Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Uncle cards - Part 1

How many of you have ever been approached by someone asking you to take a look at their cards from their childhood and tell them what they are worth?

And out of those times, how many times have the cards been worth anything?

Well for me, the answers to those questions are 'lots of times' and 'never'.  For me the cards have always ended up being junk wax.  Not great junk wax either.  90 donruss with no Griffeys. Big binders of cards that are all 93 fleer commons.  Even one where a recently widowed lady brought me around 60000 cards hoping for a little extra money.  99% of them were 1991 Wild Card commons. I didn't like telling her that she really didn't have anything.

However, I was able to have a slightly better experience recently...

Not big money, but a lot of fun.  A whole lot!!

I have three uncles on my mothers side.  And of course, they bought a few cards here and there over about a 7 year period during their childhoods.  Not tons, but still.  75% baseball, the rest football.  They were delivered to me in an old shoebox with a request to take a look and estimate how much they could get for them if they decided to sell.

Now before we get to the actual cards, you have to realize that these cards are not exactly mint.  In fact, most of them are extremely beat up.  But they are still old cards, so let's get the fun started!

At some point, I decided to put all of the cards into top loaders.  Partly because they didn't deserve to get damaged any more, and partly because it was fun.  They went from a short stack in a little shoebox to filling this three row box.  Looks much more impressive, and I think my uncles will appreciate it.

So I went through and came up with a dollar figure, which wasn't all that high given the condition of the cards. My uncles powwowed and decided that they would rather just keep them if that was all they would get by selling. So the plan was to drive the cards back out to one of their houses, about 20 minutes away.  But, while this was going down, the Covid situation hit, and since my uncles are all mid 60's and up, they said that I should hang on to the cards until things settle down.  Which is great by me, because I have gotten to go through them over and over!

I figure the cards are interesting enough to split this up into several posts, hopefully this will be enjoyable.

On to the cards.  Football first.  Older football is not my strong suit, so I have had to do some research to make sure I found the cards that are not just basic commons.

Here are about half of the 'commons' from the football bunch.   There are a decent number of team cards, which are cool, but for me, most of these are guys I never heard of.

And here are the 'stars'.  The easiest way for me to determine if the cards were valuable was to look them up in an old football Beckett I had laying around.  These guys were listed, rather than just some level of commons.

Now the football were definitely not as beat up as the Baseball.  Must not have gotten played with as much, I guess.  Here are closeups of the top 2 in terms of dollar value (according to an 8 year old Beckett).

Berry is considered one of the all time greats at receiver.  Though his stats don't hold a candle to today's guys, the game has changed. Rounded corners, worn surface and way miscut.  Great card!

Another all time great, Olsen seems pretty well regarded in the hobby for an defensive lineman.  This card is from the 1964 Philadelphia set, and I have no idea what that is.  Maybe a regional set?  Looks like a regular Topps style card to me.  This one isn't that bad in the scan.  You can see the denting and smudges in teh lower section.  There is more visible wear on the surface in person.

Next time, we will get into the baseball!!


  1. Merlin Olsen went on to an acting career, even getting his own show, Father Murphy that ran for two seasons in the early 80's. He had a recurring character on Little House on the Prairie. He acted on several other TV series also

  2. Alex Karras did some acting, too, most notably playing Mongo in the great Blazing Saddles. ("Mongo pawn in game of life.") Philadelphia Gum was a national set; they actually had the exclusive rights to NFL cards from 1964 to 1967, so there are no Topps NFL sets from those years (although they did make AFL cards--remember, separate leagues at that time). The founder of the company had been a VP at Bowman.

    Most of the 50s cards I have came from my uncle, many years ago.

  3. Some good cards there.

    Voting for the Chuck Bednarik.

  4. Pretty cool! Hope they stay in the family.

  5. I sure wish my uncles collected cards. Very cool of you to put them into top loaders for them. Can't wait to see the baseball.

  6. Nice looking selection of vintage! Can't wait to see the baseball!

  7. Some solid stuff in there! And yes, I get that question all of the time. It’s always wanting to tell them nothing of value but I don’t and let them find out for themselves

  8. I like the Olsen, but I absolutely love that Bednarik.