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The Baseball Hobbyist and Gram

 Maintained by:
 In 1957 we started on a long journey of involvement with baseball-oriented collectibles. From buying one- and 5-cent packs of cards (with gum) to eventually publishing our own card sets, it has been a most interesting hobby. We hope to remain involved through Ebay for years to come. -- Steve & Linda

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  • The Baseball Hobbyist's Suggestion​s

The Baseball Hobbyist's Suggestions List

Occasionally baseball hobbyists ask for recommendations on what to collect. Following is a list detailing where I would start if I was starting over. First, however, a word about my biases. I lean toward cards that provide useful information on the backs with reasonably clear photos (allowing for early photographic limitations), and which are budget priced.

 It's a Personal Choice

Ultimately, being a baseball hobbyist is a very personal choice. Collect what you like. Baseball (or Base Ball as it was once known) has been memorialized in collectible form for generations: books, guides, scorecards, periodicals, display pieces and equipment in addition to the most commonly collected - cards and autographs.

 A Good Place to Start. . .

1.  The Conlon Collection - all years, all cards (1981-1995). These are THE BEST. The sets, starting with the large size 1933 All-Stars (issued in '83)  are almost without exception well done including biographical/statistical data. You will actually learn something from these cards, and the photographs. . . well, they are Conlons! A check of our eBay store for CONLON SET will turn up many - but usually not all - Conlon sets issued. The link: http://stores.shop.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=conlon+set We also have hundreds of Conlon singles, at: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=conlon&submit=Search

2.  Big League Collectibles (1982-85). When our business name was Big League Collectibles, we issued these sets as a family project. My mother painted the photos, I wrote the backs, and my wife and children sorted, packed, etc., etc. (in other words, they did everything else). It was fun while it lasted and I'd love to do it again. If you do not have the Diamond Classics sets, we have a few back in stock. Sets are: Diamond Classics series 1 (issued 1982), [1933] Original All-Stars from the Game of the Century (1983), Diamond Classics series 2 (1983), and America's National Pastime 1930-1939 (1985). All four sets are NOT available individually (currently). The link to those sets currently in stock: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=Big+League+complete+set&submit=Search&_sid=1791705 Individual cards of most are available at: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram_Big-League-Collectibles_W0QQ_fsubZ18208098QQ_sidZ1791705QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em322

3.  Shakey's Pizza "Hall of Fame" set (1976-77): Issued in 4 series this was a comprehensive Baseball Hall of Fame set for its day including every Hall of Fame member. A rather limited edition (2,000 sets were produced), the available supply was further reduced due to an accounting error which resulted in the destruction of nearly half the print run of the final series and lesser percentages of earlier series. Complete sets (160 cards) being quite scarce, we sometimes do not have full sets available. The link to all of our Shakey's cards is: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=Shakey%27s

4.  1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes (T202-style triple folders): 165 card set which covers much of 20th century baseball well in photograph, artwork and excellent baseball writing. Stylishly designed like the 1912 Hassan triple folders and something of a limited edition with just 5,140 numbered cases produced. Check it out at: http://cgi.ebay.com/1993-Upper-Deck-ALL-TIME-HEROES-T202-style-Set-165-/370247300282?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Baseball&hash=item56347574ba

5.  T205 reprint set by the Card Collectors Co. (ca 1980). The originals are becoming unaffordable to mere mortals but this reprint edition is well done and still under $100 (usually) when it turns up. We have only a few team sets of these available. We are always seeking to acquire sets but they do not come up often. Team sets available: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=T205+reprint&submit=Search

6.  Perez-Steele Galleries - Great Moments (T-3 style) and Hall of Fame Art Postcards. The former is a large format limited edition of just 5,000 numbered sets while the latter is P-S's first effort - a very Hall of Fame set issued as a 10,000 numbered limited edition. We do not have full sets of either set but we do have singles and some individual series. The link to all of our Perez-Steele listings: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=Perez+Steele

7.  The Card Memorabilia Associates, Limited (aka as TCMA and Tom Collier/Mike Aronstein) - Issued near-300 card sets (The 1950's and The 1960's) in the late 1970's. They are still affordable and are well done. Other TCMA sets are recommended for team set collectors and, for the patient, TCMA's first set, The 1930's issued in 1972. The All-Time Greats postcard set is excellent, too. TCMA listings: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=tcma&submit=Search

8. Renata Galasso/TCMA glossy greats series: Starting in 1977 several 45 card series were issued jointly by TCMA and Renata Galasso (RGI). There are 270 different cards in all. Currently we have full sets, some team sets and individual 45 card series available. The cards feature excellent photographs on a simple (yet attractive card front) with brief biographical information and a large RGI ad on the reverse. In total, the set offers a great crop of the best players of the first 60-70 years of 20th century baseball: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1977-84-TCMA-RGI-Baseball-Greats-Set-all-270-cards-/370478798086?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item564241d506

