Friday, April 29, 2011

Just In: T207 Baseball Cards

We just received one of the largest collections of T207 cards that we have ever had. For collectors, the T207 set can be very fun to collect because there simply are not very many star cards. We wrote a blog about the T207 several months ago (click here to read our previous blog). However, the expensive cards in this set are unknown players. The best example of this phenomenon is the Louis Lowdermilk card. The T207 set, unlike the other popular tobacco sets of the early 20th-century, does not have a reprint set, possibly due to the fact that there are so many common or unknown players in the original set. The set does combine some of the best aspects of the T205 and T206 sets. There are individual player biographies on the back of each card, but there are also simple backgrounds that emphasize the player instead of an ornate border.

Please click here to see our entire inventory of T207 cards.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dean on 700 WLW!

Here is Dean talking about his passion for baseball cards and his new e-Books on Lance McAlister's show on 700WLW last Thursday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

1969 Globe Imports Playing Cards Complete Set

One set that people often ask us about is the 1969 Globe Imports Playing Cards set. It features many of the most popular stars from the late 1960's, including Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Bob Gibson, and Willie Mays, among others.

This set is so unique because the cards were actually printed on traditional playing cards. The players black-and-white action shot was just placed in the center of the card. We were also surprised by the size of the cards. They are very small, measuring only slightly larger than a postage stamp (their actual measurements are 1-5/8" by 2-1/4").

One of the most interesting aspects of the Globe Imports set is that there were several different variations that are included in the master set. For example, the Ace of Spades can be Don Drysdale, Mickey Mantle, or Ken Harrelson.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Joe DiMaggio Baseball Shoes

For several months, we have had an unusual looking "card" that features Joe DiMaggio sitting on a desk here in the office. Up until today, we had no idea what it was. One of the most interesting aspects of the card is the hole punched in the top left corner, which made the card look like it was hanging onto a piece of merchandise, particularly clothing, at some point. One of our inventory managers did a little research and discovered that it was in fact a tag that had been hanging off the laces of one of the shoes with the brand name "Joe DiMaggio Baseball Shoes".

These baseball cleats, which can be seen here in this lot sold by Hunt Auctions, were originally made by Endicott Johnson and would have probably been sold in the early part of the 1950's. In terms of advertising, DiMaggio would be best remembered as the Mr. Coffee spokesman.

Monday, April 25, 2011

1960 Fleer Baseball Card Complete Set

#3 Babe Ruth
One of the very first retro card sets was the 1960 Fleer baseball card set. We are always surprised by how slowly these sets sell because they are full of Hall-of-Famers and star players from the first 90 years of professional baseball. Dean believes that this may be due to the fact that many of the players in the set are not wearing the uniforms of the team that made them famous. For example, Arky Vaughan is featured as a Brooklyn Dodger, but he spent only 4 of his 14 year career with the Dodgers. He is best known as the All-Star shortstop of the Pirates. George Sisler is shown as Boston Brave, but most people remember his for his 12 year career as a St. Louis Brown. Ernie Lombardi, a famous catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, is wearing a Giants uniform on his card.
#42 Ty Cobb

The Fleer company would make sets in 1961 and 1963, but the 1960 set definitely stands out for the unusual uniform choices. For those players who are featured in unexpected uniforms, it seems that the Fleer company picked the team that the player was on in the last year of his career. This would have made more sense in 1960, when collectors might remember that player for his last year in baseball. However, it makes the set slightly less desirable for collectors today.

Click here to see our selection of 1960, 1961, and 1963 Fleer cards!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Inventory in Depth: 1959 Topps

This year, we have had quite a bit of trouble keeping the 1959 Topps in stock. We're not exactly sure why the demand for 1959 Topps baseball cards has increased so dramatically, but this year is definitely an office favorite just because the cards themselves are so attractive. We just broke two sets, so we have the largest inventory of 1959 Topps that we have ever had.

One of the most popular cards from the 1959 Topps set is #514 Bob Gibson rookie card. We currently have 6 Gibson rookies in stock. In 1959, Gibson made the Cardinals roster, but was sent down to their Omaha affiliate shortly after the start of the season. Gibson would continue to split his time between the Cardinals bullpen and minor league clubs until 1961. His 1959 card, however, has the distinction of being one of the few pink rookie cards.

