A seven-card 1954 Bowman baseball pack will go on sale later this week for $950 a pop, Leighton Sheldon, the owner of VintageBreaks.com & JustCollect.com.
It may be a long shot, but another gambler could snag a mint 1954 Mantle. The last one sold for $204,000 at Memory Lane, an auction house known for getting top dollar for high-grade cards. The simple 1954 Bowman set is more popular than the 1955's television design.
On a stage, wired up to the crowd, owner Leighton Sheldon screamed when he saw the second-to-last card in the pack.
"My eyes bulged out of my head," Sheldon said.
What Sheldon saw was the most valuable card in the set: a Mickey Mantle, which appeared to be in pristine condition.
"Hi, I believe that I have one of those cards, but it's not in great shape," he told Sheldon . "Can you give me an idea of what it's worth?"
Sheldon declined to give an estimate because the photos were blurry and he didn't want to unduly raise Adam's hopes.
But Sheldon had seen enough to be interested and invited Adam to his office. Adam walked in his with father's binder filled with T206s tobacco cards from 1910 which included Christy Mathewson and less valuable strip cards of Babe Ruth from the 1920s, so named because they were printed in strips.
Last year, a 33-year-old Chicago resident who prefers to keep his last name anonymous, received a very special gift from his father. No, it wasn't a new car or help with a downpayment on a first house. Rather, Aaron received a remarkable inheritance, handed down through three generations and dating back to his great grandpa Mutt in Boston.
"Looking For Unique Gifts? 4 Vintage Baseball Cards On Ebay That Also Make Good Investments"
Sure, you can you buy that special someone the latest digital gadget or handsome luggage. But why give something so boring when you can give a valuable piece of history with room to grow as an investment?
I reached out to Leighton Sheldon, the president of Just Collect, a leading buyer and seller of vintage baseball cards and memorabilia, to suggest five vintage trading cards at different price points. Sheldon has been responsible for some of the most exciting discoveries of the past decade, including the Fairy Godmother Find and the New York Ferry Collection— both worth many thousands of dollars.
Cardboard Connection puts out press release about Just Collect's recent purchase: "Earlier this month, a collector in California contacted Just Collect as they needed some fast cash to pay off some big bills. Just Collect was happy to assist and promptly responded with a fair and honest offer. The process involved the collector sending an itemized list of each graded card, along with individual photos of the key cards and group photos of the others. What made this collection special was the owner had started building his 1961 Topps baseball set when he was a kid. It was the remaining cards he had from his early years that formed the basis for his professionally graded set."
"After finding Just Collect online, a sports card collector from upstate New York contacted them for an appraisal and offer on their childhood collection. After spending five hours in Just Collect's office discussing possibilities, it was the condition of the collection and certain cards in particular that struck Leighton Sheldon, owner of Just Collect."
"Just Collect, The Cardboard Connection's featured buying partner, is currently auctioning off a large collection of graded cards. Having acquired a rare 1960 Topps Baseball complete set, graded entirely PSA 8, they have decided to break up the set and sell each card individually. This gives collectors a tremendous opportunity to obtain some of the finest vintage baseball cards on the market, including key cards for Mickey Mantle and Roberto Clemente along with rookie cards for Willie McCovey and Carl Yastrzemski."
Great Grandpa's 1911 T205 Tobacco Baseball Cards Found In A Cigar Box Look Spectacular
"In a recent post I highlighted a teen-ager who found a small cigar box in the family attic holding about 85 tobacco baseball cards from 1909 to 1911 worth about $15,000. They belonged to his grandfather Ralph Henry Spare, Sr, who collected them as a boy in the Philadelphia area around the same time they were sold with cigarettes. After reading my post about The Fairy Godmother Find, kept in a woman's hat box, he contacted Leighton Sheldon, president of Just Collect, in Somerset, New Jersey."
"It is especially interesting because they have been in the same family since the cards were issued – the great-grandfather collected them, passed them to the grandfather, it then skipped a generation," says Leighton Sheldon, president of Just Collect, a vintage baseball card company in Sommerset, New Jersey.
Joe DiMaggio Baseball Cards Found In Grandma's Jewelry Box Benefit Wedding Couple
"Like any wedding couple, Lisa and Vincent in Brooklyn could benefit from a little extra cash for their big day, which is next year. Unlike most lovebirds, they had a grandma on his side, named Betty, who left them precious pasteboard. As Vincent was cleaning out Betty's desk he came across a jewelry box. Inside were two dozen 77-year-old baseball cards belonging to Betty's husband, Michael. After speaking to the couple by phone, Leighton Sheldon, the president of Just Collect, hopped on a ferry from his home in Hoboken, New Jersey across the Hudson River to a pier in midtown Manhattan."
