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Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 11 2009 at 9:07 PM

Richard  (Login cdn_collector)

Evening Folks,

This year I have decided to put together my first pre-war set. To help fill the time between pick-ups I am also considering casually putting together a "newer" set -- say 1940's-1950's. About 6-7 years ago I completed or nearly completed (and sold/traded) a couple of sets from the 1940's-1950's, so to start, the following are off of the list:

1947 Smith's Clothing
1948 Bowman
1951 Berk Ross (baseball)
1951 Topps RB
1954 Red Heart
1959 Fleer Ted Williams

Basically what I'm looking for is something that will be moderately challenging and won't break the bank (ie. 1952 Topps is out). On any given day, my opinion changes. I love the artwork of 1952 Bowman, and like the idea of a set like 1956 Topps or 1947-66 Exhibits because of the breadth of stars covered. At the same time, I appreciate some of those smaller regional sets (Remar Bread, Red Man Tobacco, etc). Ideally the set has a good cross-section of the HoFers, stars and "commons" of the era, but doesn't require me to drop a thousand bucks to secure a Mantle.

Is there any chance of that happening?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.



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(Login hrbaker)

Let me suggest

March 11 2009, 9:11 PM 

early 60's Bazookas, sans the 1959 set they are challenging but possible on a budget and beautiful cards. I would stay away from the 1963 set because there is a rash of fakes out there.
[linked image]

This message has been edited by hrbaker on Mar 11, 2009 9:37 PM

(Login JohnnyHarmonica)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 11 2009, 9:41 PM 

I put together the 59 Fleer set and love it, right now the prices are way down and lots have been available. If I was you I would work on the 48 Bowman and 59 Fleer at the same time, or slowly work on all the sets you have listed and pick them up as you find them. I was working on three sets at the same time and finished them all within 6 months after 10 years of starting- here is the breakdown-

1958 Topps- 10 years on the nuts

1959 fleer- 10 years and 4 months

1934 goudey- 10 years and 5 months

1976 Topps- one transaction of 120.00 and several upgrades and PSA 8 pickups of hof to go with it.

Good luck !!!!


(Login bearcat-doug)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 11 2009, 9:47 PM 

I think the 1957 Topps set would be a solid choice. It's a fairly large set with a classic design and the cards don't cost a fortune. Best of luck to you in whatever you select!


(Login cdn_collector)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 11 2009, 11:11 PM 

Thanks for the feedback so far, guys.

I am completely unfamiliar with those Bazooka issues, so I'll add them to the list of sets to research.

Oddly, I stopped considering Topps sets at 1956, really, for no reason at all. I was checking out a gallery of 1957 Topps (on your suggestion) and it's a decent looking set alright.

As for 're-collecting' 1948 Bowman, I had thought about that. I also considered taking another run at 1954 Red Heart. For the time being, though, I want to look at something that I haven't collected at all yet.

Thanks again for the feedback...please keep it coming!




Jim VB
(Login jvb6034)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 11 2009, 11:42 PM 


Ixnay on the 1957 Topps! At least until I'm done!

In fact, I'll get you a complete list of everything I'm "working" on!


(Login JohnnyHarmonica)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 12 2009, 12:00 AM 

I misread your post, I thought those were the sets you had it narrowed down to starting. 55 or 56 Topps sure would be sweet. I think that the 1956 set is the peak of the fabulous fifties, although personally 1958 is my all time favorite Topps set, it is so classic and truly the last set to capture the 50's. Ted Williams last card, classic Mick, and first ever all-star cards, and the yellow variation if you want to drive yourself crazy trying to get them. The 57 is cool but not very colorful with that 50's POP, but if you are into photo shots it can't be beat. My personal rankings of the Topps sets from the 50's-

1. 1958
2. 1954
3. 1956
4. 1955
5. 1953
6. 1952
7. 1957
8. 1951
9. 1959

Anthony N.
(Login Griffins97)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 23 2009, 2:15 PM 

What about a master set of Red Man's?
Just one card of each player from the entire '52-55 run. If you're concerned with budget you can collect them without tabs.
Ron Goldberg's site is a good resource


Scott Mt. Joy
(Login smtjoy)


March 23 2009, 4:49 PM 

The 1947-66 exhibit set as mentioned is a nice set, loaded with superstars. I mean what set has Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Maris, Ford, Drysdale and more. Most of the cards, even stars can be purchased for less than $5 and you can still get 30+ card lots at a nice price. It does have a couple of expensive cards- Mantle Port, Yaz, Richardson, Ford Port and if condition is not a big issue then all but the Mantle Port can be found under $200.

If you dont like black and white cards and/or postcard sized cards then pick another set.


(Login cdn_collector)

Re: Looking for suggestions...What set should I build?

March 23 2009, 9:42 PM 

Been kinda busy lately, so I haven't had much chance to continue to research this idea. I still want to check out those Bazooka's listed above.

As for a master set of Red Man, it's definitely a contender. Actually, back when I was collecting 40's and 50's stuff, the plan was to complete a Red Man set after my '48 Bowman and '54 Red Hearts were wrapped up. I've been by Ron's site a number of times. The fact that it's 4 separate sets leaves plenty of room for milestones to keep me motivated, too. I'd be curious to know what the price difference (in percentage) would be between a no-tab and comparably graded tabbed set.

As noted, the 47-66 exhibits are on the (short) list. I had a half-dozen or so Dodgers at one point, and really like the photography. As you said, Scott, the Exhibit set has plenty of affordable star power too. I don't know of any other set that has Paige, Robinson, Mantle and Aaron, let alone Clemente, Musial, Berra, Reese, etc. If Williams was in the 47-66 set and not the 39-46 set, it might be a done deal. I do wish that the set was a bit smaller, though.

Choices, choices. I hate being indecisive...I think wink.gif



Rick McQuillan
(Login buymycards)

55 Bowman

March 25 2009, 8:53 PM 

Hi Richard,
I have been working on the 55 Bowman set. It is an interesting set with a few error cards, most of the stars of the era, interesting design and it isn't difficult to find cards in decent condition for well under Standard Catalog prices.

It is a fun set and you can find Mantle is VG or VG/EX for a decent price.


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