Forum Posts

EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 27, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
By Ryan Cracknell For a lot of people, collecting sports cards isn’t something we do our entire lives. We might start as kids then stop in the pursuit of a car, college degree, family or any combination of the above. Some may collect for a while and simply move on for whatever reason. And that’s perfectly okay. Actually, it’s normal. But there’s a solid chance that when you returned to collecting sports cards, the hobby landscape looked a lot different, good and bad. Depending on when you last collected, navigating this new world can be fun, exciting, disheartening, scary and a little bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to get you thinking and help you through some of those changes and back into the world of collecting. 1. Don’t Chase Everything Taken as a whole, there are a lot of new products out there. No matter what you collect, don’t even try to collect it all. Even with Powerball millions, the rabbit hole will never end. Up until about the mid-1990s, you could realistically chase everything of your favorite team or player. For that matter, you could probably piece together every major set including inserts. Cards cost a lot less per box back then, too. And there weren’t long lists of parallels. And autographs were kept to a minimum. And print runs were bigger. See where I’m going here? The hobby has changed. Even though there are a limited number of companies making them, each release is intended to cater to a different type of collector. If you try to chase it all, you’re probably going to get frustrated fast. It’s simply not possible. There are too many rare cards now and too many pricey ones to realistically accomplish it. A good goal should be attainable so be realistic. Look at what you enjoy most about collecting. A specific player? Rookie cards? Autographs? Building sets? Start here. Then further find your niche by looking at the styles of cards that are out there. Basically, you’re looking to find your niche within a niche. And for everyone, that will probably be a little bit different. When you see a long list of products on the horizon, you don’t need to get them all. Even getting one box of everything can add up and leave you with stacks of cards you probably didn’t really want in the first place. Sampling is good, to a certain extent. Life gets boring if you order a Big Mac every time you go to McDonald’s. But don’t feel the need to go all-in on every product. Even still, you might not want to bust any packs. Opting for the singles route might not have the same kind of magic, but it does help you focus your collection. Even if you don’t have a local shop or shows, there are plenty of places online to find just about any of the cards you’re looking for. The Beckett Marketplace and eBay are just a couple of them. Today, sets are designed with niches in mind. Most are aimed at fairly specific audiences. Some products target nostalgia with big base sets, old-time card stock and familiar designs. Others are aimed at those who only want autographs. A few opt for wild designs and modern printing technology. Everything is different. So even when there’s a long list of new releases virtually every week, take a look at them and question what the product’s target is and if it’s in line with how you want to collect. 2. Yes, Some Cards Are Very Expensive Other than a couple of outliers, new sports cards aren’t a dollar a pack anymore. But that’s to be expected. What might be harder to fathom is how high some products have soared. It started with 1989 Upper Deck Baseball breaking the dollar barrier. From there packs hit $5. Then we got the promise of an autograph per pack and other thresholds were broken. In the last decade or so, things have really started to escalate. 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball made headlines for costing upwards $500 per box back when they first came out. Then came 2012-13 Panini Flawless Basketball being the first to hit $1,000. Recently, 2014-15 Panini Eminence Basketball arrived costing around $6,000 per box. A 2016 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection set cost about $15,000. And it’s not likely to stop. Yes, prices have risen. But before you start writing the entire hobby off because of these types of products, remember that not every product is meant for everyone. There are collectors out there with the means to drop thousands of dollars on cards without much of a thought. We can choose to resent these products or we can focus on the things that we enjoy. It is a choice. Personally, I have a hard time spending $100 on a box of cards. I accept the fact that the top-level products are out of my range and move on. I find spending my time, energy and money on the things I like to be much more enjoyable. These expensive products are like every set that’s put out. They’re not for everyone. That $15,000 set — only 200 were made. With so much variety out there, look to the things you like. If it’s a $500 box of cards, great. If it’s a clearance box from last year (bonus tip: patience often pays off), there’s nothing wrong with that either. 