At some point we will need to do a segment on insuring collectibles because we do not want anyone to experience the same thing a man in Peoria, IL did when his baseball card collection was stolen. He chose not to reveal his name out of fear he would be targeted for other thefts, but did tell the Journal Star newspaper that he had over 200 cards in mint condition including a 1969 Mickey Mantle card. “They’re all perfect – no dog ears, all brand-new,” he says. “You don’t (much) see that.”
Indeed, condition is a huge deal with trading cards. For example, Bruce had accumulated several Mickey Mantle cards, including a 1969 Topps card. On eBay, you can get a weathered version of that card for less than a hundred bucks. But on Tuesday, a near-mint version was going for $7,500 – and Bruce says his card was sharper than that.
Bruce had about 50 Hall of Famers, including Bob Gibson, Harmon Killebrew, Al Kaline, Billy Williams and others. A few years ago, he and his adult daughter took a look at the collection and investigated Internet prices. They did so just for fun – “I’ve only let a few people see them over the years,” he says – but pegged the value at thousands of dollars.
He never considered locking them up somewhere. “I thought they were in an extremely unfindable spot,” he says glumly. “Obviously, I was wrong. I’m not as smart as thieves.”
Recently, Bruce and his wife went on vacation. When they got home, he noticed a few things askew, then realized someone had rifled through his baseball cards.
Nothing else in the home was taken. And about 150 cards were left untouched, all of them of average players and worth little. But almost all of the Hall of Famers were gone.
Next during the interview segment, how the most famous, booted ground ball in the history of baseball derailed one man’s career as an attorney general and led him to assemble the largest collection of mustard anywhere, next on the Collectors Show.
- The Worst Baseball Card of All Time (slate.com)
- The Greatest Baseball Card of All Time (thequarterback.wordpress.com)