By Bert Lehman
Rick Giddings, owner of Gizmo’s Sportscards in Illinois, has fielded numerous phone calls from collectors looking to sell all or part of their sports card and memorabilia collections.
So when he received a call from a former dealer who saw Giddings’ ad in Sports Collectors Digest, he made arrangements to travel to northern Alabama to look at and hopefully purchase a collection of vintage sports cards. What Giddings wasn’t expecting to find during the trip was 10 uncut sheets of 1962 Topps High Number Baseball cards.
“It turned out to be a pretty good find,” Giddings said. “We found five (uncut sheets) of the high numbers, and five (uncut sheets) of the Second Series, which is very unlikely.”
Giddings said he had seen only one uncut sheet of 1962 Topps Baseball before, and that was when the National Sports Collectors Convention was last held in Anaheim. At the time he bought that uncut sheet for $1,800.
He didn’t reveal how much he paid for the 10 uncut 1962 Topps Baseball card sheets, but estimated their value at $3,000-$4,000 per uncut sheet.
“You don’t see that sort of thing every day,” Giddings said. “You always hope that when you’re buying a collection you’ll run into something that is that unique. The purchase was very good. I didn’t quote the price, the customer did.”
He added that he thinks the person who owned the uncut sheets knew what he had.
“I think he’s to the point where he wanted someone to appreciate them and he was trying to sell a larger deal,” Giddings said.
It was during the purchase of the vintage card collection that the owner asked Giddings, “Hey, have you ever seen any of these?”
“To be honest with you, I was very surprised, kind of stunned,” Gidding said. “He had made the comment that years ago another dealer had bought one of these and they found out that one of the brothers of the person that owned the collection had worked for the Topps Company.”
Giddings said he is going to save one of each uncut sheet for his personal collection.
“I’m still at heart a collector,” Giddings said. “I still do collect, which very few dealers do.”
He said the rest of the uncut sheets will eventually be offered for sale on eBay.
“I doubt anybody else is going to find any of these,” Giddings said. “I think it’s something where we got lucky, and sometimes that happens.”
Bert Lehman is the editor of Sports Collectors Digest. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.