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Imagine - Mantle, Williams, Aaron and Mays in Your Packs

A boyhood collection that had also contained uncut sheets!

  • October 19, 2018
  • Leighton Sheldon

SGC Graded StarsHow Fun Would it Have Been?

Imagine for a moment growing up in the New York metropolitan area in the 1950's and buying penny and nickel packs of baseball cards. How exciting it must've been leaving the corner store and thumbing through the packs for your favorite players from your favorites teams. Would you be a Brooklyn Dodgers fan searching for Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson or Pee Wee Reese? Maybe you would've been a fan of the New York Giants hoping to find a Willie Mays card. Or maybe you may have rooted for the New York Yankees and rejoiced every time you came across a card of Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra or the young centerfielder named Mickey Mantle.

A gentleman came to our Somerset, New Jersey office recently to sell a collection of cards that he accumulated during his youth lived that very dream. Approaching and entering his teenage years in the mid-1950s, he bought packs and managed to hold on to many of them until now, more than 60 years later as he's decided to sell them in his mid-70s. He reminisced about collecting and how he would often trade for some of his favorite players – even if they weren't from his favorite team. He had a respect for the game and a respect for the talent of players that his beloved Yankees would play against.

Respect for the Game

Many New Yorkers held great contempt for anyone that wasn't a member of the three New York ball clubs, but not our local collector. He appreciated the game and the talents of Ted Williams and Hank Aaron. He appreciated their talent so much that he would trade many of the local heroes to garner extras of the stars that he so greatly respected. This can be seen by some of the unusual quantities of these players within his collection – a collection that spans only a few seasons (mostly 1954-1957).

Graded Ted Williams Cards

1954 Bowman #66 Ted Williams1954 Topps #1 Ted Williams

Several years ago, while Sportscard Guaranty was still located near his northern New Jersey home, the collector took about 90 of what he felt were his better cards to get graded by SGC. A few of the highlights of the SGC graded cards featured seven Ted Williams, including a 1954 Bowman #66 short print and four 1957 #1 cards, six Hank Aaron cards, including two Near Mint SGC 84 1957 Topps cards, five cards of Willie Mays and a solitary Mickey Mantle card from 1957.

1957 Topps Mickey Mantle1957 Topps Hank Aaron

1955 Topps Jackie Robinson1956 Topps Sandy Koufax

They Were Thrown Out?

We've all heard horror stories of zealous mothers disposing of collections while cleaning and making space. Our collector friend related a story about his father working at an early recycling plant in northern New Jersey that was a location that Topps sent many of their unused and uncut sheets to for disposal and recycling. He said that his father would bring home some of these uncut sheets of 1950s cards and that he'd pin them to the wall for awhile and then store them in the attic. At some point, he related, his mother took it upon herself to dispose of these uncut sheets while cleaning the attic.

How many of those sheets may have contained Mickey Mantle? Where there sheets from 1954 Topps that contained rookies of Hank Aaron or Ernie Banks? Maybe the sheets were from 1955 Topps and featured the rookie cards of Sandy Koufax or Roberto Clemente? Unfortunately, the gentleman couldn't recall exactly what sheets he had or what years they were, but suffice it to say, they'd be worth a pretty penny today.

Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the IX Center in Cleveland, OH and it has been in Chicago, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!

Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.

Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.

We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

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