March 31, 2015

1915 Cracker Jack Baseball Cards: 5 Underrated Gems

Ed Cicotte 1915 Cracker Jack

Fans associate Cracker Jacks with baseball thanks to a famous line in Take Me out to the Ballgame, but what very few of them may realize is that they produced one of the first baseball card sets.  Collectors of vintage cards are well aware of them, though, and today, they’re among the most valuable and popular issues ever made.  While only a few can afford to build a set, below is a list of five underrated 1915 Cracker Jack cards to consider if you’ve always wanted a few meaningful cards from the second of their two famous sets. The set … [Read more...]

Baseball Card Investment Advice

Mickey Mantle 1954 Bowman

There is at times a correlation and at times a difference between sports card collecting and sports card investing. Sometimes those worlds collide and at other times they combine and merge perfectly. There have been plenty of books written about card investing and those tomes have covered cards both old and new. Here are some of the most popular ideas concerning baseball card investment advice, accumulated over the years. First, the best advice is always buy the best players in the best grade you can afford. The top tier Hall of Famers in … [Read more...]

Best Baseball Cards to Buy

Lou Gehrig 1934 Goudey

Whether you’re an active collector, one who is getting back into the hobby or someone who has never collected before, a list of some of the best baseball cards to buy can be helpful.  You may have some things you like, but the thoughts of an experienced collector might lead you to go after something you hadn’t thought of before. For collectors the concept of the best player not being the most expensive card in a set is hard to understand. A good example of that is the T-207 Louis Lowdermilk which is many multiples the value of a Hall of … [Read more...]

Display Cases for Graded Baseball Cards

Display case graded cards

Built a nice little collection or have some special cards you want to display?  There's no reason they have to sit in a box in a closet.  There are several great display cases for graded baseball cards in the market.  Some are very inexpensive and hold only a few cards while others provide a distinguished home for cards that deserve such a residence. Be sure to hang your sports card display case (whether for graded or ungraded cards) in an area that isn't exposed to direct sunlight at any time during the day. Collectors who own graded … [Read more...]

Baseball Card Grading is Here to Stay


Way back in the day when PSA graded the now famous T206 Honus Wagner card in near mint-mint (8) condition, although we have since discovered there were some alterations, no one was truly aware of the long-term impact of how third party graders, noticeably PSA, SGC and BGS/BVG would transform the card market. I remember working at Beckett when grading companies just began to take off.  Unlike some people I was working with (and at this point I'm not sure who agreed or disagreed with me), I understood immediately how important graded cards would … [Read more...]

Guide to Sports Card Grading


The concept of sports card grading has been around for decades.  Early collectors like Jefferson Burdick, Buck Barker and Lionel Carter gave grades to their baseball cards, even if they were a little different than some of the terms we use today.  “Professional” grading has only been around since the 1990s, however. It wasn’t until Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) was born that cards were viewed by independent third party graders, assigned a numerical and corresponding word (gem mint, mint, near mint-mint, near mint, excellent-mint, … [Read more...]

How to Spot Cheap Baseball Cards and Make Money


Huge numbers of collectors browse eBay every day, looking for cheap baseball cards.  Here are some tips in how to get the most bang for your buck when building your collection or looking to turn a profit. Obviously, we’re big believers in graded baseball cards.  Grading tends to eliminate any question about whether a card may have been altered by trimming or other methods to make it look better than it really is.  It’s still possible, though to buy ungraded cards, have them graded and enjoy the increase in value if you’ve got a good eye.  … [Read more...]

PSA Graded Cards: The Grading System and How it’s Done


PSA is really considered the grandfather of grading, although the concept of encapsulation is still a relatively new concept considering the long history of trading cards.  The famous T206 Honus Wagner card was graded “8” by PSA to launch the service.  PSA graded cards are common in the hobby because the company grades thousands each week covering every era that sports cards have been produced. PSA also does a tremendous volume of grading for autographs, tickets, bats and other items.  A subsidiary of Collectors Universe, the southern … [Read more...]

SGC Graded Baseball Cards: Vintage Specialists


Sportscard Guaranty or SGC, bills its holder as “the finest in the sportscard hobby, thanks to its unique, custom-fit design”  SGC offers two holders - one for regular to small cards, and another for oversized cards. The SGC holder has a custom-fit insert specifically manufactured to the size of the card to help hold the card securely, protecting it from being damaged from movement. The black insert does show off vintage SGC graded baseball cards quite well. SGC’s grading scale includes both its own two-digit formula and a single numeric … [Read more...]

Beckett Graded Baseball Cards


Beckett Grading Services promises to complete your grading order on time or it’s free.  One of the most well-known names in the business, Beckett graded baseball cards are well respected, although the company grades far more modern era cards than it does vintage cards.  Still, few collectors have issues with Beckett’s vintage card grading. BGS typically refers to modern era cards graded by the company while BVG is for vintage cards. Beckett Grading Services uses a 1 to 10-point grading scale, with descending increments of one-half point … [Read more...]