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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Learn How We Grade Baseball Cards: Dean's Cards

by Dean Hanley
Founder and Owner, Dean's Cards

One of the most confusing things for baseball card collectors is understanding how their cards are graded. We get a lot of questions about it. We have been grading baseball cards and other sports and non-sports cards for 12 years, and our grading is based on strict PSA standards -- but we go one step further to take into account a card's "eye appeal" which tends to make our grading standards even more conservative than PSA.

The video featured on this page shows an in-house training session led by Elana Winget, our purchasing manager, and our grading czar -- or actually our czarina. Elana grades our complete vintage sets, and we believe they are the best offered in the hobby, thanks to her vintage baseball card grading expertise.

Elana and I also work closely together to purchase card collections. So if you sell a baseball card collection or other sports card or non-sports card collection to Dean's Cards, chances are you will be speaking to one of us as we develop a custom quote for you.

At Dean's Cards, we constantly strive to make card collecting fun and simple. One of the reasons we wanted to share this grading video is to take the mystery out of a process that can often be confusing for collectors.

The overall goal of our baseball card grading standards is to surpass your expectations on the quality of cards you purchase from us. That's why our website shows scans of the vintage cards we sell, so you can see the cards for yourself online before you purchase them.

I encourage you to read Testimonials from customers who buy baseball cards from Dean's Cards. and who sell baseball cards to Dean's Cards. We are proud of the positive comments we receive from customers, and if you want to buy baseball cards or sell baseball cards, we hope you will visit the Dean's Cards website.

Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog. Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards.




Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dean's Cards: 1957 Topps Baseball Cards Loaded With Stars

--> Click here for a complete set of 1957 Topps Baseball Cards
The Boys of Summer featured on the 1957 Topps Dodgers Sluggers card from DeansCards.com
By Dean Hanley
Founder and Owner of Dean's Cards

If you want a baseball card set loaded with Hall of Fame players, the 1957 Topps baseball card set would be a great choice for you. Topps packed the 1st series with a lot of star power, as the set contains seven Hall of Famers in the first 20 cards and 23 HOFers in the first 100 cards.

The 1957 Topps Baseball Card set remains a favorite among collectors for its full card front color photographs and its use of the vintage ballparks as backdrops for the photos. Critics often complain that the photos have a greenish tint, but I personally think that this adds to the charm of the set.

During the 1956 season Topps sent a photographer to take actual color photos of the players that would first appear on the 1957 Topps cards. That is the reason the 1957 Topps baseball card set contains so many great rookie cards, including future Hall of Famers  #338 Jim Bunning, #18 Don Drysdale, #29 Whitey Herzog, #24 Bill Mazeroski, #328 Brooks Robinson & #35 Frank Robinson.
The muscular Ted Kluszewski shows off his arms in this iconic 1957 Topps card from DeansCards.com
Big Klu's Card is a 1950s Collectors Icon

The 1957 Topps set also includes one of the coolest cards ever produced and one that remains extremely popular for collectors: #165 Ted Kluszewski. Big Klu felt his arms were restrained by the undershirt in the Reds’ tunic uniform top so he refused to wear it – and his card shows his unique look in its full glory.

The 1957 Topps set is also well known for the reverse negative of the #20 Hank Aaron card, showing Aaron as a left-handed hitter, a mistake which was never corrected by Topps.

Beginning with the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set, the size of the card was reduced to the standard that we are still using today. With 407 cards, the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set was the largest set that Topps produced up until that time. That said, that number would be bested the following year and again in 1959.

Still No Stan the Man

Even with all the star cards in the 1957 Topps baseball card set, there is still no Stan Musial card in the set. Stan the Man had a $100,000 annual salary, and he felt that he was worth more than the $125 that Topps paid each of the players. Stan would finally consent to having his images put back on cards in 1958.

Dean’s Cards builds hundreds of vintage sets each year, and the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set is definitely one of the tougher sets to assemble. Not only does the 1957 Topps set have eight great rookie cards, but also the 4th series is so scarce that it is tough to complete – especially in higher conditions.
Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra on one of the first Topps multi-player cards.
The 1957 Topps set contained two multi-player cards of the Dodgers Sluggers #400 and Yankees Power Hitters #407. Topps would continue the trend of the Multi-Player star cards for another dozen years.  It was great way to get the stars of the day on one more card. (By the way did you know you can now search for Multi-Player cards on our website by using the specialty code “MP” in your search for a player card on our website? Click here to see a video and learn about specialty baseball card searches.)

Checklists and Contest Cards Nearly Impossible to Find

Topps also inserted four contest cards, an ad card and four contest cards into its 1957 baseball card set. The checklist cards are nearly impossible to find in nice condition, as many were either marked up or discarded by kids.  Due to the cost of the checklists and ad cards, most collectors consider the set complete without any of these special cards
.
--> Click here to buy 1957 Topps Baseball Cards
1957 Topps Hank Aaron reverse negative card showing him as a left handed hitter. Topps never issued a correction.
1957 Topps Baseball Card Set Facts:
Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog. Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dean’s Cards Introduces Advanced Card Search Options

By Dean Hanley
Founder and Owner, Dean’s Cards

Since I began Dean's Cards in 2001, my goal has always been to provide fellow collectors with a simple, cost effective and enjoyable way to build their collections. That’s why I’m proud to introduce a new advanced website search feature that will make it even easier for you to find the cards you need for your collection.

