Welcome to the 2017 installment of the PSA Set Registry awards! With over 123,000 total sets registered at the time of the awards deadline, the task of selecting the special award winners was difficult as usual. As the Registry continues to grow each year and more hobbyists assemble unique, high-quality collections, the voting process becomes more challenging. This year, we had some firsts and over two dozen exceptional collections entered the Registry’s hallowed halls. PSA would like to thank all the collectors who have made our Registry program the most popular of its kind.
PSA is coming off the best year in our 26-year history! None of the success would be possible without the unwavering support of our loyal customers. The PSA staff looks forward to seeing many of you at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago this summer. We have some fun promotions, ones designed for the whole family, planned for the big show.
Over the past year, PSA has introduced some major enhancements to the Registry. The focus of our efforts has been on making the Registry more accessible and easier to play. After making the entire website responsive, we launched our first Registry-centric mobile App. Now, collectors can not only access and use the Registry from their mobile devices, the new App makes playing on the Registry easier than ever. With a touch of a button, your new acquisitions can be automatically uploaded into their relevant sets. The response from the Registry community has been tremendous.
At PSA, we continue to look for ways of improving and expanding the Registry. Whether you would like to see new features added to the existing program or entirely new categories listed on the site, any feedback you may have of how PSA can improve your collecting experience is appreciated. If you would like to share your comments or concerns with our team, please feel free to email us direct at [email protected].
Joe Orlando, PSA President
Logan Ward - Best Collection of the Year
Over the years, we have recognized a wide variety of collections. Some of them were focused on one genre and one type of collectible, while others were incredibly diverse. The beauty of the hobby, and the Registry for that matter, is that there is something for everyone.
In 2017, we decided to recognize a collector who not only has been an undisputed leader in one specific area, but is also someone who has been a passionate ambassador of the hobby we all love. Logan Ward has assembled a collection that has close to 6,000 PSA and PSA/DNA-certified items, specializing in one major area – auto racing. It remains one of the most popular spectator sports in America. Beyond the thousands of PSA-graded racing cards that reside in Ward’s collection, other certified collectibles such as autographs from the men behind the wheel and tickets to the most illustrious events help take it to another level.
One thing we appreciate about Ward is his willingness to share our chosen endeavor with others. Not all collectors are wired the same way. There is certainly a healthy percentage of hobbyists that choose to remain private about their pursuits. Not Ward. Ward not only proudly displays his collection at home (PSA holders currently function as wallpaper at his residence), he also placed portions of his collection on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This kind of effort helps our hobby grow and does not go unnoticed by PSA.
It is our pleasure to recognize Ward’s outstanding collection this year.
Jim Chanin (Jim's Goudey Run) - Goudey 1933-1941 Baseball - Basic - Best Set of the Year
Over the past 10 years, Mega Sets have dominated this category. In 2017, as they say, the beat goes on. You would be hard-pressed to name a more noteworthy, potential Mega Set than this one. Goudey produced some of the most significant, beautiful and tough sets in hobby history. Starting with the 1933 issue, the Charles Conlon images doused with color bring Babe Ruth (the anchor), Lou Gehrig and a host of legends to life. In 1934, the aesthetic appeal continued with Gehrig now acting as the centerpiece. In 1935 and 1938, the challenge is taken to another level as each release is considered a chore to assemble in high grade. Finally, the lesser-known 1936 and 1941 Goudey issues round out the set. You need all of them – all 478 cards – from one of the best eras in baseball history and from one of the most revered brands. This year’s winner is the first to accomplish the fantastic feat.
The DBacks Collection - 1952 Topps Baseball Basic & Master Sets - Best Rookie Set of the Year
There are certain categories on the Registry where the competition has intensified over many years between resident collectors, so it’s rare to see a new entry make the kind of statement and impact that this incredible set did in 2017. After being added to our site, this set vaulted to #2 on the All-Time Finest list, carrying a GPA of 8.53. This set, which requires significantly more cards than the Basic set due to the numerous variations found in Series 1 (490 versus 407) packs a serious wallop. This year’s winner is the only one in Registry history to have both a PSA GEM-MT 10 Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in the same set. In terms of sheer monetary value, this is the most valuable 1952 Topps set registered on the site. For now, the collection continues to improve as it seeks to dethrone our longstanding leader in overall GPA.
