Wednesday, December 23, 2015

1951 Topps Series A (Red Backs) set completion

In December 2012, I purchased my first 1951 Topps card.  Three years later, I can finally say that I've completed Series A of the 1951 Topps set--also known as Red Backs.  Series A consists of 52 base cards and 2 "traded" cards for a total of 54 cards.  The following four cards represent all that was needed to complete Series A:

1951 Topps #A-7 Howie Pollet
1951 Topps #A-9 Roy Sievers
1951 Topps #A-41 Whitey Lockman
1951 Topps #A-46 Billy Goodman

In my opinion, owning a complete set makes you a sort of "voting member" for that set.  I've made no secret of my belief that:

*The 1951 Topps set is the first real Topps baseball card set--not the 1952 Topps set.
*The 1951 Topps set consists of two series of 104 + 2 = 106 total cards--not two separate sets of 52.
*The 1951 Topps Series A set is greatly undervalued.

It's good to know that the Topps company now somewhat agrees with me, demonstrated by their release of this year's 2015 Topps Heritage '51 Collection consisting of 104 total cards.  If I was interested in Heritage sets, I'd definitely be going after this one as it looks to be a really cool set.  As it stands now, I'm more interested in Reprint sets than Heritage sets.

In terms of being undervalued, I've found that '51T Series A cards sell for well above book value.  In fact, I haven't been able to find Series A cards priced according to the book values.  I would propose that Beckett consider revising their listings of 1951 Topps Series A accordingly:

Commons = $20.00
Minor Stars = $25.00
Semi-Stars = $30.00

I think the above pricing more accurately reflects the market for '51T series A.  Also, I would like to see Beckett combine their listings for the 1951 Topps set numbered from A1 to B52.  The cards clearly say series A or series B on them.

With Series A completed, I've moved on to collecting the rest of the Series B (Blue Backs) set.  With the acquisition of Mickey Vernon, I now have 17 of the 52 cards in Series B for a grand total of 71 cards in the 1951 Topps set.  With commons valued at $30.00 each, this might take me another three years to complete--especially with the increased popularity resulting from release of the new Heritage set.

Monday, December 21, 2015

1984 Topps set upgrade

Here's my 3rd set upgrade within a month's time.  My previous two posts included set upgrades for the 1982 and 1983 Topps sets.  I found a good deal on an '84T set and decided to upgrade, allowing me to build upon my "pick lot" availability for sale online.  Listed below are the stars, key rookies and other cards valued above $1.50 that were removed from my personal collection as a result of upgrading.  Some of the $1.50 cards are not shown because I've included them in my "pick lots" as opposed to trying to sell them individually online.  

Although I've always had a lot of respect for this set--valuewise--there aren't a lot of options for selling off individual cards outside of the Mattingly rookie.  A card has to be worth at least $2.00 for me to be able to get any value for individual sales online.  Below $2.00, the earnings all seem to go away to fees, supplies, gas, and shipping.  For cards worth $1.00 or less, I just typically include them in my "pick lots".      

Having gone through all the set upgrades for 1982-1984 Topps this month, I'd have to say that the 1983 set brings the greatest value of the three.  The 1982 and 1984 sets are probably about tie since low book for the '84T is half of the '82T set.  

My 1984 Topps is was already pretty strong, and upgrading individual cards came a little less frequently than did upgrades for my 1982 and 1983 sets.

The 3rd year card value for Ripken remains pretty strong, but the 2nd year card values for Gwynn, Sandberg, and Boggs seem to drop off significantly from their rookie year.  The "boom" in card manufacturing had already begun by 1984, but not so much that the '84T and '85T sets are still able to retain some value.  Even '86T sets seem to be selling stronger than the book value indicates.  It's the '87T set were sell prices plummet.  

I'm actually still working through my '84T set upgrade as I write this post.  I'm not sure if I'll post my '85T set upgrade next or not.  I recently just completed the "A" series (Red Backs) for the 1951 Topps set, so I'm still thinking about what to write about that in the near future.  I'm also only 1 card away from the '50 Bowman set, and about 18 cards from the '54T set.  All-in-all, it's been a really good year in card collecting.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

1983 Topps set upgrade

Continuing with the theme of my previous post, here are the top stars, rookies, and other notable cards that I just upgraded in my 1983 Topps set (basically, everything with a BV of $2 up).  The reason I have pictures of cards that I upgraded (and not the upgraded cards) is because I scanned these for sale online.  Anything with a BV below $2 goes into my "pick" lots.  The Topps sets from 1981-1985 are in that in-between price range.  They are not priced to give away like the 1987-1992 Topps sets, but they aren't too expensive to purchase in multiples like the pre-1981 Topps sets.  Well, 1980 is kinda of in-between too--and so is 1986.

With both sets having a BV between $40-$80, I think that the 1983 Topps set actually brings more value than the 1982 Topps set--if you try to piece it off individually.  Sure, the 1982 set has the Ripken ($40)--but then what.  It your Ripken card isn't in great shape, then there isn't much to get your money back quickly without selling a bunch of other singles.  The 1983 Topps set on the other hand has Gwynn ($25), Sandberg ($20), Boggs ($15), and Ripken ($10).  If one or two cards aren't up to par, you can still count on one of the others to help bring back some of your value.

Next up for set upgrades is 1984 Topps, which I'm waiting for to arrive in the mail shortly.