Find information on Vintage Baseball collectibles,
Tips on caring for your Valued Memorabilia collection 
and more!












 Baseball Bats

 Bobble Heads




 Games & Toys

 Game Used













Site Features

 About this site


 Collectors Corner

 Collect Showcase

 Message Board



Price Guides

 B-18 Felt Blankets

 Signed Baseballs

 Team Signed BBs

 WS Press Pins

 WS Tickets/Stubs

 Baseball Card



Glossary Of Baseball Collectible Terms

The most comprehensive Glossary of baseball collectible terms on the internet complete with pictures, and cross reference links. Links that are available will lead to another section of this page or open in a new window.
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Back to Top

AL - Short for baseball's American League.

ALCS - Short for American League Championship Series. A stage in baseball's playoff system to get to the World Series.

Auction - An offering of baseball collectibles where the buyer must bid against other potential buyers, as opposed to ordering an item from a store, catalog, price list, or advertisement at a set price.

Auction House - A firm that conducts auctions. A venue to hold auctions offering items to be bid on. A company that holds live auctions in house or and on the internet. Popular auction houses include eBay, Heritage Auction Galleries, Lelands sotheby's, and others.

Authentication - Verifying the originality or genuineness of a sports collectibles item. For sports cards, the largest and most respected third party authentication (and grading) is Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). For sports autographs, the most well known authentication service is PSA/DNA. For other sports memorabilia items you must depend on the selling dealer's knowledge and integrity.

Autograph - A person's signature. Autographs are a very significant part of the Baseball memorabilia market. Frequently autographed items include photos, cards, and equipment, baseballs, bats, uniforms, gloves, etc.

Autopen - A mechanical device that is used to duplicate a precise signature. The Autopen machines provide high quality signature replication with any common pen, pencil, or marker. Autopens are often used by celebrities who receive numerous requests for their autographs, and are also known to be used by scam artists to forge signatures on flat items.

Back to Top

B18 - Designation for the 1914 felt blankets. also see Blanket

Barrel - the business end of the baseball bat. The thickest part of the bat that is intended to meet the ball.

Barrel Brand - The markings stamped or burned onto the barrel of a baseball bat by the manufacturer, usually identifying the player's name, and registered trademark(s) of the manufacturer. The player's name may appear in block letters, indicating that the manufacturer has no right to produce bats for anyone other than the player whose name appears on the bat. The player's name may appear in a scripted or facsimile signature version, referred to as signature model, which indicates that the manufacturer has the right to produce bats for the public, minor league teams, and college teams, bearing the player's name. Such an arrangement is referred to as an endorsement contract.

Bazooka - A brand of bubble gum that began to be marketed in the U.S. by the Brooklyn, New York based Topps Company shortly after World War II.

Beckett - A well-known publisher of sports card price guides. The first Beckett price guide was published in 1979. This guide is widely credited for ushering in the modern sports card collectibles market.

BGS - Short for Beckett Grading Services, a professional sports card grading company.

Birdcage catchers mask - A catcher's mask with a strong wire face resembling a birdcage designed, and used in the early days of baseball. 

Black Bat - Also known as a World series "Black Bat" They were given to participating players, and dignitaries from teams in the world series. They have facsimile signatures of the entire team in gold on a dark black ebony bat.

Black Sox - A name given to the members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox team involved in a scandal with local gamblers, and accused of throwing the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Resulting in the suspension of eight players from baseball. "Eight Men Out" is a well-known movie that tells the story of this infamous event.

Blank Back - A baseball card that has no printing on the reverse side by design or as a result of a manufacturing error. Blank backs that are manufacturing errors usually carry a premium.

Blanket - Also known as Felt Blanket, B18 blanket, An early 20th-century collectible consisting of a square piece of felt or other fabric which came wrapped around a package of cigarettes, so-called because they were sometimes sewn together to form a blanket. Most popular are the 5 1/4" X 5 1/4" B18 blankets from 1914.

Bleeding - or Bleed -A term most commonly used with autographs when an Item is signed, and the ink spreads into the material signed. For example when Sharpie is used to sign a baseball it tends to "Bleed" into the baseball. When one color leaks into another area not intended. 

Blue Back - A card with a blue back. This term is usually connected to the 1951 Topps Blue Back baseball card set.

Bobbing Head Also known as; Bobble Heads; Nodders; Bobbing Head Dolls, A series of fragile hand-painted ceramic doll emulating a popular sports figure, player, team, or mascot that first came over from Japan in the 1960s. Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia (S.A.M.) reintroduced new dolls in the 1990s. Bobble Heads are also a popular giveaway at Major League Stadiums today.

Bobble Head - Also known as; Bobbing Heads; Nodders; Bobble Head Dolls, A series of fragile hand-painted ceramic doll emulating a popular sports figure, player, team, or mascot that first came over from Japan in the 1960s. Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia (S.A.M.) reintroduced new dolls in the 1990s. Bobble Heads are also a popular giveaway at Major League Stadiums today.

Book Price - Also known as "Books" "Books for," Book Value, The retail selling price that appears in a price guide.