Jim Chanin (Jim's 1921-9 Exhibit Run) - Exhibits 1921-1929 Mega Set - Best Pre-War Vintage Baseball Set of the Year
For years, baseball cards created by the Exhibit Supply Company often went overlooked. While the manufacturer created sets over decades, the simple black-and-white design had a hard time competing with some of the colorful productions of the period. The cards were often distributed through vending machines, where a person could insert a coin in exchange for one card. Initially, the cost was a penny, but that soon changed to a dime as the product’s popularity increased. Beyond baseball, the company did venture out into other sports and areas such as entertainment. This year’s award-winning set is a comprehensive one, containing 662 baseball cards from the 1920s. This includes what many consider to be the true rookie card of Lou Gehrig, one that has eclipsed $100,000 at auction. This is the first set to reach 100% completion in the category and it carries a GPA of 4.41.
Norman Oberto (Norman's 1950 Callahan HOF Set) - 1950 Callahan HOF - Best Post-War Vintage Baseball Set of the Year (1948-1959)
Any set that is devoted to the best of the best is always going to get its fair share of attention from collectors, especially if the set is one that is feasible to complete with some patience. As a result, this category is a highly competitive one. The 1950 Callahan Hall of Fame Set, one that features black-and-white drawings by artist Mario DeMarco, was distributed in small, collectible boxes. At only 1 ¾” by 2 ½” and with less than 100 cards required (91 cards including the known variations), the set is relatively small in more ways than one, but it isn’t lacking in star power. The best players of the prewar era are here like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, including a handful of players that were enshrined during the 1950s, like Yankee icon Joe DiMaggio. This set, one that resides in the top spot on the All-Time Finest list, has a GPA of 9.16.
Charles M. Merkel - 1963 Fleer - Best Vintage Baseball Set of the Year
During the 1960s, Topps absolutely and thoroughly dominated the hobby, especially in the baseball card market. Regular-issue releases were complemented by a vast array of unique sets and Test issues. One of the non-Topps sets that rarely receives the love it deserves is the 1963 Fleer set. While it may be modest in size at only 66 total cards (plus one unnumbered checklist) and not overly difficult to find in high grade, the set does contain many of the period’s top stars. Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays take center stage, along with tough cards of #45 Joe Adcock and the aforementioned checklist. The set also has a very clean, appealing design. This set remains unmatched on the All-Time Finest list, boasting a fine GPA of 9.69.
Ron Anderson (The Carolina Collection) - 1991 Topps Desert Shield - Best Modern Baseball Set of the Year
In 1991, Topps released a baseball card set that was not considered a big hit with collectors, but then the company decided to add something a little extra in a charitable move. In the summer of 1990, U.S. forces had already begun Operation Desert Shield (which soon became known as Operation Desert Storm) in the Middle East. To help lift the spirits of our troops, Topps sent free packs of special Desert Shield cards overseas. They contained a gold embossed logo on the fronts, ones that criminals have attempted to counterfeit over time. Today, the set remains popular with collectors due to its combination of patriotism and rarity. The key card in the set is the Chipper Jones rookie, a future Hall of Famer. This year’s winner exhibits a GPA of 9.96 and rests atop our All-Time Finest list.
The DiCioccio Collection - 1969-70 Topps Rulers - Best Vintage Basketball Set of the Year
In the world of vintage basketball, there aren’t too many mainstream trading card sets to choose from. Once you get beyond the pillars like 1948 Bowman, 1957 Topps, 1961 Fleer and 1969 Topps, you are mostly left with regional, test or relatively obscure sets. One set that fits that description is the 1969-70 Topps Basketball Rulers issue. While it would never be mistaken for a truly mainstream release, one of these 2-½” by 9-7/8” rulers were included in each 10-cent pack of the regular-issued cards. The 23-piece set is also extremely colorful and, quite frankly, fun. Lew Alcindor, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and a great selection of Hall of Famers can be found here. This award-winning set has a GPA of 9.32 and it sits in the number one position on our Current Finest list.
