Thursday, December 17, 2009

1939 Play Ball Baseball Card Set

The 1939 Play Ball Baseball Card Set of 161 cards was the first set ever produced by Gum, Inc. of Philadelphia and was a nice improvement over earlier baseball cards.  The Goudey Gum Co. had by then lost interest in baseball cards and had not had a major issue in several years.

The 1939 Play Ball Baseball Card Set had a plain design but featured a larger card, crisper black and white photos and more detailed player descriptions than previous baseball cards.  About half the players in the 1939 Play Ball Baseball card set make their first appearance on a baseball card and are technically considered Rookie Cards.  If it were not for Play Ball, many players from this generation would have never had a baseball card.  The two blue chip 1939 Play Ball rookie cards are Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams.

One possible flaw of the 1939 Play Ball set is that the players' names are not on the front of the card.  Even if you know your baseball, you often have to turn over the card to determine who the player is.  This flaw must have been made known to the company by collectors of the day, because the 1940 set featured the names on the front of the cards.  If you watch my 1939 Play Ball Set Break video, you will see that I fell into this trap by incorrectly identifying a card as Dizzy Dean! The card is actually his brother Paul!

Another knock on the 1939 Play Ball Baseball card set  is that so many of the stars of the day did not have cards issued in the set because their cards were scheduled to be in this missing third series.  The most noticeable missing player was Lou Gehrig.  In 1939 no one realized that the big guy was sick and that 1939 would be his last season.  Some of the other Hall of Fame players that did not appear in the 1939 Play Ball set are Ernie Lombardi, Johnny Mize, Joe Cronin, Luke Appling, Bob Feller, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove and Joe Gordon – just to name a few.

Hank Greenberg

On the back of each 1939 Play Ball baseball card, it states that the set contains 250 cards, but Gum, Inc.  never issued the 3rd Series of cards.  Baseball cards were a new product for the company.  My guess is that the production of the cards took longer than expected and as the season was nearing its end, the company became fearful that the planned 3rd series would not be issued in time to sell enough cards to cover costs.

The 1939 Play Ball baseball set is also very unbalanced in terms of players per team.  For example, there are 19 cards of Dodgers players, 15 cards for the Red Sox and Giants – while the Browns only have 5 players on cards, the Indians have 4, and the White Sox have only 2 of their players featured on cards.

The reason for this misallocation remains a mystery.  If you stood up and said, “Play Ball only bothered making cards of the best players!”, it is a good thought, but please sit back down, this logic does not hold.  The 1938 NL Champion Chicago Cubs had NONE of their players on cards in the 1939 Play Ball set! So, where are the Cubs?

None of the articles or books that I looked at even mentioned this fact.  Neither do the Beckett or SCD Price Guides.  The only reason that I noticed there were no Cubs players in the 1939 set was because of the advanced functionality of the Dean’s Cards website.

If you go to the 1939 Play Ball Reprint set (because it contains every card in the set) on and look at the refinements tool in the right hand margin, you can see how many players are represented for each team. There had to be some reason for this misallocation, but it seems to be lost to history.

The 1939 Play Ball set has been largely ignored in collecting circles over the years.  Much more attention has been paid to the later, more advanced Play Ball sets.  Information about the 1939 set is limited and much of the insight in this article is my own.  Please feel free to add to or correct anything that I missed in the comments section below.

The 1939 Play Ball Baseball card set was a bold and innovative first issue for Gum, Inc. and began a grand new (but short-lived) era for baseball cards.  The Play Ball cards expanded the number of cards issued in the 1940 Play Ball set and added color to the cards for 1941 set.  Gum, Inc. was definitely gaining momentum, but that all changed (as did much of American life) the moment Admiral Yamamoto’s planes dropped their bombs on Pearl Harbor.  Play Ball was done after only three years, having its life cut short by the paper and ink rationing of World War II.

The very nice 1939 Play Ball Reprint set is available at Dean’s Cards for the budget collector.  The 1939 Play Ball Reprint cards are an affordable way to buy a Complete Set or build a Team Set at an affordable price.

Click here to see Dean’s YouTube Video about a 1939 Play Ball set break

Click here to buy 1939 Play Ball

Click here to sell your cards

Click to visit

1939 Play Ball baseball card set facts:
  • Issued by: Gum, Inc. of Philadelphia
  • ACC#: R334
  • Size: 2 ½” x  3 1/8”
  • 161 cards.  Issued in 2 series.
  • Cards are numbered 1 to 162.
  • Card #126 was never issued
  • Innovations: Largest card size to date, actual player photos, detailed biographies, & the players full name.
  • # of Rookie Cards: too many for me to count!  Probably more than half the set.
  • Most Expensive Cards: are the Rookie Cards of #26 Joe Dimaggio and #92 Ted Williams
  • 3 Rookie Cards of Hall-of-Famers: add #7 Bobby Doerr to Ted & Joe D
  • Hall-of-Fame Players: 17 (by my count)
  • HOF Player’s best card: #30 Bill Dickey
  • HOF Player’s worst card: #50 Charlie Gehringer.  Not a bad card, but his hat seems crooked.
  • Specialty cards: #106 Dolly Stark, an Umpire and #113 Al Schacht, the Clown Prince of Baseball
  • Reprint set available

Ted Williams Baseball Cards

Ted Williams baseball cards are some of the most sought after cards in the hobby.  Since Dean’s Cards is featuring the 1939 Play Ball set break that includes the Ted Williams Rookie Card this week, it is an ideal time for Ted to be our Player of the Week.

Williams was the best pure hitter in the American League for both the decades of the 1940’s and 1950’s.  He was an American Hero that took almost five seasons off to fight in two wars.  If Ted did not take time off to be a fighter pilot, he could have possibly broken Babe Ruth’s All-Time Home Run record.

Ted Williams is often compared to Joe Dimaggio as the most popular players of their day.  That debate will never end, but in terms of the most popular in terms of collectors, the nod has to go to Williams because he played nine years after Joe D retired and had many more cards than the Yankee Clipper.  Joe DiMaggio was never featured on a contemporary Bowman or Topps Card.

Ted Williams has to be the only player to have contemporary cards issued by Play Ball, Bowman, Topps and Fleer.  Williams really seemed to know how to work the card companies for the most money possible.

The 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams Rookie Card is a fresh change for many of the portrait shots of that particular set.  The 1940 Play Ball and 1941 Play Ball Ted Williams cards are case in point.

Williams signed with Bowman in 1950.  The 1950 Bowman and 1951 Bowman Ted Williams baseball cards are nice looking – although similar cards.  Ted was in Korea and did not have cards issued in 1952 or 1953.  Ted Williams reprint cards are available for 1939 Play Ball, 1940 Play Ball, 1941 Play Ball, 1950 Bowman and 1951 Bowman.

The 1954 Bowman #66 Ted Williams card is his most valuable card.  Due to a contract dispute, the card was pulled and very few were printed.  Ted had jumped to Topps in 1954 for the big bucks and is featured on both the first and last cards of the 1954 Topps set.  Years later, Williams was one of the few players to not give permission for his card to be reprinted in the 1954 Topps Reprint Set.

