Tuesday, July 17, 2018

PM8 Our National Game Pins

PM8 Our National Game pins many times come attached to a paper backing.

I was perusing an old auction catalog today as I often do and came across a lot containing a group of PM8 pins.  It reminded me of some thoughts I've had in the past about these pins.  What are the paper backings that are very often found with these pins?

I've noticed something over the years.  These backings are rarely found in anything but NM
condition.  So rarely in fact, that I would never buy one with a damaged backing.  Even a slight crease would keep me away since it seems to be so easy to find them in such good condition.

These pins were distributed 80 years ago in 1938.  The pins themselves are rarely found in NM condition.  At least I am used to seeing them with damage including dents and scratches.  Many times they are so badly damaged that you can barely read the player's name.

So how is it that the pin can be so badly damaged but the backing is so darn perfect?

It's my belief that these backings were all made far later than 1938 and that they were not issued with the actual pins.  How hard would it be to print up a ton of these paper backings? 

Do the pins sell for a premium with the backing?  I'm not sure to be honest.  If they do I think the premium is minimal if anything.

They aren't matched up to any particular pin so it's not like you need the Dizzy Dean backing to go with the pin.  The backings are completely anonymous so you can interchange them with any pin.  All they say on them is, "Our National Game A Baseball Hero". 

They aren't large pins measuring only 7/8" in diameter with a tab at the top.  The tab slides through a slit in the backing and that is how they are held together. 

So what do you guys think?  Am I crazy here thinking these aren't original to the distribution period?  Are collectors already all over this idea and that's why the pins with backings don't sell for much of a premium?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  I'm interested to know if I'm onto something or if this is old news and I'm behind the times.

Enjoy the hobby all...it's a cool one.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hunt Auctions at FanFest

I saw a cool video of David Hunt of Hunt Auctions talking about some of the items in the Auction at FanFest.

This was a cool short video of David Hunt being interviewed by Rick Klein of ABC News at the All Star FanFest.  He is talking about a few of the items in the auction and showing them off from the display cases they are in. 

They talk about Walter Johnson items including some nice photographs.  And they also show a large collection of original photos that were used for the artwork in the T205 set.  It was very cool seeing some of those images. 

They also talked about some Mel Ott items that were consigned by the Ott family.  One interesting note was the photo of Mel accepting a War Bond Popularity Contest certificate with a cow behind him.  David had no idea why the cow was there.  If you do know, please share it with me in the comments.  I'd love to know why the cow was there.

Enjoy the hobby all...it's a cool one.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

T206 PSA 10

There are some very high grade T206s coming to auction soon.

Heritage Auctions will be featuring several high grade T206s in their upcoming auction.  There are a lot of PSA 8s and 9s including names like Cobb, Mathewson, Young, Johnson and even a Magie error card.  But I wanted to bring attention to the ultimate graded T206s here.  That's right, there are going to be five PSA 10 Gem Mint examples.  These include the following cards:
  1. McGraw (finger in air)
  2. Chase (white cap)
  3. Liebhardt
  4. Oldring (fielding)
  5. Bates
I've posted images of three of these (Heritage hasn't posted images of Liebhardt or Oldring yet) here.  You can view many of the other examples of 8s and 9s using this link

I have to say, I can't tell the difference between many of these 9s vs. 10s.  And I would think the centering would have to be perfect in order to get a 10 grade, but this is not always the case as you can see.  They are close to perfect, but even I can see they aren't exactly centered in some cases.  You be the judge.

I hadn't seen a PSA 10 T206 before this, so I wanted to share these with you all in case you hadn't seen them either.

Image Courtesy Heritage Auctions

Image Courtesy Heritage Auctions
Image Courtesy Heritage Auctions
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

T205 Stanage Miscut

There was recently a very cool miscut T205 on eBay.

For several years there has been interest in T206 oddities like miscuts, scraps, double names, etc. 

The phenomenon hasn't been as big of a deal with T205s for some reason.  At least I haven't seen as many instances of oddities with the T205 set. 

But recently on eBay there was a very miscut example of a T205 Oscar Stanage.  This card was miscut top to bottom with the entire ad on the reverse cut off the bottom and printed on the top of the card.  The front, of course, was just as miscut as the back. 

This is a very cool mistake that I would love to own myself, however the ending price was a bit out of my range.  This particular card ended at $1,136.11.  Is this a strong price for this card?  I don't know as there aren't a whole lot of T205 oddities to compare it to. 

I do know that there was a miscut T206 Knight with a similar miscut that sold in a 2015 Robert Edward Auctions auction and closed for $4,500.  This is a comparable common miscut card from the T206 set, although the Knight was a little better condition.

But this goes to show that the T206 oddities command a bigger premium than the T205 oddities.  That shouldn't be much of a surprise to you though.  The T206 set is much more widely collected and popular.

You can search T206 miscuts and find several other examples as well.  There is even a nice Cy Young example out there.  That one sold for $10,400 back in 2014. 

Enjoy the hobby all...it's a cool one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Recent Pick Up

My latest pick up...

Here is my latest pick up folks.  It's a pretty cool card from the M116 set.  This one fits in the "Pedigree" category.  This is my third Lionel Carter card and I really like it.  It's an M116 Sporting Life Nig Clarke card graded SGC 3 VG. 

This is my only card from this set so it's a type card for me.  I don't plan on working on the set at all either so it'll stay a type card.  Not a bad addition I would say.