9.  Negro League sets: the bargain basement Larry Fritsch Cards set of 119 is a reprint of a numbered, limited edition set by Decathlon Corp. (1984). The Decathlon cards are slightly larger than the standard size LFC set but essentially they are the same. The Decathlon set is sometimes in, sometimes out of stock but we frequently have at least a few singles: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=decathlon  Another set that offers biographies by an acknowledged expert is the Phil Dixon set of which we usually have a fair selection of individual cards at: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=dixon Finally, two 100-card series of numbered, limited edition postcards were issued in sepia tone by R. D. Retort in the early 1990's. We have difficulty keeping either in stock but have many cards available individually: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=sepia+negro

For Those with Patience, a 20-year (or greater) view of Future Collecting and $$'s to afford the originals

For those with patience, a 20-year (or more) view of collecting, and $$'s to afford originals instead of reprints we recommend:

#1-4 (above)

5.  Classic sets such as: T205, 1933 Goudey, 1940 Play Ball, 1952 Topps, 1955 Topps, 1955 Bowman, 1957 Topps, 1960-63 Topps (take your pick), one of the Post Cereals sets (1961-63), and the Kellogg's sets of more than a decade starting in 1970.

#6-9   (above)

10.   National Baseball Hall of Fame METALLIC plaque-card set (issued 1981-89), a limited edition of 1,000 with most sets incomplete due to sketchy initial sales and break-up of many sets for individual players, autographing, team sets, etc. This is an official Hall of Fame issue offering exact replicas of the actual Baseball Hall of Fame plaques. From time to time we have a full set available (sometimes mounted in the original Hall of Fame album). See:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/All-204-different-Hall-Fame-METALLIC-Plaque-Cards-EVERY-member-1936-1989-/370817316865?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item56566f3801   We always have most singles in stock, at: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram__W0QQ_sidZ1791705?_nkw=metallic

Books & Other Resources:

Either: Encyclopedia of Baseball: MacMillan or Total Baseball

The Ballplayers, edited by Mike Shatzkin

The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter

Deadball Stars of the American League by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

Deadball Stars of the National League by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards and/or Beckett Almanac

Kings of the Mound by Ted Oliver

Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards by Lew Lipset. We have the reprint edition which includes all 3 volumes in one, at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lew-Lipsets-ENCYCLOPEDIA-Baseball-Cards-3-Volumes-Combined-Bonus-Choice-/220892692422?pt=Vintage_Sports_Memorabilia&hash=item336e3affc6

An essential website for Pre-War base ball cards: http://www.net54baseball.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

A great reference website for baseball statistics: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sundabi01.shtml

Favorite TEAM & PLAYER Collectors

We hear from many eBay buyers who specialize in a favorite team or player. Many of our eBay store listings specifically cater to such hobbyists. We frequently list the team affiliation in the listing heading. So, if you are a team collector and would like to see what we have available in your area of interest, just go to: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram?_rdc=1 and insert your team or player name in the Store Search box. (A tip: Since space is at a premium we frequently abbreviate the team name leaving off the city. For example: RED SOX, not Boston Red Sox.)

Following are some short cuts directly to each team. The first link (Link #1) features the team name in the listing title only while the second link (Link #2) will have the team affiliation in both the title and item's description. (Note: the first link will be more selective and has fewer listings while the second link may have other teams in addition to the desired one.)

A's / Athletics (Philadelphia, Kansas City & Oakland) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=a%27s&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=athletics&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Braves (Boston, Milwaukee & Atlanta) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=braves&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=braves&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Browns (St. Louis) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=browns&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=browns+st.+louis&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Cardinals (St. Louis) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=cardinals&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=cardinals&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Cubs (Chicago) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=cubs&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=cubs&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Dodgers (Brooklyn & Los Angeles) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=dodgers&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=dodgers&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Giants (New York & San Francisco) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=giants&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=giants&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Indians (Cleveland) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=indians&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=indians&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Orioles (Baltimore) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=orioles&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=orioles&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Phillies (Philadelphia) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=phillies&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=phillies&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Pirates (Pittsburgh) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=pirates&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=pirates&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Reds (Cincinnati) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=reds&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=reds&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Red Sox (Boston) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=red+sox&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=red+sox&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Senators (Washington) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=senators&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=senators&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

Tigers (Detroit) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=tigers&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=tigers&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705

White Sox (Chicago) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=white+sox&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=white+sox&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

Yankees (New York) - Link #1: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=yankees&submit=Search&_sop=2&_sc=1&_sid=1791705 Link #2: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Baseball-Hobbyist-and-Gram/_i.html?_nkw=yankees&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sop=2&_sid=1791705&_sc=1

AND FINALLY. . .

Linda and I would like to extend our thanks to each of you for your interest in our products and for your patronage. We value your continued business and want your experience at our eBay store to be a most pleasant one. Thank YOU!

Steve & Linda Mitchell ~ P.O. Box 6022 ~ Edmonds, WA 98026 ~ (425) 742-5979