Williams remained with Topps through 1958, until he jumped to Fleer in 1959 to have an entire set of cards printed about his life story.  1959 Fleer #68 "Ted Signs for 1959" is the most expensive card of the set due to being pulled from production, because Bucky Harris did not want Fleer using his image.

Be careful when buying this 1959 Fleer #68 card as it was heavily counterfeited back in the 1970’s.  Dean’s Cards has seen quite a few 1959 Fleer sets where the seller was unaware that his #68 was a fake!  A counterfeit card #68 looks whiter than other 1959 Fleer cards when placed in the stack, has a thicker paper stock and somewhat of a checker board pattern on the front of the card.

Ted's last Topps cards feature him as the Senators manager from 1969 to 1972.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bringing Today’s Kids into the Hobby of Sports Collectables

Bringing Today’s Kids into the Hobby of Sports Collectables

The untapped market and how to get a piece of it

by Dean of Dean’s Cards

Originally written published November 20, 2005

The question that seems to be on everyone’s tongue for 2006 is “How do we bring the kids back into the Sports Card Hobby and then keep them for a lifetime?” 

The market potential for this segment is ripe.  Today’s kids have more time and money than any previous generation.  So why aren’t kids buying sports cards?  Many people have theories on the subject and the two most popular theories on why kids no longer buy baseball cards that we keep hearing are: a) there are so many card issues each year, and b) that kids are distracted by other options for their free time. Although there is some truth to each argument, I think that both of the above reasons miss the main point. 

The purpose of this brief is to address each of the popular theories on why young people are not buying sports cards, present a new perspective on the challenge and then offer a solution on how to bring the kids back into our hobby.

Argument #1:  For those that jumped up and yelled “There are too many cards issued every year.  Kids can not figure out what to buy!” 

 OK, I hear you. Now please kindly sit back down and consider the following.  So, is the number of products issued confusing kids?  The answer is “Maybe So”, but more products, also means more competition.  More competitors in a market offer a better selection for the buyer, improved products and competitive pricing.  Economics 101 taught us that these economic factors are all good things for the consumer in any industry. 

 The argument of “too many choices of cards to buy” makes as much sense as saying “Life was much better when the only cola choices were only Coke and Pepsi”.  Was life simpler? – Sure, but better? – Definitely Not.  What percentage of us still drink only Coke or Pepsi?  It may be a little more confusing these days when buying cola, but we seem to make out alright and the result has been ever increasing soda sales.  

 Back in the “good ole days, we had only had only three TV channels to watch, one type of sedan from each car manufacturer and could only buy plain potato chips. Who as a consumer wants to go back to that?  Competition has produced a great selection of products, more specific niches and greater overall sales.

 The people that get most frustrated with the number of sports card issues are often the old time collectors – myself included.  We remember when there was just one issue of cards, but today’s kids do not.  This multi-set environment is all that they have ever known.

 It is not realistic to blame the troubles in the hobby strictly on the numbers of products available for purchase. We have been hearing the “too many cards – the buyer is confused” excuse for so long that we now except it as a fact.  The truth is that this theory violates most economic principles.

 Economic Laws dictate that having more products for buyers to choose from has more positives for the consumer than negatives and will eventually produce and overall result of higher sales.  Economics principles also say that reducing the number of products may benefit the seller (not the buyer) through improved economies of scale.

 The number of card issues will finally begin to decline in 2006, but I doubt the gross number of cards sold will increase because there are less cards for buyers to choose from.  If economic principles hold true, the total number of sports cards sold in 2006 should decline compared to the cards sold in 2005! 


 Argument #2:  “There is too much neat stuff (other than sports cards) for kids to buy today…”

 There is a lot more competition these days for a young person’s dollars, but please remember the average child also has more money to spend than we did as kids.  The sports cards market can still get a smaller piece of the overall pie and still expand the hobby.

 I do not agree with the statement that sports cards have lost their appeal to kids.  It is just not true.  Kids still love to play with cards.  The Pokemon craze proves that.  When my son was 5 years old, he and his friends would sit around for hours playing Pokemon. 

 I love games and spent several hours one afternoon trying to figure out how to play the game of Pokemon.  I eventually staggered away dazed and confused.  The game is truly incomprehensible – not to mention BORING.  No one on planet Earth seems to really understand the rules to this senseless game, but lack of formal rules does not even slow the kids down.  They just make up their own rules and imagination takes over.  The pleasure for the boys seems to be collecting and then playing with the cards.

 No one is saying that external factors have not affected the sports card industry – but the bottom line is that these are factors that we as dealers can not influence in any big waySo even if I am wrong about this, our most productive course of action is to focus on factors within the hobby that we dealers can change, improve and innovate.

 The real issue facing our hobby is that sports cards are difficult for the kids to physically get to and buy. 

The problem is that the industry is still trying to sell baseball cards in the same way they were sold fifty years ago.  Most dealers insist on using the same tired “Point of Sale” techniques that were in place when we ourselves were kids.  It is time to wake up and smell the bubble gum!  The buying patterns of kids have changed.  

The ole “Sales are low because the product stinks” line is the oldest excuse in the book.  This excuse removes the blame from both the dealers and the manufacturers.  Could it be that dealers have not changed their marketing strategy to suit the contemporary consumer? 

In our particular industry, the product is established and proven.  Baseball cards have thrived for a century.  Manufacturers have done their part in continuing to develop products that kids want but the baseball card “is what it is”.  The card itself has even evolved and more attractive today than anytime in the past.  

This point is simple to prove.  Just hand any sports minded a boy a pack of sports cards and watch the kids tear them open!  They love them just as much as we did as kids. 

The product is still good.  It is the outdated marketing and sales model that needs to be brought into the 21st Century. 

Let’s explore how we bought baseball cards when we were kids.  We earned a couple dollars from doing our chores, then hopped on our bike and rode a mile or two to the local “Five & Dime”.  When we got there – we spent some of the money on candy.  After that, there was usually money left over for cards. 

America has changed.  Today, few kids even live near a local drug store and the “Five and Dime” has gone the way of the Milk Man.  Enter the Wal-Mart Super Center!  Even if kids live within two miles of a place that sold cards, which the vast majority do not, most parents would not let them go that far alone due to modern safety concerns.  Kids are now dependent of parents to drive them to either the Wal-Mart or across town to the local baseball card store.  That –in my humble opinion- is a real problem. 

Solution: If we want kids to buy sports cards then we must first market directly to the kids and then provide them an easier way to buy the product.   

For the last twenty years, the marketing effort for sports cards has been directed at the existing adult collectors, mainly because they have much more money to spend.  Today, the problem is that baseball card sales are declining in the adult segment in the hobby.  Tougher economic conditions force companies to focus to develop new markets.  The only logical new target market for sports cards is the young boys.  (How strange does it sound that “Kids are an untapped market for baseball cards?”) 

