PSA Set Registry® 116,038 Registered Sets

Expert Comments:

Welcome to the 2007 installment of the PSA Set Registry awards! As our collecting community continues to grow, now totaling over 28,500 sets, the selection process becomes increasingly difficult. With so many exceptional sets from which to choose, the task feels daunting. I want to personally thank all of our participants for their loyalty and support of our service. It's hard to believe but we just had our 16-year anniversary and none of this would be possible without you. A special thank you goes out to Greg Bussineau, one of the hobby's top experts, for assisting in the voting process.

After a successful turnout last year, we will once again be celebrating our program and honoring the special award winners at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, OH. I would highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend this function. This luncheon is a great place to meet fellow collectors, discuss hobby issues and it provides a nice break for those of you roaming the floor for hours looking for set fillers. With such a long weekend of walking, everyone should give their feet some rest!

While we enjoy honoring the exceptional collections that reside in the PSA Set Registry, the real purpose of the luncheon and the program itself is to celebrate the common endeavor that we all enjoy so much. As hobbyists, pride of ownership is something we all feel when it comes to our collections but we don’t have to “win” anything to thoroughly enjoy what we do. It is that enjoyment we all get from collecting that drives us and brings us together at this event. That is what the PSA Set Registry is all about.

Once again, I think it is imperative that we all realize that the Registry is a program that changes as it grows, which makes your feedback so incredibly important. Whether we connect at a show or if you would like to email me at [email protected], your feedback is what shapes our service. We have big goals for PSA and our Registry program. With your help, we can get there.

Happy Collecting!
Joe Orlando, PSA President

Best Collection of the Year
William P. Bengen (Jean-Luc Picard)

Over the past few years, we have honored a handful of simply spectacular collections in the Registry. The one thing that they all had in common was the focus on sports. Some of the former winners collect baseball only and others collect cards from a variety of sports, but regardless, sportscards are the foundation of their collections. This year, that streak comes to an end as we honor the first non-sports collection in our brief history as the Best Collection of Year. It is an area that combines history and fantasy, one that honors music idols and comic book superheroes. The diversity offered here is like no other on the Registry.

This wonderful collection is comprised of, primarily, 1950s and 1960s sets that cover a variety of themes. Bill Bengen finds himself at or near the top of many categories including the classics like the 1956 Elvis, 1956 Topps U.S. Presidents, 1959 Fleer Three Stooges, 1962 Topps Civil War News and 1964 Topps Beatles Color sets, just to name a few. His collection is filled with dozens of great sets from the non-sports world that span decades of card production. It is our pleasure to recognize Bill Bengen's efforts in 2007 in an area that is gaining immensely in popularity and deservedly so as collectors appreciate the difficulty and fun of non-sports trading cards.

Donald E. Spence - The Lone Star Collection - 1939-41 Play Ball Mega Set - Best Set of the Year
This is one of our newest categories and it will be fun to watch it grow over time. These three Play Ball sets have always been regarded as classics. All three are tough and all three capture some of the hobby's best including three great Joe DiMaggio and three Ted Williams cards, including the Splendid Splinter's rookie. Of the three, the 1940 set is arguably the toughest yet the most underrated at the same time, while the 1941 set is the sole issue to exhibit color. With an amazing 9.32 aggregate GPA, this Mega-Set walks away as this year's best.

Don Louchios - 1909 Philadelphia Caramel (E95) Baseball - Best Rookie Set of the Year
This set may be small in size but what a set it is. For those of you who follow the graded card market closely, it is no surprise that pre-war candy sets have been on fire. Many of these sets take scarcity to an entirely new level and this one is no exception. Containing cards of Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner among others, this set is built upon a nice selection of Hall of Famers. This particular set, owned by a resident PSA Set Registry Hall of Famer himself, has a tremendous GPA of 6.63, which is the equivalent of owning a 1950s set in all PSA Mint 9s. These cards are tough to find period, let alone in PSA EX-MT 6/NM 7 condition.

Baseball

Scott D. Ireland Collection - 1934 Goudey - Best Vintage Pre-War Baseball Set of the Year
Sometimes, the astonishing quality of a set just leaps out at you and that was the case here. With a GPA of 8.83, this set is almost too good to be true. Often overlooked in comparison to its 1933 sister set, the 1934 Goudeys are no slouch. They are, perhaps, even more beautiful than their 1933 predecessors and the two Gehrig (#37 and #61) cards, along with the #1 Jimmie Foxx card, are classics. The great colors which include blues, greens, reds and yellows, make this one of the more eye-appealing issues ever manufactured.

