ATLANTIC CITY – Levi Bleam was one of more popular people on the show floor Thursday at the National Sports Collectors Convention.
That’s because what’s old is new again in the world of collecting.
Bleam owns 707 Sportscards LTD out of Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania and deals only in cards from before 1970. One of the hobby’s longest tenured dealers, Bleam specializes in Topps and Bowman baseball.
High-grade vintage cards are a hot commodity in the world of collecting and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon from the looks of things.
Bleam and his family-operated business brought with them rows and rows of glass cases filled with PSA graded cards.
A steady stream of collectors and sports fans flocked to Bleam’s floor space. Some came with detailed wish lists, some wanted to take a look at the slice of history Bleam calls a collection and others simply wanted to stop by and chat with an expert in the world of vintage cards.
“My wife is the one that says this is more like a class reunion than it is anything else,” Bleam said with a smile. “It’s all about meeting the people that you see and having a good time.”
Bleam doesn’t bother with anything after 1970, saying there are plenty of others to do that.
“It’s all we do,” Bleam said. “It’s all we’ve ever done.”
Collectors and old friends from previous shows continuously stopped by to see Bleam as he took time to speak with Sports Collectors Daily.
They discussed how the hobby has changed through the years. The emergence of PSA grading services and the like have permanently altered the landscape of collecting.
“It gives people comfort and confidence in the value,” Bleam said. “It’s all about condition and it’s all about what people want. They want to know that they got something that’s real and not altered.”
Mickey Mantle continues to be the gold standard among dealers who specialize in post-War vintage cards. Evidence of that can be found in the three glass cases full of graded Mantle cards inside Bleam’s booth. He also said that rookie cards from Hall of Famers and legends are hard to keep in stock as new collectors and investors join the steady clientele who continue to fill want lists.
Bleam and 707 Sportscards can be found online at www.707Sportscards.com.
Check out the current most watched vintage baseball cards on eBay.