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MASSIVE Baseball Card Collection Incoming. What Do I Look For?8921

Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
Ok. A friend of mine called me. An acquaintance of his, a gentleman in his 80’s or 90’s passed away.

He has been entrusted to sell the deceased’s huge baseball card collection. How huge? I don’t know yet. But he told me I’ll need an SUV to transport them.

He has found the process too overwhelming and has asked me to sell them for him. In exchange, he’ll split any profit with me 50/50.

Now, I am not a baseball card collector. I know literally nothing about baseball, aside from the fact you hit the ball and run like hell. So, as far as rare cards are concerned, I’m truly lost. if it isn’t a Babe Ruth Card, I’d have no clue if it were valuable.

Of course, Age is a tip-off. If it’s from the 30’s-50’s, pull it. But can anyone give me pointers as to what to keep an eye out for?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Collector moodswing private msg quote post Address this user
Anything from 80s and 90s are basically trash.
Post 2 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Buy a Beckett...price guide for Baseball cards a lot has to do with that time period is represented....if it has inserts, signature cards or memorabilia type cards etc.Condition is always a factor.....
Post 3 IP   flag post
Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseid_of_town
Buy a Beckett...price guide for Baseball cards a lot has to do with that time period is represented....if it has inserts, signature cards or memorabilia type cards etc.Condition is always a factor.....


Would e-bay sold listings be a better gauge of the current market?
Post 4 IP   flag post
Collector Tdog13 private msg quote post Address this user
Honus Wagner rookie card! (Last I heard, rarest baseball card). Honestly, keep an eye out for rookie cards of the greats from that era, say maybe like Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, etc. Definitely check Ebay sold listings and Beckett guide.
Post 5 IP   flag post
Collector QuaBrot private msg quote post Address this user
I'm the same as you, don't know $#!+ about baseball, and I bought a shoe box of cards to try it out. I got lucky, it was 1963 cards in decent shape so I did well. But the point of this isn't my little buy but what I learned that can help you:

¹) Get a price guide. Like comics there are keys etc and the quickest way to know what is a big card vs common is a price guide.

2) look at online grading guides. Grading cards is much harsher than comics (I think so at least). A slight blunting on one corner can bring the grade way down.

3) if the cards aren't organized, get them organized. They are all numbered so its pretty easy if you know what year and card # you have its easy to look it up.

4) get keys graded. Just like comics unless you are an expert and trusted grader you will either not get the price you should or end up in a fight about the grade from disgruntled buyers.

5) age isn't the biggest value - rookies, famous players (especially Hall of Fame inducties), and higher grade cards trump old common cards.

6) enjoy the learning process!

If I can help in any way please feel free to reach out to me.

Good luck! Sounds like it will be fun!
Post 6 IP   flag post
Collector QuaBrot private msg quote post Address this user
eBay sold listings would take years to go through fo4 an SUV load of cards! Get the guide to quickly figure out which cards have value, then use eBay sold to see what the actual values are for those cards.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks guys! A list of names to look for would be much appreciated.

I’ll get on Amazon now & buy a guide. Picking up the collection on Friday.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector moodswing private msg quote post Address this user
I will emphasize if they are from the 80s and 90s, it will not be worth your time to organize if they are not already organized. I recently came into the realization that collecting anything in the 80s a d 90s was not smart. I now have a ton of worthless cards that are taking up comic book space right next to my 3 copies of turok.
Post 9 IP   flag post
Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
From what I understand, the cards are relatively organized by year/sets. How true that is, I have yet to see. I’ll post a few pics once I get them home.
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COLLECTOR Studley_Dudley private msg quote post Address this user
As a kid, I collected in the 80s and 90s, then stopped after the strike-shortened season in 1994. There isn't much in there that is worthwhile, with the exception of Ken Griffey Jr's Upper Deck rookie card. I know that one commanded a premium. There may be a few other rookie cards that are slightly valuable, but I can't think of others off the top of my head. I came home on leave in 2012, started going through mine, realized it was all crap, and tossed it in the trash. It was liberating.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
Here’s a question, which grading company do card collectors trust?
Post 12 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR Studley_Dudley private msg quote post Address this user
The card collectors I know prefer PSA as opposed to Beckett.
Post 13 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodswing
I will emphasize if they are from the 80s and 90s, it will not be worth your time to organize if they are not already organized. I recently came into the realization that collecting anything in the 80s a d 90s was not smart. I now have a ton of worthless cards that are taking up comic book space right next to my 3 copies of turok.
The exception to this is inserts or autographs or memorabilia cards...even during the glut production years a lot of that stuff can be pricey
Post 14 IP   flag post
Collector gmellos private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodswing
Anything from 80s and 90s are basically trash.


No the man was in his 80s or 90s so theoretically there could be some NICE cards if the man was collecting since he was a kid in the 1930s
Post 15 IP   flag post
Collector Enelson private msg quote post Address this user
Look for a 1984 Kurt Bevacqua
Post 16 IP   flag post
Collector gmellos private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enelson
Look for a 1984 Kurt Bevacqua




Im a San Diegan and life long Padres fan.
Post 17 IP   flag post
Collector Enelson private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmellos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enelson
Look for a 1984 Kurt Bevacqua




I'm a San Diegan and life long Padres fan.


