Editor’s Notes: July 2021
Each month, content gets updated on the Pre-War Cards site. However, while you see the regular articles that are posted, plenty of stuff is always being added behind the scenes. Much of this has to do with the updating of set descriptions and checklists in the database and each month, I’ll be posting to alert you to stuff that has been added or updated from the previous month.
Here are the items added/updated from the past month.
Time for the monthly check-in — and we’ve got a surprisingly large amount of news to get to.
Hobby wise, we continue to see sort of this weird unsettling around the modern card market. There are certainly exceptions to that with cards in sports like soccer and F1 performing extremely well. But a lot of the junk wax era stuff that took off during the pandemic has started to recede. I’ve even noticed that post-war vintage seems to be coming down to earth a little — at least for the guys not named Mantle, Mays, Aaron, etc.
Pre-war, though, remains mostly pretty steady. And by steady, I mean high. It’s still not a great time for buying and some of my efforts have shifted to looking at the stuff that hasn’t quite taken off yet but could be on the move later. Stuff I’d put in that category about a year ago were cards of guys like Jesse Owens, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, and others in those non-baseball sports. Their cards have really taken off but were all pretty affordable about a year back. I’m setting my sights on some athletes in other sports as well as some non-sports cards.
What am I looking for exactly? Well, I don’t want to get too much into it and that’s not even about being secretive. The reality is that I’m constantly targeting all sorts of things. But my main thought is to look for value. Those cards of Owens, Dempsey, and Johnson that I was buying a couple of years ago were ones that I thought should be worth more. That’s always a good place to start. Values for those cards don’t always go up but if you find stuff that offers good value, at the very least, they should be pretty steady. Heck, most pre-war stuff seems to be of the steady variety. That’s not to say that money can’t be lost. In particular, some of the very tough variations in some sets have decreased a bit over time. But for the most part, pre-war has been incredibly stable.
Big news this month is, of course the National. That show is going to be held at the end of the month in Chicago and it’s the biggest card show you’ll find all year. And for the first time ever, I’m headed there myself. I’ve always put it off before because the investment (airfare, hotel, expenses) won’t pay off, I don’t think. My buying is somewhat targeted and, while there will be a lot of pre-war there, I’ll still do less buying than most with larger collecting focuses. I do most of my buying online and traveling to a show to do buying just means you’ve paid considerably more for all of that stuff. But I’m at the point where paying for the experience doesn’t sound half bad.
Actual card news was made with the announcement of a sale of a 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News card. This card, as I wrote here, is Ruth’s rookie. The actual sale amount of the card was not previously released but believed to be around $6 million, which would make it the most valuable sports card ever sold. And for you Beckett Vintage Collector subscribers, I’ve got a short article coming up in there about it.
In other news our sponsor, CSG, is around if you’re looking for third party grading. They’re also in the news as parent CCG was bought by Blackstone.
Speaking of grading, Beckett suspended much of its grading operations in June, accepting only premium submissions for now. The move was made with an eye on catching up on backlog before, you guessed it, the National.
A final note that I don’t think I ever got around to mentioning was that I’m now running social media for The Collector Connection auction house (formerly Birmingham Auctioneers). Here’s a cheap plug to register for their monthly auctions. And give them a follow on Twitter and Facebook if you’ve got accounts there. In addition to a pre-war exclusive auction later this year, their monthly auctions have a lot of vintage and often some pre-war to boot (including their current auction).
New Sets Added
- Baines Shield Cards (updated to reflect baseball cards as being part of the set)