Monday, December 3, 2012

A Very Generous Gift

I was recently the recipient of a very generous gift.

 A couple days ago, I opened the mail to find a package for me from another collector.  I said, "hmm, what is this?"  Upon opening it I found a T206 Frank Chance!  But to make this card even more special, it has a double back stamp on it! 

I was floored when I saw the card. 

There truly are great people in this hobby.  People to help out other collectors just to help.  With no expectation of anything in return.  Think about this the next time you are looking at some old cards that you wouldn't mind setting go from your collection.  Pull out a bunch of them and send them to a friend for nothing.  Just to help with their wantlist.

I'll be paying this gesture forward for a long time to come.  And I sinerely thank the collector who sent this to me.

Thanks a lot for looking.
Enjoy the hobby's a generous one.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Recent Pickups

Here are some more new cards that I have picked up in the last couple months.

I know it's been a while since my last post.  Sorry about that.  I've been pretty busy with other things the last couple months.  Anyway, I was able to pick up some more stuff in that period.  Here are some of the things I was able to snag...

First up isn't baseball but I just thought this uncut strip was pretty cool.  It doesn't fit my collection really so I'm planning on selling it at some point.  I just wanted to have it for a while since I thought it was cool.  It's an uncut strip of 5 W529 boxing cards.  There are 10 cards in the set including a Jack Dempsey. 

I was able to pick up this nice T207 McLean SGC 35 at a decent price so I figured I would pick him up as well. 


Now for my favorite recent pick ups.  Three new HOFers for my permanent collection.  I've wanted the Marquard and Foxx for a long time. 

I hope you like the new cards I was able to pick up.  I'm very happy with them.
Enjoy the hobby all...It's a fantastic one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recent Pick Ups

I picked up a few new cards this month and wanted to share them with you.

First up are two new Abe Attells. The first one is a 1948 Leaf card.  The second is a difficult to find W580 strip card.

Abe Attell was an integral part of the 1919 Black Sox scandal.  He was allegedly the messenger between the gangster Arnold Rothstein and the White Sox players in the early stages of the fix.  He was eventually acquitted but he has been linked to the scandal since then.  He was also the World Featherweight Champion for 6 straight years from 1906 - 1912.

The next card is a 1934-36 R318 Batter Up of Joe Heving with blue tint.  These cards come in six different colors which are Black, Purple, Blue, Green, Brown and Red.  I am trying to get a Heving card in all six colors.  So far I have the Black, Purple and now this Blue one.

Next up is a card in a trade.  This is a 1912 T207 Ed Reulbach SGC 60.  This is a really nice card and I am very happy to have added a nice example from this set to my collection.  I used to have another one but it was badly trimmed on three sides so I eventually sold it.

And now for my favorite pick up so far this month.  This 1909 E101 Jack Knight is one of my favorite poses on a baseball card.  I have wanted an example of this pose for a long time and I finally got it.  I was thrilled when I found out it was mine. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing my new pickups.  I can't wait to get more and post them too.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Don't See These Too Often

Zeenuts were produced between 1911 and 1938 and each year they had a slightly different design.

Personally, I like the 1911 set and the 1918 set the best.  The 1911 is just a classic looking set with sepia photos and nice small border all the way around the cards.  The 1918 set is the only set that has a red border going all the way around.  It is this red border that draws me to this set.

Now, Zeenuts originally came with a coupon attached to the bottom of the card and most of these coupons were cut off and used to redeem something.  So finding a Zeenut that still has it's original coupon attached is a nice find. 

I just stumbled upon this card on eBay recently and since it is such a spectacular example I wanted to share it in my blog with you.  Look at the borders on this beauty.  And the coupon is still attached.  You just don't see a 1918 Zeenut in this condition with the coupon very often. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing this card.  You might not see another like it a long time.  Oh, by the way, it's being offered for $10.000.00.  Good luck to the seller.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jim Thorpe Exhibit and Strip Card

Here is one of my favorite cards and it's not a conventional baseball card.

There is a 1930's exhibit card of the great Jim Thorpe where he is wearing his Indian headdress.  Pictured is a nice SGC example.

But what is much rarer and less commonly found is his matching strip card with the same image.  I saw one on eBay years ago mixed in with a lot of other random period cards.  It wasn't labeled in the listing at all as a Jim Thorpe card and you'd have to have seen the pics and known it what it was.  I was bummed because at the time I didn't have the funds to bid on the lot.  It went for a steal considering the Thorpe strip was included.

