The card collector

Here’s some finds from a spot in NDG I’ve been tracking since before the pandemic. There’s never much out on the curb, but every week I pick up a few good bits.

So far the spot is most notable for tossing large quantities of trading / sports cards. I’ve found maybe four shopping bags full, including the two seen above. There are some Topps Chrome cards in there, which are worth a bit more than the average, but these are still relatively modern cards that don’t have much value

However, two weeks back I spotted a hoard of older cards at the bottom of the recycling bin. I spent some time picking them all out, making sure I didn’t miss any.

All these cards were from the late 50s or early 60s. That doesn’t make them automatically super valuable, but from I can tell (via eBay research) these cards tend to be worth a few bucks each, as opposed to a few pennies each for the modern ones. Most were also in pretty good condition for their age.

Maybe 1/3 of these cards featured CFL players. I divided them into three lots, and listed them a couple days ago for 100$, 65$, and 60$.

The Normie Kwong card (top left) stuck out to me. I figured that there wouldn’t have been too many Chinese football players at this time, and as it turns out he was the first in the history of the CFL. “The China Clipper” later became part owner of the Calgary Flames and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Here’s a collection of 1962 “Civil War News” trading cards by Topps. The most valuable card here is the checklist in the middle – apparently these cards are less common because they tended to get marked up and thrown away. This example is in only fair condition, but it’s still worth somewhere around 80$.

5 Elvis cards were part of the collection. They were printed in 1956, and in this condition are worth around 5-10$ each.

Hockey-hungry Canadians will probably appreciate these late 1950s NHL cards. Oddly enough, there’s not a Canadien among them, but there were two Gordie (or Gordy) Howe cards from 1958 and 1959. A card like the middle one, in excellent condition recently sold for 650$, but in this condition (which is still fairly good) they’re probably worth “only” 60-80$ each

Otherwise, I saved several Fabian Forte cards (I hadn’t heard of him before finding these), four from the NFL, a bunch featuring Robin Hood, maybe 20 from various CBS TV shows, and another 20 or so Goofy Series cards. None of these are worth too much individually, so I’ll probably bring them to the auction house when they finally open again. I still have to research the value of the car series, with the Corvette as the lede, which seems to have been given out by a “Mother’s Cookies” company in 1955.

I’ve never found trading cards of this vintage before, so this is definitely my best card haul to date. Tonight I go back to this spot, and if I’m lucky maybe I’ll find some more.

18 thoughts on “The card collector”

  1. Well, the cards aren’t of interest to me but I bet they will be to someone–or, hopefully, several someones. I don’t envy you sorting them all and listing them, though! I hope it will be worth your time and energy.

    1. With these old cards I don’t mind, and there’s only 150-200 so it’s not too bad to organize them. Newer ones, I have no interest in, especially the Magic / Pokemon stuff I found last year. I never played the games, so I just don’t get it.

  2. Hurrah that you have the time and willingness to re-claim them and then put them back into circulation via Ebay or the auction house or maybe someday a yard sale! More fascinating history in the form — this time — of collectible cards…Thank you for another inspiring blog post.

  3. Cards must be a joy to ship as compared with most other stuff you sell on eBay, so congrats on getting a good haul of these. The CFL and hockey cards look really interesting. I hope you find more in the days and weeks to come!!

    1. Anything small & not fragile is a joy to ship. Those are definitely factors that come into considering when deciding how to sell an (ie: yard sale, eBay, auction house, Kijiji).

      One day I’ll have to figure out how to ship out heavy stuff though. I have a few things in my garage that I’ll have to figure out from kind of freight option for (ie: a big and large ophthalmology doohickey).

  4. I shall age myself by admitting that as a young girl I was a great fan of Fabian. I belonged to his fan club in the days when fan clubs were all the rage. I swooned over him. Thanks for the memory!

  5. Normie Kwong…….if you haven’t already clicked on his name, do so, a true Canadian hero.

    You’d have to have been around in the fifties to know Fabian……Turn me loose, Turn me Loose!

  6. From reams of game cards, to collectible sports cards, to celebrity cards like Elvis and Fabian … you (and we readers, through your posts) are gaining an interesting glimpse (or for some, like me, nostalgia trip) into the past and present interests of our western culture.

  7. Do you have the full set of the car cards? I have all but one, with two others not in good shape, so if you’re selling them individually I might be interested.

    Besides what others have said about Normie Kwong, he was a hilarious story teller, even for an Edmonton Eskimo.

      1. Hi Martin, Is this e-mail? I’m missing #2 and my copies of #1 and #36 are not in great condition. Do you have any or all of those?

  8. Great save from the dump! I love the Elvis and Fabian cards lol. Fabian reminds me of Laverne and Shirley. Weren’t they both in love with him?? Last spring break (back when life was normal) we took the kids to Nashville and Memphis for spring break. We spent a night at Graceland Hotel and did 2 days of Graceland and Elvis’s favorite haunts. It was fantastic! He was a real looker when those cards were made 🙂

  9. It always amazes me how much people will pay for what amounts to a piece of cardboard! I understand objects with intrinsic value but one must never underestimate the power of sentimental value as well.

    Good save!

  10. Those Civil War cards brought back some memories. I used to have the whole set as a kid. Wish I had kept them.

  11. Heard you on weird work podcast and thought it was cool. I feel you on the reason for doing this work – avoiding a living hell in a cubicle!

Comments are closed.