Paul Fleetwood - 1955 Topps - Best Post-War Vintage Baseball Set of the Year (1948-1959)
This set is always near the top of want lists. The outstanding design and fantastic selection of key cards make it a popular choice with collectors. With three major HOF rookie cards in Sandy Koufax, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente, it's easy to see why. This particular set, one of the most contested on the Registry, features a GPA of 8.73. With such a high degree of competition in the category, this 1950s gem rose to the top.

Donald E. Spence - The Lone Star Collection - 1963 Topps Master Set - Best Vintage Baseball Set of the Year (1960-1971)
There are several great sets from the 1960s but almost every hobby expert will tell you that the 1963 Topps set is the most important. With ultra-sensitive colored borders, great combo cards and rookies, this great looking set is a hobby favorite. The combo cards, which started to appear frequently in the late-1950s, feature great shots of Mickey Mantle and company on cards like the #173 (Bomber's Best) and Willie Mays and Stan Musial on card #138 (Pride of the NL). The set also features great rookie cards of Willie Stargell and Pete Rose, one of the most significant cards of all-time. With an amazing GPA of 8.91, this Master set mastered this category.

Dave Jacobs - 1989 Upper Deck - Best Modern Baseball Set of the Year (1972-present)
In the post-1980 era of baseball cards, there are not too many sets that are considered as groundbreaking as this one. With, count them, 800 cards in the set, the inaugural Upper Deck issue changed the hobby forever with a higher quality look and feel. It was the first time a trading card company used holograms on a regular issue to guard against counterfeits. The first card in the set, the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie, has always been a favorite amongst collectors and he is certainly on his way to the Hall of Fame. With a GPA of 9.99, this set is virtually perfect.

Basketball

Jim Crandell (Davalillo) - 1957-58 Topps - Best Vintage Basketball Set of the Year (1971 and older)
This key basketball issue is certainly of The Big Three in the world of hoops along with the 1948 Bowman and 1961 Fleer sets. It also appears to be the toughest. With horrific centering and print quality problems, it is a nightmare to complete in high-grade. Somehow, this set has managed a GPA of 8.00 across the board, making it only the second set to reach such lofty heights in the category. With a ton of Short Prints and two major rookie cards in Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, this set remains a hobby staple.

Bob Zimmer (ZBob) - 1980-81 Topps - Best Modern Basketball Set of the Year (1972-present)
This 176-card set was a symbol of a new era in basketball. Two of the biggest stars in the game's history, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, made their debut here. Both men helped generate more Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers fans than ever before with their exciting style of play and will to win. The set featured a unique, horizontal design, picturing three players. Even Bird and Magic had to share the limelight with another great star, Dr. J. With a 9.75 GPA, this great set deserved to be recognized in 2007.

Football

Craig L. Froehlich (Fro's 57's) - 1957 Topps Basic Set - Best Vintage Football Set of the Year (pre-1960)
Three super important rookie cards power this beautiful gridiron set. Those three cards, the Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas and Paul Hornung rookies represent three of the most significant football cards in the entire hobby. The colorful, horizontal design is met with a host of condition obstacles that make this issue tough to complete in top grades. Print problems plague the colored backdrops and centering is often sub par. This particular set achieved a GPA of 8.56, a great accomplishment and one that must have required a great deal of patience considering the difficulty.

Museum of Sports History - 1960 Topps - Best Vintage Football Set of the Year (1960-1971)
This award category was, without question, one of the hardest to select a winner from in 2007. There were many legitimate contenders. This 132-card issue is one that is basically devoid of any super high profile rookies but this particular set was of such high quality we could not ignore it. Leading off with a great #1 card in Johnny Unitas and closing with a team card of the Washington Redskins, this award-winning set achieved a GPA of 8.91 in a category that contains several competitors chasing high-grade examples.

Bumchex - 1975 Topps - Best Modern Football Set of the Year (1972 to present)
This 528-card issue offers a very nice selection of HOF rookie cards in Mel Blount, Lynn Swann and Dan Fouts along with some interesting post season special cards to finish the set. This award-winning set was the first to reach 100% completion in the category and it boasts a 9.30 GPA. It's hard to imagine assembling a better set, in terms of quality, from the mid-1970s.