Bowman - A well-known card manufacturer that began production in 1948 with baseball, football, and basketball cards. Their basketball production was halted that same year, while baseball and football cards were produced through 1955. The following year, Topps purchased the company and ended their rivalry in the sports card market. In 1989, Topps once again began production of cards with the Bowman name. Cards with this brand name are prominent in the modern sports card market.

Buckle Back - A baseball glove commonly used in the early days of baseball. A wrist adjustment on the glove to help fit a comfort level, and keep the glove snug to the hand located on the lower back of the glove.

Button Back - A baseball glove most commonly used during the 1940s-1960s. A wrist adjustment on the glove to help fit a comfort level, and keep the glove snug to the hand located on the lower back of the glove. Here is an example of a Button back glove.

BVG - Short for Beckett Vintage Grading, a division of Beckett Grading Services.

Back to Top

C - A designation used for Canadian Tobacco cards. for example C46.

Cabinet Card - An oversized card that was issued by tobacco manufacturers. They were commonly produced on a thick cardboard stock and available as premiums in the 19th and early 20th century. Curio cabinets were very common in this era, and a favorite place for collectors to display these treasures, thus the name cabinet card.

Cachet - A design or inscription on an envelope to commemorate a postal or philatelic event. A collectible Baseball Cachet could include a players achievements, milestone, and record breaking accomplishments. A postal stamp and cancellation will coincide in date, or and relationship to commemorate the days event. Popular Cachets include Z Silk Cachets, and Gateway G silk Cachets. Cachets are also a popular item for player autographs.

Cello Box - A box that contains cello packs. These boxes were distributed to retailers for individual pack sales. Most cello boxes contain 24 packs.

Cello Pack - A form of card packaging. These packs usually contain more baseball cards than the standard wax packs. These packs are wrapped in a transparent packaging, much like cellophane. Cello packs that have a star visible, especially on the front, are collectable and carry a premium over that of the price of the single card.

Center Brand - Also known as Bat Label. A term used with collectible baseball bats. The markings stamped or burned onto the center face of a bat by the bat manufacturer, usually identifying the name, location, and registered trademark(s) of the manufacturer. The center brand can be useful in determining The date or era a bat was made. 

Certificate of Authenticity - Also known as COA - A statement of the genuineness of an item (often an autograph), printed on a piece of paper, thin cardboard, that is furnished to the buyer by the seller. Certificates of authenticity can be issued by the seller or a third party authentication service. The validity of the certificate of authenticity depends upon the integrity and knowledge of the seller or authentication service.

Checklist - A list of cards in any one set or series. Checklists can be found in books and price guides, although the term is more commonly used for checklist cards, which are often included in sports card sets. These are intended as aids for collectors and commonly include small boxes that can be checked when the card is obtained. For this reason, many vintage checklists are of great value if found free of markings.

Clubhouse Signature - A signature that is not signed by the intended athlete. Most clubhouse signatures were done by bat boys, equipment managers, and other available clubhouse workers. It was, and still is common for a star player to have a clubhouse employee sign his name.

Common - A term used to describe a card that is not a rookie, semi-star, or star card. These are usually the least expensive cards in a set. "Singles" has also become a widely acceptable term for commons. The term Common can also be used in regard to lesser known or desired players in any given memorabilia set such as silk blankets, or figurines for example.

Cracker Jack - A brand of snack consisting of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts. It is also well known for being packaged with a Toy Surprise Inside. This term Cracker Jack is used as reference to the 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack baseball card set that was issued as an insert in Cracker Jack boxes. Cracker Jack is also an inexpensive Baseball bat sold by Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger) during the 1920s-1950s. Possibly taking advantage of the snacks popularity the Bat has no relationship with the Cracker Jack candy.

Crescent Padding - An extremely desirable style used for baseball gloves from 1890 to 1910. A Crescent baseball glove features a raised padding in the shape of a crescent to form a pocket to aid in catching the baseball. From the 1920's to the 1940's, crescent or raised padding was used for softball gloves.

Cut Signature - or "Cuts" - A signature on a small piece of paper, or "cut" from a larger piece. The lowest Item in value for a signature. Index cards are the next step up in value, and both sell at a fraction of the higher priced Photos, Baseballs, Bats, and equipment. Cut Signatures are often cut from an item that has been ruined to save its value such as a baseball card, cover of a publication, photograph, letter or notebook on which it was originally signed. Cuts are commonly used for inserts by baseball card companies

Back to Top

Dealer - A person who buys and sells collectibles professionally for a profit. Sports cards and sports memorabilia dealers are usually very knowledgeable about their specialty, and talking with them is a valuable experience for collectors.

Diamond Star - A set of cards that was produced from 1934 to 1936 by National Chicle. The set consists of 108 color cards that feature artwork done from original photos. The set is one of the more popular pre-war issues.

Ding - A term used to describe the damage on the corner of a baseball card. A ding is commonly caused by dropping or mishandling a card. A card with a ding (or dinged corner) is greatly devalued. A Ding can also be in reference to the indentation mark on the surface of the cover of a publication or photograph left by being struck by an object.

Doctored - A term used to describe a collectible item that has been altered to cover up a flaw. A doctored baseball card might have been trimmed, as to sharpen "dinged" corners, or remove the fraying on a Doctored pennant for example. Any collectible item that has been doctored will be devalued, and this practice is frowned upon, among the collecting community. 

