Investment Level Vintage Baseball Cards

This article is based on a Twitter conversation I had with someone wanting advice about investment level vintage baseball cards. Here are some of the best parts of the conversation. I have also added a couple things that I had originally left out, and also have included some great bonus color commentary…


Snowflake Culture Disclaimer: Follow these words at your own risk.

For investing long term…I think this is a no brainer. Get as many 1952 Topps** Mickey Mantle cards as you can. But, when you look up the cost of these, even in a crumbled up, crinkled condition, you might shit yourself. At this point, if you did soil yourself, clean up and move onto the next step…If not, go purch a bunch of them bad boys…

1962 Topps Baseball 025 FrontNext, any high grade, centered cards of Mantle, Aaron, Mays, Koufax, Jackie, Banks, basically the real big boys, the players even a lonely housewife would know about. When I say high grade, I am talking 7’s at the very least, but more likely 8’s, 9’s and dare I even say 10’s…

Now I think all the big boys will remain valuable, even in lower grades and raw, but if you talking investment, it has to be centered and high grade no question.

** Don’t be fooled…The 1952 Topps is not Mickey Mantle’s rookie card. His 1951 Bowman is his true rookie card. The 1952 Topps is considered his first Topps card. People debate this for both sides, so think how you will, but people‚Äôs insight I value say the 1951 Bowman is the rookie. The 1952 Topps still commands more value, although both sell well and are good investments.

Dude wanted to know if he should just grade any and all vintage cards…

1962 Topps Baseball Mickey Mantle CardMost people I associate with tend to only grade mid to higher conditioned cards. 5’s at the very least and up. Usually with lesser conditioned cards, they will keep and sell or trade them raw. Considering the per card cost of grading, it most likely wouldn’t be cost effective to send the lower conditioned cards out for grading.

There is definitely a market for graded cards. People always buy big names, they collect graded team sets, graded complete sets, etc. Personally, I would not venture into that avenue if you’re looking for investment though. Too many issues could arise with grades coming back. You might think you have a bunch of 8’s, and if you are counting on a bunch of 8’s, but they come back a bunch of 6’s, you probably aren’t going to be happy. Grading companies ain’t messing around…They stiff…

Probably should have led with this. Join Net54 Baseball Forum, they know everything about vintage baseball cards over there. They make me look like I know nothing, but they some straight up stick in the muds. I feel like they a bunch of 80 year old dudes, hugging their cards so tightly their cases could crack. Been married for 60 years, but ain’t had no fun in 30. Relax, I just want to be your friend. haha


Again, 52 Mantles…Now go refresh that disclaimer I wrote at the top…

Buy any 1952 Mantle right now at any price and it will double or triple in 20-25 years, assuming the global economy is still in tact, because if the economy collapses, ain’t no card going to be worth shit. And I say this in jest, but I do think the US government won’t be around for another 50 years, personal opinion obviously, but that would definitely affect the value of a baseball card…Now I am forced to say gold or precious metals. Goodness gracious, where is this headed…


I did have to tell dude a couple extra things…

    1. Up to this point my focus has been discussing post war era cards. Basically, 50’s and 60’s cards. Great investment cards also are found with pre war era cards…A few of these players include Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig and DiMaggio. Many other Hall of Fame Members retain great value as well. Again, the higher the grade, the better the centering, the more valuable the card will be. But each of those players will retain and increase in value for sure.
    2. VintageCardPrices.com is a great place to find the market value for graded sports cards. VCP generates data from EBay and auction houses that displays the prices cards have sold for, they really break it down all pretty and nice like…Basically, a must have if you need to figure out vintage card prices, hence the name.

VCPWideScreenShot


Something I forgot, probably pretty important too…

Big name, high grade centered rookies command serious value and will always go up. Even the second and third tier big boys will command more value for their rookie cards…

1949 Bowman 050 Front

Topps and Panini don’t even know what a rookie is, Jesus, Muhammad, the being one sees after eating an entire bag of love fungus, ain’t none of them know…


This is mainly about modern cards, but vintage has issues as well…AIN’T NOBODY IN THIS INDUSTRY KNOW WHAT A ROOKIE CARD EVEN IS…People say they know, but there are 62,345 different explanations for a rookie card, almost the amount of parallels these burglars are putting out with every new batch of cards they release. It’s hilarious if you ask me. Here’s a solution. Laugh if you will. Topps Now is the closest thing to an actual rookie card…

Is this Jackie even a rookie, it says it is, but go look into it…


So what do you think…Is this sound advice? Did I lead dude down a path of heartbreak and despair?Come FOLLOW me on TWITTER and let me know if I should just go back to collecting 1991 Fleer…