It’s the kind of find that will make a vintage card collector drool. Someone inherits a stash of 1950s baseball cards but doesn’t want them. You can tell they came from the original collection of a kid from the 1950s, because even the superstar cards like Ted Williams have rubber bands bundled around them.
Dealers buy 1950s era cards from the public on a regular basis but this is one fresh-to-market find that’s definitely not your average “buy”.
On May 20, Baseballcardbuyer.com closed the deal on a stash of thousands of 1950s cards from a seller in the Minneapolis area. Among the huge haul were stacks of 1950s Bowman cards, and 1952, 53 and ’54 Topps. Not just commons. Lots of stars. There were nine cards of Ted Williams, card No. 1 in the 1954 Topps set — securely fastened by the original owner with a rubber band, which became apparent with the cards’ “notched” look.
But most were almost as sharp as the day they emerged from those penny and nickel wax packs more than a half century ago. If you thought nine ’54 Williams was impressive, how about 14 cards of Jackie Robinson, most of the high-grade variety.
Hobson’s company was one of three bidders for the collection, which had been passed to the former owner via inheritance. The man who owned the cards did not need to sell them, but then changed his mind. BCB was contacted about two months ago and a representative met with the seller in the Twin Cities last weekend to close the deal.
In addition to the stash of Williams and Robinson, the collection included a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle, no fewer than four sharp 1955 Bowman cards of Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella, a half dozen 1954 Topps Yogi Berras. Duke Snider.
Robinson appears again–three times–in a group of 1955 Topps cards, along with a sizzling second-year card of Hank Aaron.
There were dozens of cards from the classic 1952 Topps set and BCB has sent 93 of those in for grading. In fact, Hobson says he expects most of the cards from the find that are reasonably well centered will grade in the 6-7 range.
The collection the company obtained also has a good amount of New York Yankees memorabilia, Hobson said, including programs and yearbooks.
But those cards from the 1950s are eye-openers. It sure looks like the original owner liked to hoard stars. Or, he was pretty good at flipping cards. Regardless, it’s a sweet deal that will bring some high-grade 1950s material into a market always thirsty for more.