A virtually complete master collection of every baseball card-related set produced by Topps for nearly 50 years is going on the auction block—card by card.
Dealers Sean Bassik and Greg Morris are joining forces to sell off over 42,000 cards on eBay during the month of March. The collection includes 210 sets in all, including nearly every variation and error card from 1952-1979.
The first batch closes Thursday night.
The cards belonged to Doug Goodman, a California man who built the collection over a period of more than 40 years, completing many of the sets while visiting card shops across the country while he traveled on business starting in the mid-1980s. Goodman says the fun of collecting for him was more in the chase than the completion. He’s also looking to downsize and says buying cards online isn’t quite as exciting as chasing down cards in person.
“The advent of the internet actually took a lot of the fun of collecting cards away for me,” Goodman lamented. “I used to visit card stores on a nearly daily basis, all over the country, but most of them don’t exist anymore, and many of the ones that do, like Burbank Sports Cards, are no longer brick and mortar stores in the classic sense. It’s easy to find the 1952 Mantle, in both variations. With very few exceptions, every Topps card ever issued is available to purchase at this moment from your house. Once you’ve found the White / McBride 1962 stamp panel, and the Hunt transfer (shortstop variation), the Mantle isn’t any fun at all. I do wish I had found the Mazeroski red back 1964 Tattoo, which may not exist.”
Goodman also collected all of the major variations for the regular issue sets, making what he felt were reasonable judgments on what constituted an error or variation. After collecting as a kid, he began chasing sets in earnest after buying a 1957 Topps Sandy Koufax at a card shop.
“Before the internet, every card found told a story,” Goodman stated. “I’m a completionist by nature, so buying one card in a set logically leads to the others and the variations were an obvious extension of that. The last card I got in the ‘57 set was Gino Cimoli, six years after the Koufax, at a great store in Grand Rapids, MI that I used to frequent whenever I was in town.”
After realizing the scope of the collection his friend wanted to sell, Bassik got in touch with Morris, who is one of eBay’s largest sellers of vintage cards.
“There were enough cards in the run that it made it worthwhile to sell it card by card rather than as complete sets,” Bassik explained. “Greg was a great help throughout this entire process. He has the operation to list and breakdown this collection in just a 3 to 4 week period, so I chose to go with him in a 'consignment' for this run.”
Each card is being sold with a 99-cent starting bid.
Bassik is currently awaiting the return of some cards he sent in to be graded after examining the entire collection, including many of the Topps inserts. Those, too, will be auctioned this month.
“I have found cards ranging from poor all the way up to mint,” he stated. “There have been a few solid grades popping including some 1957 low pop commons in 9, and some near mint and near mint to mint 1958 yellow letters variations."
There are only 11 cards missing from what one could easily consider a ‘master set’ of Topps issues. The primary set run includes such scarcities as the 1958 ‘blue background’ Hank Aaron.
Goodman also collected sets in the 1980’s and 90’s which will be sold as well, but not card-by-card. Lower grade cards from the collection may also be bundled.
Despite selling the bulk of his baseball cards, Goodman isn’t completely giving up on collecting.
“My collecting interests have gone other directions,” he explained. “I’m really into larger sized items Baseball Magazine and Police Gazette supplements, Leslie’s & Harpers and other woodcuts (and) scored programs.”
You can see the auction listings here.