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Sports Then and Now



The Most Sought After Baseball Collectibles 3

Posted on May 21, 2021 by Mark Geddes

Memorabilia has become a cornerstone of modern sports. It takes but a minute of entering a stadium to be inundated with concession stands and vendors hawking the latest merchandise. Fans collect, display, and sell these in an ever-growing marketplace. But things were not always this way.

Sports collectibles were an afterthought in the past. These throwaway items were given out in a box of cereal or a pack of cigarettes. As people discarded these items that ended up stored in attics with other junk, their scarcity created higher prices. Below are some of the rarest and most sought-after collectibles in sports.

Honus Wagner Baseball Card

Ask any baseball card collector what the industry’s crown jewel is, and they’ll immediately zero in on the infamous T206 Honus Wagner. This card was produced by the American Tobacco Company back in 1909 and had a limited release. A recent sale of this card in 2016 went for over $3 million.

What makes this card so unique is its rarity. While the company produced thousands of cards, very few Honus Wagner ones went into circulation due to a rumored financial dispute. Even fewer are in existence today.

For fans of the card, Topps did reissue it in 2002 and 2020. But don’t expect to fetch the same price.

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Check Out These Five Most Valuable Barry Bonds Cards 1

Posted on September 13, 2020 by Muhammad Saood

Now, who doesn’t know Barry bonds? He’s one of the most celebrated and cherished baseball players in the world. And like him, Barry Bonds rookie card are widely popular too. His cards are a worthy addition to any baseball lover’s card collection. Regardless of all the scandals linked to him, his rookie cards remain very popular amongst the fans especially those cards that were printed in a limited quantity. Therefore, in this article, we have compiled the most valued and cherished Barry bonds rookie and autographed card.

5. 1987 Fleer Baseball’s Hottest Stars Barry Bonds no. 5: One of the most unpopular bonds rookie card was founded by a pharmacy chain named Revco. It had a white, blue, and red border all around the card. It was made in 1987 and was sold as a set in a small box of paper, whoever bought this set also received a set of 6 stickers along with it.

4. 1987 Fleer Glossy Barry Bonds RC no.604: This Barry bonds rookie card was the first premium set produced by the fleers. It was glossy material and it’s rapidly become a fleer collection as it was printed in a very limited quantity. The lesser the cards were printed the better the quality of the product was. It is said that around 100,000 glossy cards were printed and sold.

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Remembering the Topps Candy Lids 1

Posted on April 28, 2019 by Joe Juhasz

1970/1972/1973 Topps Candy Lids
Checklist & Values


1973 Topps Candy Lids Box 1973 Topps Candy Lids Tub Topps has tried many crazy products, often called “test issues”. Test issues were usually only distributed in limited areas and were difficult to find. Candy Lids were one of Topps most unusual; little tubs of candy with player’s photos on bottom of the 1 7/8″ lids. The 10 cent candy’s came 24 to a box. Sealed tubs can still be found in the $150 to $200 range. Called “Baseball Stars Bubble Gum”, the 1970 Topps Candy Lids set had 24 different players, while 1973 Topps Candy Lids had 55.

1970 Topps Candy Lids Front 1970 Topps Candy Lids Back 1972 Topps Candy Lids Ryan Topps released their first Candy Lids in 1970. The 1970 Topps Candy Lids are very, very hard to find and had small photos of Tom Seaver, Carl Yastrzemski and Frank Howard.

In 1973 the candy was replaced by gum, the mini photo of Frank Howard was gone from the top of the lid and team logos were airburshed off the player’s caps. Even the tiny Yaz and Seaver photos logos removed. 1973 Topps Candy Lids are hard to find, but not nearly as scarce as the 1970’s. In 1972 a Topps Candy Lids issue was planned but never released although a few proofs do exist.

1973 Topps Comics Topps released two other test issue sets in 1973 (1973 Topps Pinups and 1973 Topps Comics). The 1973 Topps Comics and 1973 Topps Candy Lids shared many photos and again had no team logos. If thinking “licensing dispute”, you are likely right. Topps received player’s union’s permission for these test issues, but not Major League Baseball’s. Issues over rights & fees with MLBPA and the player’s union resulted in Topps started shutting down future production of test issues putting an end to some of their most fun collectibles.

Click for complete 1973 Topps Candy Lids Checklist and Prices
Note: You may be on that page right now.

The Incredible Value of the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Baseball Card 1

Posted on May 02, 2017 by Ross Uitts

It’s considered the most iconic post-War baseball card in the hobby yet it’s also commonly mistaken as his rookie card.

That’s right, the 1952 Topps #311 card is actually not Mickey Mantle’s rookie card.

That distinction would belong to the 1951 Bowman #253 card.

But even though that one is Mickey Mantle’s true rookie card, it’s actually his 1952 Topps #311 that is the more valuable of the two.

1951-Bowman-253-Mickey-Mantle-rookie-card

And as you might often expect, Mantle is a rare case where a player’s rookie card isn’t his most valuable.

So, why is that?

Well, the story is actually quite fascinating.

Topps has been the biggest name in sports cards since 1952 when they released their first official baseball card set.

And that’s the first of several factors that make’s Mantle’s 1952 Topps card so valuable: he was the most popular player in the industry juggernaut’s first set.  This immediately sends the card’s historical value through the roof. Even common cards of this set can fetch hundreds of dollars in top condition.

The second reason for its high value is because it’s way scarcer that you might expect.

To understand how scarce it is, you’ve got to remember that Topps and other manufacturers released baseball cards in multiple series. At the beginning of the 1952 baseball season, kids were chasing cards in Series 1, tearing through the 5 cent packs in search of their heroes. But Mantle was nowhere to be found. Series 1 only included cards #1-310, and Topps had earmarked Mantle to be card #311.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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