The 1947-66 Exhibit cards have long been known for providing bargains to collectors. The set includes more than 300 cards with some of baseball’s biggest stars and picked up where the 1939-46 Salutation Exhibits left off. Like those cards, many of the 1947-66 Exhibits are priced modestly and that includes those of the top players.
Here are some of the bargains to be found in the set. There are slew of stars that will cost you $5 or less on eBay but these are some of the really big stars that are downright affordable.
Reprints of some Exhibit cards do exist. The key is to look at the back. Original Exhibit cards should have a cream or tan color, while reprints are either dark gray or white. A 32-card reprint set was also issued in 1980 but cards are labeled with that date on the front.
Mickey Mantle (Name not Outlined)
If you’re looking for big-name bargains, you’ve probably got to start with Mickey Mantle here. Mantle has a few different Exhibits in the set but the one with him batting and his name not outlined in white is probably the cheapest.
That Mantle card features a half-body shot of the slugger in a batting pose and has his name printed in black. A tougher variation has his name with a white outline that sells for more. But if you’re looking for the most affordable Mantle, you want the one without the outline, though some sellers may admittedly miss the difference.
Since part of Mantle’s name is against his white jersey, it can be easy to confuse the outline and non-outline versions. But Mantle’s first name is against the darker background of the card and makes it easy to see the difference.
The non-outline version generally can often be found for well under $50.
Another bargain to be found is that for a different big name that usually comes with a higher price tag in Willie Mays.
Like Mantle, Mays has more than one variation with a batting pose and a portrait shot. The portrait pose is slightly more expensive so if you’re looking to save money and don’t particularly care, opt for the batting card instead.
An interesting note is that the card is one of the earlier ones in Mays’ career. One of things that makes that easy to determine is because he is pictured in a New York Giants uniform. Mays started his career in New York, playing there from 1951 through 1957. He remained with the Giants after that but the team moved to San Francisco for the 1958 season. This is not only a cheap Mays card but it’s an even larger bargain when you consider it’s one of his earlier cards from his career.
This card can also be found for under $50.
Jackie Robinson cards have heated up a bit in recent years and there’s a good amount of demand for his stuff. Many of his cards have gotten more expensive but his Exhibit card in this set remains a great buy.
Robinson has only one pose in the set but it’s a great one. He’s pictured rounding a base and in full stride. The picture is a unique one in the set with most players in it seen in more stationary pictures either in a portrait image or a batting pose.
It isn’t uncommon for other Robinson cards to top $100 but you’ll find mid-grade copies of this card starting at around $30 or so.
Sticking with the big name theme, Hank Aaron is another key card from the large set that won’t cost you much by comparison.
This card features a full batting pose of the home run legend. I like it because, like the Robinson card, it’s really more of an action shot with him swinging the bat as opposed to just a player holding a bat. When you consider that Aaron is known for his legendary home runs, the image used of him here makes even more sense in that context.
Aaron cards are typically not that cheap, either, but this one is. It isn’t too hard to find this card in decent condition starting in the $20-$25 range for raw issues.
Clemente’s Hall of Fame career was unexpectedly ended in December of 1972 when he tragically died in a plane crash. His cards and collectibles have always been in high demand and his Exhibit is a great card at a low price compared to some of his other issues.
Clemente is shown in his Pirates uniform with the vests worn by the team during that era. It’s a portrait shot and a nice, up-close look at the elite hitter and fielder.
Similar to others on this list, the price is absolutely right. Again, many can be found for well under $50.