So how do we address this changed environment?  There is a simple answer that has been used in so many industries through out history: We implement new technology. In this case the improved technology is the Internet.   So why not sell cards to the kids online?  In fact, there is not another viable option.  

The main reasons that dealers should market online and target kids are clear and overwhelming: 

  1. Boys (as a market segment) are a much more computer literate market segment than the middle aged men that we currently market to and look how successful online sales to men have been over the last decade. 

  2. Kids know how to spend money online.  They all buy everything from toys to e-tunes.

  3. Today’s youth have money to spend. 

  4. Kids have much more free time to spend on hobbies than middle aged adults.

  5. Just like the “Baby Boomers” that the Sports Card Hobby has historically targeted, the children in the U.S. are a very large segment of the population. i.e. There are a lot of them out these to sell to.

  6. Young people are less mobile than our adult customers–as most are too young to drive.  It is far easier for them to buy online than to ask one of their working parents to drive across town to the nearest store.

  7. Baseball Card Collecting remains one of the few things that a father and son can do together and both enjoy. 

The “kid” market is ripe, has plenty of dollars and it just waiting to be tapped – but for all the noise about bringing kids back into the hobby, no one markets directly to this market segment.  This is probably more the fault of the vendors than the manufacturers.  How many dealers have created websites designed to attract the 8 to 15 year old card collector?  If there is one - I have not seen it. 

The internet loves and rewards specific niches and this one is wide open.  An ideal kid friendly site would have games, chat boards, free downloads and lots of graphics.  It would not be that hard to design.  Just visit the sites that are most popular with kids and you can get some great ideas.  We do not have to “reinvent the wheel”, but only copy what is working to other industries.  Kids could find scans of the cards of their favorite players and buy them online.

 At some point a sports card dealer will be innovative enough to figure this out.  The first dealer that clues in on this and acts on it - will be rewarded.  Manufacturers would be wise to support these efforts.  I feel that we could do it at Dean’s Cards, but we have our hands full with vintage cards.

It is possible for card store owners get in the game and start selling to small niches of the hobby. It could be games, figures, statues, etc. Use promotions that you have been successful in your store and tested within your community.  If these programs work on a local level, why wouldn’t they work (with a few modifications) on the regional or even national level?  Think BIG!  Conquer the World. 

The e-store should be treated as a separate business for card dealers, but it could also benefit walk-in traffic for the store. Internet sales would allow stores to keep a wider selection of product to offer your walk-in customers.  This would attract people to your store from much further away and it is proven that the number of miles that a person drives to get to a store is directly correlated with the amount that he spends when he arrives. 

A simple website can be designed in a few hours for several hundred dollars.  Start slow and expand as business dictates. 

Examples in other industries

 This is the same basic trend that has revolutionized the music industry over the last two years.  The music executives fought innovation for years and insisted that kids physically go to the mall to buy their music.  IT DID NOT WORK!  The result was Napster.  Kids started buying tunes online and the music industry was forced to adapt its 20th Century point-of-sale marketing techniques or die.  

Please notice that the music did not reduce the number of albums that are released – but increased the number of issues! The sports card hobby has now reached that same point as music industry was at a couple years ago - modernize or continue to decline.  The good news is the many of the old music stores have adapted, survived and thrived by expanding the type of products they carry. Baseball card stores must adopt the same type strategy or the current trend of store closures will continue. 


Most of us realize that the traditional sports card store is under tremendous economic pressure.  This current buying trend in the card collecting hobby first appeared a decade ago.  As the internet and e-commerce has become more popular, the local “physical” card stores have steadily disappeared.  There is a strong correlation between the two events.  Unfortunately, for the physical sports card store there is no quick fix to this long-term trend.  But this trend has also opened new possibilities for innovative entrepreneurs. 

The recent reduction of new card issues market may eventually help the hobby – but if anyone thinks reducing the number of new card issues from 120 to 60 – is going to reverse the current collecting trends and its effect on the local card store - they are mistaken.  

The economic change in the sports card hobby is a classic business school case of innovation affecting an existing industry.  New technology changes the consumer’s buying habits.  Vendors either adapt or disappear. 

Overall eCommerce sales are doubling every year.  It is faster, cheaper and easier for the collector to buy baseball cards online.  Many baseball card buyers have proven they are willing forgo the personal interaction given in card stores in order to obtain the convenience, increased selection and discounts of buying online.  

The store owners who thrive in the coming years are going to be the ones that embrace technology and use it to promote and their stores.  Card stores can certainly maintain their local presence, but to they must become more “national” in the way that they sell their products.  

The baseball card store is not disappearing - it is just becoming “virtual” instead of physical. The e-store has a better selection, is more cost efficient and is more convenient via the internet.   The Physical Location of the store was very important twenty years ago.  Owners would pay top dollar for a prime location in a busy mall.  This is no longer the case.  Dean’s Cards is the “case and point”.  We sell to all fifty states. 

I believe that Dean’s Cards is a model of the 21st Century Sports Card StoreThat said, if we do not continue to improve and adapt – Dean’s Cards will also get pushed aside by more innovative entrepreneurs. 

The dealer that does not implement new technology will be at a huge competitive disadvantage and will have a very hard time competing in the 21st century.  The few select sports cards stores that survive will serve specific niches.  The exception to this rule will be a few stores in the major metropolitan areas. 

If it is possible for Dean’s Cards to come out of nowhere and lead the vintage card niche in online sales – it is certainly possible the progressive “brick and mortar” card store dealer to do the same thing within other niches of the hobby. If it is possible to market vintage cards to middle aged men online – then it should be much easier to pick online themes that will attract younger collectors (who are much more computer literate) to the hobby.   

Closing Comments

 The goal of this brief is to bring some self-awareness to the hobby that I love.  There is no way we can fix what is wrong in the sports cards hobby until the real problems facing us are clearly defined. 

The consumer is always the ultimate judge.  Sports cards dealers are slowly figuring out the things discussed in this paper and will adapt in time.  The innovative dealers will continue to thrive.  The weak will disappear. 

I am not discouraged by the negative comments that I sometimes hear about the sports card hobby.  The balance of power has shifted.  Many of the “old guard” that has dominated baseball card collecting for decades is being replaced by a new breed of innovative dealers.  

The displaced always make the most noise.  The card dealers that are doing well are the ones quietly going about improving and growing their businesses by giving cards collectors what they want. 

Less new card sales may be a little frustrating to some, but will hopefully have the long-term result of a stronger hobby.  If this paper can assist anyone associated with the hobby in “parting the fog” and then craving out a new niche, then the paper has served its purpose.  I truly believe that the best times for the sports card hobby are still ahead of us and kids will still be collecting baseball cards a century from now. 

Take Care,



 Dean’s Background

 Dean’s background includes an Undergraduate Business Degree from Auburn University and Masters in Business from the University of Southern California.  He also has 15 years of product marketing and sales experience in the software industry, where he helped businesses use technology to achieve sales.

