Friday, February 25, 2011

1958 Hires Root Beer Baseball Cards

Here at, we just got received several 1958 Hires Root Beer baseball cards both with and without tabs and they are proving to be a popular item with collectors. The Hires Company was founded in 1876 in Philadelphia and manufactured not only root beer, but also kits that allowed people to brew their own root beer. In 1958, they decided to print baseball cards and insert them into cartons of Hires Root Beer. The set consists of 66 cards that measure 2-⅜” by 2⅝” without the tab and 2-⅜” by 3⅝” with the tab.

The tab itself is an advertisement that promotes the Hires Root Beer Club, which had a membership fee of 10 cents and two Hires Root Beer bottle caps. The stars in this set include Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Pee Wee Reese, and Don Drysdale. These cards are somewhat hard to find due to the fact that the tabs were easily detachable. A test set of eight cards was also issued. These cards are extremely expensive and difficult to find today. If you are interested in selling Hires Root Beer cards or any vintage cards, please click here. If you are interested in viewing our selection of Hires Root Beer Cards, please click here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1931 W517 Baseball Cards

# 35 Lou Gehrig
The 1931 W517 strip card is has one of the highest densities of Hall of Fame players of any set ever printed. At least 60% of the players featured in the set are now in the Hall of Fame. This set is one of the more popular strip card sets because the cards are closer in size to regular cards and feature so many star players. Here at, we have found that strip cards are usually not as popular as other cards around the same time. This may be because the condition is so dependent on someone else cutting the card correctly at least 70 years ago. However, the W517 and Exhibit cards remain highly popular strip card sets due to the popularity of the players in both sets.
# 20 Babe Ruth (portrait)

The W517 cards measure 3” by 4” when cut correctly. The set includes 54 a total of 54 cards. They were initially printed in vertical sets of three cards. The store owner usually cut the cards prior to selling them, but they could also sell the entire strip. Each card was printed in either green or sepia ink, but there is usually not a price difference between the two variations. A set of mini W517 was also printed around the same time. The mini cards have a significantly smaller population and are sold at a premium today. The mini cards were probably sold in postcard form like the Exhibit cards, meaning that they would have been in a 4-card sheet.

# 38 Roger Hornsby
The #20 Babe Ruth card is one of the most popular W517 strip cards in the set. Currently, has a sepia Ruth card in stock. At the time this card was printed, Ruth was in the twilight stage of his career. He would retire a few years later in 1935. Even at 35 years old, he had still hit 49 home runs in the 1930 season. This set commemorates many other Hall of Fame players, but Ruth’s solemn expression makes his card particularly memorable.

The W517 reprint cards are especially popular with collectors. It can be hard to find some of the stars and common cards in nice condition because the cards were hand-cut. The reprint cards were, obviously, not hand-cut, so they have a uniform size and shape. If you are interested in viewing the reprint cards, please click here. is always looking to buy 1931 W517 cards. If you are interested in more information about selling a collection, please click here. If you are interested in seeing our selection of W517 cards, please click here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

O-Pee-Chee Baseball Cards

1965 OPC # 207 Rose
Foreign cards do not always fare well in the competitive sports card market, but the O-Pee-Chee brand has remained extremely popular. The first O-Pee-Chee set was printed by the O-Pee-Chee company of London, Ontario in 1934. The O-Pee-Chee Gum Company had survived both world wars and was a popular gum and candy manufacturer in Canada. The 1934 V94, or “Butterfinger” set was very similar to the R310 set by the same name, which released at the same time in the United States. The V300 set was then released three years later in 1937. It was strikingly similar to the R318 Batter-Up set. This early pattern of making small changes to the American sets and releasing them in Canada would continue into the 20th century.

1971 OPC # 513 Ryan
In 1958, Topps signed an agreement with the O-Pee-Chee Gum Company that allowed Topps to sell hockey cards, which remain popular today. In 1965, Topps licensed the O-Pee-Chee Gum Company to sell baseball cards with Topps’ design. In 1970, the Canadian government passed a federal regulation requiring all media, including baseball cards, to include a French translation. Today, vintage O-Pee-Chee cards are easily identified by their card stock, which frays easily. The card stock also has a dark or grey appearance that sets it apart from the regular Topps’ issue. The Upper Deck company bought the O-Pee-Chee name in 2006. Fortunately for hockey card collectors, they retained their hockey licensing, allowing hockey cards to be printed with the O-Pee-Chee name.