Ha, I was trolling a little, what are the odds!!! I was born and raised in San Diego, grew up in north park. Moved to NJ in 2006. I was 8 years old in 1984 at the game when Garvey hit his home run in playoffs. Still have a cub busters shirt.

I still rememeber the Lasorda Bevacqua rant
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector gmellos private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enelson
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmellos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enelson
Look for a 1984 Kurt Bevacqua




I'm a San Diegan and life long Padres fan.


Ha, I was trolling a little, what are the odds!!! I was born and raised in San Diego, grew up in north park. Moved to NJ in 2006. I was 8 years old in 1984 at the game when Garvey hit his home run. Still have a cub busters shirt.


hahaha I was 11 when the Padres went the 84 Series
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector Homer private msg quote post Address this user
When your friend says he’s overwhelmed, that sounds like he’s looking them up on the internet and they have little to no value. Like comics people are looking for “rookie cards” same as first appearances. The vast majority of cards have less value than Drek comics.
Post 20 IP   flag post
Collector MR_SigS private msg quote post Address this user
It's mostly about the era. Not the ERA, but the era.
Post 21 IP   flag post
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdog13
Honus Wagner rookie card! (Last I heard, rarest baseball card). Honestly, keep an eye out for rookie cards of the greats from that era, say maybe like Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, etc. Definitely check Ebay sold listings and Beckett guide.

When I was a kid it was the Mickey Mantle rookie card that was the most valuable ever. I just looked it up (1952 Topps) and it's only $1.13 million, compared to Honus Wagner's $3.12 million. But Wagner is 1909-1911, so less likely to be in this collection?

An SUV full of baseball cards? Holy moly that's a lot!

Condition is even more important on baseball cards than comic books, if you can believe that.

FYI, one webpage I looked at said 1952 Topps (Mantle's rookie year) was their first year doing baseball cards. Subsequently, mint Topps cards from this year - even the common ones - can get you $1000 a pop.

It also says the Pete Ross rookie card (1963 Topps #537) is also pretty valuable. And the 1951 Bowman #305, WIllie Mays rookie.

There's also the famous Bill Ripken recalled card from 1989. But I don't think that has held up its value very well. Might be worth 10 bucks?

Good luck!
Post 22 IP   flag post
Collector VaComicsGuy private msg quote post Address this user
My brothers and I collected a lot of cards over the years and still have quite a few. Take everything involved in collecting comics and it pretty much applies to cards. Most of the terms are the same but for the majority of terms that aren't you'll figure them out. I.E. First appearance vs. Rookie. Like comics, it's easy to make mistakes but if you take your time, you can figure most of it out. My advice is go slow and learn as much as you can BEFORE you start or you risk missing something.

My advice would be:
1. sort the cards by year then by set. Ex: 1990 Topps, 1990 Fleeer
2. sort into numerical order. This will make it much faster to look up cards online or in print. It also makes it easier to look for the $ cards in a particular set.
3. If you use a printed guide, be careful because like with comics, values can often fluctuate faster than the guides can be updated.
4. If the collection isn't already in sleeves and top loaders or the like (Snaptites, screw-downs. . ,) get some and have them on hand before you start.
5. There are a bunch of facebook and online forums, like this one, where you can ask questions and get advice but be careful if you decide to sell to any of them.

Good luck,
Let me know if you have any questions
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Collector ninjarobert private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodswing
Anything from 80s and 90s are basically trash.


Truth. Unfortunately, that's when I collected lol
Post 24 IP   flag post
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjarobert
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodswing
Anything from 80s and 90s are basically trash.


Truth. Unfortunately, that's when I collected lol

Yes, I have all the DonRuss from, I think, 1989. Or something like that.
Post 25 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR kaptainmyke private msg quote post Address this user
people still collect baseball cards?
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
I would start by: organize by teams and sub group by year/era of those teams.

I would then do an internet search of the best baseball players by team and year..example: New York Yankees best players (https://m.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-greatest-new-york-yankees-of-all-time)

I would do this for all the teams and then search your cards for those players that appear on the lists and set those aside.

This would be my start.

Its overwhelming because of the size of the collection. You have to breakdown the size. You'll need to separate the cream from the regular stuff.

Like in comics, the general hallmarks for value are age and rookie.
Post 27 IP   flag post
Collector moodswing private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by GAC
I would start by: organize by teams and sub group by year/era of those teams.

I would then do an internet search of the best baseball players by team and year..example: New York Yankees best players (https://m.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-greatest-new-york-yankees-of-all-time)

I would do this for all the teams and then search for those players that appear on the lists.

I would then pull all the rookie cards.

This would be my start.


I would guess a van full of cards, this would be too time consuming. I would think the original owner already has them sorted. If not, you are going to spend a lot of time organizing. I contemplated separating my junk 80s and 90s into teams. Making 50 cents an hour wasn't worth it.
Post 28 IP   flag post
Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
If they're sorted, even better...but they're going to have to separate the good stuff from the bad....no way around that, otherwise they wont know what they've got.
Post 29 IP   flag post
Collector CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaptainmyke
people still collect baseball cards?


Only rookie collectors.
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