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  #1  
Old 10-22-2004, 01:07 PM
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Posted By: DD

Hi,
New to the forum, but have been collecting and dealing on and off for 30 years. What is everyone's feeling on premium prices for # 1 cards in sets, i.e, 1952 Topps Pafko, 1933 Goudey Bengough, etc. When I was a kid, we did keep cards in rubber bands, but not necessarily the number one card on top. By series, team, etc., were also ways to keep them. In my 30 years of dealing, I have only seen a card advertised with rubber band marks a handful for times, and they were not even the number one cards in the set.

How did this start, and is there any legitimacy to it?

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Old 10-22-2004, 02:08 PM
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Posted By: Julie

1 card was alomost NEVER on top(1979-83 were his collecting years). However, I paid a healthy premium for my #1 Diamond Star vg-ex/ex Grove. I especially associate the #1 card phenomenon with the thirties--[perhaps people were particularly numerically-organized then). The '33 Goudey Matthews (another LAST card.)But then--when I was finishing my '56 Topps set and got the last card (not the checklists--those are pristine) from Mark Macrae, he said "I only got you a vg-ex one, becuase it's so hard to find in near mint condition." I believe the first Crcaker Jack (in both sets) has a premium. Have no IDEA what the first T206 even IS. Or Colgans--though I once had a plentiful supply of them.

The first T202 had NO premium attached--there's a minor HOFer (Wallace) on one end; I don't think people even know how Scrapps were organized (but probably into two teams, at least), and I don't know where, in the set, the 8 baseball players are in the N162. The first Old Judge probably hasn't been discovered yet. I'm equally ignorant of the first Mayo--hey, did they HAVE rubber bands in the late 1800s? Lots of boxes, and trimming cards to fit in them, etc. Also those terrible albums with cards stuck in with wood glue, the imperishable...

I'm sure what you want is FACTs, not random experience...

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Old 10-22-2004, 02:15 PM
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Posted By: DD

Thanks Julie,
Our shared experiences becomes fact. My feeling is the # 1 phenomenon is mostly myth. I can understand premiums on certain cards due to position on the sheet (my experience is mostly with post-war) so I will mention 1967 Topps Tony Perez, and 1952 Bowman Football Large Jim Landsford.

The premium on all # 1 cards, and to a lesser degree, the last card in the set I do not understand. In the case where a set had 500+ cards, I don't think I had a rubber band that big when I was a kid.

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Old 10-22-2004, 02:59 PM
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Posted By: steve k

The question of #1 cards usually being in the poorest condition is not a myth. That is a fact. I was the most active baseball card collector of anyone else I knew as a kid growing up in the 60s. Many of my friends also collected. During the summer, we didn't always have that #1 card on top of the stack. But I kept all of my sixties cards and some of my friends did also. Everyone of us, after the baseball season was over, would always place the cards in numerical order with the #1 card on top. We didn't think at all about "proper" storage techniques, so depending on the size of the stack, the cards were placed in a rubber band or just stored loose in a shoebox. But in general, the #1 card usually took the hardest hit as far as wear.

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Old 10-22-2004, 03:13 PM
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Posted By: Gary B.

In the comic book world, the #1 edition of almost any comic commands a premium, often very significantly higher than any other issues, with often the #1 being the only one of any real value at all. Since for the most part baseball card sets all come out at once (except in the high number phenomena), technically there should be no reason for a premium on a #1. If there is, it's due to as Steve described, kids putting cards in numerical order (I honestly can't remember if I ever did that as a kid - probably) and therefore the #1 getting the biggest hit, but otherwise I see no good reason why any #1 would be worth more than a #427, unless of course #1 was Mark McGwire and #427 was Marty Barrett.

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Old 10-22-2004, 03:32 PM
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Posted By: leon

edited as it was already explained well enough.....

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Old 10-22-2004, 03:39 PM
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Posted By: DD

When is the last time you saw an ad for a card with rubber band marks?

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Old 10-22-2004, 05:02 PM
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Posted By: Julie

The further back you go (say, pre-thirties, or even moreso, pre-20s, and even moreso JUST TOBACCO)) the fewer kids collected. A Man of cigarette or cigar or pipe smoking age was much less likely to put a rubber band around his cards than a kid. Of course it HAPPENED that grown men would buy the product, and give the card to a boy; but compare the number of times this was likely to happen to the number of BOYS who bought PACKS of cards with bubble gum, or boxes of Cracker Jacks, or other candy and gum products that came with cards. And even if Dad was buying, son would likely take over the box (still full!)

What made me think of this was the premium on Cracker Jacks, and the no=premium on T206s, T207s, T202s, T204s, T3s, etc.

And of course it was in the '30s that gum came into its own with cards...

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Old 10-23-2004, 09:52 AM
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Posted By: Spencer, John

I tend to agree that the rubber band theory is a bit of an urban myth, although I did once have a #1 '34 Goudey Foxx with a clear paper clip impression. What I don't understand is why certain #1 cards carry such a hefty premium, e.g. '33 Goudey Bengough and others, such as US Caramel, certainly far fewer in quanity than the Goudey's, #1 Eddie Collins, a HOF'er, commands no premium that I can determine. Very confusing.

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Old 10-23-2004, 06:56 PM
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Posted By: jay behrens

I know that most collections I looked at had their cards sorted numerically. Some were in rubber bands, some not, but all were in shoe boxes or velvetta cheese boxes.

The most impression collection I ever saw was a group of 1952-54 Topps cards. When I looked at he 52s I didn't see a Pafko on top and when I started looking at them, they were in order, so I thought he didn't have the card. About half way through the stack, I ran across the Pafko. The finest one I've ever seen. SAdly, the gentleman passed away before I could complete the deal to purchase the collection. He also had 49-52 Bowman and some 55 Topps All-Americans and those little college football cards with team pennants on the back that were about the size of a postage stamp along with the wrappers.

Jay

I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, evil stuff. And I want in.

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