Collector score: ***** (5 Stars)
Prices reflect value in Near Mint condition
King Cards come in two sizes: 2 x 3 and 2.5 x 3.5
They are designed and produced by retired printer and sports fan Ricardo Reyes of Greenville, South Carolina. They are printed on glossy card stock. 250 of each card are produced on an AB Dick 360 (2-color) offset press – which means they are run through twice to get full color, then the process is repeated on the reverse side. It takes a great pressman to do this, and a lot of good paper is wasted just getting the proper registration. The end result is, these really look vintage, although they imitate none of the old card sets.
The King cards are not only “cards that never were” – they are also “card designs that never were” featuring vintage design elements, ads offering guns for kids, Chocolate flavored chewing gum (by the World’s Worst Gum Co. according to the fine print), and a fresh design scheme.
Reyes keeps a few cards for himself and his friends, and consigns 200 of each card to an eBay card seller. All proceeds, according to Reyes, are used to furnish gas, beer, and bait for his fishing problem. His first card was issued in 2011, so these are fairly new.
Here is a list of all cards issued by Reyes, and their estimated retail value in near-mint condition:
2 x 3 cards:
1902 Christy Mathewson, Pittsburgh Stars NFL football $8.00
1923 Doc Tally, House Of David exhibition team $5.00
1936 Bob Feller, Cleveland Indians 17 year-old rookie $5.00
1944 Joe Nuxhall, age 15, Cincinnati Reds youngest player ever $3.00
1952 Hank Aaron, Indianapolis Clowns Negro League $10.00
1959 Carl Yastrzemski, Raleigh Capitols $5.00
1968 Phil Robertson, Quarterback, Louisiana Tech, Duck Dynasty $5.00
2.5 x 3.5 cards:
1887 Wilhelm Steinitz, World Chess Champion $4.00
1894 Emanuel Lasker, World Chess Champion $5.00
1951 Reefer Madness, free ticket presented by Oral Roberts $4.00
1956 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Picks: Curley Johnson & Len Dawson $5.00
1956 Green Bay Packers Draft Picks: Forrest Gregg & Bart Starr $10.00
1957 New York Giants Draft Picks: Don Maynard & Sam DeLuca $4.00
1958 Blaze Starr, ShoBar New Orleans burlesque stripper $10.00
1959 Candy Barr at the Colony Club, Dallas – famous burlesque dancer $6.00
1962 Shari Angel, stripper, New Years Eve Jack Ruby Carousel Club $6.00
1964 Cleveland Browns Draft Picks: Paul Warfield & Leroy Kelly $4.00
1965 Chicago Bears Draft Picks Dick Butkus & Gale Sayers $5.00 *
1966 Phil Robertson, Pitcher/Outfielder North Caddo HS, Duck Dynasty $5.00
1968 Miami Dolphins Rookies Larry Csonka & Jim Kiick $6.00
1970 Pittsburgh Steelers Rookies Terry Bradshaw & Mel Blount $8.00
*An error version of the Butkus/Sayers card exists. The Butkus photo on the error card is actually his teammate at Illinois, Bruce Capel. Although Butkus wore #51 in the pros, Capel wore #51 at Illinois, which accounts for the error. Bruce Capel played center, and because of Bruce’s ability at the position, Butkus was switched over to play mostly on defense and ultimately became the greatest middle-linebacker in NFL history. This error card is the only sports card on which Bruce Capel appears. He died a hero in combat in Vietnam in 1966. Only about two dozen of this card were distributed before the error was noticed, and all remaining cards were destroyed. The error card is nearly impossible to find and is valued at $25.00 or more.