Identifying Your Cards
Pre-War Baseball Cards (Printed Prior to 1945)
Some of the most valuable baseball cards you'll ever encounter were printed prior to World War II.
Typically, these cards are characterized by their smaller sizes, beautiful color artwork (or black and white photography) and reverse sides that featured advertisements of tobacco or candy companies.
Vintage Baseball Cards (Printed from 1946 - 1979)
Topps eventually dominated this era after beating out competitors such as Bowman, Fleer and Leaf.
Vintage cards are known for their beautiful color artwork and photography although there were still several black and white issues during this period.
And, the 1957 Topps baseball card set brought with it the standard card dimensions of 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches that we're used to today.
Modern Baseball Cards (Printed From 1980 - Current)
Sadly, due to the massive print runs of this era the market is flooded with them today.
That level of production makes it a near certainty that a card from this time period will have no value at all.
In order for a modern card to have much value, it usually has to be a current or future Hall of Famer's rookie card in pristine condition, contain a printing error, or be personally autographed by the player himself.
The 1993 SP Derek Jeter rookie card is a prime example.
Those exceptions are extremely rare, however.