Hockey

Julius Narancsik (Northern Lights) - 1910-11 C56 - Best Pre-War Vintage Hockey Set of the Year
Talk about tough... his set is in another stratosphere compared to many of the more popular baseball, basketball and football issues. While the set is fairly small in size, with 36 cards in all, it is a monster of a chore to complete. This gorgeous set includes a host of important HOF rookie cards including but not limited to Art Ross, Cyclone Taylor and Newsy Lalonde. Hockey, while not as popular as the other 3 major sports, has a very rich history, one that goes back much further in time than that of basketball and football. This award-winning set, which has a 6.63 GPA, is a reminder of that.

Julius Narancsik (Northern Lights) - 1953-54 Parkhurst Basic Set - Best Vintage Hockey Set of the Year (1948-1971)
This 100-card set is regarded by most hobby experts to be one of the toughest to complete in high-grade. In fact, this particular set is the first in Registry history to reach 100% completion in PSA NM-MT 8 or better with a GPA of 8.04. That achievement is what put this set over the top as the category winner. With a tremendous selection of Hall of Famers, including a hugely important rookie card in Jean Beliveau, and a beautiful design, it's no wonder that this hockey set has always been considered a favorite.

Darren Styles (Turbo's Hockey) - 1985-86 O-Pee-Chee - Best Modern Hockey Set of the Year (1972-present)
Here is another example of a set being the first to reach 100% completion in the category. With a GPA of 8.46, this set currently holds a lead of almost 2 full points above its closest competitor in Set Rating. O-Pee-Chees, no matter how new, are still tough. The rough cuts found on these cards make PSA Mint 9 and Gem Mint 10 examples extremely hard to find. In terms of significance, this 264-card set contains one of the best rookie cards in hockey card history in Mario Lemieux, which is what put this set into the award-winning seat.

Miscellaneous Sports

Anthony Nex (Griffin's) - 1910 Champions T218 Boxing - Best Vintage Miscellaneous Sports Set of the Year (1971 and older)
These eye-catching gems are on par with some of the best trading card issues from any of the 4 major sports in terms of visual appeal. Containing great early cards of James Jeffries and Jack Johnson amongst others, this 153-card set is ultra-tough. This particular set narrowly beat its closest competition with a GPA of 6.25 but the importance of the set cannot be overlooked. This set is one of the few key boxing sets in the hobby and it helps illustrate the importance of the sport in the early part of the 20th century.

Tommy Springer - 1981 Donruss Golf- Best Modern Miscellaneous Sports Set of the Year (1972-present)
When it came to selecting this set as the winner, it was fairly simple. In the world of modern golf cards, there are few sets that are as significant as this one. It contains key HOF rookie cards of Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Tom Kite, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin and, of course, Jack Nicklaus. This particular set, while not very big in size with 66 total cards, was the first ever to achieve a PSA Gem Mint 10 GPA across the board, an accomplishment worthy of special recognition in 2007.

Marc R. Schoenen (Phillies Phan) - Mike Schmidt Master Set - Best Player Set of the Year
The player set category has become very popular on the Registry but this particular set, above all others, deserved special recognition this year. With 601 cards required to complete the set, this award-winner did just that with a GPA of 9.18. Just think about the diversity of cards needed to build this set. Everything from Schmidt's 1973 Topps rookie to oddball issues like 1976 Crane Discs to 1982 K-Mart card, you have to have them all. There are even some rarities like the 1972 Puerto Rican League Sticker required - a pre-rookie issue featuring Schmidt. This is what the Registry is all about, setting a goal and sticking to the plan. What a set.

Don Louchios - 1964 Topps Stand Up Baseball - Best Topps Specialty Set of the Year
This fantastic 1960s Topps issue is one that combines great eye-appeal, condition sensitivity and a nice star selection. These blank-back cards feature super colorful fronts with yellow/green backgrounds throughout. The green portion is very susceptible to chipping and the yellow portion can be a haven for stray print defects. Along with the likes of Mantle, Aaron, Clemente, Koufax and Mays are a host of the era's biggest names including a tough Short Print of Carl Yastrzemski among others. This particular set features a GPA of 8.51, making it the best in its category and this year's category winner.