Donruss - A sports card manufacturer that began production in 1981 with a baseball set and a golf set.

Double Header - A unique set of baseball cards that was issued by Topps in 1955. The cards are larger than standard and feature colored art drawings of baseball players. When the card is folded in half, another player's body matches up with the shared feet and legs of the card. A Double Header in baseball is when two teams play two games in one day with the same crowd in attendance. When referred to as A day night or Twi-Night Double Header one game is played in the afternoon and one in the evening typically with separate admission fees.

Double Play - A baseball card set Issued by Gum Inc. in 1941. This set features 75 black and white cards, each depicting two different players.

Double Print - A baseball card that has twice the print run of the rest of the cards in the set. This is due to the fact that, occasionally, two of the same cards will appear on a sheet (usually 132 cards per), which is later cut into individual cards.

Back to Top

eBay - The World's Online Marketplace®, enabling trade on a local, national and international basis. With a diverse and passionate community of individuals and small businesses, eBay offers an online platform where millions of items are traded each day.

Error Card - A card that contains a mistake. An error card may have an incorrect photo, a misspelled name or incorrect statistical information. Error cards will only be worth more money if the mistake was corrected, and the card that was printed in the fewest quantity is worth the most. Not necessary the card with the error.

EX - Short for Excellent.

EX-MT - Short for Excellent - Mint

Exhibit Card - A larger-type card that is roughly the size of a postcard made by the Exhibit card company. Exhibit cards were commonly sold in arcades and were produced from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Back to Top

Facsimile Signature - Also known as Facsimile autograph. A stamped or printed reproduction of an autograph as might appear on a baseball card, photograph, souvenir baseball, bat, glove or any product endorsed by a player of note. A signature model baseball glove will have the Facsimile Signature or autograph of the player endorsing it. More information on Facsimile Signatures

Factory Set - An entire set of cards that was packaged by the manufacturer for sale to the public. These sets usually include a distinct box with a security seal or inner-packing to secure the cards. Sets from the factory generally carry a premium over hand-made sets.

FDC -Short for First Day Cover. An envelope or cachet that is designed to be postmarked to commemorate a specific event on the day or anniversary of the event.

Flat - A term used at autograph shows to describe a picture, poster, magazine, postcard or card. Usually "flats" have a different pricing structure than equipment, uniforms or baseballs.

Fleer - A manufacturer of sports cards. The company produced baseball cards from 1959 to 1963, as well as several football sets and a single basketball set in this same era. In 1981, the company once again began production and is a leading manufacturer in today's market. Fleer is now owned by Rite Aid, the well-known Pharmacy.

Foil Packs - A group of cards that are packaged by the manufacturer for retail sale. These packs are so named for their metallic packaging.

Full Bleed - This is the term used when a card has no border. The image on the card goes up to the edge of the cardboard.

Full Ticket - A Ticket for a baseball game or sporting event that has not been used or the rain check "Stub" has not been torn off. A fully intact ticket as it was made. A Full ticket separated from a Ticket block as an uncut sheet of tickets printed for a series. Today Full Tickets are more common where as tickets are scanned upon entry as opposed to "ripped"

Full Web - Baseball gloves that were most commonly made between 1900-1915 that had sewn in webs known as a "Full web" These webs were sewn directly to the thumb and forefinger and extended to where the thumb and forefinger meet.

Back to Top

GAI - Short for Global Authentication Inc., a professional grading company.

Gamer - A term used to describe a game used peice of equipment such as a Bat or glove.

Game issued - A uniform, cap, helmet or piece of equipment manufactured and designed for use in a college or professional game or sporting event. A "game issued" bat was ordered by the player to be used but is not "game-used" until it actually makes its way into an actual game.

Game Used - A piece of equipment that has been used by a professional player of note during a game such as a baseball bat or glove. A piece of equipment used in a professional game such as a "game used" base. For example a bat used by a professional baseball player like Mickey Mantle is "Game Used" A bat that was used in a little league game is a used bat not a "Game used" bat.

Game Used Cards - A card that has a piece of game used memorabilia embedded into the card. These are often thicker than regular issue cards.

G Cachet - A cachet made by the Gateway Stamp company. The cachet can be Identified by A G with an arch over the top located at the bottom center area. Also see Cachet

Goudey - An extremely popular card manufacturer that produced cards from 1933 to 1941. The 1933 Goudey set is their most popular, and arguably the most popular pre-war set produced. The art drawing set features numerous Hall of Famers, including two cards of Lou Gehrig and four cards of Babe Ruth.

GPC - The initials GPC stand for Government PostCard. These pre-stamped postcards were especially popular for obtaining autographs by mail from outside stadiums. That way, a fan could hand a player a self-addressed stamped postcard that the player could sign and return at a more convenient time.

Grade - A description of the condition of a sports card or sports memorabilia item. Grade is always a big component of price. The higher the grade, the more desirable, and consequently, the more valuable the item. Nowadays nearly all valuable sports cards are graded using the 10 Point Grading Scale established by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) in 1991.

Grommet - The metal "eyelet's" or ring reinforcements inserted into the holes of a baseball glove that are used for lacing. The lacing is inserted trough the Grommet and helps protect the leather from ripping. Grommets shown here in red.