3. You’re Probably Not Going to Retire Off of That Stash of ’80s Cards The 1980s and early 1990s produced some fantastic sets. They also produced a lot of cards. If you’ve been hoarding a stash of cards away for the past 30 years as part of your retirement fund, you’re likely going to be disappointed. Exceptions exist, but for the most part cards from this era are tough to sell for any real amount of money. The reason is basic supply and demand. Most everyone who wants 1991 Pro Set Football has it. On top of that are cases and cases sitting unopened in closets, basements, storage lockers and warehouses. Simply put, there’s tons of it out there and nobody’s buying. Perhaps the best thing you can do with most of these cards is to pull them out and look through them. Get a sense of what made you excited to collect. Enjoying those cards covers everything except that pesky money-making part. 4. Making Money Isn’t Easy Some people jump into sports cards with visions of easy money in mind. While you can make money, you’ll probably find out very quickly that it’s not as easy as ripping open a box, selling what’s inside, moving onto the next box and pocketing the profits. Making money off of sports cards isn’t easy — at least any significant amount. Like any industry, those that are most successful at making money look for opportunities. They fill gaps that others aren’t covering. That’s the key here as well. If you’re focusing on local collectors, what are their needs? If you’re looking online, what can you offer that’s different? Even if selling is a casual part of your collecting (it is for most of us in some form), take the time to figure out where the best place is and way to do it. One other thing to remember is that this can be an expensive hobby now. If you’re buying a box purely speculating on a return, you’re likely to lose out quickly. And losing a significant amount of money a couple of times will quickly lead to burnout. So if it’s a business you’re looking for, research the market first. If you’re here primarily for a hobby, stick with what you enjoy and what’s in your budget. That way, the worst case scenario of getting a scrub player doesn’t seem so bad. 5. Take Your Time If you stopped collecting 25 years ago, cards are going to look a lot different. You might have tried to “Find the Reggie” in 1990 Upper Deck Baseball, but back then autographs were definitely the exception compared to now. And they’ve also started putting pieces of memorabilia inside of cards as well. Those aren’t the only changes. Checklists have gotten more complicated. Distribution has changed. People’s collecting habits have evolved. We haven’t even gotten into the role of the Internet in the modern hobby. There’s a lot to digest. Be sure to take your time and look around. See what kinds of cards there are and where to find them. Make a plan for how you want to collect. Connect with other collectors on message boards, Twitter or many of the ever-evolving forms of social media. There’s a large network of blogs out there as well. And if you have a local card shop, they can be great too. It’s easy to get consumed and overwhelmed trying to take everything in at once. You’ve been gone for a while. Taking it slow at first probably isn’t going to make much of a difference other than helping you get focused and more comfortable. 6. Where Did All the Card Companies Go? Back in the boom times, there were several manufacturers making products for all sports. Today, all five of the major North American sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and MLS) have exclusive deals. Topps is baseball. Panini has basketball and football (starting with 2016 products). Upper Deck covers hockey. These exclusives carry over to other leagues and bodies as well. It should be noted that Panini has an MLBPA license but that only allows them to use Major League players, not MLB logos or trademarks. Fleer, SkyBox, Pacific, Press Pass, Pro Set, Playoff and others are either gone or have been folded into other companies. The hobby world isn’t as big as it once was. Good or bad, exclusives are the new reality. 7. Beyond the Box The Internet has changed the hobby in so many ways. Over the past few years, the biggest is probably the rise of group breaking. If you’re not familiar, the basic premise is that cards are opened by a dealer offsite and mailed to you. They come in many forms but one of the most common is when you buy into a case break and you get all the cards for a particular team. These breaks serve a few purposes, many of which can help you focus your collection. If you’re a fan of a specific team, you don’t have to worry about getting a lot of cards you don’t want. Maybe you want to check out a product that’s out of your budget otherwise. Perhaps there’s a rookie that you’re chasing. Maybe you just want to hang out and take a chance on a cheap team from the leftovers. All work. Another great thing about online breaks is the sense of community they can bring. Many sites have chat rooms where collectors talk during the break. Sports, collecting, celebrating a nice pull, ragging on a bad box are all fair game. At the same time, it’s helping collectors connect no matter where they live in the world. A couple things to think about if you’re looking at group breaks. Do your research first. Watch them online either live or recordings on YouTube and see if their style works for you. See what other people think of them. Some breakers have been established for several years and have lots of experience and knowledge. Also, be sure to know what kind of break you’re buying into. They can all be very different, each with their own pros and cons. There are no guarantees that you’re going to get a major card out of a break. Sometimes you might not land a card at all. Some have more risk than others. Just make sure you know what the terms are before you commit to buying. If you have questions, ask them. If you don’t get the answers you want, it’s probably for the best and you can find another breaker to help you. 8. Some Things Never Change Despite all the changes in the world of sports cards, some things remain the same. If you’ve got a card shop nearby, hopefully it’s a destination where you can go and chat about the things you love (and the players you don’t). Card shows are still great places to find deals and meet people as well. The excitement of getting a new card of your favorite player is still there. Even if they haven’t played in decades, there’s a good chance they’re in today’s products. If you’re getting back into collecting, there must be a reason for it. Remember that and hold onto it. And most of all, welcome (back to the Hobby)!