Brentley Colman Slavik (Brentley Colman Slavik Museum Set with Pop 1s & Ray Allen Psa 10 50/50 Centering!!)- 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors - Best Modern Basketball Set of the Year
In the 1990s, the NBA was going through a transition. Basketball icons like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were winding down their careers, while Michael Jordan had taken over as the face of the game. The league was looking for new blood. Shaquille O’Neal started the youth movement in the early part of the decade, but then another dynamic player made his debut a few years later – Kobe Bryant. Bryant is at the heart of this 220-card set, one that also includes rookie cards of Allen Iverson, Steve Nash and Ray Allen to name a few. Significantly tougher to find than the base card in the same set, refractors showcase the specially-designed coating on the fronts of each card. This year’s winner is the only complete set on the Current Finest list and it has a near full-point lead on the All-Time Finest list, boasting a tremendous GPA of 9.75.
John Woodring (Mark W) - 1951 Bowman - Best Vintage Football Set of the Year (pre-1960)
Bowman produced some of the best-looking trading card sets ever made during the 1950s, including this 144-card football issue in 1951. While it is often overshadowed by the Large and Small sets that entered the fold in 1952, the colorful artwork is unmistakably Bowman. It was also the first Bowman football issue to showcase colorful team logos on the fronts along with the artwork of the player. Key Hall of Fame rookies reside here, including those of Norm Van Brocklin, Tom Landry, Arnie Weinmeister, Lou Creekmur, Emlen Tunnell and Ernie Stautner. Along with the first and last cards in the set, #73 Dante Lavelli is one of the tougher cards to find in high grade. This year’s winner has an ultra-impressive GPA of 8.81 and a comfortable lead in this popular category.
Maverick's 1961 Fleer Football Card Set - 1961 Fleer - Best Vintage Football Set of the Year
By the early-1960s, Topps was clearly the dominant player in the football card market, but another company – Fleer – produced some sets that remain desirable today. In 1961, Fleer produced a 220-card set filled with a nice selection of the game’s biggest stars in Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr. While it’s not known for its rookie card selection, the Fleer issue does contain key rookies of Jim Otto and Don Maynard, both Hall of Famers. In addition, the set also includes a popular rookie card of popular television analyst Don Meredith. This year’s special winner has been atop the All-Time Finest list for several years now, featuring an extremely strong GPA of 9.53.
Joe Rock (Cardguy444 on ebay # ( 1-A )) - 2000 SP Authentic - Best Modern Football Set of the Year
Let’s face it, in a set that features a great selection of Hall of Famers like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Jerry Rice and even key rookie cards like that of Brian Urlacher, the set is all about Tom Brady. When you win five NFL championships, including orchestrating the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history (2017), it should be. Fairly or unfairly, quarterbacks are measured by team success and no one has won more than Brady. Tom Brady is still going strong, but if he stopped today, his legacy is already cemented. Because of Brady’s propensity to win and his immense popularity, the 2000 SP Authentic set will always be desirable. This year, we decided to recognize the first two sets to reach 100% completion in PSA 10 – perfection by Registry standards.
EVERY CARD ENGLISH BACK! - 1933-34 World Wide Gum Ice Kings (V357) - Best Pre-War Vintage Hockey Set of the Year
Designed somewhat like 1933 Goudey baseball cards, a real collector favorite in terms of eye appeal, these World Wide Gum gems take difficulty to the next level. Rarely seen, this important vintage hockey issue offers a nice selection of stars and several Hall of Fame rookies including Dit Clapper and Babe Seibert, along with key cards of King Clancy and Howie Morenz, the most valuable card in the set. This year’s inductee sits atop our All-Time Finest list with a GPA of 7.25. In addition, while not required, this fine set contains only cards that feature the English text only on the backs. The cards can also be found with bilingual backs, with French appearing first before the English text.
Cesare Ruscio (Cesare) – 1958-59 Topps - Best Vintage Hockey Set of the Year
Earlier this year, a PSA NM-MT 8 Bobby Hull rookie card became the first non-baseball card in that grade and from the postwar era to eclipse the $100,000 mark at auction. Not only did that underscore the strength of the classic hockey card market, but it also shed light on just how tough the Hall of Fame rookie card and this 66-card set is. From centering problems to print defects, the condition obstacles are abundant here. It is one of the hardest sets from the 1950s to complete in NM-MT or better condition. This award-winning set is the best set ever assembled on the All-Time Finest list, possessing a GPA of 8.38, which makes it one of only two to reach 100% completion in PSA 8 or better on the Registry.
