We receive a wide array of phone calls, emails and online submissions about cards and collections on a daily basis. Many of them are through our online appraisal form, others are from searches on the Internet via Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. A recent inquiry was somewhat vague, but noted a collection of several 1950's era partial football sets as well as a partial 1955 Topps All American Set that was PSA graded. After contacting the gentleman to discuss his collection, he shared some of his frustrating conversations and purchase offers that he had with several other national buyers of sports cards. We agreed that it would be best and easiest to start with an evaluation of the PSA graded cards he had and that he would forward a list of the cards in his near complete 1955 Topps All American Football Set.
The list was a spreadsheet that included 72 of the 100 cards in the set that were all graded PSA 8 NM/MT, with no qualifiers! The near set included many rookie cards, Heisman Trophy winners, Hall of Famers and a few tough, low population cards. Low population cards are identified as common or stars cards that tend to be more difficult to find in higher condition and will often times carry a premium in excess of the standard common player in the same condition. We did our research, completed the evaluation, and had a purchase offer for the gentleman in less than 24 hours.
The 1955 Topps All American Set was Topps' first full venture into full-sized football cards, albeit collegiate players, and a precursor to the NFL-based issues that would begin the following year. Many collectors find the issue to be a great set as it covers a wide range of eras, features some all-time great coaches (Amos Alonzo Stagg and Knute Rockne) and how can you miss when you sprinkle in cards of Four Horsemen of Notre Dame (Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley and Elmer Layden), Red Grange, Don Hutson and Jim Thorpe.
Some of the cards in the near set included:
Nile Kinnick, a Heisman Trophy winner in 1939 who perished in June of 1943 at the age of 24 in a military training exercise during WWII
Byron "Whizzer" White, an All-American at Colorado later served 31 years as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Tom Harmon, a Heisman Trophy winner in 1940, a star at UCLA, but perhaps better known as the father of Mark Harmon of television's St. Elsewhere and NCIS fame
Jay Berwanger, the first winner of the Heisman Trophy (then known as the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy) in 1935 and the first player draft in the NFL's inaugural 1936 draft where he eventually refused to sign with the NFL, after Philadelphia traded his rights to Chicago, over a matter of $1500 difference in annual salary
Doc Blanchard, the first non-senior to win the Heisman Trophy in 1945 as well as the first winner from one of the military academies (United States Military Academy at West Point)
Angelo Bertelli, the first Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame in 1943
Charlie O'Rourke, one of the tougher cards to find in PSA 8 with a population of about 60% most other commons
The collection of 1955 All Americans was PSA-graded, and this aspect allowed Just Collect the opportunity to provide a very quick evaluation and purchase offer without ever having to see or examine the cards in person. The seller, who had already contacted several other national buyers that advertise that they pay "top dollar" only to be disappointed with their offers, was pleased by the efficiency of the Just Collect process, the clear communication and our very strong purchase offer. The seller agreed with our evluation and was satisfied with our offer. We explained the rest of the purchasing process and he securely shipped the cards for prompt payment upon receipt and confirmation. Once the transaction was completed (in a matter of about 48 hours from receipt of cards to receipt of payment by the seller), the seller contacted us again to ask if we were interested in other raw and graded vintage cards in his collection - and agreed to forward more details for us to evaluate the additional cards in his collection. We look forward to reviewing the balance of his collection and hoping that we may reach agreement to purchase more of his collection.
The fact that the cards were already PSA graded made it quite easy for us to process and as soon as we confirmed that the seller had received payment and was satisfied with the transaction, we were able to load these for auction on eBay and they are listed to end October 23rd.