Gum Stain - A stain on a card that is caused by gum. When gum was inserted in packs, it was placed on top of the pack, between the wrapper and the card. Over time, the gum would stain the card. Cards with gum stains are worth only a fraction of those without. Topps received numerous complaints from collectors that the gum was either staining the cards, or creating an impression in them, sacrificing their "mint" condition. The gum was eliminated in 1991. :(

Back to Top

Hartland - Hartland Plastics A Wisconsin-based company that produced statues (Hartland statues) in the 1950s and 1960s. The most notable of these are the 18 professional baseball player models, which have become very collectible. Modern day reproductions are also available.

High Numbers - A description of the last, or near the last series in a baseball card set. Traditionally, manufacturers would produce cards in several series. As the season would wind down, so would public interest and production. This lower print run resulted in more limited supply and later, more valuable cards.

High Series - Also known as a high number series or high number, a high series contains baseball cards from the last series distributed for a set in a given year. Many of these older high series cards are of great value, as they were often released after the baseball season, when interest for baseball was waning. Therefore, these cards were often printed or distributed in smaller amounts than those of the preceding series. The most well known high series is from the 1952 Topps set (#311-407), which includes Mickey Mantle's first Topps card (#311).

HOF - Short for Hall Of Fame

HOF'er - Short for Hall Of Famer. A phrase used to describe a player elected into The Hall Of Fame.

HOH - Short for Rawlings "Heart Of The Hide" baseball gloves which features top of the line HOH shell leather, deer tanned cow hide palm and finger back linings. Heart Of The Hide gloves are highly desired among glove collectors.

Hologram - The silvery, laser etched trademark printed as an anti-counterfeiting device by sports card and memorabilia manufacturers, and authenticators. As seen on this Hologram authenticated baseball

HSC - Short for Heritage Sports Collectibles.

Back to Top

Inch Marks - A term used with baseball bats referring to the number stamped into the knob of the bat indicating the length on store model bats. Model number is not an inch mark.

Inscription - An extra note or notation added by a player when signing an autograph. A player might add an Inscription on request, or at an autograph show an extra fee might be charged. On the resale market collectors will also pay a premium for inscriptions such as "500 Home runs," and pay less for personal inscriptions like "Good Luck Mary" 

Insert - A word that describes cards that were added to a regular pack to help increase sales. The first inserts were around the turn of the century, when tobacco companies used cardboard to keep packs of cigarettes from getting smashed. Eventually, pictures were included on the small pieces of cardboard. Over time, these premiums became collectible and a key element of different cigarette sales. Throughout the years, manufacturers have used many kinds of inserts. Inserts have evolved to the point where almost every new issue available contains at least one type of insert. These modern inserts are far rarer than regular issue cards. Inserts from the past have included posters, decals, and  scratch offs as well.

Back to Top

Jersey - A uniform top or shirt worn by a athlete. A part of the uniform worn by a team. A Jersey might be an Item for a collector to have signed. A game used Jersey was worn by a player during a game. An authentic Jersey can be Store Bought.

Jersey Cards - A card that has a piece or "swatch" of a game used Jersey embedded into the card. These are often thicker than regular issue cards.

Back to Top

Key Cards - The most expensive, desirable, or important cards in a set.

KeyMan Collectibles - An online source for information on vintage and modern day baseball memorabilia and collectibles. A baseball memorabilia price guide, with collectors guides and references. KeyMan is derived form the name of New York Yankees great micKEY MANtle.

Key Signatures - The most important signature or signatures on a team signed Item or baseball. The signatures of the key players that define the team for that year. The team stars or most desired autographs. 

Knob - The end of the baseball bat connected to the handle that the batter grips. The knob keeps the hands from slipping off the bat when swung. Knob styles Refers to the shape of the knob as it meets with the handle of a bat. A regular knob, refers to a classic "Ruth knob," which has a well defined lip and is clearly larger than the circumference of the handle area which connects with the knob. A flared knob refers to a classic "Hornsby knob" which has a slight lip that cleanly transitions into the handle. No knob or knobless, refers to a classic "Clemente knobless bat" which has no lip and cleanly transitions into the handle. The knob can have the model stamped into it on a game isuued bat or the bat length on a store model bat.

Krause - An established hobby publisher, Krause produces annual 'Standard Catalogs' of sports cards along with Memorabilia price guides and weekly issues of Sports Collector's Digest (SCD).

Back to Top

Labeling Period - Refers to the authenticator's conclusion, by studying the Center brand and Barrel labels, or combination thereof, in determining the time period that a bat was manufactured. Some label periods may be as short as a few months, whereas others may extend for many years.

Leaf - Well known for its production of its modern day sets, Leaf is also well known for several sets produced right after World War II. In 1948 and 1949, they produced crude sets of baseball, football, and boxing stars. Over time, these issues have become very popular, especially tough-to-find, high-grade examples.

Lemon Peal Baseball - Commonly produced and used in the early days of baseball around 1850 -1860 the "Lemon Peal" style Baseball is a 4 piece hand stitched leather skinned baseball and was one of the first style baseball used. Named as such for its stitching that gives the appearance of a Lemon peal. Dark leather was used for the cover because it was readily available and easier for the players to see when the ball was hit in the air on a clear day.