Here at, our best-selling year of O-Pee-Chee cards is the 1965 set.  Individually, the 1965 #40 Frank Howard card is the best selling.  The most expensive O-Pee-Chee card that we have ever sold is a 1966 #50 Mickey Mantle card. is currently buying and selling O-Pee-Chee baseball and hockey cards.If you are interested in selling your collection of 1960’s O-Pee-Chee baseball or pre-1969 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards, please click here. If you are interested in viewing our current selection of O-Pee-Chee cards, please click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1934 Goudey Error Card

We found this card in a collection and probably one of the most unique variations that we've seen on a Pre-War card.  The card is a 1934 Goudey # 53 George Watkins and is considered a common card, except for the error in background color.

The card is supposed to have a bright yellow background, but we think that the yellow ink ran out while printing this card.  A Topps, Bowman, or any other Pre-War baseball card that would have a minor background variation would not be a big deal, but the Goudey company was very careful about errors and probably caught and destroyed hundreds if not thousands of cards like this.  We're always looking for unique items like this and it is always fun when we find one.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Venezuelan Topps Baseball Cards

1968 Topps Venezuelan #247
Here at, we are always looking for Venezuelan Topps. Some of the Venezuelan Topps can be easily identified by the Spanish and English printed on the backs. These cards were first released in 1959, around the time that the government in Venezuela would become more stable and democratic. They were sold as parallel sets to the regular 1959 Topps issue. However, the 1959 Venezuelan set would stop after card #196. The 1959 cards can be identified by the Spanish phrase “Impreso en Venezuela por Benco Co.” on the back of each card. The Benco Company was the Venezuelan printer that Topps decided to use.

1962 Topps Venezuelan #1 Roger Maris
Topps would release another Venezuelan set in 1960 that also included only 196 total cards and could be distinguished by their faded appearance. The next set would be released two years later in 1962 and would include two extra cards (#199 and #200) that featured Elio Chacon and Luis Aparicio, two natives of Venezuela. Numbers 197 and 198 are skipped in this set.

The next release of Venezuelan cards would be in 1964. The 1964 set was much larger at 370 cards and could be distinguished from the regular Topps issue by the large black margin on the backs of the cards. The next printing of Venezuelan Topps would be in 1966 with another 370-card set. The backs of the 1966 Venezuelan Topps are much darker than their American counterparts. A 1967 Venezuelan set was released, but it features both Venezuelan league players in addition to the MLB players. The final printing of a Venezuelan Topps issue would be in 1968 with another 370-card set. These cards look the most different from the regular issue because they were printed on gray card stock and have a orange, instead of yellow, back. Some, but not all, of the Venezuelan cards have the phrase “Hecho en Venezuela -C.A. Litoven” on the backs.
1964 Topps Venezuelan #323

For many of the Venezuelan years, the card stock is lower quality and, therefore, it is much more difficult to find these cards in high grades. Not only is the overall population small, but many cards cannot be found that grade over a Very Good/Excellent or Excellent.

Topps’ foreign market has provided some of the most interesting cards of the 20th century. is always looking to buy collections that include Venezuelan Topps cards. If you are interested in more information about selling your collection, please click here. To see our selection of Venezuelan cards, please click here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fro-joy Ice Cream Cards

We’ve seen baseball cards commonly packaged along side of tobacco, caramel, and bubble gum, and for one short week in 1928, thousands of Americans received limited edition Babe Ruth cards along with their ice cream. From August 6th through the 11th, children who purchased Fro-joy ice cream cones received free small pictures of the legendary Babe Ruth. These small cards measured 2 1/16" by 4", and for six days in a row, people across the country visited their nearest Fro-joy dealer in order to acquire all six Ruth picture cards. The cards featured black and white photos, along with a short caption on the front, and an ad for Fro-joy ice cream on the back.

