The Vintage Baseball and Football Corning Card Collection

1950's Collection with Mickey Mantle, Jim Brown, Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas
  • June 07, 2019

1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax Rookie CardCorning Isn't Just Glass

When most people hear the mention of Corning, NY, many will immediately think of Corning Glass, Pyrex, CorningWare or Corelle kitchenware.  This would be one of the first things we would think of as Corning Glass is world renowned and most of us have heard of Corelle (which is still manufactured in Corning) and Pyrex.  Just Collect received an inquiry recently from a recently retired gentleman that used to work for Corning and still lived in Corning.  He was interested in selling his childhood collection of more than 7500 cards and contacted Just Collect and a prominent Midwest-area dealer.


Our talented customer service team immediately responded to his inquiry.  A call to the collect began discussions about the collection and what the man's overall intentions and expectations were.  

Evaluating the Inquiry

The owner mentioned that he had been doing some homework and that he had been working on cataloging and grading his collection and had begun to put together some idea of what he had and what he thought that it might be worth.  We asked if he had visited our "Everything You Need to Know About Grading Vintage Baseball Cards" and directed him to the page to use as a resource.  We also asked if he could forward an basic itemization of the collection as well as some images of what he felt were the most valuable cards in the collection as well as some representative images of other cards.

Once we received the preliminary images, one of our vintage specialists reviewed the images and prepared an evaluation based upon the images and we were able to have initial discussions with the gentleman with regard to condition and potential value of the key cards and the balance of the collection.  After some preliminary discussion with John, our Vice President eventually spoke with the collector to discuss condition, valuations and making certain that Just Collect would be able to meet the collector's expectations. 

Collector is Not Going to Ship

After a very nice conversation, it was determined that there was no interest in shipping the collection, although we discussed shipping his collection to Just Collect via our FREE FedEx Program.  He was adamant that he did not want to ship the collection.  Although every shipment to Just Collect has been issue-free, we also understand the concerns that collectors may have in sending their cards and putting trust and faith in someone that they have never met.  We believe that if anyone is concerned about shipping and Just Collect is not able to travel for the collection, they should try to sell locally (realizing that they may probably be selling for far less than Just Collect would offer).  No one should ever be uncomfortable when doing business.

Our travel criteria typically is that we will travel 4+ hours or fly for collections that we anticipate being valued in excess of $20,000.  The initial evaluation of this collection suggested that it might be right on the cusp and looking at the location, it would be just over a 4 hour drive each way to view the collection.  So, after further discussion, we agreed to meet with the collector at his Corning, NY home to inspect the entirety of the collection and present him with our purchase offer.

Travel For the Appointment

We met the collector on the Tuesday morning right after Memorial Day and arrived about 15 minutes early for our 10:30 AM appointment.  The gentleman met us and had the collection organized and ready for inspection.  Our specialist spent the next 8 hours reviewing the collection, combing through 14 albums, noting condition and preparing an Excel spreadsheet  assigning value for specific star and rookie cards as well as semi-stars, commons and partial sets.

Shortly after 6:00PM, we completed the evaluation and reviewed the finding with the collector and agreed upon a purchase price for the collection that ended up being five figures.  We paid the collector and both parties were very happy with the results and the gentleman helped our specialist carry and load the binders for the return trip back to our Somerset, NJ office.


A Fury of Football

The football portion of the collection consisted of only three binders, but it contained some serious star and rookie power! The collect consisted of complete sets of 1955 Bowman, 1956 Topps, 1957 Topps, 1958 Topps and 1959 Topps.  There were near and partial sets of those same sets that included plenty of duplication of the stars and rookies and also some additional cards from the 1955 Topps All-American and the 1960 Topps releases as well as beginning with 1953 and 1954 Bowman.  And yes, among the many duplicate cards, there were extra Hall of Fame rookie cards of Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Jim Brown and Sonny Jurgensen!

Corning Collection Football Cards Corning Collection Football Cards


1957 Topps Football

The 1957 Topps Set was nicest condition set of the football run.  Featuring Hall of Fame rookie cards of Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Raymond Berry, Dick Lane and Jack Butler, this set is one of  the most popular football releases Topps has ever issued!


1957 Topps Johnny Unitas 1957 Topps Bart Star


Binders and Binders of Baseball

The collection was housed in chronological and numerical order (thank you!) in both 8 and 9 pocket pages in a total of 14 binders (11 baseball binders and 3 football binders).  The baseball portion of the collection began with a smattering of cards from the 1951 Topps Red and Blue Backs before beginning in earnest with 1952 Topps and Bowman.


Corning Collection Binders


Mick and Satchmo

The collection began to expand in quantities beginning in 1954, although the 1953 portion did include Mickey Mantle and Satchell Paige!


1953 Topps #82 Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps #220 Satchel Paige


The 1954 Topps portion of the collection contained more than 250 cards and included all of the key rookie cards except Ernie Banks. Rookie cards of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Al Kaline and Tommy Lasorda (including a duplicate) were represented as well as cards of Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays and Ted Williams.


1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron


1955 and 1956 Topps

Included in the 1955 Topps portion of the collection that consisted of more than 350 cards were most of the stars.  In addition, three rookie cards of both Sandy Koufax and Harmon Killebrew were reviewed as well as two rookie cards of Pirates' legend Roberto Clemente! The 1956 Topps cards included a very presentable VG condition Mickey Mantle card as well as many of the other stars such as Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and many of the other greats of the day.  There were plenty of team cards and the rookie card of Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio.


1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente 1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle


1957-1962 The Rest of the Collection

1957 Topps #328 Brooks RobinsonThe balance of the collection included nearly complete sets from 1957 through 1961 with plenty of duplicates and also a 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle.  The duplicates were interesting as there were some that featured as many as 11 cards of one player.  The 1957 Topps collection included most of the stars from the set and also most of the rookie cards including three cards each of Brooks Robinson, Don Drysdale and Bill Mazeroski as well as two Jim Bunning cards.

The collection is another that we were happy to have reviewed and purchased and want to thank everyone that contacts us regarding their collection.


Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the Stephens Convention Center in the Rosemont section of Chicago, IL and it has also been in Cleveland, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!


Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.


We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.


"The Vintage Baseball and Football Corning Card Collection" Video:




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