The Louisiana Purchase - 1954 and 1955 Topps and Bowman Find

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  • September 14, 2017
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The Weather Outside is Frightful

Recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma have wreaked havoc from Texas to Florida as we close out the summer months of 2017. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina nearly washed the city of New Orleans and surrounding parishes off the map. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed and over $100 billion dollars of damage occurred during the storm.

Obviously, not all of Louisiana ended up being under water.  One gentleman still had his childhood baseball card collection that survived Katrina and many others storms over the years, staying safe and dry. More than six decades after collecting the cards, the gentleman contacted Just Collect and another national buyer inquiring about valuing and possibly selling his childhood collection.  While the possible purchase of this collection would never rival the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803, it would prove to be a pretty significant purchase if we were able to close it.

 

Pictures Can Be Worth Thousands of Dollars, Too

After the seller contacted us for a free appraisal, Just Collect's experienced customer service representatives called him and explained our process of assessment and evaluation and exactly how we arrive at our cash offer. Since the seller was hesitant to ship his collection through the mail for an appraisal, our customer service representative suggested the seller take some high resolution images and forward them via email so that we could get a better idea of the condition of the collection and to provide a preliminary, ballpark valuation so that no one was wasting their time. The gentleman appreciated the idea that the cards didn't have to leave his hands and that he could find out if his expectations could be met by Just Collect after he sent the images. Just Collect's vintage specialist reviewed the images and provided some preliminary values and the owner of the collection decided that Just Collect was his best choice to possibly sell the collection because he received a real preliminary value, had all of his questions answered and was afforded Just Collect's FREE, FULLY INSURED shipping program. He noted that he also appreciated the consistent service and prompt communication as the final determinants in his selection and he shipped the collection to Just Collect's Somerset, New jersey office for a complete and thorough evaluation.

Upon receipt, we immediately advised the gentleman that his collection was received safely and that our vintage card specialist would review the collection and prepare a full evaluation, reminding him that Just Collect would have the evaluation and a full purchase offer for him within 48 hours.

Reviewing the collection, it was pretty narrow in scope. It consisted primarily of cards from 1954 and 1955 manufactured by Topps and Bowman as well as a nice collection of 1954 Red Heart cards with the condition ranging from a few instances of POOR to some in the EX/MT range, but the majority of the collection fell into the VG to EX category.

 

How Many?!?!

What stood out was the quantity of some cards. There were FIVE 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookies that were all very well centered, a pair of 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax rookies, 5 different 1954 Topps Ted Williams cards, stacks of cards of Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Yogi Berra, Al Kaline, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto and so many others.

1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie Cards 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax

 

But what about Mickey Mantle? How come we haven't mentioned Mickey Mantle? Well, because Mickey didn't have any cards in 1954 or 1955 Topps, but that doesn't mean that the collection was absent "The Mick." There were THREE 1955 Bowman Mantles, a 1954 Bowman Mantle and a lovely 1954 Red Heart in the collection.

1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle 1954 Bowman and Red Heart Mickey Mantle

 

Reviewing hundreds and hundreds of cards in older style plastic pages can be a little daunting, but when a collection as fresh as this comes in, you are thankful that the cards weren't overly handled.  While there were some that exhibited more wear and more creasing than others, the collection fared pretty well as a whole and many of the cards, despite small flaws, had incredible eye-appeal.

 

The Seller's Story

We often wonder about collections and how they've been amassed and stored.  We asked the seller about the history of his collection and this is what he told us:

"I started <collecting> when I was about 11 or 12 and living in Louisiana. My dad was a US Congressman and he would go back and forth from Washington to Louisiana, but my mom, my brother, and I would stay in Louisiana. I was a huge baseball fan and never missed the "Game of the Week" with Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese. I also listened to St Louis Cardinals games when my transistor radio would pick them up (not without lots of static). Anyway, when I was in the fifth grade, we decided to spend half a year in Washington and half the year here in Louisiana. Dad was a big Senators fan and he and I would go to a dozen or more games a year. We even took the train to New York with the team to see a series with the Yankees. Having seen many of these players in person, I started avidly collecting cards. I would buy a pack of cards every day at the drugstore around the corner from my school. I collected for 4 years or so and eventually grew out of it. Unfortunately, I had no idea that they would become valuable one day, so I probably destroyed hundreds of them by putting them in bike spokes or treating them roughly. I had forgotten all about the cards until we were cleaning out some closets in my parents' home about 20 years ago. That's when I stumbled upon the cards in a cardboard box. Coincidently, I had a friend who was a collector and he came by and said that i should protect the cards as some had considerable value. I bought plastic sleeves and acrylic protectors and filed away all of the cards. Once again I forgot about them until about a year ago while going though some old boxes. Not a remarkable story, but that's how I ended up with the cards."

 

After all was said and done, he received his payment, a Just Collect t-shirt and he was more than pleased with our offer and like many other sellers, had great things to say about our process. You can read a few of what our customers have had to say about us on our Google Reviews.

 

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.

 

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 Louisiana Purchase Collection Video


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