Attempting to put together a completely graded set of anything can be a challenge–and cost a fortune–unless you know where to find hidden gems like this one.
Many of them have been lost to time. Pulled from pretzel bags and handled by the curious long before the condition of baseball cards meant anything at all. Maybe even tossed aside as garbage (!) at one time. Yet somehow over the years, enough of the 14 cards in the set of All Time Baseball Greats issued by Rold Gold 36 years ago remained virtually untouched.
The set honors the "Greatest Players Ever" in the first 100 years of baseball as were selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America in 1969.
The Rold Gold cards aren’t that common..but to be honest they’re not exceptionally popular. A modern-era set of "3-D" cards featuring old-timers didn’t stir much emotion in kids back then–or with collectors in later years. But the set offers one of those rare chances to build a vintage set (exclusively consisting of Hall of Famers) in graded form that won’t cost the buyer a lot of money.
It isn’t known how many were produced, but the Rold Gold set is listed on the PSA Set Registry. In all, a little over one thousand of the cards have been graded. Produced by Xograph, the same company that created the Kellogg’s issues of the same era, the complete set includes 13 different players with two cards of Babe Ruth included in the 14 card set.
Graded copies sell for less than $5 in PSA 8 grade–when they sell–while most of the higher population PSA 9 cards can be had for less than $15 each. About 20 collectors appear to be actively chasing the set in PSA graded form or have completed it and moved on. Just 48 cards have graded PSA 10, with the most popular being the #2 Rogers Hornsby, which has a population of 10. No Ruth #14 cards have reached the 10 plateau and Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Pie Traynor are all PSA 10 1 of 1’s.
Luis Cendejas owns the highest graded set on the Registry with all but two cards having graded PSA 10 for a phenomenal set rating of 9.87.
Buying the cards raw also affords the collector an opportunity to have them graded with a realistic expectation of high grades since the cards are remarkably well preserved (it’s believed there was a ‘find’ of these a number of years ago).
The set is identical to the 1972 Kellogg’s All Time Greats set except for the "1970" date stamp on the back that signifies the Rold Gold issue. The Kellogg’s version, however, is much more common with over 2300 cards having been graded including 117 10’s.