Letter of Authenticity - A letter stating that a certain piece of memorabilia, such as a uniform, is authentic.

Limited edition - A term often used by makers of cards and memorabilia to indicate scarcity. A limited edition means just that - production of the item in question will be limited to a certain number. However, that number may be large or small, and is relevant to the amount of collectors interested in it. The value of a limited edition item is high only if the number made is less than the number of collectors that desire the item. If the Limited amount made is more than the amount of collectors interested, the value will go down from the issued price.

Lithograph - A poster-like print that is produced by using a special, high-quality printing process.

LOA - Short for Letter Of Authenticity

Low series - Low series or low number cards are from the first series distributed for a set in a given year. Production and distribution of these cards was generally greater as they were the first run of cards available to the public for that baseball season. However, there are exceptions. For instance, the 1933 Goudey low series or low numbers are worth considerably more than their higher numbered counterparts.

Back to Top

MC Short for "Miscut" Type of qualifier. A card that has no border, or even portions of another card. Cards with a factory miscut, such as a diamond cut, or when another card's image is on the original card will be designated MC. These cards have little value.

Minimum Bid - The lowest acceptable offer that an auction company or individual sets.

Minor League Card - A card that features players from the minor leagues. Minor league cards are a small, but important part of the market. Most minor league cards have low print runs and are difficult to locate.

MK - Short for "Mark" a term used with baseball card grading. Type of qualifier. The card exhibits marks caused by pen, pencil, or some other type of ink and the presence of the mark or marks causes the card to fall below the minimum standard for the grade.

MT - Short for Mint

Multi Signed - More than one or a group of signatures on am item such as a baseball. An autographed baseball with only a few signatures of players from the same team but not enough to be considered a team signed baseball.

Mylar - A type of plastic from which many card holders, plastic sheets and other protection devices are made.

Back to Top

National - Also known as "The National" A sports memorabilia show held annually in different parts of the United States. The National Sports Collectors Convention is by far the largest and most attended show of the year. The first national took place in 1980 in Los Angeles, California.

NL - Short for National League

NLCS - Short for National League Championship Series. A stage in baseball's playoff system to get to the World Series.

NM - Short for Near Mint

NM-MT - Short for Near Mint-Mint

Nodder - Slang for or also known as; Bobbing Head; Bobble Head; Bobble Head Dolls, A series of fragile hand-painted ceramic doll emulating a popular sports figure, player, team, or mascot that first came over from Japan in the 1960s. Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia (S.A.M.) reintroduced new dolls in the 1990s. Bobble Heads are also a popular giveaway at Major League Stadiums today.

Notching - A card-grading term used to describe indentations along the edge of a card, sometimes caused by a rubber band. Notching decreases a card's value.

Back to Top

OAL - Short for Official American League as in reference to a Major league Baseball used in the American League.

OC - Short for Off Center

Oddball - An "off beat" category of sports collectibles other than the normal cards, or commonly collected items. Examples could include An autographed beer can, A player endorsed Ice cream wrapper (food product), or A baseball card issued by a fast food chain or non sports related company. A unique collectible.

Off Center - A term most commonly used with baseball cards. An off center baseball card for example could have a ratio of 35/65 as opposed to a perfectly centered card of 50/50

Oil Tanned - A term used with baseball gloves. Leather that is tanned using oils to create a very soft, pliable finish. 

OJ Cards - or OJ Short for Old Judge Cards also see Tobacco Card

Old Judge - A brand of cigarettes which was popular in the late 1800's. Also the name given to the huge set of baseball cards issued as a premium with that brand of cigarettes. The Tobacco cards, issued from 1887-90, carried advertisements for Old Judge cigarettes.

ONL - Short for Official National League as in reference to a Major league Baseball used in the National League.

O-Pee-Chee - A division of the Topps company located in Canada that manufactures baseball and hockey cards.

Back to Top

Pack - A group of cards that are sealed by the manufacturer for retail sale.

Patina - The surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use.

Pennant - A banner or flag typically sold at souvenir stands at ballparks. The majority of pennants are triangular in shape.

Perez-Steele A Line of popular Baseball Hall of Fame art postcards that is ideal for autographs, produced by artist Dick Perez and his late business partner, Franklin Steele.

Personalized - A term that describes a special note, next to a signature, such as: "Dear…", "To my pal…" or "Best wishes…" In autograph collecting circles this is also known as an "inscription".

Phantom - A ticket, a press pin or any product produced in anticipation of a team making the playoffs, or World Series But not used when the team failed to make it. Phantom Tickets or Phantom Press pins are the most popular among collectors. 

Pine Tar - A sticky substance added by a player to the handle area of a bat for added grip. The tar will typically get darker with age. Some players are fairly consistent with the areas of a bat that are tarred, and it may be identified as a Specific Player Use Trait.

Piping - A term used with baseball gloves describing the tubular seam sewn into the edge or border of the leather on a baseball glove. Commonly found on the edges of the wrist strap on the back. Most piping is made of leather or cloth, vinyl, and plastic on cheaper gloves. Piping shown here in black

Play Ball - A very popular pre-war baseball card manufacturer that produced sets from 1939 to 1941. Also, the phrase used by an umpire to signal the start of a baseball game.

