Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Huggins & Scott :: Cobb Star Player w/ Barker Stamp

What's in a name?

Everyone has one, and everyone knows someone elses, but no one knows them all. If you share an interest with others, then chances are pretty good that you will both know many of the same names, even if you don't actually know the people.

Baseball fans all know the name Babe Ruth, however they don't all know the name Snake Wiltse (Hooks' brother who also had some major league experience). Similarly, in our wonderful hobby, most people, whether vintage or modern collector, know the name Al Rosen (it's forced on us all), but not everyone knows Charles "Buck" Barker.

Buck was a hobby pioneer and he gave us all more than we can imagine. He worked with Jefferson Burdick, the father of the American Card Catalog (ACC), in the infancy of the hobby. He helped identify and catalog card issues and, in fact, recalled that none of the other editors of the ACC contributed to the "R" and "W" sections of the ACC, but that he compiled them and Burdick made corrections.

In the Huggins & Scott Auction closing tonight and tomorrow night, there is a card that once belonged to Mr. Barker. We know this because he politely stamped his name and address on the reverse of the card. He did this quite often as cards from his collection do show up out of the shadows for sale once in a while.

As you can see in the image, the stamp is very clear and complete. Now, it's not just that this is a card with Buck's stamp on it, although I think that is awesome enough by itself. No, this is significant because this is not some ordinary card.

This card is a particularly rare 1928 Star Player Candy card of Ty Cobb. This is a card depicting Cobb in his final season as a ball player when he was playing for the A's. The description offered by Huggins & Scott suggested that this card is "perhaps also the scarcest of all Cobb cardboard relics".

The description goes on to say, "A hobby mystery for decades, exceptionally few examples of any card from this uncatalogued series have surfaced". What I find odd is that the series was uncatalogued while Buck Barker had one in his collection. I have to assume he acquired it after the final printing of the ACC.

I know I'm not the only one who appreciates this card for the fact that Barker once owned it. There are several people out there who, in addition to collecting cards, also collect ephemera such as correspondence from hobby pioneers like Burdick and Barker. This card is currently sitting with 27 bids at $5,500.00 and the bidding stops at 11:30pm tonight. Let's see where it ends.

I love this hobby...

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