One of the other notable cards in the 1959 Topps set is #550 Roy Campanella Symbol of Courage. Campanella, a teammate of Jackie Robinson and a pioneer in breaking the color barrier, was paralyzed in a car accident in the winter of 1958. In the 1959 set, Topps decided to memorialize his prolific career as a catcher for the Dodgers with this card.

Click here to see our entire selection of 1959 Topps baseball cards.

Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame

Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game
By Bert Randolph Sugar & Bruce Curtis

Journey deep into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum with Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame book. Enjoy more than 500 color and black-and-white original and archival photographs--along with engaging and informative commentary, and dramatic close-up images of the most fascinating artifacts on display in the Hall. This book offers a quintessential take-home of the timeless experience of baseball's spiritual home.

"What Bert Sugar doesn’t know about baseball, nobody knows." – Yogi Berra

"To get a better sense of the Hall of Fame, you would have to be in Cooperstown." – Bob Costas

Retail $35.00
Your Price $29.75

Order your copy of this timeless hardcover book today!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Few More Thoughts On Our Mantle Cards

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that we bought back many of our Mickey Mantle baseball cards from 1953 all the way to 1969. Since we wrote that article, a few of the cards have sold, but we have also enjoyed the opportunity to really look at our collection of Mantle cards.

One of the earliest Mantle card that we have is highly representative the 1953 Topps set, which consists of hand-drawn pictures that were made using the real photographs. This particular set includes many close-up head-shots. While there may be more attractive and more expensive cards of the Mick, the 1953 Topps #82 Mickey Mantle card feels like it is one of the most personal.

Another staff favorite is the 1957 Topps #95 Mickey Mantle card. The 1957 Topps set is the first Topps set to feature photos in a natural background. Although actual photographs were on the 1954 set, they were on a solid-color background. This set is also the first smaller sized cards issued by Topps. This photo of Mantle in his Yankee pinstripes is difficult to find, primarily because of condition issues.

Finally, one of our most expensive cards from the 1959 Topps set is the #10 Mickey Mantle PSA 7 NM card that we currently have in stock. This card has the classic "framed" look, which was borrowed from the previous year's football set. This particular card is one of the cleanest 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle cards that we have ever seen.

To view all of our Mickey Mantle cards, please click here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Johnston Cookies Baseball Cards

1954 Johnston Cookies
1953 Johnston Cookies
We just got in a collection that included cards from the 1953, 1954, and 1955 Johnston Cookies baseball sets. The Johnston Cookie Company, which has since changed names, was originally located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just behind the Milwaukee County Stadium, where the Braves played. The cards could be obtained in packages of Pops Cookies or through the mail. Today, these cards are easily distinguished by the Johnston logo and the phrase "No One Makes Cookies Like Johnston". The 1953 and 1955 sets have the dimensions of a typical card, but the 1954 Johnston Cookies cards are long and thin.

Some of the players included in these sets are all-time greats for the Braves franchise. Hank Aaron's 1954 rookie card lists his uniform number as 5, which he wore when he played in the Negro Leagues. Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn are also prominently featured in all three sets. To see our complete inventory of Johnston Cookies baseball cards, please click here.
1954 Johnston Cookies Releases First eBook: Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards

Contact: Elana Winget
Phone: 513-898-0651 Releases First eBook: Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards

CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 20, 2011) – After six months of hard work, Dean Hanley of, has published his very first eBook, chronicling the history of the Pre World War I baseball cards. With the help of co-author Allyson Hamlin, a Dean’s Cards employee who focuses the majority of her attention on these early cards every day, the duo has published a 50 page informational read on some of baseball’s earliest cards.

While Dean has been considered an “expert” within the vintage card field for several years now because of his numerous published articles, this is Allyson’s first major publication. She began working for Hanley when she was fifteen years old, and though she went away for college, she continued to work for him on her various breaks. She is now 23 years old, and a graduate of Indiana University. When she first went to work for Dean 8 years ago, Allyson simply sorted and sleeved cards, and pulled various orders in Deans basement office space. In recent years, Allyson has grown to love various aspects of the hobby, and has devoted much of her time researching the many Pre-World War I vintage sets out there. Only six short months ago, Allyson and Dean began compiling the book.

“There’s not a lot of information out there. All of the Pre-War players are deceased, as are the original buyers, leaving us with very few primary sources”, says Allyson. With that said, Allyson really had to scour the web and piece together a lot of tid-bits of information when writing this book. “I found a few pictures of packaging, I would zoom in on the picture to see who manufactured the package, and then researched the manufacturer. It was a lot of detective work”.