Player Use Attributes - Denotes that a bat, uniform or piece of equipment has evidence of player use. For example a number written on a baseball cap can be attributed to player that wears that uniform number. A baseball bat can have a tape pattern that is attributed to a particular player.

Post War - A collectible that is from a time after World War II.

Powerized - a term used and stamped onto Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and patented by the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. in 1931. The Powerized" process is to harden the surface of the bat much like the bone rubbed finish of the 1920's.

Press Pin - Press Pins which have been distributed since 1911, are distributed to members of the media by the host teams for the World Series games. The press pins are made to be worn on the lapel to provide reporters access to cover the game. All Star Press Pins are also a popular collectible.

Pre War - A collectible that is from a time before the start of World War II.

Premium - An item issued as an advertising extra. In most cases, collectors have had to send away to the companies or manufacturers to receive a "premium".

Price Guide - A list of estimated values for sports cards and/or sports memorabilia. The first major sports collectibles price guide was The Sport Americana Baseball Card Price Guide issued by Dr. Jim Beckett in 1979. Today, there are dozens of guides such as Krause's 'Standard Catalog', Beckett's 'Baseball Almanac', and Collector's Universe's 'Sports Market Report'.

Price Guides - Third party guides published on a regular basis to indicate the estimated value of an item according to the current market, such as, the Beckett price guide, and the Krause standard catalogs of sports cards.

Private signing - When an athlete signs for an individual or company, as opposed to a public signing, where all comers are welcome. Many wholesalers pay for the services of top athletes, usually by the hour. These companies then offer these signed items for sale to the public.

Promotional Card - A card produced by a manufacturer to promote upcoming issues. Generally, these cards are more limited than the regular issues.

Provenance - The history of ownership of a particular item. It allows the buyer to secure additional insight as to the origin or chain of custody of the item.

PSA - Short for Professional Sports Authenticator. Founded in 1991, PSA was the first widely accepted grading service and set the standard for the graded card market.

PSA/DNA - A third party authentication service that focuses on sports and music autographs. PSA/DNA uses synthetic DNA that is only visible with the aid of a laser to mark the item being authenticated. PSA/DNA also affixes a small sticker, which has a unique certification number, onto the item. This unique certification number matches a PSA/DNA certificate of authentication that is issued with the item at the time of the authentication.

Back to Top

Qualifier - In some cases, a card will be designated with a qualifier. A "qualified" card is a card that meets all the criteria for a particular grade, but fails the standard in one area. For example, a card which exhibits all the qualities of a NM-MT 8, but is 90/10 centered left to right, will receive a grade of NM-MT 8oc. The "OC" stands for off-center. Here is a brief list of qualifiers: OC (Off-center), ST (stain), PD (Print Defect), OF (Out of Focus), and MK (Marks). 

Back to Top

Rack Pack - Packs designed for retail sale. These clear packs usually contain three panels of cards, which are designed to hang from store displays. Rack packs with stars showing are collectible, much like they are with cello packs, although they are not quite as valuable.

Rack Marks - A term used with game used bats. Usually colored streaks or colored blotches caused by contact with the inner and/or outer surface of the bat rack, transferring onto a bat.

Rain Check - The remaining portion of a ticket ripped off when attending a game. A Ticket Stub. Not as valuable as a Full Ticket, but still collectible.

Raw - Refers to any card that is not encapsulated by a grading service.

Razorback - Supple lightweight leather tanned from pigs or hogs, it is not as thick as cowhide or steer hide.

RC - Abbreviation, short for Rookie Card . Notes a player's rookie card. 

Re-colored - The art of fraudulently re-coloring the surface of a sports card to hide wear or physical damage.

Red Back - A card with a red back. This term is most commonly used with the 1951 Topps Red Back set.

Red Heart - A 33 card set from 1954 that was issued by the Red Heart Dog Food Co. The set was issued in three series of 11 cards each that had different colored backgrounds behind the player: Red, green, and blue. The red background series is considered to be the scarcest. This issue was redeemable by mail from the manufacturer and was reportedly available as late as the early 70's.

Refractor - A card that has chrome reflective devices. These cards often come with a thin removable protective layer. The card loses some value if this plastic layer is removed.

Regional Set - A set issued only in a specific geographic area. These sets are usually smaller and feature one or several teams from the issued area.

Reprint - A card that is a reproduction of an original, usually more expensive card or set. A reproduction of an original publication.

Rookie - A player in his first season. Also short for rookie card.

Rookie Card - A players first year of cards, whether or not it is his rookie season. Players may have one or dozens of rookie cards, depending on how highly touted he was as a youngster and in which year his rookie card was issued

ROY - Rookie of the Year.

Back to Top

Salesman's Sample - An example of a commemorative championship ring or a jersey produced by companies for players and team officials to preview. Not as a collectible, but often mistaken for the real thing.

SCD - Short for Sports Collectors Digest.

Score - A sports card manufacturer which first started production in 1988.

Scorecard - A publication available at a baseball game used by fans to chronicle the outcome of the game. also known as a program.

Scored - A scorecard that has been marked up or used by fans to chronicle the outcome of the game.

