The corners of baseball cards are like the limbs of the cards. They’re prone to damage because they stick out. Many of them inevitably get bent, folded, discolored, or even torn. So, it begs the question, can you fix those corners?
There are methods for fixing white corners on baseball cards. Pressing helps to eliminate creases, bends, and folds. Skilled baseball card enthusiasts can also rebuild card corners. Cards are often re-colored or touched up, as well.
A lot of debate surrounds this topic. Some experts feel altering baseball cards damages their integrity. Others feel the improvement to the condition of the cards is worth the alteration. The key is in making sure the alteration is as undetectable as possible. Also, alterations should only be made for restoration, not to change a baseball card.
Can You Fix Corners on Sports Cards?
Serious baseball card collectors closely inspect cards they’re considering for purchase. They look for creases, color variances, and worn corners. They also look for rebuilt corners.
You can fix the white corners of baseball cards, though, if you know what you’re doing. Some people have gotten so good at it you’ll hardly notice. If it’s obvious the corners have been altered, it will defeat the purpose of fixing them at all.
How Do You Fix Corners on Baseball Cards?
Older baseball cards experience wear and tear, especially around the corners. Sometimes the corners get rounded out. Rounded corners mean some of the paper has worn away. That has to be replaced.
“Card doctors” sometimes start by cutting the corner of another card and placing it where a corner is missing. Other times, a “plug” is made from a similar type of card stock. The plug is used when there’s less paper missing. You can also make homemade card stock from powder ground down out of other baseball cards. It makes a molding substance for corners that only need a little help.
How Do You Fix Creases on Baseball Cards?
You can fix creases and folds with a method known as pressing. Pressing involves laying the baseball card under something flat and heavy. You leave the card there for some amount of time until the creases, bends, and wrinkles are pressed out of the card. It should appear flat and undamaged when complete.
When pressing is done right, it’s hard to detect any old lines at first glance. Upon moving the card around or looking more closely, some experts will still find the lines.
Pressing isn’t always good for baseball cards, either. There’s a risk of flattening the card stock too much. Some pressing materials stick to the surface of baseball cards. Then, when you try to remove the presser from the card, parts of the surface tear off.
Be careful about causing more damage while trying to fix a baseball card. If you’re worried you might not improve the condition of the card and might make it worse, then leave it be or take it to a professional.
How Do You Recolor Baseball Cards?
Over the years, color can fade or peel off of baseball cards. It causes some owners to reach for a felt-tipped marker. Color goes missing when cards get folded and the surface cracks. The inner card stock then gets exposed. Recoloring is usually done with a color-matched marker.
Recoloring or touching up baseball cards may seem like a good idea. It makes baseball cards appear to be in better condition. The problem is, it can devalue the card. Collectors can easily detect recolored portions of cards. You may be better off leaving the card in its original condition. Most card shop owners don’t want to buy cards that have been altered like that.
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How Are Baseball Cards Valued?
Most of us that collect baseball cards want to know how much they’re worth. You can get an idea of their values by knowing what factors are considered when someone’s trying to put a price on them.
Some factors are more obvious than others. Well-known players, heroes of their eras, and Hall of Famers are certainly worth more than those who aren’t. Also, rookie cards for players like these are usually worth more than later editions.
Shop owners price cards based on the era of the players. Three eras exist with regards to baseball cards–pre-war baseball cards (before 1945), vintage baseball cards (1946-1979), and modern baseball cards (1980 and later). The older cards are typically worth more. There are fewer of them floating around out there.
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Factors for the Condition of the Card
The other huge piece of the valuation is the condition of the card. Collectors need to keep their baseball cards protected in sleeves or cases. That keeps them in better condition.
Here are some of the most important factors dealers look at:
- Centering – The print on the card needs to be as close to perfectly centered as possible. A card should be centered from side to side and top to bottom. It should also be centered on the back.
- Surface – Serious collectors don’t want to see lines or wrinkles on the surface of baseball cards. A card in good condition won’t have any chipping or color fading.
- Corners – These should be crisp and pointed. Shop owners will look for corners to be sharp. Rounded corners decrease the value of cards.
- Edges – The edges also need to be crisp and clean.
- Alterations – All dealers look for alterations on baseball cards. If baseball cards have easily detectable alterations, dealers drop the value.
How Can I Look up the Value of My Baseball Cards?
There are several ways you can look up values on baseball cards. Some are free, while others will cost you something.
Card Mavin is a website where you can enjoy yourself looking up the value of your baseball cards. It’s free, easy to use, and fun.
Another good free website is SportsCardDatabase. You’ll have to set up a free account first. Then, you can search for values on all of your baseball cards.
If you’re looking for the best “book value” for baseball cards, check out the PSA website. PSA provides authentication and grading services. You’ll find a lot of other useful information regarding baseball card collecting, as well.
You can also go the nostalgic route and use Beckett. The company was established by Dr. James Beckett in 1979. The Beckett price guides have helped people rate the value of their sports cards for more than 30 years.
The question is, “Is it worth it to fix white corners on baseball cards?” And the answer is–maybe. If you or someone you know of can fix the white corners in a virtually undetectable way, then do it.
The trick is to make the condition of the card better, so the value increases. Detectable alterations destroy the integrity of the card, thus causing the value to drop. Make sure the quality of any repair you do to a baseball card is high.
By now, it should be clear that keeping baseball cards stored in protective sleeves and cases is highly important. The best way to ensure your cards are worth the most they can be is to take good care of them. Then, there are no repairs necessary.