 Dean escaped Corporate America and started Dean’s Cards in 2002.  In a few years, Dean’s Cards has become the largest online store for vintage sports cards.  Dean’s Cards features an online vintage card inventory in excess of 100,000 cards.  No other site compares.  

****Update to original article****

 As I was cleaning up the hard drive on my computer this weekend, I came across this article that I wrote four years ago.  The article was originally written as a submission for a contest held by Sports Co0llector’s Digest to win a free scholarship to the Hawaii trade conference that they sponsor.   The theme of that year’s show was “How to bring kids back into cards collecting”. 

 Someone else was awarded the free scholarship.  The Hawaii conference was originally created for the sports card shops and it seemed that the judges were looking for marketing solutions that would reserve the trend of the disappearing retail sports card store – without really asking shop owners to make any major changes.  The conclusions included ideas for special events and ways to give better customer service at the card stores and card shows.  In short, keep doing the same thing, but do it harder. 

 In fairness, I am not sure anything can halt the decline of the sports card shop. The real problem facing the card stores is that technology has changed the hobby and America’s buying patterns.  The internet has provided a faster, better and cheaper way to collect sports cards and goes together like beer and hot dogs. 

 It is very interesting to me to see what I was thinking back then, how much of it that we have implemented into Dean's Cards and also how much has changed in the hobby.

 The following things have happened in the four years since I wrote the original article: 

  1. The card manufacturers have greatly decreased the number of card issues.

  2. Overall sales of sports cards continue to decline.

  3. The professional sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA) have all reduced the number of manufacturers licensed to produce cards.

  4. Sports card stores continue to disappear.  According to SCD there are now less than 500 card stores, down from over 5000 in the early 1990’s.

  5. The Hawaii Trade Conference was moved to the mainland several years ago.

  6. The SCD magazine continues to shrink in size. Some of the recent issues are now under 40 pages.

  7. Dean’s Cards has since moved out of my basement into a 1500 sq ft office in 2006 and moved again to our current 3000 sq. ft. office in 2007.

  8. Dean’s Cards (is the only dealer that I know of that) offers representative scans of almost all of the cards that we sell.

  9. Dean’s now has 800,000 cards online and has grown several times over in both sales and number of employees.



December 14, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards

Mickey Mantle baseball cards are in more demand than cards from any other player from the post-war vintage era.  Part of the reason was that the New York Yankees were in 14 of the 16 World Series between 1949 and 1964.  This dominance will probably never be matched.  Much of the reason the Yankees were post season regulars every year was because of Mantle.

Mickey’s Rookie card is officially from 1951 Bowman, but the 1952 Topps card is the most famous and has book value of $20,000!  If you can not afford those, you may want to consider some of his reprint cards.  They are very popular with collectors.

Mantle had an exclusive contract with the Bowman Gum Company in 1954 and 1955, so he has no Topps cards for those years.  1956 and 1957 are some of Mantle’s best looking Topps cards, then for some reason Topps decided to issue a run of Mickey Mantle portrait shots from 1958 to 1963.
Mickey Mantle Overstock Sale!

As the vintage set of the week is the 1959 Topps baseball card set, we might as well feature the key card in the set #10 Mickey Mantle.  This is one of the most popular of Mantle cards with a Beckett Book Value of $1000.  Although, cards of “The Mick” are always in demand, we currently have 9 of the 1959 Topps #10 in “Very Good” condition.  We have marked this card down another $50, so with your discount – you can buy this card for $225!

Dean with the 1959 and 1964 Topps Giants Mantles

We also marked down the 1964 Topps Giants Mickey Mantle card in “Near Mint” Condition and #487 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle All Star card in "Excellent" .  The 1958 card was a “triple print”.  Dean’s Cards currently has 13 of the 1964 Topps Giants and 15 of the 1958 Mantle All-Star cards in stock, so we can afford to offer a very nice savings for the holidays. These two cards give the budget collector a chance to own an original Mickey Mantle in nice condition for under $100.  The cards will return to regular prices at the end of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving from Dean’s Cards.

1959 Topps Baseball Card Set

The 1959 Topps Baseball Card Set, with 572 cards, was the largest set that Topps produced up until that time.  The innovative circle design gave the 1959 Topps baseball card set a unique look as has not been duplicated to date.

Because of this design, the 1959 Topps set seemed to feature more than its share of head shots as it was more difficult to fit in the full body shot of the player onto the card.

The best hitter of the 1950’s in the NL, Stan Musial, made his first appearance on a Topps regular card with #150.  The best hitter in the AL, Ted Williams disappeared from Topps and signed a contract with Fleer and would never appear on a contemporary Topps card again.

Card #440 Lew Burdette is shown as a left-handed pitcher.  As the story goes, the spit-ball pitcher and Warren Spahn traded gloves for the Topps photograher as a joke, but only the photo of Burdette was used by Topps.

The 1959 Topps baseball card set was issued in six series.  The first five series (cards #1-506) are fairly common and feature red and green print on the back of the cards.  The sixth series that starts at card #507 is much harder to find and more expensive to buy has distinctive red and black backs.

Dean’s Cards sells quite a few “Low Number” 1959 Topps sets, because of the expense of the sixth series.  This last series contains mostly no name players and All-Star cards.  The sixth series contains only two cards of players that ended up in the Hall-of-Fame: #514 Bob Gibson & #515 Harmon Killebrew

Another interesting characteristic is the back of the cards alternate between using white and grey cardboard.  For example, cards #1 to 110 have white backs and then starts with grey backs on #111, switches back to white backs on card #204, etc.  This trait gives the cards a very unique look when viewed in a set box.  I've never heard a good reason for why the cards are this way.

1959 Topps baseball card set contained almost 100 specialty cards that fall into five main categories:
  1. 16 team cards with checklists on the back.
  2. 17 multi-player cards
  3. 10 Baseball Thrills cards (#461 to 470) tell about great plays or events
  4. 31 Sporting News Rookie Cards numbered from card #116 to 146.  This subset started a trend that remains until today.
  5. 22 Sporting News All-Stars cards numbered #551 to 572.

Each of the subsets featured a unique design on the front and back of the card.  There also 3 special cards of Warren Giles, Ford Frick and Roy Campanella after his accident.

The 1959 Topps Baseball card set facts:
  • 572 cards, issued in 7 series
  • Card Size: 2 ½” x 3 1/2”
  • Innovations: Subsets, Rookie Cards, largest set to date
  • Rookie Cards: 24 (Norm Cash, Felipe Alou & Bill White)
  • 2 Hall-of-Fame Rookie cards: #514 Bob Gibson and #338 Sparky Anderson
  • 35 Cards of Hall-of-Famers
  • Most Expensive Card: #10 Mickey Mantle
  • Hardest to find: #514 Bob Gibson
  • Saddest Card: #550 Roy Campanella
  • HOF Player’s Worst Card: #455 Larry Doby
  • HOF Player’s Best Card: #439 Brooks Robinson

Click Here to buy 1959 Topps Baseball Cards

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

1953 Bowman Baseball Card set

1953 Bowman Color Wax Wrapper
The 1953 Bowman Baseball Card set was Bowman Gum’s answer to Topps Giant Sized cards from 1952.  The 1953 Bowman Baseball Cards, with their beautiful color images are my personal favorite.  No names, captions or team logos – just great pictures.  1953 Bowman cards were a great leap ahead in the evolution of baseball cards and demonstrated the result of a competitive marketplace.

