With nearly 12,000 sets registered at the time of this year's PSA Set Registry Awards deadline, the judges had an extremely difficult time this year selecting the best sets for 2004. There are so many fantastic sets! There are collections in the Registry which are the finest ever assembled. After several days of review, the judges agreed on the winners. The awards were given to registrants based on, but not limited to the following criteria: set popularity, difficulty, grade average, completion percentage, domination, and degree of competition within the set category.

The following sets were selected to receive top honors:

  • Don Louchios - Best Collection of the Year
  • Ruby - 1956 Topps Baseball (Basic Set) - Best Set of the Year
  • Donald E. Spence - The Lone Star Collection - 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball (Basic Set) - Best Rookie Set of the Year
  • John Branca - 1957 Topps Baseball (Basic Set) - Most Improved Set of the Year
  • Don Louchios - 1909-11 T206 White Border - Best Pre-War Vintage Baseball Set of the Year
  • Charlie Merkel - 1952 Bowman - Best Post-War Vintage Baseball Set of the Year (1948-1959)
  • Vintage Corvette - 1966 Topps (Basic Set) - Best Vintage Baseball Set of the Year (1960-1971)
  • Tom Clark (TC Collection) - 1974 Topps Deckle Edge - Best Modern Baseball Set of the Year (1972 to present)
  • Michael Rakosi (More Stars Than in the Heavens) - 1961-62 Fleer - Best Vintage Basketball Set of the Year (1971 and older)
  • Museum of Sports History - 1972-73 Topps - Best Modern Basketball Set of the Year (1972 to present)
  • Sarah and Joe Verno - 1950 Bowman - Best Vintage Football Set of the Year (1971 and older)
  • Bill Hilsenrath (Quarterbacks Plus) - 1984 Topps - Best Modern Football Set of the Year (1972 to present)
  • Thomas Malito (Teemu) - 1954-55 Topps - Best Vintage Hockey Set of the Year (1971 and older)
  • West Coast - 1972-73 Topps - Best Modern Hockey Set of the Year (1972 to present)
  • Scott D. Ireland Collection - 1933 Goudey Sport Kings - Best Vintage Miscellaneous Sports Set of the Year (1971 and older)
  • Stephen Sutherland (SHS) - 2001 Upper Deck Golf - Best Modern Miscellaneous Sports Set of the Year (1972 to present)
  • Rivard Collection - Hank Aaron (Basic Set) - Best Player Set of the Year
  • Charles Merkel - 1968 Topps 3-D Baseball - Best Topps Specialty Set of the Year
  • Marshall Fogel - Hall of Fame Players - Post War Rookies - Best Overall Specialty Set of the Year
  • Charles Merkel - 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips Baseball - Best Regional Set of the Year
  • thegemmintman - 1970 Kellogg's Baseball - Best Oddball Set of the Year
  • Sarah and Joe Verno - 1959 Fleer Three Stooges - Best Non-Sports Set of the Year
  • The Dreier Collection - Super Bowl (1967-Present) - Best Ticket Set of the Year
  • This year the PSA Collector Hall of Fame inductee is Charlie Merkel.

    The following are being inducted into the Hall of Fame for outstanding sets:

  • Wendell W. Smith - 1911 T205 Gold Border Baseball
  • Don Louchios - 1910-11 Sporting Life (M116) Baseball
  • Don Louchios - 1933 Goudey Baseball
  • John Branca - 1952 Topps Baseball (Basic Set)
  • Marshall Fogel - 1952 Topps Baseball (Basic Set)
  • John Branca - 1954 Wilson Franks Baseball
  • John Branca - Ted Williams Player Set (Basic)
  • Michael Rakosi (Mona Lisa's Smile) - 1957-58 Topps Basketball
  • 707 Sportscards Ltd. -Levi Bleam - 1965 Topps Tall Boy Football
  • Theodore Kotsiakos - 1964-65 Topps Hockey
  • In addition, we had 1,415 members who will receive the "Best of the Registry" certificate for being at least 65% complete and in the top spot!

    To view the list of winners for the "Best of the Registry" certificates and descriptions of the award-winning sets, click here.

    To view descriptions of the 2004 Hall of Fame inductees, click here.

    For information about the 2005 PSA Set Registry Awards, click here.

    Congratulations to all the 2004 Set Registry Award winners! You have truly achieved excellence.


    Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.