Flashback Product of the Week: 1923 W515-1

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Earlier this week I was flipping through the channels one night and came across the show Pawn Stars on the History Channel.  I hadn’t watched that show for a long time so I decided to see what they were looking to potentially buy.

When I turned the show on, the first thing I saw was a man wanting to sell his PSA Gem Mint 10 1923 W515-1 Babe Ruth card.  He was asking $60,000.00 for it.  After calling in their “expert”, they determined the card probably wasn’t worth much more than $12,000.00.  The two couldn’t make a deal since their pricing was so far apart.  And that was that.

Not every vintage set is in high demand.  Even if its filled with Hall of Famers.  The 1923 W515-1 set is a perfect example.  There are (60) cards to this specific set.  They were distributed in strips of (10) cards at a time.  You can still find intact strips, but for the most part collectors cut them up.  For that reason, I think a lot of collectors overlook these cards.  The only way to get these cards apart is to hand cut them yourself.  I think whenever you leave the cutting to collectors, the demand goes down.  Collectors will always be more careful.  Plus you have no idea when the card could have been cut in the first place.  Someone could easily take one that was roughly cut decades ago and make it look nicer today.  Sets like this allow for a blurry line between hand cutting and trimming.

New York teams heavily fill this set.  In fact, (39) out of the (60) cards feature players from the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers.  Key cards include Babe Ruth #3 and #47, Ty Cobb #10, Walter Johnson #38, and Grover Alexander #39.


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