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 25, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
The Social Media Network For Sports Collectors! EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe was started as a shared organized social media outlet for sports card collectors and fans. Over the course of more than 4 years we have been building a large collecting network for avid collectors in the sports card, autograph and memorabilia Hobby. Our passion for sharing what we all love has been the heartbeat of what propels us forward and to keep creating and sharing with each one of you. I created this new page to introduce EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe to all of you and to share with our members what we are all about and our mission to become a central outlet for collectors to come to for Hobby News, collecting interests and connecting with other collectors. We hope that all of you will join us in this journey and walk the path with us as we grow and achieve our goal. "EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe is connecting the Hobby one collector at a time!"
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 25, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
EarlsWorld's Vintage Sports Cards & Hobby News To sum up EarlsWorld’s Vintage Sports Cards & Hobby News social media page is simple - We are working 24/7 to keep every collector connected to the Hobby through our quality collectors’ posts, informative tips, recommended events, how-to’s and trending news. We put in the time so you don’t have to! It is our goal to make our page the easiest to connect with and to find what you’re looking for! So, if life has you on the run, let EarlsWorld’s Vintage Sports Cards & Hobby News keep you connected to what you love! COLLECTING!
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 25, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
By Anson Whaley 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie Card As a young collector growing up, Ryan was the first true player that I actually collected. While a Mets' fan, I still gravitated towards Ryan and his gaudy strikeout numbers. That was probably aided by the fact that I was a pitcher for one year in Little League and on any given day, emulated either Ryan or Dwight Gooden on the mound – probably depending on which had the better performance that week. Sure, for an adult with a job and some discretionary income, 1968 Topps Ryan rookie is attainable – especially if you’re willing to sacrifice on condition and go for a low-grade example. But to a kid growing up in the 1980s that was more concerned with finding a way to save the massive amount of $30 for the latest Nintendo game, it was considered way out of my league. Even then the card was expensive– and that was before the market tumbled dramatically in the 1990s. I collected Ryan’s cards and amassed over 100 different, which I considered at the time to be a legendary feat. But as a 10-year old, the 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan card may as well have been the Mona Lisa. To this day, the card still looks striking to an old Mets fan and remains one of the hobby’s most important rookie cards. The burlap pattern of the 1968 Topps cards gave it a distinct vintage look. And those hats with the iconic NY logo just looked so fantastic. Plus, having watched Ryan as an older pitcher in the late 1980s, it was just incredible to see his young appearance. The back of the card made collectors feel like they had won the jackpot, too – never mind the incredible yellow border, which aided in the vintage appearance. Even for the positive biographies usually presented on baseball cards, the glowing description of Ryan in particular practically screamed that this wasn’t a card you should trade away. Ryan’s bio mentions the 313 strikeouts he accumulated in 1966 along with the 17-2 record for Greenville, ‘calling him one of the most promising rookies in the majors.’ The Jerry Koosman Dynamic Just calling it the Nolan Ryan rookie card is somewhat insulting, of course. That’s because Ryan shares the card with fellow Mets newcomer Jerry Koosman. What many collectors don’t know is that Koosman actually looked like he could be the better pitcher early in their major league careers. Both started in the minors in 1965 but Koosman was significantly older because he pitched in college while Ryan jumped straight from high school. Ryan debuted sooner pitching a couple of games in 1966 before Koosman arrived in 1967 for a brief stint, but Koosman enjoyed success much earlier. In 1968, he narrowly finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting behind someone named Johnny Bench after going 19-7. Heck, Koosman even drew consideration for the