Initially, Allyson conducted this research in order to write short blog articles on the various Pre-War sets. When Dean saw how much work she had put into her research, he came to the conclusion that it would be wasteful not turn this valuable information into some sort of book that other collectors and baseball enthusiasts would enjoy. “Virtually no one knows about several of the sets discussed in this book. There’s just not much information out here on these early sets” says Hanley.

Before there was Bubble Gum: Our favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards discusses a variety of early cards, ranging from tobacco cards, to caramel cards, to cards issued with clothing, and everything in-between. The book is divided into sections, and each section is devoted to focusing on one type of card. The T-Card section for example, gives an overview of the T-Card industry as a whole, and then is further broken down by chapters. Each chapter contains information on one specific set of cards, and features numerous color pictures of the cards being discussed. The T206 chapter for example, discusses the various rare and common card backs found on the American Tobacco Company’s famed white-border cards.

Both Dean and Allyson put a lot of hard work into publishing this eBook, as well as the rest of the Dean’s Cards staff who edited the book and helped with the formatting. To learn more about the eBook, click here.

Cincinnati’s “Dean of Baseball Cards” Sponsors his Boyhood Hero at Local Museum

Contact: Elana Winget
Phone: 513-898-0651


Cincinnati’s “Dean of Baseball Cards” Sponsors his Boyhood Hero at Local Museum

CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 13, 2011) – Cincinnati native Dean Hanley, owner of, is sponsoring guest-speaker Dave Parker at the Green Diamond Gallery in Montgomery on April 14th, 2011. While almost everyone in Cincinnati knows of local native and ex-Red Dave Parker, Dean Hanley and the Green Diamond Gallery are also renown in their selective circles.

The Green Diamond Gallery, a private club located in downtown Montgomery, houses one of the best private collections of baseball memorabilia in the country. The Green Diamond however, is less known because it is not-often open to the public “The Green Diamond is available to host local corporate, charity and private events.”, says Kevin Manley, the Manager of the gallery. “People come to the gallery for an event that usually features a famous guest-speaker and see how great of a place it is. The response to the gallery has been so strong, that there is currently a waiting list to become a Wright Society Member.”

“This event is Pure Cincinnati in every respect”, says Dean Hanley, who is often called the “Dean of Baseball Cards”. Hanley owns and operates, the worlds #1 seller of vintage sports cards on the web., located in Oakley, has an unbelievable online inventory of over one million cards. .The webpage is well-known nationally by vintage cards collectors. “Few people here in town realize that is here because we sell only on the internet”, says Dean. “But that is starting to change because of all the local sports cards and memorabilia collections that we are buying”.

Hanley, who will often spend tens-of-thousands of dollars in a month buying collections says, “People are starting to realize, that because of the national online presence of, we can pay more for vintage collections than local sports card shops. Dean’s Cards will buy just about any sports collectible from 1869 to 1969. Some of the old items that we see are incredible.”

Five years ago, Dean was able to purchase Dave Parker’s 1972 Carolina League Batting Trophy for a local collector. Hanley liked the huge plaque so much, that instead of reselling it, he hung it on his office wall. “The problem with me owning a baseball card and memorabilia store, is that I often fall in love with some of the items and decide to keep them for my collection.”, says Hanley. “I grew up watching Dave Parker play and it is a thrill for me to be able to sponsor this event and get to spend a little time with him. Ten of my neighbors and friends will also be there as my guests, and we are excited about the opportunity to talk to Parker and other ex-Reds who may drop by.”

When asked about how he feels about selling baseball cards for a living, being a member of the Green Diamond, and meeting his boyhood heroes.”, Hanley smiles and says, “It doesn’t get any better than this. It is like being a kid again. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.” May we all be so lucky.


Man Turns Boyhood Hobby into World’s Largest Baseball Card Store

Contact: Elana Winget
Phone: 513-898-0651


Man Turns Boyhood Hobby into World’s Largest Baseball Card Store

CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 11, 2011) – May of 2011 will mark Dean Hanley’s 10th year as owner of With over one million cards online, has the largest inventory of sports cards on the web.

As a casualty of down-sizing a decade ago, Dean Hanley decided to take the opportunity to start his own web-based business – Hanley’s choice of the type of business drew some strange reactions. “When I told people that I was going to sell baseball cards for a living, they would either stare in disbelief or break out in laughter”, Hanley explained.

