Selling Sweet Singles Back in Style

by Mike Fruitman

Thanks to all the recent publicity from the “Black Swamp Find” of 1910 E09 cards, selling cards to stores has come back into vogue.

While the never ending supply of late 1980s and early 1990s singles walking into card stores will continue well into the next few decades, the publicity attached to this group of 700 ancient, minty cards represented more positive publicity for the hobby than we have seen in years.   I was incredibly lucky that my store was picked for an interview by the local NBC affiliate as the hype over the E90 collection went viral.

As a result of this short but sweet coverage, former collectors and treasure hunters are going up into their own attics to hopefully cash out big time on the next big find.

Don’t get me wrong, recent products like Allen & Ginter MLB, Gold Standard NBA, Prestige NFL and SP Authentic NHL have been flying off the shelves, but the quality of singles and collections that have walked into my store and others in the last few weeks has been off the cardboard charts.

Many of the people who are bringing in cards are sharing that they saw coverage of the 100 year old singles find, were astounded at the $3 million estimate and remembered either collecting as a kid or that their parents passed down their childhood collection.

This evening, I picked up an incredible collection filled with sweet 1952 – 1960 baseball singles including the first 1952 Andy Pafko I ever had a chance to own.  I am sure that his thinking to sell this card, a Killebrew RC and Koufax RC and many others was at least partially inspired by some of the recent hype.

Shops are used to seeing collections walk in during tougher economic times and for the past four years, the influx of collections has been nothing short of obscene.  Thanks to sites like,, Check Out My and others, shops have more options than ever before to share these singles.

Interestingly enough, one of our biggest singles buyers loves to swoop down and snag out most recent buys just so that he can break them down and stock his own COMC account.

These incredible singles walked into DJ’s Sports Cards in Renton, WA last week.

On Tuesday night, I signed on and like many others found out about the most recent vintage collection to hit the market, more than 1,000 century-old tobacco cards including a pair of Joe Jackson Old Mill minor league rookie cards.

While I do not expect these singles to lead to another TV appearance (I’m not sure the people of Denver are really ready to see my mug twice in a month, especially during dinner hours) the additional publicity will hopefully continue to feed the flood of sweet vintage finds.


Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo.  You can read his column here every week, focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter.  Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook  and you can email him at  [email protected] And yeah, he’s the guy who bought Balloon Boy’s craft and made it famous again when Topps put swatches into 2012 Allen & Ginter.