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The Baseball Hall of Fame’s holy grail baseball cards. Pics!

I finally made the trek to Cooperstown and collectively spent two full days in the museum. (This has been a long time bucket list trip so I didn’t want to just visit the Hall of Fame, I wanted to STUDY it.) We have long heard about the Hall’s card collection. Here are the grails.

The holiest of holys. With the corners and slight paper loss at the top, maybe it’d grade a PSA 3?

Ken Kendrick’s T206 PSA 8 Eddie Plank. Hard to believe that card exists in such a high grade.

1952 Topps Mantle. Probably about a PSA 5 but it’s nicely centered and has really nice color.

1914 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson. Corners and staining but no creases that I could see. This is still probably one of the better 1914 CMs that exist.

1923 Maple Crispette Casey Stengel. According to the Hall this is the only one in existence. Is that right?

A signed 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie.

Kendrick’s 1954 Bowman PSA 9 Ted Williams

A very trimmed 1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio…

…but what appears to be a gorgeous 1914 Cracker Jack Shoeless Joe Jackson

The display with the Wagner, Mantle, etc. (You push a button underneath the card’s display box and a light comes on for about 10 seconds.)

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    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is a very nice display. I am surprised the Wagner is not top center. I have visited that Wagner many many times in the past. the visual appeal of that card is just off the charts to me. The CJ's also present very nicely and the Mantle does have great centering.

    The HOF is so cool. glad you got a chance to visit.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    BaltimoreYankeeBaltimoreYankee Posts: 2,931 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing! I haven't been to the Baseball HOF in quite some time.
    I really like that Lajoie signed Goudey.

    Daniel
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    stevekstevek Posts: 28,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've twice been to the HOF. Couldn't get enough each time. 😊

    Highly recommended with some advice. Stay out of the Cooperstown baseball memorabilia shops. They are a tourist trap, scammer's delight. I've never seen more fake autographs and over graded raw cards in my life.

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    mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:
    I've twice been to the HOF. Couldn't get enough each time. 😊

    Highly recommended with some advice. Stay out of the Cooperstown baseball memorabilia shops. They are a tourist trap, scammer's delight. I've never seen more fake autographs and over graded raw cards in my life.

    The old shop by the field, can't remember the name, but it was linked to the TCMA guys. That was the best shop I experienced, but I understand it has now closed for good. Too bad. The 2nd best one in my opinion was Yastrzemski's. My criteria was a variety of mainstream and oddball stuff and not just the same HOF souvenirs and high end stuff everyone has.

    That Lajoie is amazing. Rare card to begin with, then signed. Definitely a grail card. I wonder if more than that one even exists.

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
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    stevekstevek Posts: 28,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mrmopar said:

    @stevek said:
    I've twice been to the HOF. Couldn't get enough each time. 😊

    Highly recommended with some advice. Stay out of the Cooperstown baseball memorabilia shops. They are a tourist trap, scammer's delight. I've never seen more fake autographs and over graded raw cards in my life.

    The old shop by the field, can't remember the name, but it was linked to the TCMA guys. That was the best shop I experienced, but I understand it has now closed for good. Too bad. The 2nd best one in my opinion was Yastrzemski's. My criteria was a variety of mainstream and oddball stuff and not just the same HOF souvenirs and high end stuff everyone has.

    That Lajoie is amazing. Rare card to begin with, then signed. Definitely a grail card. I wonder if more than that one even exists.

    My last trip there was in 2002. Perhaps they cleaned it up a bit since then.

    Frankly I was surprised that the town of Cooperstown would allow these shops to operate this way. I went with the fam, and we were all sorta walking around in different directions after leaving the HOF building. My brother-in-law came within a whisker of buying a large Mantle-Maris poster with two large signatures. The sigs were approximately 2- 3 inches high. The poster was hanging on the wall. My brother-in-law had his mind made-up to buy it, and was negotiating with the guy behind the counter. The asking price was $1,500.

    I quickly analyzed the situation, and there was no time to mince words. While I wasn't that familiar with a Maris sig, I was very familiar with a Mantle sig. It wasn't even close to being genuine. A very poor fake. I just said directly to my brother-in-law, right in front of the seller, that the sigs on the poster are fakes and bad fakes at that. The guy behind the counter got really hissed off at me. Not only did I question his reputation, but cost him a nice sale. He didn't throw us out of the store, but he likely would have if we didn't quickly leave. 😆

    My brother-in-law when we got out of the store, actually wasn't very happy with my behavior. He wanted to buy the poster for my sister who is a huge Roger Maris fan. She owns every vintage Roger Maris baseball card. He knew I collected baseball cards, but I clearly explained to him that I've seen countless numbers of Mantle autographs on the internet. He calmed down after a few minutes, and thanked me for saving him money. But these tourist trap sellers are very clever, they've got their scamming sales pitch techniques down to a science.