Unlike traditional sports cards stores, counts on the internet for 100% of its sales. To keep expenses low, Hanley started out of his basement. Since he is a card collector, Hanley used himself as model for the type of customer that he wanted to attract. “My goal was to create a store where I would love to shop, that also had the best selection of cards available anywhere”, Hanley explained. “We do not have a physical store for people to visit, so our website has to be fast, easy, safe and fun. “

Sports cards collectors have certainly responded. now averages over 1000 unique visitors a day to its online store and the company’s revenues have grown an average of 35% annually. has grown to have over one million vintage sports cards posted online, eight full-time employees and occupies a 3,000 sq ft office in Oakley.

The one piece of advice that Hanley gives to fellow entrepreneurs is “try to become the foremost expert on the products that you sell”, and he has certainly taken his own advice. Dean writes a popular blog about vintage card sets, has a regular columns in Sports Collectors Digest, and was recently featured on a series of “How To” videos on collecting sports cards – produced by Dean is also releasing two books on vintage cards and has been chosen to appear as a subject matter expert on a new documentary-type game show series - scheduled to air later this year.

“Looking back, I guess the decision to sell baseball cards was a big risk”, said Hanley. “I was not sure if I could make a living out of my boyhood hobby, but I knew that I would have a lot of fun trying, so I totally threw myself into building the best internet store possible. It has been a great ten years, and it will fun to see what the next decade will bring.”


Dean on the Fox19 Morning News!

Dean was recently featured on our local news program FOX 19 Morning XTRA and he got to talk about a few of his favorite cards, including the 1963 Topps Pete Rose Rookie, 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth, and a T204 Ramly Roy Hoblitzell, among others. Dean had a great time talking about his passion and hopes he can do it again soon.

Card collector turns hobby into business

This is a copy of the Article published at

Dean Hanley, seen here holding three
Babe Ruth baseball cards, has built into one of the largest online
sellers of sports cards and memorabilia.
 / The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II
Dean Hanley remembers the summer days of youth, trading baseball cards with his buddies and chewing Topps bubblegum till his teeth hurt.

In the spokes of his bike, he'd stick the early 1970s colored cards with stats and signatures of baseball greats like Pete Rose, Frank Robinson and Johnny Bench.

"The cards would make our bikes sound like motorcycles. We didn't know they'd be worth something 40 years later," he says.

Today, Hanley knows exactly what they're worth. Over a decade, he's built into one of the largest online sellers of sports cards and memorabilia. His seven-person Oakley shop annually trades hundreds of thousands of cards, new and old, online.

Hanley is especially known among card collectors and dealers nationwide as an expert on vintage cards from the 1950s and '60s. He writes a regular column for Sports Collectors Digest, blogs at, produces YouTube videos on rare cards and will soon publish two historical e-books on card collecting in the late 1800s and early 1950s. In May, he'll travel to Los Angeles to film a pilot for a new reality show called "It's Worth What?". He calls the show a mix of Antiques Roadshow and the Price is Right, where he'll be the expert card appraiser.

"The secret to my success has always been that I'm first and foremost a collector," he says. "If I think it's cool, I want to sell it."

Hanley has been fascinated with baseball cards for most of his life. In business school at the University of Southern California, he wrote a thesis about card collecting. One of the foremost dealers at the time even offered him a job, but Hanley chose to move back East and enter the burgeoning software industry instead. He spent nearly 15 years in sales and product development roles for information technology companies, which gave him the technical and marketing skills he uses today.

Hanley's adult interest in cards picked back up again in the late 1990s when his son (now 14) was young. He attended some vintage card shows and began searching for dealers online, but quickly became frustrated with few options.

In 2001, Hanley lost his job in product management at a large software firm.

"I decided to take the opportunity to pursue my hobby," he says. That year, Hanley built an e-commerce site populated with 20,000 cards from his father's collection and began marketing at shows and through online advertising. His first employee was the family's babysitter, Allyson Hamlin, who spent time sorting cards, grading their quality and shipping orders. She still works at Dean's Cards today, managing the inventory of vintage cards and bidding on incoming collections. She co-wrote the first e-book.

Within a few years, several teenagers had taken over the Hanley basement, forcing the operation to move to office space in Mariemont. Four years ago, Dean's Cards expanded into the 3,000-square-foot office in Oakley.

