What's It Worth? When Baseball Cards Were Young

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Over the years, we have seen hundreds of thousands of baseball cards. While that may seem like boasting, it is more an admission of abject boredom. While baseball cards are fun as a preteen (when most kids collected them for amusement and fantasy), the fun leaves when the adults get into the picture. They turn into investments. Typically, the cards get sent to a grading lab to determine their authenticity and condition. Once deemed genuine, the cards are “slabbed” (encased in hard plastic never to be touched, smelled or fondled) and are completely useless to put in place on a bicycle as a noisemaker, like kids used to do. Hundreds of millions of baseball (and other sports) cards have been printed. Ninety-nine percent of them are worth a few cents to a dollar or two each. For this reason, we rarely deal in them. We only buy them or take them for consignment when they are pre-1950 and in terrific condition. And even then, they must be top tier. This week, a Silicon Valley antiques dealer sent us some rarities I thought I’d share here. He has consigned them to us to sell. These huge cards are the size of a small laptop screen and depict three players – Hardy Richardson, Charlie Bennett and Dennis Brouthers – of the Boston Beaneaters (all three had been recently sold from the Detroit Wolverines). Because of their terrific grade (all 4.5 to 5, or excellent) we expect spirited bidding and for them to bring $500 to $20,000 apiece. Three former Sothebys.com associates and two art historians on staff. Call or email us if you want to deal with Tampa Bay’s leading auctioneer. We have sold the contents of museums and collections for USF. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Hess Fine Art - Buying and Selling since 1984. Art, Jewelry, Watches, and Antiques.

Hess Fine Art, 1131 4th St. N, St. Petersburg FL 33701.

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