1935 R321 Goudey 4-in-1 Uncut Sheet of 6 cards

An item you won’t see often, this one from Mastro’s December 2002 catalog, “a very scarce 6-1/2’’ x 7-3/4’’ final process uncut sheet that contains six 1935 Goudey cards on the front and a complete puzzle-back photo of Chuck Klein on the reverse.”

They wrote that the sheet was in VG condition with a tear near the upper left corner and a stain in the lower right.

The sheet features Dickey, Lazzeri, Ruffing, Vance, Traynor, and Ott.

The major auction houses have moved a few other R321 sheets over the years; Heritage sold this one with Foxx, Dean, and six other HoFers in November 2014 for $2868. 

Heritage also sold a panel with Babe Ruth and nine other HoFers in November 2014 for $4063.

And REA sold this twelve-card sheet (with the Detroit Tigers team on the back) for $8,812 in the spring of 2008.

1953 Bowman Color #33 Pee Wee Reese PSA 10

Collectors often describe the 1953 Bowman Color Pee Wee Reese as one of the prettiest cards ever made. And there’s just a single Gem Mt 10 in PSA’s Pop Report. I ran across it in a Mastro Fine Sports Auctions catalog from May 2000.

Would this card be a “10” today? Who knows? Judging the card’s condition from a small catalog photo is tough. But they wrote that the card has a very faint rough cut along the top and bottom edges and said the image is centered at 55/45.

1935 R321 Goudey Puzzle Series Window Sign

Here’s an example of a 1935 R321 Goudey Puzzle Series window sign that was auctioned off in April 2003. The sign promoted the premiums collectors could redeem wrappers for.

The catalog described the sign as 9 1/2” x 11”, coming from the great Goudey find of the early 1970s. The sheet is blank-backed, printed on off-white stock, and described as being in near-mint condition despite the sheet’s original glue strips along the top and bottom edges and a single mailing fold at the center.

REA sold what looks like another example of the sign in April 2014 for $415.

They wrote, “The 1935 Goudey “4-in-1” card wrapper offered kids two types of premium redemption, both of which are clearly described here: The coupon portion of the wrappers could be saved and redeemed (through the mail) for an assortment of premiums, including membership to the Knot Hole League, a glove, a cap, or even a “Dizzy and Daffy baseball suit.” The remaining portion of the wrappers could be saved up for a photo, which could be obtained directly from the local storekeeper.”

Here are four different 1935 Goudey baseball wrappers (White & Small Serrated and no Lines, White & Serrated with Lines, Large Clear Lines & Large Clear No Lines) that Memory Lane Inc. sold in August 2017 for $565 so you can read the coupon details.

The Favorite Cards From The 1991 Topps Baseball Set By The Readers Of Topps Magazine

I’ve shared this photo of “The Topps 10” 1991 Topps baseball cards before, and I’ll do it again because the photography in this set is top-notch; some say it’s the best of any Topps set ever.

I may not order them the same way the readers of Topps Magazine did since I think the image of Cecil Fielder barrelling toward Carlton Fisk is a true classic, but that’s ok.

In addition to these ten, you could argue for the inclusion of many others, like the Sandberg or Ripken record-breaker cards, any of the White Sox cards with the 1917 throwback uniforms, some of the great landscape shots like Shane Mack’s, or portraits like Mariano Duncan. And lastly, let’s remember this fellow, Chipper Jones!

Pulling the Bill Ripken FF Error from 1989 Fleer Wax Boxes

I first discussed the 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken #616 FF Error card in an article about expensive baseball card printing errors that was focused on modern cards. In it, I wrote that “Fleer didn’t notice that the Bill Ripken card they released had an obscenity written on the bottom of the bat he was holding. It spelled out, “F**k FACE.” After the company became aware of the error, they released subsequent printings with the words obscured. First, they had a blob of what appeared to be White-Out, then a pen scribble, and finally a black square. Ripken admitted that he wrote the words on the bat to spot it easily as his batting practice bat. Ripken also believes that Fleer couldn’t have missed the error and suggested that they enhanced it to generate extra publicity.”