Most Valuable Player Award, finishing 13th and was the third highest pitcher considered behind eventual winner Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal. There wasn’t much of a sophomore slump for him, either. In 1969 when the Mets won the championship, Koosman was an integral part of the team, going 17-9 and again accumulating some Most Valuable Player votes. In each of those first two years his ERA was also in the low 2.00s and he looked like one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. Ryan, on the other hand, got off to a slower start, likely due a bit to his young age. In his five years with the Mets, he was only 29-38 with a 3.58 ERA. He didn’t find the kind of success that Koosman enjoyed until 1972 when he won 19 games after going to the California Angels. Obviously we know what happened next. Koosman went on to become a decent pitcher and, as his 3.36 career ERA and 222 career wins attest, was certainly above average. But it’s Ryan who got into the spotlight as a strikeout artist and ultimately became the better hurler, winning 324 games in his career. Still calling this only a Ryan rookie card doesn’t feel quite right. Standing the Test of Time What shouldn’t be lost, either, is that the Ryan/Koosman card is one that has stood the test of time. As both pitchers established themselves in the 1970s, the card’s prominence began to rise. And while values might have taken a hit in the later part of the 1990s when card values plummeted, the card never dropped to catastrophic levels, either. That, of course, did happen with other legendary cards in the post-1980 era. Those cards are newer but even other vintage cards have fallen with the exception of slabbed high-grade examples, which are gaining steam. The Ryan/Koosman rookie card has not only held stead but has high-grade examples on the move in a big way. Mid-grade cards start around $200-$300 but high-graded cards quickly move into the thousands. Prices for mint examples have pushed into the tens of thousands in the last couple of years. A PSA 9 sold on eBay in December 2017 for just under $17,000, so the prices have come down a little from the madness in 2016. But high-grade Ryan/Koosman rookie cards remain among the most sought after rookie cards of the post-War era.
Ryan Rookie Card: A Hobby Icon Turns 50 content media
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 25, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
To those of us who were adults when Ken Griffey Jr. was a young player, it might have seemed a little strange to listen to the discussion after he was elected to the Hall of Fame.  The overriding tone was one of nostalgia.  The sweet swing.  The leaping grabs at the wall. His rookie card. Wait, is Junior really old enough to be thought of as “nostalgic”?   Yup, because how you classify it depends on your age.  Retirees think of the post-War era.  For those in their 50s, it’s the 1960s and 1970s.  And so it goes. No one generation has a monopoly on memories. What became obvious in reading the online columns, the Facebook posts and Twitter tweets was that there remains an enormous connection between Junior and baseball cards.  I lost track of the times his 1989 Upper Deck card was mentioned, used as a photo or pantomimed on imaginary Junior Hall of Fame plaques.  For many, it is still a huge part of what he is. Griffey is going to Cooperstown and weren’t his baseball card the coolest thing ever? It was actually pretty extraordinary to see.  Other than Honus Wagner, there is no other player in the history of baseball whose career is aligned so closely with one single baseball card.  Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps card is valuable but his fans’ memories tend to lean more toward photographs or his cards as a whole and it really didn’t become a huge deal until much later. It reaffirms what we’ve mentioned many times.  The feeling kids who grew up in the “Beckett era” have toward sports cards is incredibly powerful.  Their fondest memories are centered around collecting because from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, a time before the internet became all consuming, just about every kid was into it. The motivation wasn’t always pure.  Some hoped their cards would put them through college and we all know how that turned out. For many, though, it’s the feeling that cards and collecting gave them that they remember most.  Riding bikes to the local convenience or drug store to buy packs.  Convincing mom to drive them to the card store or a local show.  Looking over their collections and making trades with friends on summer days.  Spending time with dad, talking sports.  Anxiously awaiting the mailman’s delivery of the new monthly price guide or maybe a fresh box of cards.  