"I was 9 years old in the autumn of 1986 when the Fleer Basketball set was released. Or at least I was 9 years old when I heard the set was out. It was one thing to know the set was out, but it took weeks to find a store that actually had them for sale."
Just Collect's recent "Fairy Godmother" baseball card collection has garnered national attention. Forbes.com wrote up the story.
"In mid-June, Leighton Sheldon, a top baseball card dealer, received a short email from Kevin, a pharmacist from Northern Massachusetts who has requested anonymity. It ended, "I have had these cards for 25+ years and am not sure of value and unsure I want to part with them."
A New Jersey man found a treasure buried in the walls of his apartment.
It was hidden for decades and he discovered it by accident, CBS2's Matt Kozar reported Friday.
Rafael Torres discovered a treasure trove of nearly century-old baseball cards in the wall of his Jersey City apartment.
"When I finally realized what it was, I was like 'holy cow, these things could be worth serious money,'" Torres said.
Torres had been searching for raccoons in the attic when he said he dropped his phone behind a bedroom wall.
Leighton Sheldon always considered himself an avid baseball card collector.
"I remember opening a pack of cards in 1984 and I got a Don Mattingly rookie card," said Sheldon, a resident of Hoboken. "I was always careful with my cards. I was like 12 or 13 years old, but I knew what I wanted to do. I tried to collect full sets like in 1985 and 1986. That was fun if I got a card that I needed. I would match cards, but I was careful not to do anything to them. I never really had access to the really old cards."
Sheldon was also a baseball fanatic.
"I played baseball into high school and stuck with it," Sheldon said. "I really enjoyed baseball statistics."
Sure enough, the best statistics were on the backs of baseball cards.
Sheldon attended Rutgers University and eventually earned a master's degree in business. After school, he got a job as a financial analyst for Johnson & Johnson, a job he started while he was still attending Rutgers.
Love of baseball turns into thriving vintage card business in Hoboken
"In 1952, there may have been no better investment one could've made in the United States for 5 cents than buying a Topps baseball card pack and keeping it closed. Today, that unopened pack would be worth between $10,000 and $15,000. Brooklyn native and Hoboken resident Leighton Sheldon purchased his first pack of baseball cards in 1985 at the age of 8. Almost 30 years later, Sheldon now runs the nation's largest buyer of vintage baseball cards, Just Collect."
Most people that collect sports cards and memorabilia collect for a variety of reasons. Some collect to rekindle their childhood memories. Some collect as a compliment to their fandom of their favorite sports team or favorite player, or as a potential investment vehicle. Whether one is collecting for speculation, for the fun or passion of it or to replace a collection that was lost long ago, there undoubtedly comes a time when something in the collection needs to be sold. The days of going to a card show or swap meet and trading your card(s) for others are relatively obsolete. Local card shops are now one in every few towns as compared to the 1980s/1990s when there were multiple shops per town.
Most collectors find it much easier (and more fun!) to purchase cards and add to their collections, but when it comes time to sell cards or their collection, there are many questions that sellers need to ask. There are a few points that one needs to know, including some really important things that are not often considered. Since many brick and mortar baseball card stores have long since closed and there are fewer viable card shows than there used to be, most options to sell cards will be found online. Sellers may ask themselves, "Can I sell my cards myself online? Should I consign to an auction house? Should I find a private buyer? How will I get the best return for my collection?" All are very legitimate questions!
When a man stumbled upon the 1941 Play Ball baseball card set his father collected in his youth and passed away thinking was long lost, one of the places he contacted was Just Collect, a sports card and memorabilia office headquartered in Somerset. Leighton Sheldon, a Manalapan native who is president of Just Collect, played an instrumental role in discussing the collection with the man and his brother — an interaction that eventually led to Just Collect purchasing the cards.
"It was a couple months ago [when we were first contacted], realizing that they had searched for one other dealer or maybe multiple other companies that could make them an offer," Sheldon said. "Obviously, they were trying to get the highest price for the collection. It was important for us to explain what we could pay and what we could do with it."
Aside from the financial aspect, Just Collect offered the chance for the collection's story to be told through outreach to local media and postings on the company's blog.
SOMERSET (Franklin) – Tucked in the Somerset section of Franklin is Just Collect, a buyer and seller of vintage baseball cards.
"Just Collect continues to grow as the country's premier buyer of vintage baseball cards," said Leighton Sheldon, company president. "We are always looking to buy collections and cards from 1879 to 1979. We provide free appraisals of collections and are able to give the seller an on-the-spot cash offer for their cards."
The business is eight years old, and Sheldon said he's conducted more than 400 consecutive weekly auctions on ebay buying and sold more than $10 million of vintage baseball cards in that period.
This 1909 T206 Honus Wagner is the Mona Lisa of baseball cards. There are only 50-60 in existence. Leighton Sheldon of Just Collect, Inc. explains.