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Thread: OT: Baseball Cards

  1. #1

    OT: Baseball Cards

    Anyone collect? How does a newbie collector get started? I'm thinking that assembling a single team by year is a good starting point? Still co fused about what constitutes a complete team collection for a season. Lotta alternate edition cards seem to float around. Thanks.

  2. #2
    I have every Topps baseball card from 1970-1993 plus a lot of older star cards. My most valuable is a '54 Ernie Banks rookie card, which is worth some serious money because of it's amazing condition.



    I stopped collecting by sets in '93 because Topps started to sort the cards in a way that made it virtually impossible to collect sets by buying packs rather than just ordering a whole set, which I never found very fun. That plus the proliferation of so many different brands and different sets within brands made it too frustrating for someone who likes to have full sets like me.

    There are a lot of way to collect. Are you interested in mainly current cards or do you have a different era you prefer?

  3. #3
    True Blue Golden Bear bearister's Avatar
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    We used to play gambling games at recess at St. Paschal's in Oakland in the mid 1960's with our cards. One game was called "Make a leaner:" two players would alternate flipping baseball cards against a wall from 12 to 15 feet away and the first player who got a card to lean against the wall as opposed to falling flat on the ground, kept all the cards on the ground. Then there was "Knock down a leaner:" You leaned a card against a wall and then from the same distance the players would alternate flipping cards at the leaner trying to knock it down. The first player to knock it down got to keep all the cards laying on the ground.

    Those games could result the loss of big numbers of cards so you usually played with the crappy ones that generically came with every package of bubble gum. If you had real gambler's blood pulsating in your veins, both players agreed to play their coveted cards that were hard to get (Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, etc). When you lost games with those cards in the pot you cried for a week and were filled with self hatred. To this day I am traumatized to even look at the following cards that "got away":






    If we didn't lose them gambling, our moms threw them away when we went away to college. I assume since they were so battle warn from being pawns in gambling games, they would have been worthless anyway. I still wish I had mine, though---those and my Marx Toy Company WWII toy soldiers that also got hucked.
    Last edited by bearister; 06-18-2017 at 01:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bearister View Post
    We used to play gambling games at recess at St. Paschal's in Oakland in the mid 1960's with our cards. One game was called "Make a leaner:" two players would alternate flipping baseball cards against a wall from 12 to 15 feet away and the first player who got a card to lean against the wall as opposed to falling flat on the ground, kept all the cards on the ground. Then there was "Knock down a leaner:" You leaned a card against a wall and then from the same distance the players would alternate flipping cards at the leaner trying to knock it down. The first player to knock it down got to keep all the cards laying on the ground.

    Those games could result the loss of big numbers of cards so you usually played with the crappy ones that generically came with every package of bubble gum. If you had real gambler's blood pulsating in your veins, both players agreed to play their coveted cards that were hard to get (Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, etc). When you lost games with those cards in the pot you cried for a week and were filled with self hatred. To this day I am traumatized to even look at the following cards that "got away":






    If we didn't lose them gambling, our moms threw them away when we went away to college. I assume since they were so battle warn from being pawns in gambling games, they would have been worthless anyway. I still wish I had mine, though---those and my Marx Toy Company WWII toy soldiers that also got hucked.
    I still have a nearly complete set of 1959 cards (with quite a few "doubles"). I was able to keep my Mom from tossing them by keeping them hidden in a couple cigar boxes. Now they reside in a safe deposit box in the bank.

  5. #5
    Thanks guys. MB, the plan is starting with 2017, and then working backwards. Focusing on Dodgers and Topps. I noticed that you can buy "complete sets" by year. That does seem to take the fun out of the "hunt." Also, I'm confused as to what might be missing from a "complete set." Do these sets include all the variations? Again, appreciate the guidance.

  6. #6
    I have every regular issue and traded/update A's Topps card from 1966 to the present. So, I can relate to your Dodgers Topps team set idea. As you know, or will find out, Topps issues many sets during the course of a year. Opening Day etc. The one to focus on is what I call the regular set. 700 cards or so annually. Comes in Series 1 (beginning of the season), Series 2 (middle of the season), and traded/update (near the end of the season). I wait until the end of the season and buy what I call the complete A's set (~ 35 cards) all at once on Ebay - I used to back in the day have to go to card shows. The variations. I have to have every card featuring an A's player. For ex., if an A's player was an ERA leader, he'll be on the three headed AL ERA leaders card. If we make the post season, we should be on one or more playoff cards. Feel free to ask any questions. PS I also have every A's yearbook from 1964. Weird. I know.

  7. #7
    Hang on to your Honus Wagner rookie cards. Might be worth something some day.
    Go Bears!

  8. #8
    I have seen the T 206 Honus Wagner Card at Cooperstown.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mealpoints View Post
    Thanks guys. MB, the plan is starting with 2017, and then working backwards. Focusing on Dodgers and Topps. I noticed that you can buy "complete sets" by year. That does seem to take the fun out of the "hunt." Also, I'm confused as to what might be missing from a "complete set." Do these sets include all the variations? Again, appreciate the guidance.

    Cards are different now. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle drove the baseball card market in the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately this led to massive overprinting. In the mid oughts the card companies started to move towards limited printing and created several releases varying in costs. The parallel cards were special cards with even less printing, which lead to the 1 of 1 prints. Topps releases several types of cards as does the other manufacturers. Topps mint is the most expensive Topps product for baseball and runs between $900-1200 per box of 5 cards.

  10. #10
    Active Bear Steam67's Avatar
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    One of my good friends is a card collecting maniac. He has complete sets going back to the early sixties and many many more cards from earlier than that. He keeps them in an old card catalog he snagged from a local library. He has many impressive HOF rookies and the like, but his personal favorite is a card of Moe Berg, who has a great story if you've not heard of him.

  11. #11
    True Blue Golden Bear bearister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steam67 View Post
    One of my good friends is a card collecting maniac. He has complete sets going back to the early sixties and many many more cards from earlier than that. He keeps them in an old card catalog he snagged from a local library. He has many impressive HOF rookies and the like, but his personal favorite is a card of Moe Berg, who has a great story if you've not heard of him.
    Do you think he would be interested in playing gambling games with his cards that 11 and 12 year olds used to play on the playground?

  12. #12
    I am familiar with the Moe Berg story- that card is a real treasure.....

  13. #13
    I use to collect baseball cards but gave up in the mid 90s. In recent years I've actually started collecting older football and basketball cards. I've got several copies of the Bird/Magic rookie card and of course the Jordan 86 Fleer rookie card. One of the few newer cards I purchased was an Aaron Rodgers autographed rookie card from Upper Deck. It's the one with a part of his Jersey on the card and it's sequentially numbered to 100. I bought it on eBay back during his 3rd year in the NFL for only $60 because everyone thought he sucked. I have no idea how much it's worth today since it's so rare and I haven't seen one on sale for a long time but pretty sure I can get 10X what I paid for it.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Card graders are meticulously picky about everything, especially the highest card grades for very valuable cards. The centering has to be perfect, the corners so square they'll give you paper cuts, no wax film or tiny, almost imperceptible indentations when you hold it at an angle to the light, etc.

    The difference between a perfect-looking NM-MT 8 to a MT 9 is 32.5k vs. 250k. My Ernie Banks rookie card looks perfect to me but I bet they wouldn't even grade it NM-Mt 8.

    I have the '54 Willie Mays, which is my 2nd favorite Willie Mays card to the '56 Mays, which is one of my all-time favorites of any player.



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