Wearing their cap backwards because Junior did.  It was a huge part of the fabric of growing up. Their childhood rushes back when they see him and money aside, the memories are all good. The countless references to Griffey’s baseball cards and that era was a huge jolt of free publicity for the hobby and it has a chance to last for another seven months or so. Kids who were ten years old in 1989 are 36 now.  They may have ten year olds of their own. Smart dealers and other hobby businesses were ready to market to that generation in the days leading up to Junior’s election. While the last few years have seen some of those 1990s kids come back to the hobby on their own, Griffey provides an obvious, attractive reference point.  Those fathers are looking to buy some of those cards they couldn’t afford as kids.  They want their own kids to experience what they did on some level. They don’t hate 1989 Donruss or 1990 Fleer.  It’s their youth. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are this generation’s Junior Griffey and Frank Thomas.  There are far too many products now and the hobby is far more confusing, but the nuts and bolts remain.  Buy a pack, open it and hope. Collect a player. Buy a single card. Get autographs.  With the internet, it’s all even more accessible. Whenever sports collecting makes its way into popular media–mainstream or social–in a big way, it’s a major opportunity for anyone looking to expand a hobby-related business.  Join the discussion in as many places as you can. Write a great blog post and link it in your reply or comment.  Find people who are talking about it and wondering how to get back in and help them. Post Griffey cards on Instagram.  Offer yourself as a guest to local media outlets or sports talk program looking for guests.  Put an ad online or in your local paper.  Put your Griffey cards on eBay, COMC or another online sales outlet or Facebook group and invite buyers to recapture other players from their youth. Join a local or regional business association (probably made up of guys in their 30s and 40s) and reference Griffey on your business cards and promotional material. If I were running a show, I’d use Griffey’s cards to market it. Having more kid collectors from The Kid’s era re-engage and having that wave sweep up some youngsters along the way is incredibly important for the hobby’s long-term future. Most cards from an era that’s been largely dismissed as “junk” will never be worth much by themselves.  That’s not the point. Seeing the big picture and what the most important player from that era is still doing to people is what matters most.
Focus on Griffey Jr Is A Huge Opportunity for The Hobby content media
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 24, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
“Because of the centering issue and the fact that some of the players’ heads extend beyond the top of the photo’s borders, it’s not unheard of to see poorly centered cards top-to-bottom where the top of the player’s head can show up on the bottom of the card above it on the sheet.” Kinda like the old “Kilroy was here” graffiti that was so popular in the same era. That kind of centering might not horrify another veteran dealer, Mark Smith of Hemlock, Mich. He specializes in vintage 1950s and 1960s cards, but laments that a lot of the preoccupation with centering has perhaps gone too far. “This set is still reasonable, even with the second-year Brown card,” said Smith, who travels much of the country on the regional and national show circuit. “It seems like certain cards come up over and over again on want-lists (and missing in offered collections), often obscure commons,” Smith added in a refrain familiar to serious collectors and dealers. And he agrees with Thomas about the premium attached to the untouched card backs. “I buy a lot of cards from collectors at shows and I would guess I find it about 60-40 percent for rubbed off vs. untouched,” he continued. He also volunteered a belief that the card stock may have been better in the year preceding the 1959 set and the following year, 1960, a view that might corroborate what Thomas had noted about yellow toning with the 1959 issue. Smith also lumps those three years together as a group, though he concedes that the 1958 and 1960 football issues may be a bit more popular with collectors. “Maybe it’s because the 1958 Topps Football design reminds collectors of 1959 Topps Baseball,” Smith suggested. Or maybe it’s just a bit of backlash about the pink thing. *
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 24, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