Brian Manning (B. Manning 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee) – 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee - Best Modern Hockey Set of the Year
There are many appealing aspects to this noteworthy issue. First, the set is of serious size for a hockey release. At 396 cards, this classic issue ranks as one of the most extensive of the pre-1980s period. Second, between the fragile blue borders, rough-cut edges, inconsistent centering and print problems, the set offers a real challenge in high grade. It is much tougher than its Topps counterpart. Finally, it’s home to the rookie card of the greatest hockey player who ever lived – Wayne Gretzky. While this year’s winner currently holds the number two spot on the All-Time Finest list based on set rating, it does have the distinction of exhibiting the best GPA (8.98) of any complete set ever registered in the category.
Ronald A. Sparschu (RAS) - 1956 Adventure Boxing - Best Vintage Miscellaneous Sports Set of the Year
While this is one of the smaller sets receiving special recognition this year, the 23-card issue has always been a key with boxing card collectors. In late-19th century and prewar eras, many staple card issues can be found, from the 1888 Allen & Ginters (N28) to the giant Turkey Red (T9) cabinets of 1911. By the 1950s, boxing card manufacturing slowed, leaving collectors without much to choose from. Topps did issue the 1951 Ringside set, which is still a popular choice with collectors, but it failed to create another one until they made these cards in 1956. The keys include Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and a controversial card of Max Schmeling, who is pictured with a Nazi symbol in the background. The card was pulled early due to complaints about the prominent swastika. In the history of the PSA Set Registry, there has only been one complete 1956 Topps Adventure Boxing set to reach a GPA of PSA MINT 9 or better. This set, at 9.22, is it.
Logan R. Ward (The Stock Car Museum) - 1989 Winners Circle - Best Modern Miscellaneous Sports Set of the Year
Most of the racing card sets from the 1980s are not regarded as overly difficult to find or assemble in high grade, but this is an exception. This 45-card set features portraits of each noteworthy NASCAR driver and those images are surrounded by black-borders, which reveal the slightest touch of wear on the corners and along the edges. The set was released as part of a drug awareness program, targeting kids in the North Carolina area and at various racetracks. On the front of each card, the phrase “Say No! To Drugs” can be seen in plain view. While not required, the #1 Lee Petty card can be found without the word “NASCAR” on the reverse and is considered one of the top rarities in the racing card world. This award-winning set carries a GPA of 9.60 and it rests comfortably in the top spot on our All-Time Finest list.
Chris Collins (Chris C - Mickey Mantle Master Topps Set) - Mickey Mantle Master Topps Set - Best Vintage Player Set of the Year
This year, we honored two different Mickey Mantle-themed sets, one in autographs and this one from the traditional card world. When Mantle is involved, your attention is grabbed instantaneously. In order to complete this set, you need 100 different Topps cards, all featuring the iconic hobby figure. Yes, you need all the classics like 1952 Topps and 1956 Topps, but you also need all the mainstream multi-player cards, league leaders and team cards like the 1958 Topps World Series Batting Foes (w/Hank Aaron) and 1962 Topps Managers’ Dream (w/Willie Mays). You also need the non-mainstream Mantle cards released by Topps like the 1964 Topps Stand-Up and 1969 Topps Super. This award-winner is the first set to reach 100% completion and it has an excellent GPA of 7.09.
Kory J. Koester (KJK Collection) - Kirby Puckett Basic & Master Sets - Best Modern Player Set of the Year
Our task of selecting the winner in this category was made easy for us in 2017 when you consider the sheer mass and breadth required here. Kirby Puckett, a fan favorite, had a career and life that ended tragically. He was suddenly forced to retire from the game at the age of 36 due to a severe eye condition (glaucoma) and then lost his life at the young age of 45 after the effects from a stroke. Most who watched Puckett play remember his smile and the enthusiasm he brought to the field, not to mention his lethal bat. Puckett didn’t possess the typical physique for an outfielder, but he produced Hall of Fame numbers in a Hack Wilson-like package. To complete this set, you need 1,240 different Puckett cards. Let’s repeat that – it requires 1,240 different Puckett cards! This set is 100% complete and features a GPA of 9.46.
