It’s the first Sunday in August, and the NFL is starting to encroach on baseball’s summertime dominion — Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, including the Hall of Fame Game, give way to training camp talk and preseason games this week.
That’s great but depressing all at the same time.
I’m not ready to let the glory of baseball fall into second place, though, and neither is the sports card market, apparently.
This past week, great old baseball card lots continued to fly through eBay, with enough delectable stuff changing hands to keep you green (with envy) all through the fall.
Here are five of those awesome sales to keep your baseball card juices flowing as we head into the dog days of summer.
(Note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)
1970s Gentleman’s Vintage Baseball & Football Card Collection
If you’ve read these flash market reports in the past, you know I’m a big fan of big vintage lots — the more hodgepodge the better.
This lot isn’t a messy hodgepodge because there is a clear focus on Topps cards from the 1960s into the 1980s, with a heavy emphasis on the 1970s.
That includes baseball and football, and the pics show delectables like a 1967 Topps Rod Carew rookie card, a 1976 Topps Mike Schmidt, a 1968 Topps Johny Bench rookie card, and a 1976 Topps Walter Payton rookie card.
This listing is definitely worth checking out just for the images alone, but some lucky collector snagged the whole shebang for $2119.
See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).
1990 Topps Frank Thomas Rookie Card NNOF
Not long after 1990 Topps baseball cards began flooding the market that spring, rumors began to rumble about a funky version of the Frank Thomas rookie card.
There had been, it seemed, a few sightings of the budding Chicago White Sox superstar’s card that were missing his name on the front of the card.
“Hogwash!” some said.
“Who cares?” some said — if the card did exist, it was just a printing flaw. No one pays for mistakes, right?
Um … ever hear of “C. Nettles”?
As it turns out, the Thomas NNOF (no name on front) card is real, as evidenced by the nearly 200 graded by PSA.
And it does appear to be a printing flaw — no black ink on the affected cards.
The Big Hurt is a legend, though, a Hall of Famer, and collectors love scarce cards of HOFers. Especially sluggers.
And so, nearly three decades on, this ungraded card changed hands at $2225 on the strength of 41 bids.
1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson Rookie Card (PSA 6)
You might think Jackie Robinson’s rookie card is his 1948 Leaf issue, but the truth is that the baseball and civil rights pioneer found his way to plenty of cardboard during his rookie year of 1947.
Among those were at least one exhibit card, a studio shot from Pleetwood Slacks, and a 13-card Jackie-only issue from Bond Bread.
This particular lot featured Jackie in portrait with a facsimile autograph, the only card from the set with such a sig. It was also the only one to offer up Robinson’s biographical information on the card back rather than quotes about Bond Bread.
This PSA 6 copy garnered 24 bids before gavelling down a $6100.
1956 Topps Baseball Card Set
Remember that time when Topps vanquished their competition from the baseball card mountaintop?
When they brought Mickey Mantle back into the fold?
When they issued their second straight set of horizontal cards?
When they were still fiddling with their card size trying to get it just right?
Well, if you had bought this set, you wouldn’t have to remember because you’d have all that history right there in your hands in the form of a 1956 Topps baseball complete set.
This one is not graded and lands in about VG condition according to the seller, but it’s still a snapshot in baseball and hobby time — all for $2171.
1985 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Case (20 Boxes)
All those guys and plenty more made the ’85s exciting as all get-out.
And, among the three major manufacturers, Donruss had a certain mystique that was hard to beat. Not only had their limited 1984 set lit the hobby on fire thanks to being, well, limited and for the presence of the classic Don Mattingly rookie card, but their 1985 issue had *gasp* black borders.
They seemed pretty limited, too.
Of course, that bottom pretty much fell out of the 1985 Donruss market when the hobby busted, but the same can be said for every issue from the 1980s.
With all us old guys kinda coming back to our roots, things look better now, and the ’85 Ds still feel magical again.
Magical enough, in fact, for this case of 20 wax boxes to fetch $2100 on 37 bids.
(Check out our other posts about card values here.)