cards: The Definitive Guide

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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.  

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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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