Jon Isaacson (Fight4oldDC) - NFL Hall of Fame Rookies - Best Overall Specialty Set of the Year
This has been one of the most hotly contested categories over the past year or so. Rookie cards of NFL Hall of Famers have been selling for outstanding prices in the marketplace because of the high degree of interest. Many collectors feel that the cards that fill this set, and football cards in general, have been undervalued for quite some time. Of course, there are the keys like Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown, Joe Namath and many others but in football, often times, HOF players are overlooked. With the exception of quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, many HOF players and their contributions are overlooked. This amazing set, which boasts an 8.54 GPA and spans several decades of card production, is a wonderful tribute to the legends of the gridiron.

Caught Looking - 1958 Hires Root Beer w/Tabs Baseball - Best Regional Set of the Year
This certainly has been one of the more overlooked baseball sets in the past few years. With other 1950's regional issues like the 1954 Dan Dee Potato Chip cards, the 1952-1955 Red Man Tobacco series and the 1954 Wilson Franks set stealing the spotlight, these gems have gone under the radar. While that may be true, this set will not go unrecognized by PSA. With 66 total cards in the set, including several Hall of Famers like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, this set is very attractive. The design is eye-catching but collecting them with the tabs intact is super tough. With a great GPA of 7.75, this set deserved recognition in 2007.

David L. Abbott (DLA's Best) - 1932 Orbit Gum Pins -Numbered PR2 Baseball - Best Oddball Set of the Year
The grading of sports pins has gained in popularity since PSA announced that the service existed a few years back. While we have named this set as a winner in this "oddball" category this year, there is nothing odd about their appeal. This 57-pin set is filled with great stars of the day including the likes of Mickey Cochrane, Dizzy Dean and Jimmy Foxx. There was actually a strong showing of competition in this category considering their difficulty but this set was far and away the best of its kind with a GPA of 8.62.

Non-Sports

West Coast - 1940 Gum Inc. Superman R145 - Best Vintage Non-Sports Set of the Year (1971 and older)
This set, depicting the ultimate superhero, has always been popular. The 72-card set is filled with colorful artwork, capturing Superman and all of his exploits. His numerous powers and daring rescues are all captured here on tiny pieces of cardboard. Later, the story of Superman would be enjoyed by generations of fans through television and at the movies but this set pre-dates Clark Kent on camera. This particular set is the finest of its kind with a super GPA of 7.26...a super tribute to a super man.

Bumchex - 1977 Topps Star Wars - Best Modern Non-Sports Set of the Year (1972 to present)
This issue has been recognized in the past but this award-winning set was so amazing that we simply could not ignore it. With 330 total cards in the set, this year's winner compiled a collection with a 9.84 GPA, which means it is virtually perfect across the board. The impact that this movie had on our culture is hard to measure but no trading card set could be more important to modern science fiction collectors than this one. It's the set that captures the movie that started it all. All of your favorite characters are here captured in a colorful format even though many of them work for the Dark Side!

Tickets

Chris Corso - 500 Home Run Club Baseball Tickets - Best Ticket Set of the Year
Of all the sets honored in 2007, this one might just be the toughest to complete. That's right...a ticket set. It is comprised of tickets from the actual game when each member of the 500 Home Run Club reached that magical mark. To appreciate the level of difficult here you have to understand that tickets were never produced or intended to be collectibles. The vast majority of them were discarded once the game was over so to find them in any condition is a challenge in itself. From Ruth to Schmidt to Bonds, you have to find them all. While our winner has not reached total completion yet, with 85% so far and a GPA of 6.78, we are all rooting for him.

Autographed Baseballs

Jose A. Soto (Joe's World Series MVP's!) - World Series MVP - Best Single Signed Baseball Set of the Year
Single signed baseballs have always been the most popular medium in autograph collecting. There are so many great collecting themes from which to choose, but this year we thought this set deserved recognition above all others in the category. What makes this theme interesting is that it contains legends of the game along with players who may never be considered stars or Hall of Famers, but for a Fall Classic, they became legends in their own right. You expect players like 1976 WS MVP Johnny Bench to lead his team to victory but did anyone expect Rick Dempsey of the 1983 Baltimore Orioles? With a 93.62 % completion and a GPA of 9.47, we chose to honor this unique set.

Best of the Registry Certificate Winners of 2007