Enjoy the hobby all...it's a sweet one.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Big Changes at SGC

Sportscard Guarantee, LLC (SGC) has announced several changes and enhancements to their services.

I know I'm not the first person to report this, but SGC has some changes coming up.  As was reported on Sportscollectorsdaily.com one of the changes is that they will abandon their 100 point scale for grading cards and begin using a 10 point scale. 

Collectors will also be able to track their submissions throughout the process and know where their cards are at all times. 

One of my favorite changes is the fact that SGC will begin scanning each card after it is slabbed and before it is shipped.  Collectors will be able to view their cards online allowing them to also verify that a card that is being sold is the same card that was in the slab when it was graded and hasn't been switched out. 

Another new option for submissions is the "Grader Notes Option" where customers can see the notes that the graders make when they are evaluating their card and get a better idea of why they received the grade they did.

Check out the article at Sportscollectorsdaily for more info.

Enjoy the hobby all...it's a grade one. 

See what I did there?  A grade one.  Like a great one.  Ha!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

T206 - The Basics

There is a lot one can learn about the great T206 White Border set, but here are some of the basics you should know.

The T206 White Border set, affectionately known as "The Monster", has been studied by many hobby scholars over the years and much has been learned about the set.  Even today new theories are being put forth regarding how the set was printed, why some cards are more difficult than others, etc.  But here we will just be taking a look at the basics of the set.  It's such a complex beast that it can be overwhelming and confusing if you just jump in and try to digest it all at once.  So let's begin...

The set was produced by The American Tobacco Company (ATC) during the period 1909 through 1911 to be inserted into various brands of tobacco products as a premium to be collected by consumers.  The cards began to be very popular with children and it was common for kids to ask smokers for their "baseball men" when they bought a pack of smokes.   

The cards were printed by The American Lithograph Company (ALC) in New York and were then sent to one of six factories to be inserted into the product for distribution.  Printed on the backs of the cards was an ad for whichever brand of tobacco the cards were packed with.  There were 15 different  brands of tobacco advertised on the backs. 

Backs examples
These 15 brands in alphabetical order are American Beauty, Broad Leaf, Carolina Brights, Cycle, Drum, El Principe de Gales, Hindu, Lenox, Old Mill, Piedmont, Polar Bear, Sovereign, Sweet Caporal, Tolstoi and Uzit.  A large number of collectors also consider the Ty Cobb back to be part of the T206 set as well, but these 15 brands are the unquestionable brands in the set.  The Ty Cobb "King of the Smoking Tobacco World" back is only found with the Ty Cobb red background portrait front and is extremely rare.  For this reason, I will consider it a separately issued card that is not part of the set.
Ty Cobb Back
Some collectors also entertain the idea that the Type I Coupon cards are part of the T206 set as well.  While it is true that these share a very similar ad design on the backs, I believe the Coupon sets are distinct separate sets as well.  Below is a Type I Coupon back with four T206 backs that all share the same design. 
Back Comparison
The backs all identify what factory the cards were distributed from at the bottom and, as was mentioned earlier, there are six different factories.  Some backs were distributed from several different factories and some were distributed from just a single factory.  Another designation on the backs of some of the cards is the series in which the card was issued.  For example, some backs state 150 Subjects, 350 Subjects, 350-460 Subjects or 460 Subjects.  These help identify when the cards were printed between the three years of distribution.
When you consider all the backs possible with different ads, different factories and different subjects you end up with 36 different backs.  This does not include the Ty Cobb back, Coupon back, blank back or brown Old Mill back.  The blank and brown Old Mill backs are considered scraps or not actually issued with the tobacco. 
There are 524 different fronts in the Monster set.  But when you take into account all the front/back combinations there are over 6,000 unique card possibilities. 
Within those 524 different fronts there are many tougher cards than others and some outright rare cards.  There are four cards you should definitely know in the set.  These are called "The Big Four" and they are Wagner (Pittsburgh), Plank, Magie (error) and Joe Doyle N.Y. Nat'l. 
The Big Four
 Then there are the next two cards that make it the big six: Demmitt (St. Louis) and O'Hara (St. Louis).  One thing you should know about these two cards is that they are only found with the Polar Bear back.  There are multiples of several players with Ty Cobb having four examples alone.
Ty Cobbs
 Hal Chase has the most unique cards with five examples.  But many players have two or three.  There are 76 Hall of Famer cards in the set as well.  And there is a subset of players from the Southern Leagues that includes 48 different cards.  These are all a little tougher to find than the other common cards in the set.  One of my favorite subsets is the horizontal subset.  There are six horizontal cards in the set and they seem to carry a slight premium as many collectors focus on them.
 There are many different ways to collect T206s; trying to get each of the 524 fronts (although many consider the set complete at 520 and do not include the rare Big Four), team collections and player collections, front/back combos, back runs of a particular front, etc.  Below is an impressive back run of a Fred Merkle front.  Click to enlarge the image.
Merkle Back Run
Another popular way to collect cards from the set are to collect what are called "Freaks".  They can be anything from a miscut card that shows part of another card, a name caption on the top as well as on the bottom, overprints, missing colors, missing names, proofs, etc.  Here are some cool examples of T206 Freaks...
There is no wrong way to collect them.  So go ahead and jump right in and start picking some up.  But be careful as you may get hooked on these cards.
As I said, these are just some of the basics of the set.  There is much more to learn about T206 but this should give you a good start.
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a Monster!