Hanley says sales have grown an average of 35 percent a year, with one flat year during the recession in 2009. He buys about 500 collections of cards annually and processes about 1,000 orders a month. An average order tops $100. But his largest sale happened last year, when a collector spent $71,000 on the full 1952 Topps set of 407 cards. One Mickey Mantle card was worth $31,000 of that sum.

"Vintage cards were from the golden age in baseball, and they weren't produced in mass quantities like today," says Tom Bartsch, editor of Sports Collectors Digest in Wisconsin. "That's where the money is."

And that market won't go away any time soon as about 5,000 men turn 65 each day. Back in the early 1960s, when they were young, 89 percent of all pre-teen boys collected cards.

In the Oakley office, Hanley is grooming the next generation of young collectors. His full-time staff of five is aged between 21 and 28, "computer experts," he says. His wife, Valarie, keeps the books.

Working together helps build camaraderie, Hanley says. That means everyone at the office chips in with the not-so-fun jobs. Each morning is spent pulling orders made the day before. They all scan inbound cards worth more than $300 to list for sale on the web site.

Hanley likes to joke, "They always seem to sell a little better online."

Updating that site is a constant priority for Hanley; more than 1 million cards are up today.

"Collectors want the cards accurate, and they want them fast and easy to buy," he says.

But maintaining his role as an industry expert is important, too. He's especially interested in the role of cards in baseball history, starting from when cards were packaged with tobacco in the late 1800s. Prior to television, those cards often provided baseball fans their only visual of their favorite players.

Hanley's upcoming e-books are titled "Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Cards" and "The Baseball Card "Gum Wars" and the Great Topps Sets of the early 1950s." The first is for sale at The second will be available by June.

"It's Worth What?", hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, airs on NBC this summer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dean Hosts Dave Parker at Green Diamond Event

Last Thursday, Dean had the honor of hosting former Cincinnati Reds OF Dave Parker at the Green Diamond Gallery's most recent social event. Dean was happy to introduce one of his favorite former players and talked at length about his two pieces of Dave Parker memorabilia. The first is a bat used by Parker in his 1973 season with the Salem Pirates, during which he won the Carolina League Batting Champion. Dean also talked about hanging his Dave Parker growth chart, which went all the way to Parker's height of 6'6", in his college apartment.

We have included pictures from the event that show both Dean and Dave speaking at the event, as well as Dean, Dave, and Dean's son Jonathan.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre- World War I Baseball Cards

We just finished our first eBook about our favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Card Sets. The eBook focuses on a variety of sets, some that we see every day and other that we have never seen in our ten years in business. Some of the content of the eBook comes from previous Pre-War blogs that we have posted here. It was a lot of work putting this together and we hope that those of you who enjoy our blog posts will also check out our eBook. Please click here to view our YouTube and find the links directing you to buy our eBook.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

1909-1912 Pittsburgh Pirates

We just received a collection that consisted of only Pirates players from the T205, T206, and T207 sets. Although the modern Pirates organization hasn't experienced much success, this collection reminded us that those early Pirates teams were some of the best in professional baseball. Aside from Honus Wagner, whose career we have already discussed in our W600 blog, there are many notable Pirates from the first decade of the 20th century.

The cards from this particular collection were printed at a time when the Pirates had just won the World Series. The 1909 Pirates team, which finished the season at 110-42, had outstanding starting pitching - all of their starters had an ERA under 3 and winning percentages over 0.600. Howie Camnitz, who was featured prominently in this collection, had his best year ever, going 25-6. This collection also includes Bobby Byrne, the third baseman who led the league in hits (178) and doubles (43) in 1910. In 1913, one year after the T207 cards were issued, both Byrne and Camnitz were traded to the Phillies.

The early Pirates teams are definitely some of the most fun to collect because there were so many talented players with so many great cards. If you are interested in selling any Pre-War cards, please click here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1933 Sports Kings #2 Babe Ruth

The 1933 Sport Kings set is one of the most interesting sets produced in the 1930's. Bubble gum had largely replaced tobacco as the great seller of baseball cards and the Goudey Gum Company, which produced the Sport Kings set, was leading the way. In the case of the 1933 Sport Kings set, the Goudey Gum Company decided to borrow an idea from earlier T-card sets, such as the highly popular Allen & Ginter cards, and make a set that featured many different types of athletes any hobbyists.

