Sunday, April 18, 2021

Babe Ruth in Action

Here is a very neat video of the 1920 Yankees vs. Cleveland at League Park.

It features a young Babe Ruth among others, including Tris Speaker, in wonderful action shots.  They used great technology of the day to film several scenes in slow motion using high speed cameras to slow down the speed.  You'll be able to see the Babe's swing perfectly.

The images of the crowds outside the park are really something with everyone in suits and hats.  And the boys chasing one of Ruth's home run balls that went out of the stadium and into a yard across the street.  

The announcer of the starting batteries using a megaphone to shout up to the crowd is very different from today's PA systems and jumbo screens with video and stats of the players.  

The whole style of play is different than today's game, not surprisingly.  The way pitchers throw to the way batters swing.  

Enjoy the hobby all...It's a great one.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Recent Pick Ups - More E98s

 I recently won a lot of E98s in the latest Collect Auction that raises my number in the set to 19 out of 30.

I won four cards, but only needed three of them for my set, so I ended up with one dupe.  I'm very excited with these three new cards.

The first one is Hall of Famer Chief Bender.

This is the only HOFer in the lot, but it's not my favorite of the lot.  The next card is my favorite, the orange Vaughn pictured below.

The E98 Vaughn in a tough card in this set, perhaps the toughest of the commons and I'm very excited that it is an orange example as I really like the orange backgrounds in this set.  This card was where the value laid in this lot.  

The last card I needed for my set was this green McLean.  I used to have a McLean but traded it to a friend who needed it for his set a while back. I'm glad to have one back now.

The last card in the lot was this orange Mullin.  Coincidentally the Mullin I already have is also an orange one but it is a nicer example than this one.  This card will be available for sale or trade in the event you're looking for one.  Just let me know.

Here is the new image of all my E98s as the set sits now.  I think they look great with the three blues that I recently picked up as well.  I'm hoping to upgrade my Tinker as well as (hopefully) land a Nap Lajoie in the near future.  I'll update you when/if that happens of course.

Thanks for sharing in my E98 journey everyone.  I'm really enjoying these cards a lot.  

Enjoy the hobby all...I am.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Howe McCormick T206 Back Stamp Collector

 As some of you may know I have an online project documenting T206 back stamps.

I've posted about this before, but for those of you who are newer to my blog, I have a project documenting all of the different T206 back stamps that I can.  It is called The Great T206 Back Stamp Project.  Catchy right?  

Well, one of the stamps that I have documented on the site is from a collector named Howe McCormick.  I don't have that many of his stamps pictured on my website, but there is a collector out there that has hundreds of them.  His name is Ed McCollum.  And I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Ed recently.

Here is what I learned.

Ed got his first baseball cards back in 1972 when his grandfather bought him a pack at the local grocery store and he was hooked from that moment.  He didn't see his first tobacco card until 1989 when he stumbled on a T206 Ty Cobb Red Portrait at an antique store while shopping with his wife.  He started collecting prewar cards after that.  

First he decided to get a few T206s which then led to more and then more.  He focused on getting one of each of the back advertisements (minus the Ty Cobb back) which he accomplished.  Then he got all the six horizontal cards.  Then some of the rarer cards in the set.  But, after 19 years of collecting, he felt stuck at 220 cards and felt he wasn't going to complete the set so he decided to refocus how he collected.  This led to an idea.

"One of the first cards I got when trying to collect all the backs was a Hindu backed card that, when it arrived, had this rubber stamping on the back from Howe McCormick, 500 W. Main St., Gainesville, Fla. (Back in 1991, you bought cards from listings in trade magazines and didn't have a way of checking what you were really getting until it arrived.) Fast forward almost 15 years, and one night while browsing through eBay to try and find a card I could afford to bid on, there was another card with the same rubber stamp on it. I thought it might be kind of cool to have two, purchased 15 years apart, with several thousand miles between the two places I purchased them from. A couple years later was when I decided I had to focus my collection, and I thought "Why not see how many cards this guy stamped and how many I can find?" So it just took off from there."

Ed sold off all his other cards after refocusing on Howe's collection and the quest began.  As of today, he has reassembled and incredible 383 cards of Howe's original collection.  When asked where he gets all of them, Ed explains,

"In the beginning, most came from eBay. As time has gone on, the cards may still come from eBay, but there are so many people who have seen my posts on net54 that look for the cards for me also. A card will show up in an auction, I’ll get five or ten emails about it. Someone is visiting a local card show, sees a card with Howe’s stamp on it, and I get a text message. More than a handful have come from collectors who may not have ever paid that much attention to the back of their cards, but when going through them will notice one or two have the stamp, will contact me and reunite them with the others."

Ed can also shed some light on Howe himself.