And some technical stuff, too Mike Thomas, owner of NearMint’s Vintage Foot- ball Cards in Denver (www.nearmintcards.com), is also the creator of a great website for football card collectors, www.footballcardgallery.com . He’s been dealing in vintage cards for two decades and he’s a big fan of the vintage Topps sets, citing a neat convergence of affordability and attractiveness. “This is one of the easiest footballs sets in the 1950s to collect in high grade,” said Thomas, who added that the cards do seem to suffer from toning of the white card stock on the back, even to the point of advanced collectors being willing to pay a premium for the whiter examples. Speaking of card backs and premiums, Thomas calculates there’s also probably some additional juice to be had from cards that haven’t been subjected to some over-enthusiastic youngster molesting the card back by rubbing off the quiz answer with his last nickle. “I’d say there’s a premium for cards that haven’t had the quiz rubbed off on the back, especially for cards that are sent in for grading,” Thomas continued. “I’ve never seen a PSA 9 with the back scratched (literally speaking), and I think that’s true with other Topps football issues like 1961 and 1969.” He opines that the first series may be a little tougher to find than the second, but the difference is not dramatic, though it is noted in the Standard Catalog of Football Cards with perhaps a 20 percent premium added. A high-grade example of the full set sold for $2,400 in a Heritage Galleries auction last year. Speaking of affordability, in addition to the pricey second-year cards of Jim Brown (PSA 9 – $900) and Paul Hornung and the No. 1 Unitas (Near-Mint – $150), the set boasts rookie cards of Sam Huff, Karras, Jim Parker, Bobby Mitchell (SGC 9 – $215) and Jim Taylor, sort of. The Taylor card for the Hall-of-Fame Packer fullback actually pictures a different Jim Taylor, in this case a linebacker for the Chicago Cardinals of the same name. One would have thought that the bright red uniform would have been a giveaway for the discerning eye, but apparently the outcry from disgruntled youths across the land was minimal, since Topps made the same mistake the next year. Taylor is the only Hall of Famer from any sport thusly dissed: he didn’t show up on a Topps card until his third try. “Collectors aren’t sure which to pursue,” said Thomas, adding that the snafu leave’s Taylor third-year ditty in the 1961 Topps set – an admittedly great card itself – with some additional heft in the pricing department because of its ersatz rookie-card status. Thomas had one final observation about the popular set, which he insists suffers from the typical centering problems that plagued so many 1950s and 1960s Topps baseball and football card issues.
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 24, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
As might be expected, the league was much whiter in 1959, but that’s not to say that blacks hadn’t already made an impact by that time. Jim Brown (shown facing page in color), for one, was arguably the most prominent player in the league at the time, and he had the proud second-year card to show for it. Like the man himself, the card doesn’t neatly fit any category; it’s a portrait, but kept at a distance, maybe figuratively stiff-arming the fans a bit, in what is nonetheless a great football card by any measurement. Still, he wasn’t exactly alone, and there are plenty of super pasteboards of the likes of Roosevelt Grier, Mel Triplett, Lenny Moore, John Henry Johnson and – my favorite – Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb. Presenting all of this happy slice of Americana in a football card set was something Topps handled almost flawlessly, unless you would describe an unseemly reliance on the color pink as a flaw. To continue the movie-making metaphor just a bit longer, utilizing such an, uh, effeminate color so extensively in a football card issue might be considered a shrewd bit of casting against type, but it also would probably be a stretch to suggest that the Topps designers were craftily navigating such nuanced waters at the time. Probably, they were just looking for bright colors. I can remember finding the pink usage in 1958 and 1959 Topps Baseball cards only mildly noteworthy back then, and besides, the pink in those instances had barely enough blue in it to hint that the goal had actually been purple, rather than pink. But in 1959 Topps Football it was pretty clearly pink, mitigated only slightly by the realization that there might have been two dozen different shades of it pictured.Still, no animals or small children were irreparably harmed by such frenzied usage, though a couple of Detroit Lions standouts, Bill Glass and Alex Karras, probably have a legitimate beef. Maybe the Topps guys were just getting even for having created those masterpieces of Schmidt and Cassady.