Secretarial Signature - An autograph of a celebrity that is actually done by his or her secretary, an other assistant or even a spouse. Sports celebrities are bombarded by requests for autographs. Most don't have the time to answer all of the requests, so some have their secretaries do the signatures. Autopens are sometimes used.

Sepia - Or sepia tone. A dark reddish-brown coloration used in some photos instead of traditional black and white. A style typically found with vintage photos.

Series - A group of cards that are a part of a larger set. Until the 1970s, many card manufacturers, especially Topps, issued cards in several series, which were released throughout the season.

Set - An entire run of cards from a given issue, including all card numbers that were produced.

SGA - Short for Stadium Giveaway

SGC - Short for Sportscard Guaranty Corporation, a professional sports card grading company.

Sharpie - A permanent marker made by Sanford in a variety of colors and pen points for use on paper, cloth or leather. It is not advisable to use for autographs on baseballs because the ink has a tendency to bleed. Sharpie was made available during the 1970s.

Short Print - A card that is printed in lesser numbers than the other cards in the same set. Generally, short prints have a print run of half that of the other cards.

Side Writing - A term used with game used bats. Refers to the writing, usually in grease pencil, on the barrel of a bat, written by a manufacturer employee, to document the receipt of a bat by a player, in making future player bats in the same or similar specification. When legible, the writing will indicate the player who shipped the bat back to the manufacturer, the city/and or team name, the league of the team, and the date the bat was received at the factory. Side written bats are usually found on bats of the pre-model number era.

Signature model -  A term used to describe a player endorsed baseball bat or glove baring the players signature. a Store model bat or glove.

Signed-in-the-Presence - An autograph that was signed in the presence of the seller or a representative of a third party authentication service. The validity of the signed-in-the-presence status of an autograph is dependent upon the integrity and reputation of the seller or authentication service. The largest and most respected signed-in-the-presence authentication service is PSA/DNA.

Single Signed Baseball - This term is for baseballs that have been autographed by only one player. Balls that are single signed can be worth more than a baseball that have multiple signatures with the same player.

Skybox - A sports card manufacturer that started production in the 1990's.

Slabbed - A term used to describe a professionally graded card that has been encapsulated in a sonically sealed card holder.

Slabbing - The process of encapsulating a card in a sonically sealed holder.

SLU - Short for Starting Lineup.

SP - Abbreviation for short print. Also, a high quality set produced by Upper Deck.

Spikes - Another name for baseball shoes or cleats.

Split Finger - A baseball glove with no lacing between the fingers. Split Finger Gloves were most commonly made during the pre war era.

Sportflics - A manufacturer of baseball cards in the 80's and 90's, best known for their 3D style cards.

Sporting Life - Sporting Life was a major publication in the early part of the century. They issued numerous sports card sets, the most popular of which was the 1911 M116. Offered as a premium to subscribers, these cards were issued in 24 different 12-card series.

Sports Kings - A popular issue from 1933/1934 that featured the top athletes from that period. The issue was produced by Goudey Gum Inc. Both of these sets are among the most popular pre-war issues ever produced. After 73 years Sport Kings cards are returning for release in October, 2007.

Sports Market Report (SMR) - The leading price guide for professionally graded sports cards.

ST (Stain) - A term used in baseball card grading. Type of qualifier. The card exhibits staining which falls below the minimum standard for the grade. This could be a gum, wax, water or other type of stain.

Stadium Giveaway - Also known as SGA. An item that is given away at a baseball game. Popular Stadium Giveaway's include Bats, Bobble heads, and Caps. 

Stain Residue - or a mark left on the surface of a sports collectible, usually as a result of contact with a foreign.

Stamped - An autograph applied to a photo, card or other item such as a signature model bat or glove. A facsimile signature. not hand signed.

Stand-ups - Refers to a type of card that was die cut around the player's picture. The background section then could be folded in half, so the card could stand up by itself while the player's picture stood alone. The most well known stand-up issues are the 1964 Topps Stand Ups and the 1934-36 Batter Up set. The cards can be difficult to obtain in high grade, as many of them were folded, thus compromising their condition.

Star - A player that stands out above the rest. A better than average player. 

Starting Lineup - Also known as SLU. Toy action figures that depict sports athletes. These are made of plastic and commonly come in a sealed package with a baseball card. These figures are very collectable and are most valuable when in their original packages.

Store Model - A baseball bat or glove that is not a game issued or game used bat. Sold in stores. made available to the public.

Stub - Ticket Stub - The remaining portion of a ticket ripped off when attending a game. A rain check. Not as valuable as a Full Ticket, but still collectible.

Sweet spot - The shortest distance between two seams on a baseball. This location on the baseball is the most preferred by collectors because it is centered as to the point of view, and pleasing to the eye when displayed. The other "sweet spot" is were the manufacturing stamping is placed on the ball. The sweet spot is the section of a baseball typically reserved for the team manager on team signed baseballs, and is the most desirable spot for an autograph on single-signed baseballs.

Back to Top

T -A letter used as a designation for a 20th Century Tobacco cards. A "T" with a one digit number for Example T3 (Turkey Reds) T4 (Obak Premiums) T5 (Pinketon Cabinets) Indicates an oversized card. One exception to the T-200 premium cards. Other Tobacco cards as an example include T206, T210, T211 T227.