"Ulric Howe McCormick was born on July 31, 1895 in Alachua county Florida.  His father and uncle owned a market (groceries/tobacco) at 500 West Main Street in Gainesville, and both families lived above the market. He lived there until after his service in WWI, when census data shows he married in 1926 and had a child two years later.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been in contact with two individuals who knew Howe, one is his second cousin who until recently still lived in the Gainesville area, and the other a gentleman who met his daughter during her career on Broadway and stayed friends with her until her death. Both have been able to fill in a lot of the information about Howe that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

The cards were collected from smokers who bought the cigarettes at the market, but didn’t want the cards. No one has been able to provide any information about why he stamped the cards, but there are two different stamps. The main one has his name and address in two lines, and appears in black or brown, or some faded version of that. The other version has his information on three lines, and uses his first name, middle initial and lists him as an agent for the Saturday Evening Post. The six of that version I have found are all in a very faded green color.

Howe was quite proud of his collection, and like to show it to the friend of his daughter’s every time he went to visit Howe and his wife in Florida. He tells me Howe had three boxes of cards, larger than shoe boxes, filled with the cards. But sometime between 1968 and 1974, when they moved from the house they had lived in most of their adult lives into a smaller place, Howe sold all but 12 of the cards that he wanted to keep. The friend remembers the name of one of those 12 cards quite well, but it disappeared soon after his death in July 1976 and hasn’t shown up since.

The second cousin was able to give me several scans of Howe as a child (guessing between the ages of six and nine?) and I was also able to find online two photos of him from the 1913 yearbook from his sophomore year in high school, where he was a trombone player in the school orchestra."

He has about 200 different cards with the stamp and several doubles, triples and as many as five examples of the Joss pitching pose with the stamp.  Ed also keeps track of cards he knows of but doesn't own and he knows of 36 examples that are out there in other collections.  He even has scans of several of the cards he knows of but doesn't own just in case he picks it up later he can take it off his known examples list.

When asked what the best part of collecting this way has been, Ed says,

"The friendships made with other collectors, all but one of which I’ve never met face to face. Since 2007, when I started truly rebuilding Howe’s collection, there have been more than 200 collectors who have contacted me about what I’m doing, or offered to help. Of those, there are at least 50 who I hear from three or four times a year, even if it isn’t about cards, but just checking to see how we are all doing. People who started out as an eBay handle or a user name on a card chat site have now become people I know their names, about their families, their collections, sometimes what the weather is like that day where they live. Quite often, we have nothing in common other than the love of old pieces of cardboard. But that is all it takes to be friends. And I really appreciate that."

Ed's focus is still to acquire as many of these stamps as he can and continue to reassemble Howe's original collection.  If you have one of these or know of one, please reach out to him at:

I'd like to thank Ed for answering my questions.  Below is an example of one of Howe's stamped T206s.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Recent Pick Ups and I'm Back (Hopefully)

 Hey guys and gals, sorry I went dark for so long.  I just wanted to come back with some recent pick ups and show my E98s.

I recently picked up a couple more e98s from a fellow collector who is helping me build my set.  He is working on the e98 master set of all 30 cards in all four colors and is so close it's amazing.  

So without further ado...

First up is this orange background Dahlen.  I'm really drawn to the orange backgrounds for some reason, I just really like the look of these.  

Here's a closer shot of him...

Next up is HOFer John McGraw also with the orange background.

This is a really clean 1.5 as you can see. Great image and color on this one.  Here's a close up.

So for those of you who may not be familiar with this set, it has 30 cards in the set and they come in four different color backgrounds: Orange, Red, Green and Blue.  It is considered and "anonymous" set as no there is no ad on the back that mentions a distributor.  Here is an example of the back of the card.

As you can see, a collector long ago used this back as a checklist of what he had and it appears he completed the set.  I kind of like this example for this reason.  But also apparent is the missing distributor name.  Hence the anonymous part of the name of this set.

Also included in this set is a stamp that appears on some of the backs that reads, "OLD PUT 5 ct. CIGAR".  

The "Old Put" cards carry a premium when sold as they are fairly rare.  

I wrote a little more about this set a couple years ago here if you feel like reading that post as well.  It goes into a little more detail.

In that previous post I only had five cards from the set but since then I've added a few more.  Here is where my set sits right now.  As you can see, I don't have any blue backgrounds at this point.  I do have a couple blues coming in though and will post those in the next few days when they arrive.

I could certainly upgrade my orange Tinker and the green Chase will also be upgraded some day, but that one is a Lionel Carter card so I'll be keeping it when I eventually upgrade it.  

I hope you enjoyed my latest post in five months.  I hope to get back to the blog going forward.

Enjoy the hobby's a colorful one.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Recent Pick Ups

 Well, it's that time again.

I've got a few new pick ups to share and here we go...

I was able to work a trade with another collector recently that netted me a few new E90-1s and an E92 Dockman.