The 1953 Bowman Baseball Cards feature the multi-player cards and the first action shot - #33 Pee Wee Reese.  The Musial card is his last card until 1958.  The notable missing stars are Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, who were under contract to Topps, and Ted Williams, who was flying jets in Korea.

There were 160 cards in the 1953 Bowman set and rumor has it that the company spent too much money producing the cards.  In response, the last 64 cards were issued in the form of the 1953 Bowman Black & White Baseball Card set.  Because of the lack of stars and color, the Black & White set is the far less popular of the two sets.

The 1953 Bowman baseball card set was the most innovative card of it's day.  The photography is beautiful and so well staged.  The pictures seem to fit the players' persona.  Examples include: #9 Rizzuto bunting, #81 Country Slaughter leaning on his bats, #32 Musial in the dugout, #59 the graceful swing of the Mick, #121 Berra with his glove and mask, #62 the Muscles of Big Klu, and the multi-player shots #93 of Martin & Rizzuto and #44 Berra, Bauer & Mantle.

Also unique about these cards is that you do not see the images used in other years, as was the case of many of the Topps Cards of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  This is my favorite set of all-time.  Please vote for your favorite card and let us know what you think.

In addition to the original cards, both the 1953 Bowman Baseball Card Reprint set and 1953 Bowman Black & White Baseball Card Reprint set are available online at Dean’s Cards.

Dean's Cards Featured in the Business Courier

A business he loves is in the cards

Imagine surrounding yourself with baseball cards all day. Tons of cards. Hundreds upon thousands.

That’s the life of Dean Hanley.

Dean Hanley
Dean Hanley has more than 850,000
baseball cards available through his online store.
He left his job in 2000 after 10 years in the software industry. Tech firms were cutting like crazy, and he had to find something else.

A collector since childhood, Hanley was searching online for cards to fill out a season’s set. Not finding many, he started Dean’s Cards – just him and his dog in his basement.

His company, which now has seven employees, has moved twice and operates out of a 3,000-square-foot space in Oakley. But it isn’t a typical baseball card shop.

There’s no walk-in retail business. The office, in a light industrial area, has no real card displays, just a few cards on the walls.

But behind the facade is a treasure trove. Hanley has more than 850,000 cards indexed and for sale at

Being a tech guy, using a Web site to sell was a natural. Hanley figures he has the largest vintage-card inventory online. “The Internet is the great middleman,” he said.

Taking an actual middleman out of the equation and avoiding the costs of a retail shop allow him to save money so he can buy and sell at better prices than others can.

Starting a business is a daunting task

“You have to have a product that’s better, faster or cheaper than the next guy,” Hanley said. “I knew marketing, and I knew baseball cards.”

At first, friends were skeptical.

“I was the laughingstock of our little village,” the Mariemont resident said. “People would say, ‘He’s selling baseball cards, for God’s sake.’”

It didn’t seem like much at first for a guy with an MBA. His wife, who also has an MBA, gave him two years to be able to support the family. They had small children, and she planned to stay home after that.

Hanley made it by first taking a modest income out of the business. Sales have surged 40 percent a year until this year.

Revenue is down about 25 percent this year, but he’s not disheartened. “Hopefully, this is a little bump in the road,” he said.

Industry insiders: probably is just a bump

Baseball card collecting has slowed overall. But the vintage part of the market – mainly pre-1980s cards – in which Hanley does most of his business is holding up, said T.S. O’Connell, editor of Iola, Wis.-based trade publication Sports Collectors Digest.

“The vintage end appears to have withstood a slowdown in the economy,” O’Connell said. “The last 18 months, we haven’t noticed the huge softness you would have expected.”

Hanley focuses on the customer, who mainly wants orders shipped correctly and quickly. He ships them out the same day the orders come in, tens of thousands of cards a month.

The cards in his shop are almost unfathomable. The oldest is an 1887 tobacco card, which is how baseball cards were delivered back then. The most valuable is a 1909 Ty Cobb card worth $5,000. He has 1933 Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig cards.

Then there are the other memorabilia. Cards make up about 85 percent of sales. But Hanley also has every issue, ever, of Sports Illustrated. He has a batch of old issues of The Sporting News. Stacks of “Who’s Who in Baseball” guides. He has media guides, yearbooks and old sports magazines.


Johnny Bench Baseball Cards

62070-004-62D5E304Johnny Bench was the greatest catcher of the 1970's and possibly of all-time. When you look back, Bench was the best hitting, best fielding, best running, best throwing and hit with the most power for his position for the entire decade.  How many players can you think of that dominated any position like that?  Bench gets my vote for the MVP of the 1970's.  I would love to hear your comments.

As far as the  Johnny Bench Rookie Card from 1968 goes, it leaves much to be desired, but was typical of cards from that era. Not that I have anything against Ron Tompkins, but it is hard for collectors to get excited about this card.

I think that Johnny Bench baseball cards are one of the best bargains - when you consider how great of a player that he was.  Bench is not as popular of a person as many stars and seems to be overshadowed by the personalities of Pete Rose, Tony Perez and Joe Morgan.

The 1969 Topps, 1970 Topps and 1975 Topps cards of Johnny Bench are nice posed catcher position shots. The 1969 Topps Bench Card photo was taken in spring training one year before he made the team and shows him wearing #55.  Also be sure to check out the action shots in the 1972 through 1974 years at Dean's Cards. Bench may have the best Topps Baseball Cards of anyone of the decade. His cards in the 1980’s were fairly boring portraits.

To see Dean’s Cards inventory of Johnny Bench Baseball Cards and Magazines, please click here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1933 Goudey Baseball Cards

The 1933 Goudey Baseball Card Set is recognized as the first important gum release.  America was deep in the depression in 1933 and kids did not have many pennies to spend.  For a product to get that penny, there had to be value.  The Goudey Gum Company of Boston launched its revolutionary “Big League Gum” product.

The 1933 Goudey Baseball Cards were printed on thick cardboard stock, with bright colorful pictures and came with a nice big slab of gum.  They were a great improvement over the smaller, thinner cardboard tobacco and candy cards that preceded them.  It is important to remember that 1933 Goudey cards were the first color portraits of these stars that most people ever saw.

The Goudey Gum Company tried hard to give the customers what they wanted.  The greatest stars of the game had multiple cards.  There are 4 different 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards and #144 Ruth was double printed.  The 1933 Goudey Baseball card set also has three cards of Joe Cronin and two cards each of Jimmy Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Carl Hubbell and Mel Ott.