Here is an image of the strip card.  I love this card.  I hope you like it too.

Enjoy the hobby's a wonderful one.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

T206 BLUE Old Mill Back at National

This is Amazing!  There has been a discovery of a BLUE Old Mill backed T206 at the National Convention this year.

Old Mill backed T206's come with either black or brown.  Until now.  Apparently there is a blue one at the National this year.  This is a first to the hobby and has never been seen before. 
I was very skeptical when mention of it was made on the message boards today and patiently waiting for pictures to show up confirming it.  Several folks stated they had seen the card and that it was legit, but myself and others were still thinking it might be a joke.

Then they said it was at SGC getting graded and hopes began to rise.  Still skeptical, I waited for the pics.  Then, behold, they showed up.  And here they are (borrowed from those posted on Net54).

Not only is it the first and only Blue Old Mill backed T206 known, but it's HOFer Ed Walsh.  I'm still a little skeptical even though it's been reviewed by SGC and was given their seal of approval.  How can't you be?  How could this have never been seen before and then all the sudden an example shows up after this long?  And of course, it's a Hall of Famer. 
It certainly looks real.  And from the posts on the message board, several advanced collectors who saw it said it was a real T206. 
But maybe it's a re-backed one.  Maybe someone used a chemical to change the color slightly and gave it a blue tint to a regular Old Mill back.

In any event, SGC slabbed it and labelled it as "Blue Back" on the flip (I know it's hard to see in the image, but it's on the third line on the left).  I guess that's enough for me for now.

Let's see how long it takes for a second example to show up.  Maybe a collector or two have some hidden away and they just never showed the masses.  Maybe now they will come forward since an example has been authenticated and graded by SGC. 

Any way, I hope you liked finding out about this new discovery.

Enjoy the hobby's a surprising one.

New Postage Stamps

The USPS has released a nice new sheet of postage stamps featuring some of the games greats from the past.

These are really nice new stamps and my wonderful wife got me a sheet of them just hours after our post office actually opened them up at their office.  She surprised me with them the other day when I got home from work just like she did last year when they came out with the Negro League stamps.

The sheet has four different Forever stamps on it including Ted Williams, Larry Doby, Willie Stargell and Joe DiMaggio.  Each stamp is a very nice painted rendition of the stars against a dark green background with their name along one side and Forever along the other side.  

I don't think I posted the Negro League stamps at the time so I've also posted a picture of those stamps here so you can see them if you have haven't already. 

These stamps are beautifully done using a landscape style painting of a close play at the plate on one side and a portrait of "The Father of the Negro Leagues" Rube Foster on the other.  From the back of the sheet:

"Considered the "father" of Negro league baseball, Andew "Rube" Foster (1879-1930) established the Negro National League in 1920, the first successful league of African-American baseball teams.  He served as president of the league until 1926 and established its slogan, "We are the ship, all else the sea".  The Negro leagues operating across the country from 1920 to about 1960.  Drawing some of the most remarkable athletes ever to play baseball, the leagues galvanized African-American communities, challenged prevailing racist notions of althletic superiority, and ultimately sparked the integration of American sports."

I sincerely recommend that you read about the Negro Leagues if you haven't had much exposure to them in the past.  They are a fascinating segment in baseball history and are full of amazing stories of some of the most talented baseball players ever. 

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Recent Pick Up: Fred Clarke T206

I recently picked up a new T206 Fred Clarke with bat card in an SGC 20 slab.

I sold off a bunch of Mike Trout rookies not long ago and turned them into a nice HOF T206 card with funds to spare.  I'm very happy with this new card in my collection.  I'm looking to add another one soon as well.

From the Baseball Hall of Fame website:

    Fred Clifford Clarke
    Born: October 3, 1872, Winterset, Iowa
    Died: August 14, 1960, Winfield, Kansas
    Bats: Left
    Throws: Right
    Played For:  Louisville Colonels (1894-1899), Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-1911, 1913-1915)
    Elected to the Hall of Fame by Veterans Committee: 1945
    With 2,678 career hits and 1,602 managerial wins, Fred Clarke excelled both on the field and in the dugout. In his first big league game, he went 5-for-5 on his way to fashioning a career .312 batting average and topping the .300 mark in 11 seasons. In 1903, he led the league in doubles and slugging average while piloting the Pirates to an appearance in the first modern World Series. A full-time player-manager in 16 of his 19 seasons at the helm, Clarke led his clubs to 14 first-place division finishes.

    Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Another Amazing Find!

    Well we just finished learning about "The Black Swamp Find" where 700 E98's were found in Ohio and now there has been another find called "The Southern Fairway Find".

    Image courtesy Sports Collectors Daily

    This find was found in the southeastern US and was in the family for three generations collected by the orginal owner as a kid when the cards were issued.  This find is highlighted by several cards, but most notably by an astounding 42 T206 Red Hindu backed cards.

    The Red Hindu back is an extremely rare back in the T206 set and a find of this many in one collection is amazing.  Included in the Red Hindus is two Ty Cobb red portraits.  Previously there has been one of these combos and it's in a PSA 4 holder.

    The PSA 4 is believed by many advanced T206 collectors to have been re-fronted and not an authentic example of this combo.  They believe that an authentic Red Hindu back was taken from a different player's card and then an authentic red portrait Cobb front was joined with it to make a Ty Cobb red portrait with the Red Hindu back.  With the discovery of these two new Cobbs it has been now documented that this combo does in fact exist. 

    Also found in this grouping was two new examples of Shoeless Joe Jackson's T210 Old Mill card.  These are new to the hobby.  These cards are very coveted by advanced collectors due to their rarity and the fact that they are such an early card of Jackson.

    I'd like to thank our supporters over at Sports Collectors Daily for this story and you can read the whole thing on their site here.

    Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    T206 John McGraw Printer's Scrap

    I did a post years ago about some really cool printer's scrap cards where the backs were covered in test prints from various sets.

    Here is another one that is on the same level as those ones were when it comes to color and amount of different test prints on the reverse.

    This John McGraw card was obviously hand cut by someone during the period in which T206s were being produced.  These cards come from sheets that were used to test the printers and sometimes they would send the same sheet through multiple times.

    When they did this, they created these sheets that have lots of messy backs and it appears that some folks didn't care about the back and cut out the cards to keep anyway.  These cards have gained in popularity over the years and this example sold for $5,036.  Obviously the multiple prints on the reverse is the reason for the high hammer price. 

    The prints on the back are of Bradley and Manning as well as tests of two different advertising backs, Tolstoi and Piedmont. 

    Here are some images of printer's scrap that I posted about before just for comparison.

    Enjoy the hobby's a cool one.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    T206 Wagner With A Backstamp

    As some of you may know I collect T206s with stamps on the backs of them.

    I also have a project called The Great T206 Backstamp Project where I am documenting as many backstamps as I can find.  It is an interactive project and I welcome everyone to participate if you have any T206s with stamps on the back.

    There is a link to my project in the sidebar but you can also access it here.

    This T206 Honus Wagner sold in the May 2012 REA auction for $651,750.  The last time this card surfaced in the hobby was back in 1997 when REA auctioned it off then.  It is stamped with the date "Oct. 16, 1909" which is the date of the last game of the 1909 World Series between the Pittsburg Pirates and the Detroit Tigers. 

    Now I know I'll be able to add a Wagner to my stamped back collection some day.

    Please check out my project and help me out if you can.  I'm in the process of moving the website to a new location also and that will go live in the next week or so.  It will have much more flexibility in the number of pages and images I'll be able to add.

    Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    The Great T206 Back Stamp Project

    I've finally got my new site up for The Great T206 Back Stamp Project.

    If you have never seen the project before, it is a gallery of all the different back stamps I have found on the backs of T206's.  I also get images that other collectors send to me from their own collections.  I encourage anyone to participate in the project by emailing me images of your stamped back cards to and I'll add your stamps to the site. 

    I've been working on the project on and off for the last several years and have a nice collection of images on the site with many more to add still.

    I'm currently collecting T206 commons only if they have a back stamp on them.  I'll pick up Hall of Famers with or without a stamp, but commons must be stamped for me. 

    My favorite type is this purple number stamp and I have quite of few of these in my collection so far.  I've also documented many more that I don't own. 

    Here are some other examples from the project.

    Please check out the project here and take part in it if you can.  I always appreciate when collectors send me images of their stamped cards.

    Enjoy the hobby's a fantastic one.


