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.

1956 Topps Baseball Uncut Promotional Sheets

I shared a pair of 1956 Topps baseball 110-card uncut sheets a little while ago. Well, according to an article and this photo from the Spring 1982 issue of Baseball Cards, Topps also used uncut sheets as store promotional items. Has anyone seen another photo/item like this one?

The article said, “The descriptive advertising poster was pasted in the center of the uncut sheet to hype the sale of ’56 cards.” The author also argued that although the ‘poster’ proclaimed everything in 1956 was the biggest, he contended that the cards were the same size, had similar stars, and were only second in series/set size.

Complete Topps World Series Card Guide

“The 111 World Series cards Topps included in its regular sets from 1960-1981 are not only nostalgic treasures but also increasingly valuable collectibles.” Topps Magazine Fall 1990 – Edition 4.

Do you have a favorite among these? Mine is the 1964 Topps #136 World Series Game 1 Koufax Strikes Out 15.

A close second would be the 1971 Topps #332 World Series Celebration! I love those black borders.

Joe DiMaggio Autographed Limited Edition John Martin Collectors Print

If you attended the Kansas City Sports Collectors Convention in August 1981, you had the chance to pick up a Joe DiMaggio autographed collectors print done by John Martin. Here’s an ad for it from Trader Speaks.

You can read that Martin limited the number of 18′ x 24” prints to 325 and signed them, along with DiMaggio. Autographed prints were $75, while unsigned copies were $60 at the convention.

I tracked down this copy, numbered 35/325, on the website Everything But The House, where it sold for just $91 in September 2017 (most prints by Martin sell for a couple hundred dollars these days).

100 1989 Upper Deck High Number Factory Sets Or A 1952 Topps Willie Mays?

Check out this advertisement from Kit Young from the September 1991 issue of Baseball Cards magazine.

At the time, a complete case of 1989 Upper Deck High Number Factory Sets was $1,495, and a 1952 Topps Willie Mays card in Vg-Ex condition was $575.

For context, REA sold this PSA 4 graded 1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays card for $8700 in December 2023.

And those 1989 Upper Deck High Number Factory Set cases? Well, Steel City Collectibles sold one on eBay for $659 in January 2024.

Topps T-Shirts And Sweatshirts

When this ad was placed in edition 7 of Topps Magazine in the summer of ’91, the price was just $15.95 per t-shirt or $27.50 per sweatshirt, plus $3.25 per order for shipping and handling for Anniversary or Traditional series items.

Apparently, a special edition Mickey Mantle one was available with this 52 Topps card on it and a Babe Ruth, too, featuring his ’73 card. About twenty players were available, including George Brett, Will Clark, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Ken Griffey Jr., Gregg Jefferies, Wally Joyner, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, Darryl Strawberry (Mets or Dodgers), Ozzie Smith, Frank Viola, among others. Checks were payable to Insta Graphic Systems based in Cerritos, CA.

I’m unsure what these look like, so if you have one, please let me know.

Memorabilia Madness – Some Background On The PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner

I ran across this tidbit about the “PSA-8” graded McNall/Gretzky T-206 Honus Wagner in Topps Magazine’s 6th Edition (Spring 1991). Madness indeed!

The article explains that the Piedmont-backed T206 Honus Wagner achieved the highest price ever (at the time) for a single baseball card, $410k (plus $41k auction fee) during Sotheby’s auction of The Copeland Collection of Important Baseball Cards and Sports Memorabilia in March 1991.

The card’s history is quite infamous, but I have nothing unique to add to that part of the story; check out Wikipedia or the net54 message boards for more info. However, I’m not sure many people today have seen the auction description, including a photo of the back of the raw, pre-graded card.