Archive for best baseball cards

Doin’ Two Babes at the Same Time

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Made you look, didn’t I?

So here’s a hypothetical question I’ve been pondering as it pertains to my two Babe Ruth vintage cards: You’ve only got room for one of the pictured cards in your collection in the depicted condition. Which do you choose?

Your choices include a 1960 Fleer Babe Ruth in decent condition, off-center top to bottom and right to left, rounded corners and some surface wear; and a 1967 Topps Venezuelan Babe Ruth in horrible shape, akin to the remains of a bar of soap found in a single man’s shower.

Now before you answer, I want you to consider all the factors.

The ’60 Babe Ruth is older, in nicer condition and features him in action, sorta. The back also has his career statistics (pitching and hitting), which is a big plus. It is a vintage Ruth, a card of which you can be proud to own. It’s decently valued at $100 in Beckett Baseball, but copies can be attained on eBay for about $20 in similar shape. For any collector, such a card would be a nice addition.

The ’67 Ruth is newer and just beat to a pulp. It’s rough around the edges, the card contains FIVE corners because part of the card has fallen off, it’s got evidence of having been stapled to something, and the back is written in Spanish — no statistics. Beckett Baseball has it valued at $700. But here’s where things get tricky. You’re going to have a hard time finding this card on eBay. It was produced for the people in Venezuelan four decades ago. There has not been a copy of this card on eBay in forever.

Both cards are encapsulated and deemed authentic by Beckett Grading.

Knowing these factors, which do you decide is right for your collection: The more plentiful, better condition 1960 Fleer card, or the much rarer, yet worse condition, 1967 Topps Venezuelan?

Remember, we are only talking about the pictured cards in this condition. You MUST choose only one. The card you choose can and will be the only Babe Ruth vintage card you ever own.

Rookie Card Showcase: 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente

Posted in Rookie Card Showcase with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

This is the part 15 of an ongoing series. To see other parts in this series, click here.

I’ve written about this Clemente card before (link), but the purpose of this particular post is to discuss condition. As you can see, this Clemente card is graded a 1 (Poor) by Beckett Grading. Upon learning the grade, one collector foolishly said the card was now worthless. Yeah, hardly.

It may be worth less, but hardly worthless. When it comes to vintage, condition means a lot, but it is not the end-all, be-all. We’d all like to be Mr. Mint and have collections of crisp cards that are five decades old. But fact of the matter is 90 percent of us are basic collector and can’t chase the high-end cards. Sometimes just owning an authentic copy of a legendary card — like this Clemente rookie — is enough.

Having said that, not all poor condition cards are equal, if you know what I mean. Cards that have creases, rips, stains, tears or ink are typically graded poor. This Clemente may be one of the nicest “poor” condition cards I’ve ever seen. It’s not mint, but the card is gorgeous. There is a crease that runs through the back, but can’t be seen from the front. The corners are rounded, but still visible, and there is no paper loss, which is common among vintage cards because of the way collectors used to store them.

Clemente is one of the most popular players in the history of the game, and his rookie cards do not come cheap. You could probably get a really bad shape one (with writing, rips, etc.) for about $150, but one that looks like this will cost you no less than $250, maybe more. That’s hardly worthless.

Forget 2009 Topps 206, let’s see the real thing!

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve been on a binge lately with 2009 Topps 206. The reason I love these cards so much is because they remind me of the real deal for 100 years ago.

Fortunately, I own two copies of the original cards, two of the biggest stars of the period, Christy Mathewson and Nap LaJoie. I received these cards back from Beckett Grading on Tuesday and they are even nicer than they were two weeks ago when I cracked them from their less-superior PSA and SGC cases. The Mathewson is a Sweet Caporal back while the LaJoie features the more common Piedmont back, a design Topps used for the common backs for its 2009 minis. I do have a question for Topps though: Is the company looking to produce this set again in 2010? The original T-206s were distributed in 1909 AND 1911.

Card of the Day: 1985 Topps Pete Rose autograph

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

1985toppspeteroseautographGotta give a shout out to two people for making the acquisition of this card possible. First to Mario at Wax Heaven, who brought attention to a lot of 10 Pete Rose sets for sale on eBay, which a bunch of bloggers decided to split. And secondly to Chris G. from Project ’62, who bit the bullet and bought the lot to distribute to those expressing interest. Thanks to you both.

Now, about the card … Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1952 Topps Willie Mays

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

52mays1The time has come. For the last three years, I’ve had this “well loved” 1952 Topps Willie Mays card in my collection. It’s an iconic card representing the very first Topps card of the Giants legend, and one of the best cards in the historic set. But for the last year or so, it’s been removed from my main display case and sentenced to eternity in a dark box sitting among the rest of the cards, the majority of which are not even worthy of sharing the same room as this Mays. Continue reading