    I agree with ya about the Lajoie card. What a beauty. 😊

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    RedHeart54RedHeart54 Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭

    Most of those stores were closed during the time I was in town. I did notice Dave and Adam’s had a presence…but it was closed too. (They’re moving to a bigger space.) The HOF’s souvenir store is even selling PSA and PSA/DNA graded cards now. Overpriced as you can imagine.

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    What a shame, I visited a couple times in the 1980s. Was so very nice then and most of the shops seemed ok.

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    mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @mrmopar said:

    @stevek said:
    I've twice been to the HOF. Couldn't get enough each time. 😊

    Highly recommended with some advice. Stay out of the Cooperstown baseball memorabilia shops. They are a tourist trap, scammer's delight. I've never seen more fake autographs and over graded raw cards in my life.

    The old shop by the field, can't remember the name, but it was linked to the TCMA guys. That was the best shop I experienced, but I understand it has now closed for good. Too bad. The 2nd best one in my opinion was Yastrzemski's. My criteria was a variety of mainstream and oddball stuff and not just the same HOF souvenirs and high end stuff everyone has.

    That Lajoie is amazing. Rare card to begin with, then signed. Definitely a grail card. I wonder if more than that one even exists.

    My last trip there was in 2002. Perhaps they cleaned it up a bit since then.

    Frankly I was surprised that the town of Cooperstown would allow these shops to operate this way. I went with the fam, and we were all sorta walking around in different directions after leaving the HOF building. My brother-in-law came within a whisker of buying a large Mantle-Maris poster with two large signatures. The sigs were approximately 2- 3 inches high. The poster was hanging on the wall. My brother-in-law had his mind made-up to buy it, and was negotiating with the guy behind the counter. The asking price was $1,500.

    I quickly analyzed the situation, and there was no time to mince words. While I wasn't that familiar with a Maris sig, I was very familiar with a Mantle sig. It wasn't even close to being genuine. A very poor fake. I just said directly to my brother-in-law, right in front of the seller, that the sigs on the poster are fakes and bad fakes at that. The guy behind the counter got really hissed off at me. Not only did I question his reputation, but cost him a nice sale. He didn't throw us out of the store, but he likely would have if we didn't quickly leave. 😆

    My brother-in-law when we got out of the store, actually wasn't very happy with my behavior. He wanted to buy the poster for my sister who is a huge Roger Maris fan. She owns every vintage Roger Maris baseball card. He knew I collected baseball cards, but I clearly explained to him that I've seen countless numbers of Mantle autographs on the internet. He calmed down after a few minutes, and thanked me for saving him money. But these tourist trap sellers are very clever, they've got their scamming sales pitch techniques down to a science.

    I agree with ya about the Lajoie card. What a beauty. 😊

    My one and only trip (so far) was 2018. Baseball Nostalgia I believe was the name. I visited most of the shops, but most left me thinking overpriced or just nothing I wanted/needed. Baseball Nostalgia was a fun one though, because they just had tons of random stuff in boxes and racks and just about anywhere it might fit. A throwback to the day when you could go into a shop and look through stuff easily, now they are all lined up in glass display cases and you have to ask to see anything. Better for securing and anti-theft, but not fun to just wander and browse.

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 5,128 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2023 6:30PM

    Do they have the true king of all sports cards the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth? To me that is the #1 card in all of sports. Nice pics by the way and thanks for sharing!!!

    T206 Wagner is not the king just look at the current auction over at REA the 1914 Babe Ruth is already at over 6$ million with nearly 2 weeks to go. It is a SGC 3. I do not know why people still think the T206 Wagner is king when the proof of the dominance is right here.

    https://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/bids/bidplace?itemid=160747

    Coin collecting interests: Latin American early pillar 1 reales

    Sports: NFL & NHL

    Successful Transactions with the following board members: Pruebas & SimonW

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    RedHeart54RedHeart54 Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2023 5:42AM

    No the HOF as far as I know does not have a 1914 (or even 1916) Ruth. As I understand it the HOF does not buy anything, the collection is made only of donated or, as in Ken Kendrick’s case, loaned items.

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