Dean's Cards has a great selection of 1933 Goudey baseball cards.  If you can not afford the original Goudey cards, please check out the 1933 Goudey Baseball Card Reprint set.

Double X - Jimmie Foxx

When I was writing the article for this week’s featured baseball card set 1933 Goudey, I did a little research to see who won the MVP for 1933.  I was guessing Ruth or Gehrig.  I was mistaken.

Jimmie Foxx won the MVP award in 1932 by hitting .364, 58 HR and 169 RBI’s.  In 1933, Foxx’s number slumped to .356, 48 HR and only 163 RBI’s.  This was good enough to win the Triple Crown and another MVP award.

Jimmie Foxx was discovered in High School by Frank "Home Run" Baker.  Baker was manager for the Class D Easton team and he signed Foxx in 1924. As the story goes, Baker owed his old manager, Connie Mack, a favor and told Mack about Foxx.   In 1925, Foxx came to the Athletics as 17 year old Catcher.  The A’s already had a Hall-of-Famer at that position in Mickey Cochrane, so Foxx spent the first 3 years sitting on the bench next to the Old Professor.  Jimmie finally got a real chance to play in 1928 and in 1929. Connie Mack installed Foxx at 1B and the Athletics won the AL Pennant for the next 3 years.

Mr. Mack had to eventually sell off his great players due the depression and Foxx soon was sent the Boston Red Sox.

Dean's Cards currently has quite a few Jimmie Foxx cards in stock.  Some originals and a full supply of reprints.  Either way, they are all fun to look at.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

1970 Topps Baseball Card Pricing

I just adjusted the pricing of the 1970 Topps Baseball Cards in the Dean's Cards inventory and made the following observations:

  • 1970 Topps cards 1 to 546 are well populated and readily available in all conditions.

  • The League Leader cards are very attractive and easy to find.

  • The toughest cards to find are the guys who played for the Mets and Cubs.

  • The World Series cards of the games that the Mets won are much harder to find than those of the games that the Orioles won!

  • Some of the star cards for this year sell for more than their book values:  Killebrew, Olivia, Rose, Bench.

  • Dean’s Cards always seems to be missing #600 Willie Mays when building 1970 Topps Sets.

1969 Topps Baseball Card Prices

I just adjusted the pricing of the 1969 Topps Baseball Cards that Dean's Cards has in stock and made the following observations that you might find interesting.

  • The 1st Series of the 1969 Topps Baseball Cards are definitely the most populated.  The nice thing about this is that the league leaders cards are relatively easy to acquire.  1969 has some of my favorite league leaders cards.

  • The #47 C Paul Popovich error card with “C” on the helmet is hard to find and worth more than most price guides give it credit for.

  • The scarcest team to find is the Mets – because of their World Series victory.  1969 Topps cards of the Mets players are extremely difficult to find, with the exception of J.C. Martin.

  • Less scarce, but still difficult to find  are guys who played for the Cubs and Tigers.

  • When we are building 1969 Topps sets, we are often missing the World Series Cards.

  • The 1969 Topps Last Series is not as tough as most years, but some of the cards sell for more than the Beckett Price Guide gives them credit for.  It often depends on the card.  Some High # cards we have dozens of, but others we have none.

  • We always seem to be missing the Rollie Fingers Rookie Card when we are building sets.

  • The white letter variations are greatly under priced by both Beckett and SCD Price Guides.  These cards are harder to find than a purple unicorn.

Another interesting note is that Dean's Cards sponsors the 1969 Topps Blog .  This is one of my favorite blogs and is a great read if you have not seen it.  We donated about a dozen cards that we have 14 or more quantity in that particular condition.  Among them was the Rod Carew All-Star card and the Pete Rose card.  I was very surprised that we have that many of Pete.

Vintage Baseball Card Pricing

Vintage baseball card pricing and baseball card values are often a point of debate among collectors.  What a card will (or will not) sell for is often a surprise for many sellers.

A few years ago when Dean’s Cards was a new site, I would often list items online at the Beckett Adjusted (for Condition) Book value or ABV.  There were a few times, when a dealer would go online and buy out the entire inventory and resell them at a profit.  Even worse, some book values were too high and the items would sell slowly or not at all.  That is a very frustrating feeling.

Although Beckett Price Guides and the Sports Collectors Digest Price Guides are a decent reference for sports card pricing, Dean’s Cards has developed our own retail pricing over the years.  I truly feel that the pricing that Dean’s Cards uses is more accurate for us than the Beckett or SCD Prices.  I do not make this boast lightly.

Both Beckett and SCD  sell their pricing, but neither actually buys or sells sports cards!  It is much like the Priest who gives marriage advice.  He may be very intelligent and well educated on the subject matter, but there is no substitute for experience.

Dean’s Cards buys cards from private collectors, online sellers and other dealers.  We also sell hundreds of thousands of sports and non-sports cards through the Dean’s Cards eStore.  We know when something moves fast or does not sell at all.  We also know which cards are scare and which are plentiful.  We build dozens and dozens of sets each year.  Quite often we will notice that a particular card always seems to be missing.

Please do not get me wrong.  Both Beckett and SCD Price Guides are good products and are a credit to the hobby.  The people that work there know a lot about cards, but Dean’s Cards has the advantage of having an 850,000 card (and counting) inventory of which to gather information.  We can look at a simply look at our online inventory for a particular year and observe that we have twelve of card #253, twenty-three of card #254, seventeen of #255 and only one of card #256.

A great example of a rare common card is the 1970 Topps Al Oliver.  It seems that we are always missing that card.  What is so special about it?  I have no idea, but we always seem to be missing it to complete the set and it is usually hard to find when I go shopping for it online.

Another example is the 1969 Topps World Series Cards.  We have built dozens of 1969 Topps sets and we always have to go looking for those cards.  Those cards are way under priced in the official price guides.

A final example are the 1966 Topps high number baseball cards can rarely be bought for below book value in any condition.  For that reason, a 1966 Topps set is one of the hardest to complete.

As we adjust the pricing for different sets over time, I will make a blog posting of our observations.  Hopefully, we will be able to make our pricing available online in the near future.

Please leave your comments and examples of other cards that are “mis-priced”.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dave Concepcion – Best Shortstop of the 1970’s

The biggest injustice of the Hall of Fame is that they refuse to allow the great shortstops of the 1960's and 1970's through the door.   The only exceptions are Luis Aparicio and Robin Yount.  The Dean's Cards player of the Week is Dave Concepcion who played in four World Series and was named to the All-Star Game 9 times between 1973 and 1982. 

The Hall-of-Fame selection committee prefers the hard hitting first basemen and outfielders to the slick fielding infielders – but the saying goes “you can not win a pennant unless you are strong up the middle”.  As much as I like Concepcion’s old road game roommate and Hall-of-Famer Tony Perez – Concepcion would have been much harder for the Reds to replace than Perez.  In fact, the Reds had Danny Dreissen waiting in the wings for four years until they decided to trade Perez for a couple journeyman pitchers.