David Danberg (pinned down) - 1956 Topps Baseball Pins - Best Topps Specialty Set of the Year
Topps has never been afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to issuing different types of collectibles, aside from traditional trading cards. Most of the experimentation occurred during the 1960s. There were stamps and faux currency and tattoos to name a few diversions, but it all started a decade earlier. In 1956, Topps issued a pin set that included many of the game’s biggest stars such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Ted Williams. In addition to the star power, there are also some notable short prints (Chuck Diering, Hector Lopez and Chuck Stobbs), providing headaches for collectors seeking completion. The 60-pin set is unnumbered and very colorful, featuring the same player headshots found in their regular card set that same year. This award-winning set rests atop our All-Time Finest list and carries a GPA of 7.70.
Rich Katz (Iconic Ice) - The Mount Rushmore of Hockey Cards - Best Overall Specialty Set of the Year
In 2015, PSA started putting together The Mount Rushmore of Cards for each segment of the hobby. These are not necessarily the four most valuable or scarcest cards, these are the cards that best represent the hobby as a whole. It is a combination of their overall importance and the symbolic power of the card image itself. While the set may only require four total cards, making it the smallest set recognized this year from a technical standpoint, it is of monstrous importance. The set requires the 1911 C55 Georges Vezina, 1954 Topps Gordie Howe, 1966 Topps Bobby Orr and the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky. The grades of the four previously-mentioned cards, in order, are PSA NM 7, NM-MT 8, 9 and 10 – resulting in a total value nearing the seven-figure range.
Carl Lamendola (clamendo'59-64Kahns) - Kahn's 1959-1964 Football Mega Set - Best Regional Set of the Year
In looking back over the course of the Registry’s long history, this must be one of the most impressive regional sets ever assembled on the site. Kahn’s, a meat company who was known for their hot dogs, issued trading cards over two decades in baseball, basketball and football. This specific set requires every football card issued from 1959 through 1964, a total of 288 different cards. Some very big names are a part of this multi-year series, from Jim Brown to Bart Starr, and some of those stars make several appearances. While many collectors are familiar with Kahn’s baseball cards, their football counterparts are seldom seen by comparison and far tougher to locate. This award-winner is now 100% complete, the first set to do so, with a GPA of 6.49.
Walker Browning (Luke's 77 Cloth) - 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers Baseball - Basic - Best Oddball Set of the Year
While similar in appearance to their base set in 1977, Topps decided to supplement their regular release with a unique cloth sticker set. While numbering a mere 55 stickers versus the gigantic 660-card set that entered the market the same year, the cloth stickers are often tougher to find since they never quite caught on with collectors early on. The somewhat obscure set does include several stars of the era, including the likes of Johnny Bench, George Brett, Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan and even a rookie sticker of the colorful Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych. For those collecting Master Player Sets, these stickers are a must. This year’s winner is the first set ever to reach 100% completion in PSA 10 across the board on the Registry.
Jason Weil (The Weil Collection) – 1951-1999 Topps Wax Packs - Any Series Baseball - Best Unopened Pack Set of the Year
If you have been paying attention to the unopened pack market, then you know how hot that market has been during the past few years. Over time, the existing wax simply dries up as more risk-taking hobbyists proceed to bust those packs open in hopes of finding a gem. Of all the great pack runs or sets that could be designed, it is hard to imagine a better one than this. You need every unopened Topps baseball wax pack from 1951-1999, 49 packs in all from the second half of the 20th century. Some of the individual packs required are rarely seen. Just check your auction records over the past 20 years. On top of the sheer value, some of the Topps packs from the 1950s are incredibly tough to find. This year’s winner not only has them all, but it also carries a GPA of 8.13.