This set includes only three baseball cards: #1 Ty Cobb, #2 Babe Ruth, and #42 Carl Hubbell. Football players Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, and Knute Rockne are also featured. The Sport Kings set includes some of the first professional basketball cards ever. The rest of the set consists of ice skaters, hockey players, aviators, swimmers, and even golfers. The Goudey Gum Company also decided to print the card of Babe Didrickson, one of the best female athletes of all time. is lucky enough to have the #2 Babe Ruth card in an SGC 8.5+ NM/MT+. Although the Babe's great career would be over in a few short years, this is still one of his most desirable cards, as it memorializes him as one of the greatest American athletes.  We have never seen this card before in any condition, so we are very happy to be able to find a perfect one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just In: 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle

SGC 30 Good 2
We don't get to see one of the most popular baseball cards in the hobby very often, so when we do, its pretty exciting. We just got two 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle baseball cards in today. One grades a SGC 30 Good (2), while the other is a GAI 5 EX. Both of these cards are particularly nice because all of the flaws affect the white border. There are no creases that go across the Mick's face or interfere with the card's natural beauty. It's always fun to tell people that yes, we do have the '52 Topps Mantle in stock and we hope they stick around for a little while.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rocky Bridges Quote

We just received our copy of the April 22, 2011 issue of Sports Collectors Digest and, although it features our article about Sports Illustrated magazine, Dean found one article that he may have enjoyed even more. The Baseball Art column, by Ronnie Joyner, discussed Rocky Bridges' long playing career and included numerous quotes about playing in the major leagues. Dean's personal favorite Rocky Bridges quote, which he read aloud to the entire office today, is "There are three things the average man thinks he can do better than everybody else -- build a fire, run a hotel, and manage a baseball team."  This is definitely one of our favorite baseball player quotes ever and we're hoping for more gems like this from SCD.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting Our Mantles Back

We just had a long-time customer sell sixteen Mickey Mantle cards back to us. The cards range from 1953 all the way to 1969 and include five cards that grade PSA 7. We originally wrote about most of these cards in our of our first blogs, which talked about all of the PSA-graded Mantle cards. Most of these cards sold a few months after this original blog article was written. Everything else grades Excellent and above. The consensus at the office is that the rarest of these cards is the 1955 Bowman. We rarely get a chance to see this card due to condition issues, which stand out on the wood grain television border, and scarcity.

This is a pretty thorough collection of the Mick's career but also demonstrates the evolution of both Topps and Bowman as they celebrated one of the best hitters of the 1950's and 1960's. Listed below is the entire collection and links to the individual card on our website.

1953 Topps #82 Mickey Mantle - VG/Ex
1954 Bowman #65 Mickey Mantle - SGC 70 EX+ 5.5
1955 Bowman #202 Mickey Mantle - VG/Ex
1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle - Ex/Mt
1957 Topps #95 Mickey Mantle - VG/Ex
1958 Topps #150 Mickey Mantle - Ex/Mt
1959 Topps #10 Mickey Mantle - PSA 7 NM
1960 Topps #350 Mickey Mantle - PSA 7 NM
1961 Topps #300 Mickey Mantle - Ex/Mt
1962 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle - Ex
1963 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle - PSA 7 NM
1964 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle - Ex/Mt
1965 Topps #350 Mickey Mantle - Ex/Mt
1966 Topps #150 Mickey Mantle - PSA 7 NM
1968 Topps #280 Mickey Mantle - PSA 7 NM
1969 Topps #500A Mickey Mantle (yellow letters) - Ex/Mt

Thursday, April 7, 2011

1966-67 Topps Hockey Cards

1966-67 Topps Test Issue

We have been trying to expand our hockey inventory for the past few months and we have found some great vintage hockey cards that we are very glad to finally be getting online. So far, one of the most interesting sets has been the 1966-67 Topps hockey cards. Prior to 1966, O-Pee-Chee, working under an agreement with Topps that allowed them to borrow the Topps name, was dominating the hockey card market. The only competition came from the Parkhurst sets in the early 1950's. Topps saw             the chance to enter the hockey card market in the United States.
1966-67 Canadian Topps

Under the Topps name, O-Pee-Chee printed a set for distribution in the United States. The differences between the Canadian O-Pee-Chee version and the U.S. test version are the presence of the French translation on the back of the Canadian cards and the familiar Topps copyright line on the back. The O-Pee-Chee cards have the phrase "Printed in Canada" instead of the Topps copyright line. Additionally, the Canadian issue includes 132 cards, while the Topps test issue consists of only 66 cards.