Shouldn’t there be at least one shortstop in the Hall of Fame for every 1B or every LF?  OK, I realize that hitters are more exciting. What about just one SS for every three 1B?  If that were the case you would see guys like Jim Fregosi, Maury Wills, Don Kessinger, Larry Bowa, Bert Campaneris and Davy Concepcion elected.  They were the best at their position during their time.

The first game that I ever attended was at Crosley Field on April 16, 1970.  My parents took me to the game as the Reds were going to move to the new stadium after the All-Star game that year.  The Reds beat the Dodgers 12 to 2.  Nineteen year-old Rookie Don Gullett relieved (soon to be retired) Jim Maloney for the first win of Gullett’s career.  Gullett also had a triple and a stolen base.  Concepcion went 0 for 4.

I was 5 years old at the time and did not notice any of those things.  What I do remember is that about a dozen Reds signed my glove.  At Crosley Field, the players had to walk past the fans to get from the clubhouse to the dugout.  With only 6100 people in the park that night, almost all of the players stopped to sign my glove.  You just do not see that anymore.

Concepcion was a 21 years old rookie who would start his 7th major league game that night.  Dave was so tall and skinny (6'2", 155 pounds) that he towered over me.  He handed me his "super sized" Coke through the green wrought iron fence that separated the fans from the players- which I needed both hands to hold - while he signed my mitt.   I was a bit surprised when I had to return the Coke to him because I assumed it was a gift!  My mother later told me that she was afraid that I would spill the Coke all down Concepcion’s bright white uniform.

Davy was very nice, but could not speak a word of English. At just 5 years old, I had never met someone who didn't speak English and I remember being worried for him because he could not communicate with other people to get food or find his way around.  My parents reassured me that the other Spanish speaking players on the team would help take care of him.  This is how I will always remember Dave Concepcion.

It is doubtful that many more of the great shortstops of the 1960's and 1970's will make the Hall-of-Fame anytime soon, especially since the shortstops in today’s game now routinely hit 25 HR’s and bat .300 each year.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Selling a Baseball Card Collection

Whether you are thinking of selling your boyhood collection or you have been handed the responsibility of liquidating the collection of a family member, it can be a very daunting task. This article reviews the options open to a person selling a vintage sports card collection and will hopefully assist in "parting the fog" on how to get the most money possible for your collection.

If you are interested in selling a collection, or just a few cards, Dean's Cards will buy your collection. Dean's Cards spends thousands of dollars each week on Vintage Collectibles. We will purchase Memorabilia, Magazines, and pre-1980 baseball, football, hockey, basketball and even non-sports cards. The older the better. We will buy the whole collection. We will also buy complete sets from 1985 and older, plus any Reprint or Archives Sets. If you have sports magazines or books to sell, please see our article on selling magazines.

While there is no shortage of dealers who will buy vintage collections, Dean's Cards is able to offer higher percentage of the collection's actual value than most traditional card dealers. Dean's Cards can usually pay more for vintage card and memorabilia collections simply because what we buy goes directly into our own online inventory of 750,000 cards. In fact, quite a few card shop owners who buy collections will regularly send them to us - knowing that they will make a nice margin on the cards.

We offer the best selection of vintage sports cards and memorabilia available online. In order to do so, we are continuously purchasing collections. Dean's Cards makes selling your collection an extremely easy process. When we receive your cards, we are usually able to provide you with our bid within two business days. We make our top offer right away. If you accept our offer, we will mail you a check.

I sincerely hope that we end up writing you a large check! This means you have some nice cards and we always need the inventory. If the amount that we offer for your cards falls below your expectations, we will pay the postage to return the collection to you.

If you are looking to sell your cards, please contact Dean

Friday, September 18, 2009



Cincinnati Based eCommerce Company Receives National Recognition for Website Design

Cincinnati, OH, September 18, 2009 – Dean’s Cards announced today that Web Marketing Association awarded Dean’s Cards the 2009 Toy & Hobby Standard of Excellence award  Dean’s Cards was founded in 2001 and has become the leading online seller of Sports Cards and Sports Magazines.

The Dean’s Cards Website was founded by owner Dean Hanley in his basement in 2001.  Hanley originally started with 25,000 vintage baseball and football cards online.  Dean’s Cards has experienced an average growth rate of over 50% per year, has a dozen employees and occupies a 3000 square foot office space in Cincinnati, OH.  Dean’s Cards now has over 850,000 sports cards and non-sports cards online. In addition, Dean’s Cards has yearbooks, media guides, sports magazines, autographs and other sports memorabilia.  As an example, Dean’s Cards offers almost every Sports Illustrated magazine ever issued.

Dean’s Cards launched its new website in June 2009.  The new website is visually appealing, fast and easy to navigate.  “Technology has evolved so fast since we started selling baseball cards eight years ago,” states Dean.  “It was a tough decision to make this big investment in technology, especially when we were already a leader in the Sports Collecting Hobby, but we really wanted to go from good to great.”

The new website positions the company for the future.  Now the focus is on eMarketing. With the rapid evolution of Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, newsletters and blogs, “we are living in the Wild West of eCommerce,” states Hanley.

Hanley has collected cards for more than 40 years.  Dean received a BS in Marketing from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Southern California.  Hanley spent over a decade in the software industry and was product manager for a large company when he was laid off after the dot-com bust of 2000.  Dean then made his escape from the corporate world to make a living selling sports collectibles.

Dallas Cowboys

[caption id="attachment_431" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Click here to buy Cowboys products"]Click here to buy Cowboys products[/caption]

The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). They are headquartered in suburban Irving, Texas, which lies between Fort Worth and Dallas. The team is scheduled to play its home games at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas beginning in the 2009 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as a 1960 expansion team. The team's national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive games in front of sold-out stadiums. The Cowboys' streak of 160 sold-out regular and post-season games began in 1990, and included 79 straight sellouts at their former home, Texas Stadium, and 81 straight sell-outs on the road.

The team has won five Super Bowls and eight conference championships. They hold NFL records for the most consecutive winning seasons (20, from 1966 to 1985) and most seasons with at least ten wins (25). The team has played in a league record of 56 post-season games (winning 32 of them), the most division titles with 20, the most appearances in the NFC Championship Game (14), and the most Super Bowl appearances (8). The Cowboys also played in two NFL championship games before the NFL's 1970 merger with the American Football League. The Cowboys became the first team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years (a feat that has been matched only once since, by the New England Patriots). They are second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers with most Super Bowl wins (tied with the San Francisco 49ers with five each).

See what Dean’s Cards has to offer on their Cowboys Team Page!

