Monday, April 15, 2013

It happened in 1947

April 15th 1947.  It was a Tuesday.  The first day of Major League Baseball is a day that people always look forward to, but this year was special.  Spring was in the air, the smell of hot dogs was wafting around, and Jackie Robinson was making his Major League debut.

When Jackie Robinson took to the field on this day, he became the first African American to play Major League Baseball.  He succeeded in every way possible, and eventually found his way to Cooperstown (which is where the Baseball Hall Of Fame is located).

The collectibles area that features either Jackie’s name or likeness is very wide-ranging.  It includes everything from hats, to jerseys, to ads, or even gloves.

One of the areas that is most sought-after are baseball cards.  Not only are they easy to store, they can also command a very pretty penny.

The downside to collectibles that feature Jackie Robinson is that there are plenty of reproductions or fantasy pieces.  Do your homework to see what an authentic piece looks like.

One of the best ways to tell if the card pictured above is authentic is to look for the TOPPS copyright information on the card.  This is always on the back of the card where the player’s stats are.  The other is to look at the paper stock that the card was made out of.  For 1956, TOPPS used paper stock that had no sheen to it, and the card itself is a little bigger than modern cards.  So if you have a question about a certain card, lay a modern card over it to compare the sizes.

The picture above shows what to look for about the size differences on the cards.
I always look forward to this time of year, with an umpire dusting off home plate and yelling, “PLAY BALL!” to start off the season.  Any other baseball collectors ready for a new season?

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