I dabble in baseball cards a little (I used to do more than dabble) and yesterday I stopped by our local card shop. I visit a couple of times of month because he hangs onto Ranger’s cards for me when other customers bring them in or get them in boxes or packs they open. Usually when I’m in there he gets one or two customers that come in to try to sell him cards. 99% of the time the cards they bring in are from the late 80s and early 90s and unfortunately worthless. Many people my age collected baseball cards while they were growing up and happened to coincide with a period where the major card companies, Topps, Leaf, Score, Upper Deck, and Donruss mass produced cards to the point that even the most sought after cards from that time period are anything but rare, making them essentially worth nothing. That of course doesn’t stop people from thinking that their shoe box full of 1987 Gred Maddux RCs are still going to put them through retirement, or probably more accurately, an economic recession. So sadly, most everyone that comes in the local shop to sell cards leaves disappointed.
Yesterday a couple came in with a few small notebooks full of cards. As expected, three of them were full of cards from the late 80s and early 90s. But one binder was a complete surprise. It contained cards from a set I had never seen and had the potential to be very valuable. They were 1954 Wilson Franks cards, which were issued in packages of hot dog wieners. They had a Gil Hodges and Nellie Fox along with about five others. They did not have the most valuable one of Ted Williams, but still had some big names given the set is only 20 cards and contains only 6 Hall of Famers. In excellent condition the Wilson Franks cards can be worth quite a bit of money, but these were not in good condition. The entire notebook appeared to have been soaked in water at some point and all the cards were covered in watermarks and mildew. Sadly, this takes away any value the cards had and the owner of the shop had to pass once again on purchasing cards from some customers, especially since the woman was asking $800 for each card. Even though the cards were in rough shape, it was nice to see a new vintage set that I was unaware of and it gave me a chance to learn about a set of cards that came out when my father was a child.