Dave Lemon (PSUinCT) - 1888 W. Duke Sons & Co. Great Americans (N76) - Best 19th Century Vintage Non-Sports Set of the Year (pre-1900)
When it comes to visual appeal, the 19th century certainly has a lot to offer the card collector who is focused on beauty. There are sets that focus on war, Indian culture, flags, recreation and even animals during the period. While the subject matter is diverse, the quality of the visuals is often consistent, featuring eye-catching artwork. The 1888 W. Duke Sons & Co. Great Americans set is no different. Booming with color, this 50-card set contains subjects from various occupations. Presidents, authors, actors, military heroes, explorers and inventors are just some of the types that fill the set, from Abraham Lincoln to Edgar Allan Poe. This year’s winner holds the top spot on our All-Time Finest list with a GPA of 6.11.
Dave Lemon (PSUinCT) - 1911 Heroes of History/Men of History (T68) - Best Pre-War Vintage Non-Sports Set of the Year (1900-1947)
Once again, through gorgeous artwork, the non-sports world shows us why this genre can be so compelling. This 100-card set, which features portraits of significant figures from around the world, is just about as eye-catching as any trading card you will see. The subjects include everyone from Alexander the Great to Siting Bull to Joan of Arc. There are presidents, explorers, generals, kings and more. The vast array of figures is part of the set’s intrigue, along with a serious level of difficulty. Cards from this set do not come up for sale often and certainly not in high grade. This year’s winner has a near full-point lead over the second best complete set on the All-Time Finest list, carrying a GPA of 6.56.
John Branca (John Branca II) - 1956 Topps Elvis Presley - Best Vintage Non-Sports Set of the Year (1948-1959)
In the world of music, it’s hard to imagine a name that is more iconic than Elvis Presley. In the 1950s, Elvis rose to fame in a flash with his unique sound and masterful stage presence. To coincide with the release of Elvis’s first film (Love Me Tender), Topps created this 66-card set that captures the rock legend at work in the studio, performing at the concert and it even captures scenes from the new movie. The set is a fitting tribute to the man. It features bold colors and plenty of eye appeal. Cards #1 (Go, Go, Go Elvis) and #2 (Checklist) are amongst the toughest and most valuable in the set. This year’s winner carries the highest GPA on the All-Time Finest list, a stunning 8.78, and it enjoys a comfortable lead over a healthy contingent of competitors.
Gotham City Cab Co. - 1966 Topps Batman Black Bat - Best Vintage Non-Sports Set of the Year
The 1960s was a decade of abundance when it came to non-sports releases. Sets based on television shows, movies, music stars and more reached the collecting world. The same can be said of comic book heroes, which includes one of the most popular characters of all – Batman. Several Batman-themed sets were released in 1966 by Topps. The 55-card, 1966 Topps Batman (Black Bat) set is, arguably, the most desirable of the group due to its booming eye appeal. The set’s most desirable component is the #1 (The Batman) card, which showcases the Caped Crusader leaping into view. This year’s winner sits atop a massive heap of competition. A GPA of 9.35 puts it #1 on the All-Time Finest list, ahead of the other 79 competitors in the category.
Michael Block (Gogtter) - Topps Wacky Packages Series (1-16) 1970s Run - Best Modern Non-Sports Set of the Year
Last year we identified another set within this category, one that ranked #1 at the time, as a special award winner – the Best Rookie Set of the Year for 2016. Amazingly, this new set has a GPA that is nearly one full point higher than the previous winner. The Topps Wacky Packages series is one that was not only popular in its day, but it’s a concept that helped spawn the popular Garbage Pail Kids of the 1980s. This light-hearted series featured parodies of popular consumer products. This newly-recognized set represents an entire run of Wacky Packages cards from series 1-16 (1970s), which amounts to 489 total cards, and it possesses an amazing GPA of 9.51.
Al Glaser (TicketCollector) - Collecting Sports Legends Top 15 Sports Tickets in the Hobby - Best Ticket Set of the Year
About 10 years ago, PSA put together a book entitled Collecting Sports Legends - The Ultimate Hobby Guide. The book covered a variety of collectible fields, including a chapter on tickets. We put together a “Top 15” list, which includes a variety of iconic events. From Babe Ruth’s “Called Shot” in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series to Joe Namath’s “Guarantee” in the 1969 Super Bowl to the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier “Fight of the Century” bout in 1971. Only one person has completed this tough and diverse 15-ticket set so far, one that includes Michael Jordan to the fabled “Miracle on Ice,” which is why we selected it as the Registry’s special winner.
