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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Ted Williams of baseball card references
on December 4, 2006
This is, bar none, the best baseball card reference of them all. For vintage (defined by them as pre-1981, a pretty good break point) cards, the small information blurb on each set is great, and the card by card breakdown (including the best error and variation compilation out there) is fantastic. I collect cards mainly from the '60s on back, so this is the part that's most important to me. It also has the best compilation of regional cards I've ever seen. The pricing has always seemed to me to be a bit low (i.e., if you use it as a guide for buying cards, you'll rarely get them at the prices listed in here), but I think that's because Beckett prices are more of a driver of the market for pre-1980 cards (see below for more on this). Still, it's a good reality check on your collection's true value.
For modern cards, it's certainly comprehensive. Even with the ridiculous amount of sets and subsets and parallel sets and subset parallels and other detritus made each year, they pretty much keep up. The big plus here is that the pricing is MUCH more realistic than Beckett. For example, I put together a complete master set of 2000 Ovation (I guess I was bored that year) and did it for - no exaggeration - about 10% of Beckett price. Lo and behold, I looked it up in a later year's SCD Standard Catalog, and the prices were 10-20% of those in Beckett. This SHOULD be your guide when buying modern cards. You're paying way too much otherwise.
My only complaint (as a vintage collector) is, guys, WHEN are you going to separate the vintage and modern sections? At 1800+ pages, with only about 500 devoted to vintage cards, it's getting to be a chore to lug the thing around when I don't care about 75% of it. Other than that, this is the one reference you SHOULD have whether you're new to baseball card collecting or an old kid like me.