Featuring Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb and others
November 22, 2019
What is the Motivation
If you're a regular reader of the Just Collect Blog, then you're quite aware that many people that sell their collections to Just Collect have a wide range of reasons and motivation for selling some or all of their collection. We've had people that sell their collection to put a down payment on a new home, to upgrade a kitchen, to buy a car, to put a child through college, to pay for a wedding and to distribute to their heirs.
A gentleman from New York recently contacted us recently with the intention of selling a portion of his collection to begin preparations for his retirement and using the proceeds to pay off the remaining balance on his mortgage. He forwarded a list of some of the cards that he was interested in getting an appraisal and an offer for.
Our specialists reviewed the collection, which consisted of PSA and SGC graded cards, and provided a preliminary evaluation and a tentative offer.
After some discussion, the gentleman decided upon a portion of the collection that he was ready, willing and able to sell and agreed that the parameters that had been discussed were close enough that he felt that there was a meeting of the minds and that he wanted to go forward and schedule an appointment to bring his collection to be reviewed.
The collection, which included a signed card and a large group of cards that had been graded and sealed by third party grading services, was about to be delivered.
While there was only one signed item in the collection, it was quite the item. A signed postcard graded and authenticated by PSA/DNA featured the bold and recognizable fountain pen signature of the immortal Babe Ruth. The signature was graded PSA 8 NM/MT and the postcard, cancelled on the obverse, was evenly toned and presented incredibly well.
The postcard cancellation was dated Oct 19, 1935, suggesting that Ruth probably signed it on or around that date. It was posted from New York City and delivered to the recipient in Reading, MA.
Just Collect is always interested in buying a wide range of certified and authenticated autographs and autographed items. Please contact us if you have high profile autographs that you may be interested in selling.
The entire collection was sealed in PSA and SGC holders. Stacks of graded cards from a myriad of pre-war issues included: T3 (Turkey Reds), T201 (Mecca Double Folds), T202 (Hassan Triple Folds), T204 (Ramley), T205 (Gold Borders), T206 (White Borders), T207 (Brown Borders), T210 (Old Mill), E90 (American Caramel), E95 (Philadelphia Caramel), E98 (anonymous), E121 (American Caramel), E122 (American Caramel), E220 (National Caramel), E253 (Oxford Confectionery), E254 (Colgan's Chips), M116 (Sporting Life), N266 (Boxing), P2 Sweet Caporal Pins, W590 (Strip Card) and a few Goudey issues. While the predominance of the collection featured cards produced before WWII, there was a small group of Topps cards that featured Mickey Mantle.
The Hall of Famers seemed unending. Aside from Ruth and Mantle, there were cards of Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker and the historic Cubs' double play trio of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance were just the beginning. More than a dozen HOFers were represented. A few more names that many might recognize? Roger Bresnahan, Nap Lajoie, Frank Baker, Max Carey, Ray Schalk, Bobby Wallace, Eddie Collins, Fred Clarke, Grover Alexander, Eddie Plank, Dave Bancroft, Jimmie Collins, George Davis, Edd Roush, Jack Chesbro, and a few others would highlight most collections and yet, they were secondary in this collection.
But the collection didn't stop with just a representative card of specific Hall of Famers. Nope! There were multiple issues of many of the biggest names from the early days.
Ty Cobb -- The Georgia Peach appeared nearly ten times in the collection. Aside from the standard tobacco cards, including three of the four T206 poses, there was an American Caramel card, a National Caramel card, a large cabinet from the 1911 Turkey Red T3 issue and also a pin from the Sweet Caporal release.
Babe Ruth -- We were impressed with the Babe Ruth signed postcard, but were astounded to find nearly a handful of Babe Ruth cards as well. The "Sultan of Swat" was feature on two of the four 1933 Goudey cards and also on the rather difficult to find 1921 E253 Oxford Confectionery, which features a black and white image of "The Bambino."
Mickey Mantle -- With all of the older cards in the collection, finding a few baby-faced Mickey Mantle cards almost seemed like we were looking at a modern card.
The highlight of the collection wasn't the Ruth signature. It wasn't the Ruth Goudey cards. It wasn't the Ty Cobb cards. It wasn't the more than a dozen other Hall of Famers. The highlight of this collection was the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card. Although a PSA 1.5 FAIR, the card presents extremely well with fantastic centering, a clean image and even and honest wear on the corners. The Holy Grail of post-war cards, this jewel was the icing on the cake.
But Mantle's 1952 Topps card wasn't the only Mantle in the collection. There was also his second Topps card from 1953 and his third Topps card which wasn't released until 1956 -- during his Triple Crown season.
While we often travel for high value collections like this one, the seller of this collection opted to deliver the collection to us at our Somerset, NJ office. We spent several hours with the seller where he reviewed the evaluation and assessment from the Just Collect specialists and eventually, an agreement was reached to sell the collection.
How did the seller feel about parting with such a substantial portion of his collection? How about we share his own words:
Energetic, Personable, and detail oriented describe Leighton and his staff at Just Collect. Leighton and his staff were quick to evaluate my sizable vintage collection. The retail value and their offer was in line with my expectations. His vast hobby experience and passion of my items was the motivating factor for me to sell. He is someone that I would enjoy working a deal with again...you will too!
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. Next year, 2020, The National will be at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ. It has also been in Cleveland, Chicago 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'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.