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Ten Vintage 1970’s Basketball Cards To Buy And Hold

76-topps-ervingI think we all know about the craziness going on with the Jordan rookie card, but of course other vintage basketball cards have been moving up in price as well

Still, with a few exceptions (think the Dr J rookie card) the 1970’s era for vintage basketball cards still feels like a bit of an underappreciated part of the market.

Basketball seemingly came into full force in the 1980’s, with the arrival of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and of course, Michael Jordan himself. 

So, I thought it would be a good exercise to identify ten basketball cards from the 1970’s that look like good investments from a buy and hold perspective.  

Sure there’s been a lot of hysteria in the space (thanks Gary V) but I’m ignoring ALL that noise and looking for vintage basketball cards that I still think represent attractive value and should be good investments for the long term.

So, as always, if you have any comments or questions on any card on this list, feel free to reach out to me at chris@allvintagecards.com

**Oh and note this is in no particular order so feel free to pick and choose off this list**

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1986 Fleer Basketball Wax Packs: Unlocking The Sequence

1986 fleer packI’ve covered the Jordan rookie card quite extensively, both from an authenticity standpoint (here, here and here) along with the investment side of investing in the card (here and here).

We’ve spoken about unopened vintage wax packs on the blog, but I have recently become slightly obsessed with vintage basketball packs.  Knowing that a 30+ year old pack that once sold for no more than 50 cents could hold a treasure worth in the multiple thousands is fascinating to say the least.

I was buying ’86 fleer packs as a kid, and never did I realize that I should have had my parent’s mortgaging their house to buy every single 1986 Fleer case in existence to hold for 35 years. 

I purchased a couple of unopened 86 Fleer packs a few years back on eBay before I became more knowledgeable on packs, and know I likely bought some resealed packs.   I’ve also been a part of a few 1986 Fleer pack breaks, one of which a Jordan rookie card was pulled (not my spot unfortunately).  

When I learned about the 1986 Fleer sequence, I became slightly obsessed with the topic, wondering if a) it might be possible to identify what packs actually hold a Jordan rookie card and b) if those packs could still be found available for sale at a discount.

Thus, this post will discuss 1986 Fleer packs in detail–both the numerical sequencing and the investment case for unopened 1986 Fleer basketball wax packs. 

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1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie Card: A Closer Look

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The Ryan Rookie card is the top rookie and most valuable card in the 1968 Topps set.

When talking about the most recognizable and most valuable cards in the hobby, the 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie card is near the top of the list. 

Ryan was one of the greatest pitchers to play the game of baseball, and from an early age he was wowing scouts with his fastball.  

While he often gets left out of the Top 10 lists for pitchers due to his less than stellar control (Ryan averaged nearly 5 walks per 9 innings over his career), his record as the all time strikeout leader speaks for itself.   Ryan’s seven no hitters are also a major league record.  

Ryan’s rookie card remains in high demand among vintage collectors, with higher graded copies of his Topps rookie (and OPC/Milton Bradley variations) fetching record prices at auction

In this piece, we’ll review the career of one Lynn ‘Nolan’ Ryan Jr. while examining his 1968 Topps rookie card, including the existing population, current values and investment potential. 

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The Complete Guide To Safely Buying Cards on eBay

100% FAKEI’ve had the unfortunate experience of breaking the news to many eBay buyers that the card they spent multiple thousands of dollars on was a fake.

Thankfully eBay has strong buyer protection rules in place along with PayPal guarantees and options to dispute the transaction through your credit card company.  Thus, many of the buyers I’ve spoken to have been able to recover their funds.  

Still, I really hope that eBay can develop a program for sports cards, similar to what they have done with sneakers and watches.  

Despite this, I decided that I should create a guide to help buyers protect themselves from the most unscrupulous of eBay sellers. 

eBay does a good job of shutting down fake listings if enough people complain, but often times many fall through the cracks.  

Note that eBay does require that any cards that have a questionable authenticity be listed as a reprint, yet buyers are still bidding up these cards thinking they’ve found a diamond in the rough.

This guide will help you avoid these mistakes and help you become a better informed buyer when purchasing sports cards on eBay. 

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Honus Wagner T206 Baseball Card – Is It A Good Investment?

wagner-t206-poor-psaFor many readers (including myself) the T206 Honus Wagner card is mostly out of reach from an affordability standpoint. 

A recent example for the card in Poor condition sold for $1.4 million at auction

So unless you have some serious cash hanging around, the Wagner might not necessarily be an affordable investment at the moment.

Still, I thought it might be fun to examine the current values and populations for the T206 Wagner, while trying to see if we might be able to determine a future value for the card.  

Of course this is just an exercise, and nothing in this article should be construed as fact; we are mostly having some fun with numbers to see what the possibilities are.  

Do you have a T206 Wagner card?  Get in touch with me at chris@allvintagecards.com — I’d love to see it! 

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The Ten Best Pre-War Caramel Cards To Invest In Right Now

e90-1-speakerDespite the big move in vintage cards over the past few years, I still think there are great opportunities for collectors looking to invest in vintage baseball cards.

While in the past, I’ve advocated for strip cards as an under the radar investment in the hobby, in this piece, I’m going to take a closer look at pre-war baseball caramel cards.

Many vintage collectors often get consumed with early tobacco cards, such as the T206 White Borders set or the T205 Gold Borders set.  

However, many early caramel cards issued around the same time or a few years later, are rarer and often times less expensive. 

So, come along as I offer up ten vintage pre-war caramel baseball cards that I think could be excellent long term investments for vintage collectors.

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Vintage Basketball Card Values Are Soaring: Can The Momentum Last?

fleer-chamberlain-rookieVintage basketball card prices have been on a roll of late, fueled by speculation and demand for some of the hobby’s most prized possessions from the past

The boom in values has been fairly widespread throughout most of the vintage sports card market, but the flame seems to have really been held to basketball card values.

Why the increase in basketball card prices?  It’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason, just like it’s hard to tell you why Pets.com was one of the most loved stocks at the height of the stock internet bubble in 1999.  

Momentum can be a funny thing.  Using stock prices as an example, once that excessive demand builds in something that everyone wants to own, the underlying valuation of the item at hand tends to get thrown right out the window. 

It’s a lot easier to put a value on a stock then it is a basketball card.  With a company, you can evaluate the profits relative to the company’s value and growth prospects to determine if a company’s stock is over or undervalued.

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The Best Topps Baseball Card Sets of All Time

reggie-rookieIn our history of baseball cards piece, we discussed at length the history of the Topps baseball card company; from their initial entry with the 1951 Red and Blue Back sets to their acquisition of Bowman in 1956.

In this piece, we wanted to have a little fun and rank all of the Topps sets starting with the ’51 Blue/Red Back issue all the way to the 1980 Topps Baseball card set. 

Now of course, we’ve noted that anything produced prior to 1980 is considered to be vintage, but we figured with this piece, we’d keep it to an even thirty years of Topps issues.  

Our rankings are based on a few different factors:

1) Overall design of the set

2) Star and rookie card power in the set

3) Collector Demand

4) Investment Potential

I’m sure there will be some that collectors disagree with, so let us know in the comments what you think are the best Topps baseball card sets.

For now, we’ve provided full writeups on the best ten Topps sets of all time.  At some point we might expand the writeups for all thirty Topps sets. 

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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. 

four-ruth-goudey-1933

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

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