Fro-joy ice cream container
Why collect a complete set of six Ruth picture cards? Individuals with complete sets of six were encouraged to mail them to the General Ice Cream Corporation in Schenectady, New York on or before August 25th, 1928. In doing so, one would receive a larger, premium Babe Ruth photograph which measured 8 ½ by 12”. However, instead of returning the six original Babe Ruth images along with the larger photo, General Ice Cream Corporation set out a new, uncut sheet of the six original images, printed on cheaper card stock. Aside from the cheaper card stock, the cards were nearly identical to the originals. However, also included on the new sheet of cards was instructions on how to cut apart the new six cards, as well as a longer advertisement for Fro-joy Ice Cream. The original six pictures were never returned.

Un-cut cards and Babe Ruth image issued by General Ice Cream
For over eighty years now, these cards have created controversy across the country. When they first issued these Babe Ruth cards to thousands of Americans, I think that it is safe to say that General Ice Cream Corporation had little clue how much controversy could stem from a seemingly innocent advertising campaign. However, printing the six cards on a single page of poor quality card stock, opened the doors to counterfeiters and profit seekers all over the country, as it made the cards easy to reproduce. These fakes integrated themselves into the card market and into the homes of unknowing collectors.

It is estimated that millions of Fro-joy ice cream cards exist today, but the underlying question remains, how many of the cards are real? Sources speculate that 99% of Fro-joy ice cream cards that are deemed real are actually counterfeit. In fact, it has gotten so out of hand that numerous grading companies refuse to authenticate cards from this set.

Fro-joy Reprint Cards available at
So how does one spot a fake? Some cases are easier than others. If you come across an uncut sheet of color images of Babe Ruth, it is almost guaranteed that it is not an original sheet produced by the General Ice Cream Corporation. The 1928 Fro-joy ice cream cards were printed and issued only in black and white. Thus the color cards are counterfeit. Black and white fakes are much harder to detect, as they appear to be exact replicas of the originals. At this point in time, even counterfeit replica cards printed in the 70’s are going to show wear, and in turn, look much more real to collectors. Thus, unless you’re able to scrutinize the originals and fakes under a microscope and see differences in paper stock, ink, and printing techniques, we advise that you use caution in purchasing “authentic” Fro-joy ice cream cards. does not carry original Fro-joy cards at this time, but if you would like to purchase Fro-joy Reprint Card Sets, please visit our website at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Three of a Kind: Baseball Card Sets of the 1950's

1950's Sets in binders at
What are the odds of coming across 1953 Topps, 1954 Topps, and 1953 Bowman Sets all in the same week? Highly unlikely, but as January comes to a close, the first month of 2011 has set the bar high here at for the coming months. Within the past few days we've seen three very rare sets come through our front door.

1953 Topps Complete Set

The 1953 Topps Baseball Card Set consists of 274 vintage size cards. Collectors note that this set is nearly impossible to find in pristine condition, as the players name and team panel are easily damaged due to their location near the edge of the card. The set we have on our site proves to be no different, as nearly every card in the set (stars and commons alike) averages somewhere around Good Plus in condition. On the "Up Side", this makes this particular set increasingly affordable.

1954 Topps Complete Set

Containing Rookie Cards of the famed Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Al Kaline, as well as two separate Ted Williams cards, it's safe to say that the 1954 Topps Baseball Set is one of a kind. However which Hall of Famer is oddly absent? Mickey Mantle. Mantle signed an exclusive contract with Bowman for both 1954 and 1955, thus he does not appear in Topps sets for either year. Despite the missing Mantle, as stated before, the 1954 set is still home to a fair share of Stars and Hall of Famers.

1953 Bowman Complete Set

In constant competition with Topps, Bowman really stepped up their game in 1953 when they issued what many collectors feel is the "best looking set of the modern era". This set in particular sets a precedence for all sets to follow, by issuing the first ever "action photo" of a player-- #33 Pee Wee Reese.

Regardless of whether you are an avid set collector, or just take an interest in browsing vintage collectibles, we encourage you to stop by and check out these three sets.