1959 Topps Football - Part #2 content media
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 24, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
By T.S. O’Connell I can’t possibly be objective about the 1959 Topps Football set, so why even bother trying? From the first of more than a half-dozen Johnny Unitas cards that would grace the No. 1 card slot in Topps sets to the final card of Tom Tracy (No. 176) with crew cut to match Johnny U, the issue is a classic offering with a marvelous mixture of portraits and the deliciously oxymoronic posed-action shots. The result is a card set that perfectly mirrored the times and the NFL game, an uproariously chaotic convergence of the ethnic flavor and innocence of a professional game on the verge of going big time. All this and the greatest ladling of the color pink into a sports card background ever undertaken. Competing with a comic mix of quarterbacks pretending to throw a football, running backs with a stiff arm extended or a wide receiver holding a football in front of him in an odd fashion suggesting he could be examining it for imperfections, the portraits in this issue hold up their end of the deal quite well. Check out the card of Detroit Lions Hall-of-Fame linebacker Joe Schmidt shown on the facing page in color. Is that just about the nicest portrait card you’ve ever seen? His mother must have loved it. For some reason, the Lions fared really well with their 1959 Topps cards; the Hopalong Cassady card alongside it is even better than the Schmidt card, and the cards of Yale Lary and Bobby Layne aren’t too shabby, either. I know, technically Layne wasn’t a Lion anymore, having been traded to the Steelers, but any football fan from that era (and outside the Pittsburgh environs) thinks of the legendary quarterback as a Lion. Besides, he’s wearing a Lions jersey in the photo. For kids used to seeing their NFL heroes only in fuzzy black-and-white television reception, early Topps football cards provided an opportunity to see what those ruffians actually looked like. In keeping with that goal, Topps disdained the use of the cumbersome helmet in 1959; there are only a handful to be found, occasionally to good effect, as in the case of another HOF passer, Y.A. Tittle. Though I could hardly have articulated it at the time, I was taken by the ethnic quality of so many of the portraits, with Topps providing wonderful images of guys who would appear to have been plucked right out of central casting for any number of Hollywood roles. If what you wanted was a leading man, the NFL had a flock of them, from the obvious ones like Cassady, Frank Gifford and Kyle Rote to lesser lights like Preston Carpenter or L.G. Dupre. Me, I just thought the initials thing was cool (Y.A. Tittle, R.C. Owens, M.C. Hammer, er, Reynolds), and no, that’s not where I came up with the idea for myself. The “T.S.” appellation is a nod to my father, who always used initials throughout his life. Westerns were atop the public’s list for both television and in feature films, and Harlon Hill and Bill McColl could have fit into that genre nicely. It’s probably no more than coincidence that they were Chicago Bears. The Godfatherflicks were still more than a decade away, but Andy Robustelli and Rick Casares would have been easy calls for any of those films as well. But mostly if you wanted to generalize about what NFL guys looked like, you might come away with little more to offer than they looked like a generation of young Americans from across ethnic lines and linked primarily by a rugged, rough-hewn look, with the possible exception of a couple of dozen guys who looked like bankers, accountants or hairdressers. But really tough hairdressers. Speaking of the grooming, Johnny Unitas had the most recognizable crew cut in America, but he was not alone on the gridiron with that particular fashion pronouncement in 1959. The Beatles hadn’t yet turned up on the scene, so there was no long hair to speak of and wouldn’t be for quite some time.
1959 Topps Football - Part #1 content media
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EarlsWorld Admin
Jan 02, 2018
In Collecting On The Go!
Let me begin by wishing all of you a great and Happy New Year! As 2018 begins, rolling the slate clean and giving us a fresh start, what do you hope to accomplish with a new beginning? What does the new year mean for you? For us at EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe, many things come to mind. It will mean hours of planning, creating new goals and finding new ways of sharing our passion for the sports card and collectibles Hobby with all of you. Our new website is just one of our visions for 2018 that was created with all of you in mind and how we can grow our collecting community. Our dream is not to reach only those we know and are familiar with, but to connect every collector to our network and bring that connection to all of you. And as much as we want to grow our community, it is also our dream to help be involved in making collecting a fun hobby to all. Actually, that's why EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe was created to begin with! Sound like a big plan? It is!! However, we are up to the task and whenever or wherever you see our name, EARLSWORLD'S COLLECTING UNIVERSE, we hope it will invoke with all of you the image of the biggest sports card and collectibles community where fun and and enjoyment are the biggest part of what we offer. Get connected - join the thousands of members who are already a part of the EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe! Happy collecting Everyone!
2018: It's An EarlsWorld's Kind Of New Year! content media
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EarlsWorld Admin
Dec 26, 2017
In Collecting On The Go!
Ever wonder how you can manage to find enough time between kids and cards, work and eBay or that sacred time chatting with collecting friends or indulging yourself online looking at cards that interest you? Balancing time to fulfill that Hobby need can be challenging in our waking lives! However, don't let the lack of time slow you down. Here at EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe, we have put together an incredible collecting network lineup for collectors like you who are always on the go! On our Facebook social media page (EarlsWorld's Collecting Universe) https://www.facebook.com/EWCollectingUniverse/ will link you to over 50 sports card collectibles groups and pages that cover most every subject from Prewar Era to Collecting 1980s with everything in between. It is a place where you, as a collector, can find interesting, organized and trending Hobby News without spending valuable time searching all over the internet for it! Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it's not! Just click on the link above and let it take you to a collector's paradise where you'll find Time Is Collecting!
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