Steven Ferrell (SF All-Century Team Collection) - AL & All-Century Team Single Signed Baseballs - Best Single Signed Baseball Set of the Year
There is no more popular medium in autograph collecting than the signed baseball. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Babe Ruth, The Beatles or an array of presidents, it’s the medium that collectors desire most. They showcase the signatures wonderfully and are easy to display. When we came across this stunning collection, it was clear that it needed special recognition. In 1999, a panel of experts selected the 100 greatest players in baseball history. This set is built upon this prestigious squad, requiring 95 of the 100 names voted in. Everyone from Christy Mathewson to Jimmie Foxx to Roberto Clemente are here. The collection, which carries a GPA of 8.23, is a fine tribute to the best the game has ever seen and an obvious choice in 2017.
LARRY'S SIGNED MANTLEs - Mickey Mantle Basic Set - Best PSA/DNA Autograph Set of the Year
Unless you have been living under a rock, we are sure you have noticed the growing market for signed, certified cards. This is true of modern, vintage and everything in between. In the world of autographs, it’s hard to top the importance of Mickey Mantle, whose signature rests near the top of the food chain along with Babe Ruth’s unmistakable script. If you could dream up a set that combined the importance of Mantle’s signature along with the power of the medium itself, it might just be this year’s winner. This set requires 21 total cards, an entire base set of Topps and Bowman Mantles – all signed by “The Mick!” It is pure eye candy for both the card and autograph collector. Starting with 1951 Bowman and ending with 1969 Topps, this award-winning set carries a GPA of 8.57.
Ben Thornhill (West Wood) - 2009 New York Yankees World Series Champions Game-Used Bats - Best Game-Used Bat Set of the Year
It seems like yesterday, but the last time the New York Yankees won the World Series was in the fall of 2009, nearly eight years ago. It was the final ring for the iconic Derek Jeter and the last hurrah for a “Core Four” that included Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. They are off to a good start in 2017, so it seemed fitting to honor a collection built on the powerful franchise. This specific set requires a professional model/game-used bat from the 10 most notable offensive players on that championship club, from Jeter to Hideki Matsui to “A-Rod.” The whole lineup is here, all grading PSA/DNA GU 9 or better, and it has no peer.
In 2015, we launched the PSA Digital Album within the registry so collectors could show off their great sets in a more visual format. As part of the annual registry awards, we give our registrants a chance to vote for their favorite albums. At the time of the awards deadline, there were over 3,200 albums being built by collectors. Based on the results of the poll, our registry community decided to recognize both of the albums listed below. Both albums were complete and each one does a great job of communicating the appeal of these colorful and collectible sets.
Benjamin Whitener - Dale Murphy Basic Set
Benjamin’s digital album is a good example of how to put together a digital album that is worth sharing. His 152 images are sharp and clear and his set description is a good read. This set requires 76 cards and is tied for first place with a PERFECT 10.00 weighted Grade Point Average. With Top Pop Bonuses, the set rating is 11.00. You literally cannot get better than that. Benjamin was a “Best of the Registry” winner in 2016 and this year he wins gold for “Best Digital Album.”
Jeffrey Griffith - Hall of Fame Players - Rookies Hockey
What do you have if you upload 758 crystal clear images of the front and back of 379 rookie cards? And, then on top of that add a well-written description of the Hockey Hall of Fame? You’ve got a digital album worthy of gold. This 2017 win compliments the gold Jeffrey won in 2014 for “Best Overall Specialty Set of the Year” and 2016 induction into the PSA Set Registry Hall of Fame. Well done!
Sets in the following categories that were #1 on 5/31/17 5pm EST (2pm PST) have been recognized as "Best of the Registry." They meet one of the following requirements:
95% complete for vintage sets pre-1970
100% complete for modern sets (1970-present)
1,000 or more cards registered in player and mega sets
To celebrate collectors who have won awards for being number one in their category for at least ten years in a row, we recognize their sets with the 10 Year Anniversary icon. To these collectors, you have our thanks for your loyalty and friendship. We appreciate all you do for the PSA Set Registry. To view a list of these award winning sets, please click here.