T-206 - A classic set of over 500 small tobacco premium cards issued in various brands of cigarettes from 1909-1912. This set contains dozens of cards depicting Hall-Of-Fame players of the day. Widely recognized as one of the three most important sports card sets ever produced.

T.C.G. - This abbreviation for Topps Chewing Gum Company, and can be found on the backs of many Topps produced cards.

Team Card - A card that pictures an entire sports team.

Team Set - A complete run of players from a given team from a larger set.

Team Signed Baseball - or Team Baseball. A baseball autographed by the majority of the members of a particular team. Most collectors consider 15 -19 signatures a good minimum for a team signed baseball. 21 or more signatures is a solid number for a team baseball. Key Signatures are the most important signatures on a team signed baseball. Less than 10 signatures could be considered a Multi signed baseball.

Test Iissue - A set or sampling of cards that is issued by a manufacturer in limited supply, in order to test its marketability. For example 1951 Wheaties Test Issue.

Tiffany set - A high end set of cards, issued by Topps. These sets were identical to the regular issue set, except for the higher quality white cardboard stock and the addition of a protective UV coating.

Tobacco card - A card that was issued in a tobacco product as a premium. The most well known issue is the T-206 set, which includes the Honus Wagner card, the most expensive card in the industry. A majority of the cards were produced around the turn of the century, although there were Red Man tobacco sets issued in the 1950s.

Topps - The most recognized sports card manufacturer. They are most well known for the 1952 Topps set, the king of post-war issues. Today, Topps still dominates the market, with Topps Chrome, Topps Finest, and Bowman Chrome issues.

Traded Set - A set of cards, usually factory packaged, that features players who switched teams during the season, as well as those who made their debuts. Topps, who started this trend in 1981, is most well known for traded sets. Other companies also produce traded sets, although they refer to them by different names such as "Update" (Fleer) and "Rookie/Traded" (Score) sets.

Trimmed - A card that has been Doctored by cutting or shaving the edges. The most obvious reason for this is to improve the condition of corners, by removing the worn areas. Cards are also trimmed to correct centering problems. Cards that have been trimmed have very little value. Other examples of a trimmed Item could be the removal of fraying on a pennant.

Back to Top

UDA - Short for Upper Deck Authenticated.

Uncut sheet - A sheet of cards that has not been cut by the factory into individual cards. Most uncut sheets contain 132 cards.

Un-scored - A scorecard or program that has not been filled in or scored.

Upper Deck - A major sports card manufacturer that started in 1989 with a premium issue. The 1989 Upper Deck set is very well known for its inclusion of the extremely popular Ken Griffey rookie card. The company produces sets for all sports, as well as other lines of cards such as SP, SPX, SP Authentic, UD3, and Collector's Choice.

Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA) - The sister company of The Upper Deck Co., which produces authentic autographed memorabilia items under contracts with star athletes including Michael Jordan.

UV - Stands for Ultraviolet. The Sun emits harmful ultraviolet radiation. UV light can fade autographs if over exposed to. UV protective cases help prevent fading of signatures or other memorabilia. A glossy UV protective coating applied to sports cards.

Back to Top

variation - A card that is different, usually subtly, from its more common counterpart in any set. Some variations are error cards that were corrected by the manufacturers, while other variations might be as simple as a color change in the background of the card. Many variations are extremely rare, as they were corrections made early on in the press run, and therefore, have considerable value. The variation with the least amount printed would be the most expensive. This can also apply to other forms of memorabilia such as Armour Coins 1955 Mickey Mantle Variation for example.

Vending Box - A box of cards (usually 500) that was originally issued by the manufacturer for use in vending machines. Later, these were more often used by dealers who would collate the boxes into sets for sale to the public.

Vending case - A wholesale unit of cards, which contains vending boxes. Almost all vending cases contain 24 vending boxes, or 12,000 cards.

VG -Short for Very Good, A term used in grading.

VG-EX - Short for Very Good -Excellent, A term used in grading.

Vintage - A term usually intended to indicate an item was issued or produced quite some time ago. Aged or of older origin. For example: a vintage 1955 baseball card as opposed to a modern day 2005 baseball card. A piece of memorabilia manufactured about 25 or more years ago. Vintage, from the early days.

Back to Top

Want List - A collector's or dealer's list of items wishing to acquire through purchase or trade. Often, a collector will send a dealer a "want list," and the dealer will try to locate the items on the list. A Want list can be posted to locate an Item by others.

Wax Pack - An unopened pack of cards, named for its traditional form of packaging: wax-coated paper that is sealed shut at the factory by simply applying heat. Wax packs may contain anywhere from one to 15 cards.

Back to Top

Back to Top

Yearbook - An annual publication put out by sports teams chronicling the past season's results and reporting on their prospects for the upcoming year.

Back to Top

Z Silk Cachet - AKA Z-Cachet - A cachet made by Historic Limited editions located in New Caanan, Conn. President of the company John Zaso. The cachet can be Identified by a "Z" located at the bottom center area. Also see Cachet


Home | Shop | Sell | Auctions | Message Board | Newsletter | About this Site  
Link Directory | Links Page | Collectors Corner | Contact | Site Map