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  #1  
Old 10-05-2007, 11:09 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: Dave Hornish

These important hobby names seem to require their own thread. If anyone has stories, legends, myths, facts etc they would like to post here, I would be very interested.

Woody of course was art director and scavenger par excellence for Topps and also the driving force behind Nostalgia Press and his son Richard carried on with dad's baseball card concern into the 1980's at least. I know they had a warehouse fire at some point that destroyed a lot of cards, including a bunch of 69 Supers. I think a lot of Topps rarities and test issues are around today because of Woody and also a lot of (potentially correct and incorrect) information that has been accepted as fact for many decades can be traced, perhaps indirectly to Card Collectors Co. as well.

So, anyone have a tale or two?

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Old 10-06-2007, 03:15 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: jackgoodman

Used to receive their catalog in the early sixties. At one time they were selling #68 from the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set for $1 each (a large amount for one card - at that time). I gritted my teeth and ordered two of them. And have been so happy over the years that I did. Here are scans of the front/back of one of their catalogs along with the center pages. Check out the prices. If only...... (insert wistful sigh here)



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Old 10-07-2007, 04:12 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: boxingcardman

I can't recall how, but around 1974 or 1975 I heard about the Card Collectors Company, Jr. Gelman's company. I found their address and sent for a catalog, my first ever foray into mail order (I was 9 or 10). The catalog finally came and it said that they had a warehouse fire and would be selling off their damaged cards cheaply. I didn't want those. The regular listings had the stars at various prices and assorted lots you could buy for a few cents a card. After much detailed study, I decided to buy some assorted lots of commons from old Topps issues (being a frugal lad, I wanted to be sure that my bucks were well spent on the most cards i could get). I sent in a few bucks via my parents for some assorted lots and a few weeks later an envelope arrived.

To this day I remember a lot of what I got. I ordered mixed lots of 1950s and 1960s hockey and a 1963 Mays. Every card I got was dead centered crisp as though from vending but every one had smoke damage, sometimes very slight, but there, which greatly disapppointed me. What I realized later on was that they simply threw the superstars with minor damage into the mixed lots. I remember that for a few cents each I got a 1958 group with Glenn Hall, Norm Ullman, Alex Delvecchio, Harry Howell and a couple of others, a 1962 lot with multiple Bobby Hulls, Stan Mikita and a few others, and some 1960s lots with Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk, and a bunch of other HOFers. I wish I'd ordered a lot more from a lot more issues.

Ah, the days of $1 superstars...sometimes I really miss it.

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Old 10-07-2007, 05:44 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: Anthony

I used to order from them about '73-74 as well (Think I'm about a year or 3 older than Adam, although he looks much older ). T206's were .50 as I recall, T205's a buck. I ordered 8 T206's on my first order, got a Bergen with a Uzit back, and flipped it for the unheard of amount of $10.
I've still got a catalog, could never afford the Delongs and '71 Topps GM's I always wanted.

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Old 10-07-2007, 07:19 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: boxingcardman

I fart in your general direction, you son of an animal food trough washer!

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Old 10-08-2007, 02:12 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: DaveL

I started collection in 1973. I had probably 90% of the Topps set of that year and the guy that got me started on collecting told me that if I write to Topps, they would sell me the missing cards. If I recall, he told me that I could use the checklists as an order form (I'm thirteen at the time). So I write to Topps, and they inform me that no, they don't sell individual cards like that, but they refer me to The Card Collector's Co. I wrote to them, and they send me a catalog. Through them, I was able to complete my first Topps set.


So I figured I start working my way backwards through the topps sets. I ordered an assorted block of 200 cards for Topps '72 (this must be around 1974). They come back and most of them have a noticable black scorch on the top edge of them. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I wrote them and, if I am not mistaken, they refunded my money. They didn't ask for the cards back. They explained about their fire, and had an offer for other assortments of (potentially) fire damaged cards at a deep discount. I did not take advantage of the situation. I do remember ordering some of their older cards. I got a T206 Hal Chase blue background in terrific condition for just a couple of bucks or so.

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Old 10-08-2007, 02:39 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: Eric Brehm

I ordered from Card Collectors Co. back in the mid 1960's through early 1970's. I remember that I got complete 1967 and 1969 Topps sets, in factory fresh mint condition, for about $11 each. The company would mail each series of approx. 100 cards to me as it was issued by Topps during the season. I also ordered the 7th series "high number" cards for my 1966 Topps set from them, since these cards never appeared in our local grocery stores (Washington DC area).

Also during that time I bought older cards from the 1950's and early 1960's that Card Collectors Co. had in their catalog (all in mint condition). I remember that initially they charged the same price for cards of star players such as Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, etc. as they did for common cards! Eventually they caught on to this, however, realizing that the demand was higher for the star cards, and began charging a bit more for them, maybe a dollar or two.

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Old 10-08-2007, 03:14 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: peter chao

Eric,

Those were the days. I don't know of a single dealer that has those type of prices anymore. Are the dealer's making a fortune. They say no, of course. They have to pay a lot for the cards also.

Peter C.

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Old 10-08-2007, 03:43 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: Eric Brehm

Larry Fritsch is the only person I am aware of who had the foresight to sock away a warehouse full of mint cards from the 1960's and 1970's, back before the hobby really took off. I remember he was selling some of these off during the 1980's, at then-going rates. I'm sure he is a millionaire many times over as a result.

By the same token, anyone who bought top quality cards during the 1980's and has hung on to them until now would also have experienced quite an appreciation in value. I remember in the mid-1980's buying Mickey Mantle cards in mint condition for less than $100; some of these are worth as much as $10,000 now (especially if they can get in a '9' holder).

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Old 10-08-2007, 04:35 PM
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Default Woody & Richard Gelman and Card Collectors Co.

Posted By: Anthony

I read that Fritsch had some deal with Topps where he'd get their overstock for basically the cost of shipping. Not sure if it was forsight or just cheap warehouse space that got him all those cases of cards.

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