The most notable difference between the cards is the price. The average Topps test issue common card is roughly 5 times more expensive than its Canadian counterpart. #35 Bobby Orr is a particularly expensive card. Although Topps would go on to issue many more hockey card sets in the United States, this is definitely one of our favorites.
1966-67 Test Issue
1966-67 Canadian Topps

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

1953 Bowman Baseball Card Complete Set

We've written a lot about the 1953 Bowman baseball cards because they are so visually pleasing and include, in our opinion, one of the best cards ever made (#33 Pee Wee Reese turning a double play). However, it has been a long time since we put a complete 1953 Bowman baseball set.

The set we just got in, which grades "Very Good", came from a local collector who was selling it on behalf of his father, who had a large collection of early 1950's cards from both Topps and Bowman. It is definitely one of the most consistent 1950's sets that we have ever had.

This set does have one unique aspect: #114 Bob Feller is autographed. Bob Feller signed quite a bit of memorabilia during his lifetime, so we were not at all surprised to find that his card had been autographed.

Although we have written an article about these cards in the past, this is one of the first times that we have had a full set.  Click here to see Dean's 1953 Bowman baseball card article, which appeared in the October 15, 2010 issue of Sports Collector's Digest.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

T207 Recruit Cigarette Boxes

The tobacco cards, or T-cards, are some of our favorite Pre-War baseball cards here at, but since they haven't been manufactured in over a century, it can be difficult to picture these little scraps of cardboard in their brand-new form. Fortunately for us, we came across a few Recruit cigarette boxes sitting in our Non-Sports inventory and we figured out exactly what they were.

The Recruit Cigarette brand was owned by the American Tobacco Company, which owned dozens of cigarette brands in the first decade of the 20th century. The front of boxes themselves have brand name Liggett & Myers Company, which had been purchased by the American Tobacco Company several years earlier. The T207 cards were one of the last sets to be produced before the American Tobacco Company was dissolved due its monopoly on the tobacco industry. The Recruit back is the most common for the T207 cards, but there are also Broadleaf, Cycle, Napoleon, and Red Cross back variations.

When we originally found these boxes, we were hoping to find "pack fresh" T207 cards, but instead we found several dozen T59 Flags of All Nations cards. These Non-Sports cards are very interesting, but are much more common than high-grade T207 cards.

One of our favorite resources for cigarette card information, including the containers or boxes in which cigarette cards were originally placed, is

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just In: 1961 & 1962 Post Near Sets

1961 Post #132 Roberto Clemente (COM)
We just received a very large collection that included two rare items - a 1961 Post Cereal near complete set and 1962 Post Cereal near complete set. While most of these cards are pretty commonly available, the sets can be difficult to put together because many of the cards were made in much shorter supply. Most Post cards were made available on the back of cereal boxes and could also be purchased directly from the Post Cereal Company in the form of team sheets. The "company-purchase" cards now go by the designation "COM", while the cards cut out of the box are designated by the phrase "BOX". However, a few cards were printed only on the back of the boxes. Because the primary cereal consumers were kids, many of the cards that were printed only on the boxes are now difficult to find. Other cards were just made in short supply and could probably be called "short prints".
1962 Post #5 Mickey Mantle (ad)

The 1961 Post Cereal near complete set is missing only three cards: #93 Jim Lemon, #94 Chuck Stobbs, and #183 Roy McMillan. The 1962 Post Cereal near complete set is missing four cards: #82 Ted Kluszewski, #83 Bob Allison, #125 Jim Brosnan, and #188 Ernie Banks. We also have 1961 and 1962 Post Cereal baseball cards for sale individually.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Update: 1934 Goudey error card

Our 1934 Goudey #53 George Watkins error card just arrived back from SGC and is on our site and available for purchase. This card has been on quite the journey, as we have had to send it to two different grading companies in order to get the white background variation acknowledge. SGC finally did acknowledged the white background variation and gave it a grade of SGC 4 VG/EX. We have received many calls and emails about this card because it appears to be a one-of-a-kind item, so we are glad that we can finally put it up on our site.  You can click here to read our blog article from several months ago about the card.