The variety of products people can collect in the hobby is huge. People collect star players, sets, unopened products, advertising panels, and a lot more. Another hobby subgroup is collectors of uncut sheets. Before cards are put into packs, they are rolled out of printers in large sheets and cut. But sometimes, these sheets don’t get cut and make their way into the public. Here are five reasons to consider adding an uncut sheet to your collection.
Fantastic Display Pieces
An uncut sheet of sports cards is a nice way to decorate a room or office if you’re a collector. They make great conversation pieces and look incredible displayed in a nice frame. Framing with the right glass is also a great way to preserve the sheet.
Card companies printed sheets to be cut and sold, so uncut sheets are rare and potentially valuable. This partial sheet of 1952 Topps High Numbers, with Mickey Mantle, sold for >$80k, in 2015, well before the recent market boom, and the sale of a 1952 Topps Mantle in PSA 8 for $5.2M.
Topps, Bowman, and other companies haven’t released print numbers, so uncut sheets are a great way to piece together information about vintage sets. Like how many double prints were there, is a card indeed a short print? Also, the makeup of which cards are on which sheets can help determine Rack and Cello packs’ validity since there are so many unopened fakes on the market.
Additionally, uncut sheets can tell you a lot about the printing process and development of sets. For example, Fleer’s entrance into the hobby involved testing out cardboard manufacturers, and you can learn a lot about it from the sheets of 1982 Fleer Test Cards. Additionally, sometimes uncut sheets contained errors, and that’s how cards like the 1967 Roger Maris proof made it into circulation. The 1948 Bowman Basketball set has a slew of mistakes rumored to be released into the market from cutting up sheets that didn’t pass quality assurance.
If you are a set collector or a player collector, having every product of that set or player is pretty appealing. As a Cal Ripken Jr. collector, I have a 1982 Topps uncut sheet with Cal Ripken hanging on my home office wall.
As high-end third-party graded cards keep commanding higher prices, there is a lot to be said for uncut sheets staying uncut for hobby integrity. There have been folks cutting vintage sheets (The PSA 8 T206 Wagner being the most famous) to “make” high-grade cards, which while authentic, purists don’t believe should be graded the same way. Though, debatably, an uncut sheet with a star may command a higher price than a cut high-grade.
Do you collect uncut sheets of post-war or modern sports cards? If you do, why? And please share pictures with me over on Twitter.