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    1958 Topps Football Cello Packs

    Appraised Value:

    $3,000 - $6,000

    Appraised on: July 16, 2005

    Appraised in: Houston, Texas

    Appraised by: Simeon Lipman

    Category: Sports Memorabilia

    Episode Info: Houston, Hour 1 (#1004)

    Originally Aired: January 30, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Football
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 20th Century, 1950s
    Value Range: $3,000 - $6,000

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    Appraisal Video: (3:11)


    Appraised By:

    Simeon Lipman
    Collectibles, Sports Memorabilia

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My father had a small grocery store and one year at Christmas decided to sell toys for kids. And he had a collection of football cards, Lionel trains and just a lot of different toys. And when he passed away, my mother put these away for future grandchildren.

    APPRAISER: So what we're talking about here are unopened packs of 1958 Topps football cards.

    GUEST: I believe so.

    APPRAISER: And now, I know I'm the type of kid, when I have an unopened pack-- at least when I did-- I'd have to open it. I couldn't keep it. So the fact that these survived is pretty interesting.

    GUEST: My mom had them, like, in a shoebox, and then when we acquired them, we put them in a safe deposit box, because we didn't want to open them.

    APPRAISER: Well, these are what is known as cello packs, because they're wrapped in cellophane. They had more cards in them than the regular wax packs that kids would buy for a penny or a nickel. These had more cards in them, and subsequently, they were more expensive. Today, finding unopened anything from the 1950s is exceedingly rare.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: Now, I see we have some condition issues on a couple of these. Sometimes the cellophane, over the years, is cracked and opened, and that happens. But there are others that are just...

    GUEST: Pristine.

    APPRAISER: Yeah, they're pristine. And that again is amazing that they've somehow survived all this time. When people collect unopened packs, they look for a number of things. Condition, of course, is paramount. But also, who's on the pack, because when you're dealing with a cello pack, you can see who's on top and who's on the bottom. In this sampling here, we have Johnny Unitas.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: You know, you don't get much better than that guy. And then you have Bart Starr, another star. So pieces like that have a premium.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: Now, how many of these do you have?

    GUEST: We have 312 packs.

    APPRAISER: 312 packs.

    GUEST: Correct.

    APPRAISER: Well, I would say that constitutes a find. In sports collecting terms, that's like a Holy Grail type thing. Football cards are very, very collectible, especially 1958. There's all these great stars in the set. If I were to estimate one single pack at auction... okay, I would estimate it between $500 and $1,000 for one pack.

    GUEST: Oh, my.

    APPRAISER: So what we have here on the table is at least $3,000 to $6,000.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: Now, 1958 had Jim Brown's rookie card in it. If you have one with Jim Brown in it, that could go for several thousand dollars.

    GUEST: Oh, my.

    APPRAISER: So we're talking about a heck of a find.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: And I know all the card collectors out there who are watching this are salivating, you know. This is a dream come true. Thanks for coming today.

    GUEST: Thank you so much. You're kidding.

    APPRAISER: I'm not kidding.

    GUEST (chuckling): Oh, my goodness. Wow. I didn't know what I had.

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