    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    1880's Trade Card

    Here's a neat card I have tucked away and almost forgot I had.

    This is an 1880's (I think) Trade Card with a baseball theme.  Trade cards were given away in the mid to late nineteenth century to advertise products or services.  When color lithography became popular, these cards were printed in abundence.

    The one I have is not really rare or even that hard to find, but it is a good example of a trade card from that era.  There were thousands of different subjects that would be pictured on trade cards and baseball was one of them. 

    The game was starting to become more popular in the late 1800's and printers came up with some very nice designs and some very basic ones. 

    Mine is quite simple really with only a couple of colors but some of them are very colorful and are great works of art. 

    A few years ago, the US Post Office came out with a baseball themed stamp that was taken from a trade card.  I did a post about these when they came out because my wife bought me a sheet of the stamps. 

    Here are a few images of other trade cards so you can get a better idea of the different styles.

    This first one is the one the stamp was made from with images of the stamps next.

    I really like these old trade cards and I think they are very undervalued at this time to be honest.  Some of them sell for hundreds of dollars but you can find some for less than twenty on eBay.

    After all, these things are considered by many to be the first baseball cards.

    Enjoy the hobby's an awesome one.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    1920 W520 Strip Cards

    The 1920 W520 set is one of my favorite strip sets of the twenties.

    I wanted to share my W520's with you so here is a little about the set and images of the cards I have so far. 

    Strip cards were issued in strips of uncut cards on thick paper.  They were meant to be cut apart by the collector into individual cards and because of this they rarely get a numerical grade by a third party grader.  They are usually labelled as Authentic or Hand Cut. 

    Also, due to the nature of being hand cut as opposed to being cut by a machine at the printers shop, they can come with some pretty terrible edges.  Many times you'll find them torn apart and not even cut with scissors. 

    The W520 set has twenty cards in it with nineteen players (Zach Wheat is pictured twice).  The first ten cards are portraits (number 10, Benny Kauff, is actually a waist up shot of Benny holding a bat) while the second ten cards are all full body action shots.  The backgrounds are all solid colors.  One of the reasons I like the set so much is because of how colorful it is.  The cards look great all next to each other. 

    Here are the cards that I have in the set.  Note that the Zach Wheat portrait is actually a W522.

    The W522 set is the exact same set as the W520 except the card numbers start at 31 and go to 50 while the W520 set starts at 1 and goes to 20.  My Wheat is number 33 and is therefore a W522 instead of W520.  I picked it up as a place holder until I can find his matching W520. 

    I don't see these cards come up for sale that often so I haven't added any to my collection in quite a while.  I keep my eyes out for them though.  If you have any you would like to sell, please let me know and we'll see if we can work it out. 

    Here is a checklist of the W520 set along with the W522 checklist matched up to it.  I borrowed this from  I highly recommend the site, it's a great place for prewar card lovers.

    Card # Player W522
    Card #

    1 Bancroft 40
    2 Mathewson 39
    3 Larry Doyle 38
    4 Jess Barnes 37
    5 Fletcher 36
    6 Cooper 35
    7 Gonzales (Gonzalez) 34
    8 Zach Wheat 33
    9 Tris Speaker 32
    10 Benny Kauff 31
    11 Zach Wheat 50
    12 Phil Douglas 49
    13 Babe Ruth 48
    14 Koveleski (Coveleski) 47
    15 Goldie Rapp 46
    16 Pol Perritt 45
    17 Otto Miller 44
    18 George Kelly 43
    19 Mike Gonzales (Gonzalez) 42
    20 Les Nunamaker 41

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

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Two Cool Cobbs

    Here we have two of my favorite Ty Cobb cards to talk about.

    The first one is the 1909 E101 Anonymous "Set of 50".  The manufacturer is unknown as nothing is written on the card to tell us who produced the set.  This is one of Cobb's earliest cards and along with a few others it can be considered a rookie card for the Georgia Peach.
    This is my favorite pose of all of Cobb's cards and it is shared in the E102 "Set of 25" and the E92 sets.  The E101 is my favorite of the three.  The E101 and the E102 can be called a rookie card.

    Cobb was a powerhouse at the plate in 1909 leading in several batting categories such as batting average, hits, runs scored, total bases, home runs and RBIs.

    This example (a PSA 2) sold at auction for $2,643.75.