League/conference affiliations
National Football League (1960–present)

  • Western Conference (1960)

  • Eastern Conference (1961-1969)

    • Capitol Division (1967-1969)

  • National Football Conference (1970-present)

    • NFC East (1970-present)

Current uniform
Team colorsNavy, Silver, White (alt. colors Royal Blue, Silver-Green, Silver-Blue)                             
Team history

  • Dallas Cowboys (1960–present)

Team nicknames
America's Team, The Boys, Big D
League championships (5)

  • Super Bowl Championships (5)
    1971 (VI), 1977 (XII), 1992 (XXVII), 1993 (XXVIII), 1995 (XXX)

Conference championships (10)

  • NFL Eastern: 1966, 1967

  • NFC: 1970, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1992, 1993, 1995

Division championships (19)

  • NFL Capitol: 1967, 1968, 1969

  • NFC East: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2007

Playoff appearances (29)

  • NFL: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007

Home fields

  • Cotton Bowl (1960-1971)

  • Texas Stadium (1971-2008)

  • Cowboys Stadium (2009-present)

Minnesota Vikings

[caption id="attachment_427" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Click here to buy Vikings products"]Click here to buy Vikings products[/caption]

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings compete in the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Prior to divisional realignment in 2002, they had been a member of the Central Division, also known as the Black & Blue Division. The Vikings have won one NFL championship (Pre-1970 AFL-NFL Merger), but subsequently lost 23-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. The Vikings were the first team to both play in and lose four Super Bowls. The Vikings have won their division 17 times, third most among teams currently playing in the NFL.

The team played home games at Metropolitan Stadium through the 1981 NFL season and have played their home games at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (also the home of the American League baseball team Minnesota Twins) since 1982.

See what Dean’s Cards has to offer on their Vikings Team Page!

League/conference affiliations
National Football League (1961–present)

  • Western Conference (1961–1969)

    • Central Division (1967–1969)

  • National Football Conference (1970–present)

    • NFC Central (1970–2001)

    • NFC North (2002–present)

Current uniform
Team colorsPurple, Gold, White              
Fight songSkol, Vikings
MascotViktor the Viking, Ragnar
Team history

  • Minnesota Vikings (1961–present)

Team nicknames
The Vikes, The Purple, The Purple People Eaters
League championships (1)

  • NFL Championships (1)

Conference championships (4)

  • NFL Western: 1969

  • NFC: 1973, 1974, 1976

Division championships (17)

  • NFL Central: 1968, 1969

  • NFC Central: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000

  • NFC North: 2008

Playoff appearances (25)

  • NFL: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008

Home fields

  • Metropolitan Stadium (1961-1981)

  • Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (1982-present)

New Orleans Saints

[caption id="attachment_423" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Click here to buy Saints products"]Click here to buy Saints products[/caption]

The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints play in the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).

The Saints were founded in 1967, as an expansion team. They went more than a decade before they managed to finish a season with a .500 record and two decades before having a winning season. The team's first successful years were from 1987–1992, when the team made the playoffs four times and had winning records in the non-playoff seasons. In the 2000 season, the Saints defeated the then-defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams for the team's first playoff win.

See what Dean’s Cards has to offer on their Saints Team Page!

League/conference affiliations
National Football League (1967–present)

  • Eastern Conference (1967-1969)

    • Capitol Division (1967; 1969)

    • Century Division (1968)

  • National Football Conference (1970-present)

    • NFC West (1970-2001)

    • NFC South (2002-present)

Current uniform
Team colorsBlack, old gold, white              
MascotGumbo the dog and Sir Saint
Team history

  • New Orleans Saints (1967–present)

League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (3)

  • NFC West: 1991, 2000

  • NFC South: 2006

Playoff appearances (6)

  • NFL: 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2006

Home fields

  • Tulane Stadium (1967-1974)

  • Louisiana Superdome (1975-2004, 2006-present)

  • Temporary stadiums in 2005 due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina:

    • Tiger Stadium (Four Games)

    • Alamodome (Three Games)

    • Giants Stadium (One Game)

Washington Redskins

[caption id="attachment_420" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Click here to buy Redskins products"]Click here to buy Redskins products[/caption]

The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team based in the Washington, D.C. area. The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, which is in Prince George's County, Maryland. The team's headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia, a community in Loudoun County, Virginia, near Dulles International Airport. They are members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).

Overall, the Redskins have played for eleven NFL Championships and have won five, including three of the five Super Bowls in which they have played. Four of the five Super Bowl appearances were under the leadership of Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.The Redskins were the first team in the NFL with an official marching band. The other team with a marching band is the Baltimore Ravens, their regional rivals. The Redskins were also the first team to have a fight song, "Hail to the Redskins."

See what Dean’s Cards has to offer on their Redskins Team Page!

League/conference affiliations
National Football League (1932–present)

  • Eastern Division (1933–1949)

  • American Conference (1950–1952)

  • Eastern Conference (1953–1969)

    • Capitol Division (1967–1969)

  • National Football Conference (1970–present)

    • NFC East (1970–present)

Current uniform
Team colorsBurgundy, Gold         
Fight songHail to the Redskins
Team history

  • Boston Braves (1932)

  • Boston Redskins (1933–1936)

  • Washington Redskins (1937–present)

Team nicknames
The Skins, The Burgundy and Gold
League championships (5)

  • NFL Championships (2)
    1937, 1942

  • Super Bowl Championships (3)
    1982 (XVII), 1987 (XXII), 1991 (XXVI)

Conference championships (5)

  • NFC: 1972, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1991

Division championships (12)

  • NFL East: 1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945

  • NFC East: 1972, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1999

Playoff appearances (22)

  • NFL: 1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2005, 2007

Home fields

  • Braves Field (1932)

  • Fenway Park (1933–1936)

  • Griffith Stadium (1937–1960)

  • RFK Stadium (1961–1996)

    • a.k.a. D.C. Stadium (1961–1968)

  • FedExField (1997–present)

    • a.k.a. Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (1997–1999)

Baltimore Ravens

[caption id="attachment_416" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Click here to buy Ravens products"]Click here to buy Ravens products[/caption]

The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. They compete in the AFC North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Ravens have won one Super Bowl title, Super Bowl XXXV, in the 2000 season against the New York Giants.

The team name is a reference to the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, who lived and worked in Baltimore at various points during his life and is buried in the city.

See what Dean’s Cards has to offer on their Ravens Team Page!

League/conference affiliations
National Football League (1996–present)

  • American Football Conference (1996–present)

    • AFC Central (1996–2001)

    • AFC North (2002–present)

Current uniform
Team colorsPurple, black, metallic gold, white                   
MascotPoe (human mascot) Rise and Conquer (2 actual ravens)
Team history

  • Baltimore Ravens (1996–present)

League championships (1)

  • Super Bowl Championships (1)
    2000 (XXXV)

Conference championships (1)

  • AFC: 2000

Division championships (2)

  • AFC North: 2003, 2006

Playoff appearances (5)

  • NFL: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008

Home fields

  • Memorial Stadium (1996–1997)

  • M&T Bank Stadium (1998-present)

    • also known as The NFL Stadium at Camden Yards (1998)

    • also known as PSINet Stadium (1999–2002)

    • also known as Ravens Stadium (2002–2003)