I love the E90-1 set and didn't have a Dockman example after having sold off my only one a long time ago.

Here are the E90-1s:

The Fromme is a dupe that I'm hoping to trade for another hit to the set someday.

Here is the E92 Dockman.

I've always loved horizontal poses in these T and E card sets so I was happy to get this Bridwell.

The last card I received recently was another E90-1 that was actually a gift from another collector whom I helped with a project he was working on.  I was very excited to get this one and blown away by the gesture.  

Well, that's it for this episode of Recent Pick Ups.  I hope you enjoyed the cards.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Honus Wagner Video

 Saw this video of Honus Wagner with audio on Net54 and wanted to share it with you all.

I love seeing videos of old prewar stars and games in action.  Here's a video where they interview Honus Wagner and you get to hear him talk and see him take batting practice and do a bit of fielding.  I always imagined he had a strong German accent for whatever reason, but he really doesn't have one at all.

Wagner was considered one of the games greatest shortstops when he played.  He's known to the general public because of his famous T206 baseball card that consistently sells for more than a million dollars.  This generally makes the news every time it happens and spreads the mystique of Honus Wagner.  

But beyond the baseball card, Honus was a great player and a first ballot Hall of Famer.  He was known as The Flying Dutchman because of his speed and German heritage.  He won eight batting titles in his career.  That record has never been broken to this day (although it has been matched by Tony Gwynn).

Wagner debuted in baseball in 1897 and played until 1917.  He started with the Louisville Colonels and when the National League dropped four teams after the 1899 season, the owner of the team took Wagner to the Pittsburg Pirates the next year and Honus continued with Pittsburg though the end of his career.

I hope you enjoyed the video folks.  I thought it was really cool.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Baseball Art

 Well, I just felt like showcasing some of the baseball art that I enjoy here.

There are many many baseball artists out there, but I just wanted to share a few here with you.  These are different styles but all very cool.

I have a degree in fine arts with a concentration in painting so I am naturally drawn to baseball paintings.  Would I like to do my own baseball paintings?  Yes, I would.  However at this time in my life I don't have the time or space in my home to set up for painting.  It is something I will get into when my kids are a bit older and I can dedicate some space to it.

So I live vicariously through other artists and dream of someday producing something of my own.

First I wanted to share a painting by Kadir Nelson.  Kadir doesn't exclusively paint baseball art, but this work is simply fantastic.

This image captures the great Cool Papa Bell sliding into third in a close play.  I really like the elongated figures and the drama they display.  You can see Cool Papa's long leg reaching third before the throw make it to the glove of the third baseman.  It reminds me of the loose uniforms and lanky looking players in the Negro League back in the early part of the 1900's.  

Next up is a water color panting by Noah Stokes depicting the great Human Vacuum Cleaner Brooks Robinson fielding a ball in his signature diving defensive play.

Noah captures the action beautifully with great detail in the water colors in Brook's figure.  The contrasting loose brush strokes in the background work perfectly to highlight the player which is much more detailed.  We see Brooks holding the ball in his glove showing he has snagged it for the out.  The touches of red in his socks, pinstipes on his pants and number really stand out as well.

Christopher Arndt brings in our next piece.  This is a stunning image of the Washington Nationals ballpark at dusk with absolutely stunning skies. 

I really like paintings of stadiums like this that show expansive views of the park including the entire field.  The scoreboard in the background has so much weight to it and feels so imposing.  Even the well manicured lawn with the lines and the well manicure dirt look great.  It really feels like you're at the park in your seat watching the game.  

Our next artist isn't a painter at all, but instead Tim Carroll actually cuts up junk era baseball cards and glues them back together to form "paintings" of mostly baseball cards.  Tim has so many works to choose from but I went with one that I really like a lot.

Here is a 1955 Sandy Koufax rookie card made up of thousands of pieces of cut up baseball cards.  The face of Sandy is made of hundreds of cut up faces of other ballplayers arranged to form his visage.  Tim has done so many other cards from tobacco and candy prewar cards to modern cards.  His work speaks for itself.

My last couple of works are from my favorite baseball artist, Graig Kreindler. I chose these two pieces because they have the advertisements in the outfields.  For some reason I find it really cool when he paints the ads that were on the walls of the outfieldl

This is an image of the great Mickey Mantle at bat.  I love the wide angle image and the overcast weather  But the ads strike me for some reason.  I also really like the water tower in the background and the scoreboard on the right side.  

The next one features the Splendid Splinter Ted Williams up to bat.  

This one has great advertising as well as two large oil signs in the Gulf and Cities Service signs outside the stadium.  Here is a detail of Ted where you can see the brushstrokes.

There are so many more sports artists out there that I obviously could've profiled here.  But I just wanted to share a few of the ones that I really like.  If you're interested in this stuff or any of the artists please look into it on your own. You'll be surprised what you can find out there.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.