    As you can see from the back of the card, the writing ends with a comma as if businesses at the time were meant to finish the text with their own words and add their logo or business name at the bottom of the cards.  However, I have never seen an example of an E101 with the sentence completed or with a business added to the back. 
    According to Peter Calderon's website,, (an excellent site for those of you just getting into caramel cards) E101's are not that difficult to come by in relation to other caramel sets. 


    The next card I wanted to share with you is Ty's 1910 D380 Clement Bros. card.  This card is not seen very often.  All D380s are tough to come by as they are extremely rare.  This example sold at auction a few years ago for $17,400. 

    They were regionally issued in the Rochester N.Y. area contributing to their rarity.  Personally, I like the set, even though it is a black and white set.  There are five Hall of Famers in this set including, Chief Bender, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Addie Joss and Joe Tinker.  Several of the poses are the same as is used in the E90-1 set including this Cobb

    There are two types of D380's.  The 1909 set has only eight players and they are all from the Rochester club.  They are all portraits in an oval frame with the player's name, position and team captioned at the bottom.  The 1910 set has twenty two players including both major leaguers and members of the Rochester club again and these are in rectangular frames like this Cobb example.  They also have the player's name, position and team in the caption at the bottom of the card.  The ad on the back of the cards is the same for both years. 
    Many collectors have never seen this card due to it's rarity.  I hope you enjoyed seeing it if it's your first time. 

    Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Jersey City: Johnnie Butler

    I just saw this 1909 D380 Clement Bros. card of Johnnie Butler and realized it was the same pose as his 1912 C46 card.

    I collect Jersey City player's cards and thought this was great.  This D380 shows Butler in his Jersey City uniform but as a player listed as playing with the Rochester NY club.  He played with Jersey City before going to Rochester and then went back to Jersey City.

    On his C46 card, the logo was removed and Jersey City was written across the front of his jersey in the same manner as all the other Jersey City players in the set.  Now the question I have to ask myself it, "Do I add this D380 to my Jersey City checklist?" 

    Yes, I'll add this card to my checklist.  Even though he is listed as a player for Rochester, he is clearly wearing a jersey with the Jersey City logo on it.  And, since there aren't that many cards that I have been able to checklist so far, this one will most certainly be going on the list. 

    It'll be near impossible for me to ever get this card since D380's are so rare to begin with, but hey, if I got lucky enough to get my T215 Red Cross Tobacco Purtell, then I can dream of owning this one too.  Now, if only I could find the Pirate back that I'm missing...

    Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Babe Ruth Rookie Cards

    I'd like to profile a couple of Babe Ruth rookie cards here for a moment.

    George Herman "Babe" Ruth has one of the greatest rookie cards ever.  His 1914 Baltimore News card is one of the holy grails of baseball cards.  It is extrememly rare with 11 (I think) known to exist which is far less that the T206 Honus Wagner. 

    This card comes in either a red/white or blue/white combination.  This is Ruth's first card and pictures him with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League.  The card pictures Ruth as a pitcher right out of St. Mary's school long before he became the American icon he would later be.

    The Baltimore News set consists of players from both of Baltimore's professional teams at the time, the Orioles of the International League and the Terrapins of the Federal League.

    Not a lot of sets featured players from the Federal League.  The T213-2 Coupon set and the 1914 Cracker Jack set both do however.
    This blue example was the 10th known example to the hobby back in 2007 and sold for $199,750 at the time.  The red example was the 11th known example back in 2008 and sold for $517,000.  A record price for the card putting it above several T206 Wagners. 


    The second rookie card I'd like to mention is the 1916 M101-4 and M101-5 Sporting News cards.  The M101-5 set was originally believed to have been issued in 1915, but this was later challenged and both sets are now known to have been issued in 1916 with the M101-5 being the earlier of the two issued.

    Both sets feature the same image of Ruth and the same number, so the only way to know for sure which it is, is from the back of the card. 

    They were issued with blank backs and then advertisers would print their ads on them and distribute them to people.  To date, there are 18 different brands known to advertise on the backs with a few variations of some of them.  Some of the backs are known to have been issued in the M101-5 series only and are therefore more sought after when seeking a Ruth example as this was issued before the M101-4 series. 

    This is The Babe's first card as a major leaguer and is therefore also his rookie, even though the Baltimore News card came out a couple of years ealier.  If features Ruth as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. 

    Enjoy the hobby's a great one.