The 5 Bill Ripken #616 cards have the following populations and approximate prices:

  • Black Box Over Error – Total Population of 3948 – PSA 8 for ~$18
  • Black Scribble Over Error – Total Population of 1572 – PSA 8 for ~$30
  • FF Error – Total Population of 15464 – PSA 8 for ~$70 (The card everyone seems to want these days)
  • Scribbled Out in White – Total Population of 130 – PSA 8 for ~$500+ (A lot of Variance)
  • Whited Out Vulgarity – Total Population of 163 – PSA 8 for ~$480
1989 Fleer #616 Bill Ripken Black Box Over Error
1989 Fleer #616 Bill Ripken Black Scribble Over Error
1989 Fleer #616 Bill Ripken FF Error
1989 Fleer #616 Bill Ripken Scribbled Out In White
1989 Fleer #616 Bill Ripken Whited Out Vulgarity

Now, if you want to pull a 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken #616 FF Error card from a pack, you need to buy a case or an authenticated box from a trusted source with the right provenance.

There is a 5-digit number printed on 1989 Fleer cases. The case you buy needs the right numbering on it, or the box needs to list the 5-digit number of the case it came from. In the picture that follows, 83422 is printed in black ink on the lower right side.

1989 Fleer Baseball Case – Code 83422

The first digit is the print year, 9 for 1989, and 8 for 1988. The next three numbers represent the day of the year. 001 is for January 1st, 004 would be January 4th, and so on. The last digit is either a location or a shift. 

Digits before 90171, January 17th, 1989, have the Bill Ripken FF error inside. I’ve been reading that the error has been verified in cases up to 90191, but I haven’t seen that myself.

The next two pictures and the case above will have the FF error since their codes are under 90171.

1989 Fleer Baseball Case – Code 90161
1989 Fleer Baseball Case – Code 83281

This 1989 Fleer Wax Box, authenticated by the Baseball Card Exchange, came from a case with code 90122; therefore, it may have a FF error inside.

1989 Fleer Baseball Wax Box BBCE Authenticated FASC Code 90122

The next two pictures are of cases that will not have the FF error since their codes are above 90171.

1989 Fleer Baseball Case – Code 91571
1989 Fleer Baseball Case – Code 90961

If you pull a 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken #616 FF error from a pack, let me know in the comments.

1952 Bowman Baseball Original Artwork, Proofs, And Retouched Cards

Today, a piece of Bowman history I learned from the Spring 1982 edition of Baseball Cards – The Complete Sports Collectors’ Magazine. The initial artwork of Willard Ramsdell for his 1952 Bowman card showcased him as a member of the Reds. However, a trade to the Cubs for Frank Hiller on January 3, 1952, prompted a retouching of the artwork before the set’s release.

In the Fall of 2014, Robert Edward Auctions sold the original artwork for $2700.

When I shared the cards on Twitter, Keith Olbermann added, “Same for Cliff Mapes. The first proof has him in a browns uniform. Second has him in Detroit (and it’s 1953 sized). Issued card has him with Detroit.” He also shared this photo.

An Incredible 1953-54 Briggs Meats Mickey Mantle

This 1953-54 Briggs Meats Mickey Mantle has the most manufacturer’s packaging borders I’ve ever seen. This one was offered for sale in December 2004. Do you think it was cut for grading?

The Mickey Mantle is the most popular card in the already scarce 1953-54 Briggs Meats 40-card, Washington D.C. regional set. This unique example measured 4-1/2” x 4-3/4” and features the same image of the mantle used by the Dan-Dee and Stalh-Meyer regional issues. According to PSA, the set includes “28 players from the Washington Senators and 12 players from the three New York teams (Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, New York Yankees).”

To put the popularity and cost of this set into perspective, in May 2009, REA sold nine panels, including the following Mantle/Bauer, for $82,250. Granted, the cards were usually hand-cut from the panels, which drove the high price over a decade ago.

However, Memory Lane Inc. did sell this PSA authentic graded Mantle for >$30k in late 2021.