We are now completing a project to assign “Specialty Codes” to our inventory of more than 1.5 million cards. So you can now go to the Search Box on the top of every page of our site and search for specific types of cards for all sports by their Specialty Code. (Please note that the Specialty Code project is ongoing so you may see some cards that have not been coded yet.)

For example, let’s say you wanted to find Hank Aaron’s rookie card. You would just enter “Hank Aaron RK” in the search box and click search, as you see here:


You would then get the following result showing all of his rookie cards available in our inventory:


Then you just click on Hank Aaron’s name to see scans of the actual cards so you can choose the card in condition and price range you want, as you see here:


We have added the following Specialty Codes to make searching through our inventory even easier:
CL – Checklist Card
CO – Coaches Card
IA – In Action Card
DP – Double Print Card
HL – Highlights Card
HOF – Hall of Fame Card
LG – League Leaders Card
MG  –  Managers
MP – Multi-Player Card
PF  –  Playoffs
RB –  Record Breakers
RK – Rookie Card
SP – Short Print Card
TM – Team Card
WS – World Series Card

Here is an example of a Multi-Player (MP) card and how we would code the card internally:


And here is an example of a World Series (WS) card and how we coded the card internally:


As you can see, you can not only search by the Specialty Code, but also by the actual title of the card and the name of the players on each card. And thanks to the custom programming of our site by our in-house development team, you will instantly see the results of your search displayed on your screen – and all of these features are compatible with the latest mobile devices, as well.

As you search for cards on our site, you will see actual images of the cards in our inventory. When you click on the images, you will see enlarged scans of the front and back of each card. This feature allows you to inspect and compare the condition of each card before you make your purchase.

Dean's Cards has made this continual investment in advanced technology because we want to take the guesswork out of your purchase. When you buy a vintage card from Dean's Cards, "What you see is what you get!"

Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog. Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dean's Cards: 1967 Topps Baseball Cards Feature Simple Design and Great Photography

By Dean Hanley
Founder and Owner, Dean's Cards

The bright and colorful 1967 Topps baseball card set is a favorite of Dean’s Cards collectors. The cards are pure – there are no distracting designs, and that serves to emphasize the beautiful photographs throughout the set.
1967 Topps Tom Seaver rookie card available at Dean's Cards.
The 1967 Topps star cards are mostly head-shots. Cards #150 Mickey Mantle, #200 Willie Mays, and #400 Roberto Clemente are all three tight head-shots. Card #45 Roger Maris is the first to show him as a St. Louis Cardinal. He would play for the Cardinals for another 2 years. Some of the most attractive cards are #250 Hank Aaron and #430 Pete Rose. Both Rose and Aaron are shown in their batting stances. Aaron looks like he may be taking batting practice, while Rose is standing with his back to the outfield of what could be spring training outfield.

Rookie Cards Stand Out
Without a doubt, the rookie cards are one of the best features of the 1967 Topps baseball card set. The 1967 Topps baseball card set has several key rookie cards. Card #569 Rod Carew and  #581 Tom Seaver are part of the high number series, so both can be very difficult to find.
Roberto "Bob" Clemente card from the 1967 Topps set at Dean's Cards.
High Number Series Tough to Collect
The 1967 Topps set is one of the most difficult to complete due to the high number seventh series, which consists of cards #534-609. The high number series was not released in all parts of the country, was short printed, and was released at a time when the football season was just starting. These three factors make it very difficult to find any seventh series cards.

If you asked Dean’s Cards collectors to name their favorite 1960s baseball card set, many would quickly name the 1967 Topps baseball card set.  The set is fun to collect and challenging at the same time.

Something for All Collectors
When you combine the simple, beautiful design, the high quality photographs, the great rookie cards, and the challenge of collecting the seventh series, the 1967 Topps baseball card set really does offer something unique feature for every type of baseball card collector.
Hank Aaron from the 1967 Topps set available at Dean's Cards.
The 1967 Topps Baseball card set facts:
Features 609 standard size cards
Card Size: 2 ½” x 3 1/2”
Subsets: World Series highlights (151-155) and league leaders (233-244).
The high number series (534-609) is more difficult and expensive to collect
Key rookie cards: #569 Rod Carew and #581 Tom Seaver.
Key stars: # 150 Mickey Mantle, #200 Willie Mays, #250 Hank Aaron, #400 Roberto Clemente, #430 Pete Rose, #600 Brooks Robinson

--> Click here to buy 1967 Topps baseball cards

--> Have baseball cards to sell? Click here

Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog. Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards.