Monday, May 28, 2018

TPG Pedigree Labels

In some cases, third party graders (TPG's) put a pedigree label on a flip.

There have been many different pedigree labels placed on grading flips by the TPG's.  Some examples are the Rudy Strejc collection, the Collector's Collection, The Skydash Collection, etc.  What is a pedigree label?

A pedigree label is a label on the flip, or the grading label, that states that the card is from a specific collection.  For some collectors having a pedigree gives more value to the cards.  It can add more confidence that a card was not altered since it was part of a certain hobby pioneer's collection or because it was part of a former players collection like the Robin Roberts collection or the Harmon Killebrew collection. 

Well, I have a some pedigreed cards and I find them some of my favorites.  Mine are from hobby pioneers Lionel Carter and Frank Nagy.  And I'm psyched to own them.

My Nagy is a boxing card which is part of the E78 set.  The E78 set is supposed to be a tough set also.  So not only was I happy to get an E78, add to that the fact that it was previously owned by hobby pioneer Frank Nagy and you have a super cool card.  I don't even care that it has three punch holes in it.

The other two cards I have with pedigrees come from the Lionel Carter collection.  Lionel Carter was a great hobby pioneer who was friends with Jefferson Burdick, the writer of the American Card Catalog.  Lionel had a wonderful collection that was sold in 2007 by Mastro.  He lived until he was 90 years old in 2008. 

My two examples come from the two prewar sets of 1933 Tattoo Orbit and the 1910 E98 sets.  The Tattoo Orbit was given to me by a hobby friend when I told him how cool it was and explained who Carter was.  He said he thought it was better served as part of my collection since it meant more to me than it did to him.  Amazing huh?  I was floored. 

The E98 I picked up off of eBay and was stunned I got it for what I did.  I don't remember that many of Lionel's cards being of so bad condition, but this one is cool.  I love this pose of Chase so it was even cooler than just any other Carter card when I picked it up. 

So what cards do you have that were once part of someone else's pedigreed collection?  And do you even care about the pedigree?  Some collectors don't care about the pedigree, but I find it pretty cool. 

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Recent Pick Up

Ok, Ok, I know, it's not baseball...

...But I just picked up a sweet card that I'm pretty psyched about.  It's an E79 Scrappers boxing caramel card.  Why am I so excited to have it you may ask?  Well, this one has a very rare red back as opposed to the regular black back that the set normally has. 
According to Adam Warshaw's boxing cards website these red backed cards are very rarely seen.  I happened on this one on eBay recently along with two other red backed cards.  The other two subjects were Stanley Ketchell and Abe Attell.  I would've loved to have gotten the Attell but I wasn't fortunate enough to get him.  I was very happy to land this one though. 
The seller didn't make any mention of the backs of these three cards being the rare red back versions.  In fact the Attell was even mislabeled as an E77 instead of an E79. 
The seller did have several E77s also and they all went for way more than I thought they would considering their condition.  I recently picked up an E77 for a best offer of $3.50.  I know that's a steal and I was excited about that one too, but these ones that were in similar grade to the one I got all sold for over $100.  But I digress...
I never thought I would find a red back E79 to be honest.  I'd never seen one before a couple weeks ago.  I knew they existed, but never saw one.  I've only really been passively collecting the set for a little over a year but I did collect the horizontal cards from the set years ago.  So I've been looking at them for years now. 
I'm not too concerned about the condition being what it is either as the examples on Adam's website are in equally bad condition leading me to believe that just finding an example is tough enough let alone finding a nice condition one. 
This one had the best back of the three on eBay in my opinion also and since the back is the big deal I thought that was nice too. 
I hope you like this new pick up as much as I do.
Enjoy the hobby's a colorful one.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

From eBay to REA

Robert Edward Auctions (REA) recently completed their Spring 2018 Auction.
One of the highlights for me was an extremely rare backed T206 portrait of Ty Cobb with the red background.  The back of this card has the very elusive Broad Leaf 460 back.  This is considered the fourth most difficult back to find an example of out of thirty nine possible backs.

Image courtesy Robert Edward Auctions
The 460 refers to the number of subjects noted on the back of the card.  Some list 150, some list 350 and some list 460 (and there is mixtures of these as well).  Broad Leaf 350 cards are also very scarce and hard to find examples of but the 460 is more difficult. 
To put the rarity of this Cobb in perspective, there was only one previously known example of this particular front/back combo in the hobby before this one was discovered.  The gentleman who did find this example was out on a trip looking through items being sold at the house this card was in.  He knew it was an important card as he already had a T206 Ty Cobb red background in his personal collection, but didn't know this back was so rare. 
He decided to sell this Cobb, keeping his other example, and listed it on eBay.  When knowledgeable collectors began asking him about the card and people started talking about it possibly not being legit, he realized there was something more to this card than just the fact that it's a Cobb.  He pulled the listing and contacted REA.

Image courtesy Robert Edward Auctions
After speaking with the auction house he sent this Cobb card to their offices to be examined.  REA card experts all took a look at it and determined it was legit.  It was sent to SGC to be graded and authenticated and came back with the numerical grade of 10/1 poor.  There are several condition issues with this card including the very clear horizontal crease in the middle that contribute to this grade. 
There are now two of these amazing cards residing in SGC holders in the hobby.  The gentleman decided to consign this Cobb and several other cards he owned in the latest REA auction.  The Cobb opened at $25,000 and garnered 19 bids ending at $60,000.  I actually thought it would go for more considering what it is: A Ty Cobb red background, one of the most popular cards from the T206 set, the most popular tobacco set in the hobby, with one of the rarest backs possible, of which only two are now known. 

The latest sale of the T206 Cobb with Ty Cobb back in the last Heritage Auction realized $408,000.00.  Now I know, that one was graded PSA 3.5 and the Ty Cobb back is ranked tougher than the Broad Leaf 460, but I'm still surprised this BL460 didn't go for more money. 

What do you guys think? 

Enjoy the hobby's a broad one.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

W572 With Red Tint

I have had this card for some time now and a semi recent post on Net54 about colorized 1939 Play Balls reminded me of it.

I've always really liked the W572s for some reason.  I like the images, the fact that so many of them were terribly miscut by kids back in the day, the difficulty of completing the set, etc.  There are cards for both Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb in the same set. 

My card here is a common of Jack Smith, but it has red tinting applied to it.  Here are a couple examples of the 1939 Play Balls from Net54 with the colorization.


This red could've been added by the factory for some reason or by a collector after the fact, but it seems odd that red is the prevalent color used if it was after the fact.  The Stengel has blue as did another card on the message board.  But red seems to be the main color. 

Here is my W572 example.

What do you think guys?  Looks legit to me in person.  You can see the red tint in the sleeves and near the back pocket.  And clearly in the hat.  Let me know if you have ever seen any other W572s with color tinting.
Enjoy the hobby's a colorful one.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Just Because...

This post is just because I like my C46 Jersey City Skeeters set so much.


Enjoy the hobby's a fun one.

Some Toy Cannon Pick Ups

I'm a bit of a fan of Jimmy "Toy Cannon" Wynn.

In OBC (an online vintage card trading group to which I belong) we have something called the Hall of Mediocrity.  Any member can nominate a ballplayer that has cards pre-1980 and doesn't have a chance to make the Hall of Fame. Well, my nominee was Jimmy Wynn. 

If you visit my online trading site you'll see I have a page dedicated to my Jimmy Wynn needs with a few examples pictured as well.  I recently picked up a couple more oddball cards that I'd like to share.

First up is a 1968 Bazooka panel.  It has a little tape residue on it, but if you know me then you know I don't care. 

It has a nice image of a young Wynn early in his career with Houston.  He would become a beloved Astro through his career as a bit of a slugger.  Hank Aaron even called him the home run champ once.

I also recently picked up another card that I didn't think I would have any time soon.  It's not in the best of shape, but again, if you know me then you know I don't care.  It's a 1967 Topps Test Punch Out.  I really like this card a lot.  I really thought they were much bigger and when I got it in the mail it wasn't as big as a dollar bill. 
Well, those are a couple of my new Jimmy Wynn pick ups.  I'll try to share some more of my Toy Cannon collection in future posts as well.  If you'd like to help with my Wynn collection, take a look at my online wantlist and let me know if you have anything I can use. 
Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Baseball Punchboards

I recently picked up a couple of these interesting baseball punchboards.

I've always wanted a Diamond Dust punchboard and someday I'll probably get one.  The Diamond Dust version had actual ball players rolled up in the individual punch outs.

There were Diamond Dust punchboards in different eras.  The pictured board listed players such as Ott, DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Gehringer and Hubbell. 

Different players would win you different amounts of money with the largest win being $1.00. 

These were used in stores to stimulate commerce and keep customers spending money in the store.  There were all sorts of different punchboards but I like the baseball ones.

The "cards" that you pulled from these punchboards were crude drawings of the players that did actually resemble them with their names written across the bottom of the cards.

The Joe DiMaggio example shown is one of these cards.

As stated, there were different punchboards for different periods.  Pictured here is a later version from the 5o's.

The players listed on this board are the likes of Mantle, Kaline, Berra, Snider, Banks, Piersall and Kuenn.  Here is a close up of the top of the board,


Now let's take a look at the two punchboards that I picked up.  Remember, I would like to someday get myself a Diamond Dust board, but for now I will settle for these two.

Mine don't actually name any players on them.  They have plays that could happen in the course of a game and a matching number of candy as prizes for the different plays.  These can be had for a surprisingly low price tag (I'm sure because they are so generic) which puts them right in my wheel house. 
Enjoy the hobby's a fun one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Great site for Pre-War fans...

There is a very nice site out there for Pre-War cards info and articles.

If you guys haven't been to Pre-War Cards yet, and you're interested in the prewar hobby, then you are totally missing out.  My friend Anson has created a very comprehensive site that covers prewar baseball, basketball, football and hockey.  He has numerous very informative articles and insights for you collectors.  It's a very important resource for you prewar guys. 

I had a chance to speak with Anson and below is our exchange,

1. How many years have you been in to Prewar collectibles?
I've been dabbling in pre-war for a long time, collecting older cards here and there. I've collected cards for about 30 years now and have had some older cards much of that time. But about four years ago, I decided to get exclusively into pre-war. By that point, I had mostly sold off my modern cards as I been working on some vintage sets. But about four years ago, I sold off those to get started on a T206 set and decided to go exclusively into pre-war shortly after that. 
2. What are some of your favorite sets from pre WWI?
T206 is probably my favorite. I'm amazed every time I look at those cards and I think it's hands down the top set ever created in any era. T205 and T207 are closely behind for me and, recently, I've gotten more into the early caramel sets. Those cards are significantly rarer than tobacco issues but the market is a bit down right now so they're a little more affordable than they were about five years ago while tobacco cards are on the rise. I'm working on a T205, T206 (minus the big four), and T207 set run and am down to my last 21 cards in T207 to complete it. Those sets have really been my primary focus.
3. Are you only into prewar sports or do you like non-sports as well?
I tried to get into non-sports a while back but it was a tough sell. I'm working on several sports sets so maybe if I wasn't so tied up with those, I'd be more inclined to get into the non-sports a little more. It's just really difficult with the other stuff I'm collecting. But while I don't do much with non-sports, I do collect some of the minor sports - stuff like boxing, tennis, golf, etc. I have quite a few international pre-war cards and sets and those are interesting because they're generally in better shape. Collecting in other countries seemed to be more of an adult thing as people took better care of their cards than they did here. You can find a lot of UK sets in NM condition just because they often went untouched. 
4. What are some of your rarest prewar items?
A lot of the rarer stuff I have is really oddball type of stuff. I have some Cobbs, Ruths, Mathewsons, etc., but the rarer stuff I have is more along the lines of type card stuff. For example, I recently picked up an 1887 Little Rhody Cut Plug card (cataloged as N557) of the female baseball player. It's a very rare card and I've only seen a handful of them. I also recently picked up a high-grade Home Run Baker 1913 Barker Game card with the Fenway Breweries overprint. Another pretty rare card - I think about 20 have been graded. I also have some rarer 1800s trade cards. Set collecting is my focus but I'm really into rarer individual cards like that.
5. What drove you to create
I'm a writer at heart and I just noticed there wasn't anything like it for only pre-war cards. There are other sites for pre-war collectors to be sure. Net54, for example, is the biggest community of collectors but it's a message board. Old Cardboard had a great magazine and a website cataloging baseball sets but it's not a blog, per se, and is limited to only baseball. There was nothing else like it that I could find and since creating it, collectors have echoed those thoughts to me. My site really serves two purposes. First, it has overviews for practically every major pre-war set out there across all four of the major sports and an easily searchable database. Second, it's regularly updated with several blog posts a week.
The posts are interesting in that I try to cater to everyone. There's some more in-depth stuff on specific issues for more advanced pre-war collectors and there's also a lot of stuff for new collectors unfamiliar with pre-war cards. The biggest challenge is probably striking the right balance and trying to write stuff that's appealing for the entire range of collectors that read the site. I've heard from both types of readers and the traffic has grown significantly in the past six months so I know it's a pretty varied readership.
6. What are you favorite prewar cards?  Regardless of set, just the cards.
I really like a lot of the Christy Mathewson stuff, for whatever reason. The Mathewson dark cap T206 is probably my favorite 'mainstream' card of all time. But, like I said, I also really enjoy some of the odder stuff featuring generic players. The Little Rhody card that I just picked up, for example, is probably my favorite card of this moment. There's also a really cool baseball trade card that was created in the late 1870s or early 1880s by a company called Boss Pat Cases that sold pocket watches. I love that card and have two of them. They're rarely seen. Finding them was weird as I'd been looking for one for a while and hadn't spotted any. Then, within the space of a few months, two popped up on eBay and I won them both. A lot of my favorite stuff is stuff that isn't commonly seen or known about.
7. How long does it take you to write a new article for the site?
It all depends. Some of the more in-depth stuff takes quite a while. I recently was in touch with the family of George Groves, the inventor of the 1924 Mails Game set. I spent probably about 30 hours in email communication, reviewing files, and writing to piece together an article I recently released. Other stuff takes maybe an hour. It all depends on the topic. Generally, the in-depth stuff where I dig and have to do a lot of research is the longer stuff, as you'd probably imagine. 
8. Do you have any partners or is Pre-War Cards only you?
The website is a one-man operation. I'm pretty neurotic so that probably works best. The biggest part was setting up the set database initially where I provide overviews of all of the sets. Between sets and some individual issues like trade cards, I've got about 1,000 cataloged across all four of the major sports. Getting that set up as well as the rest of the site initially took about nine months and even then, I wasn't real pleased with how it looked. I then spent about another six months refining pages and cleaning them up while expanding them quite a bit and adding more photos. It's much closer now to what I envisioned but still far from perfect. Because it's a one-man operation, some errors surely exist and I just clean them up as I go. It's a work in progress and I expect it will always be that way somewhat. And that's okay - we're talking baseball cards, not nuclear physics. Still, I hope it's a valuable resource for folks and judging by the feedback I've gotten, it has been.
As you can see, Anson is very motivated to keep his site informative and keep it a valuable resource for anyone interested in prewar cards.  I really like that it isn't just for baseball, but also football, basketball and hockey. 
I did ask Anson one thing that I really wanted to know.  Does he plan on adding boxing to the list of sports on the site.  I only asked because I collect some boxing sets and I really like quite a few of the different sets.  He was honest and frank and let me know that there are no plans for adding boxing at this time.  In his defense, there are very many different and obscure boxing issues and adding them to the site would be a major undertaking.  We're talking hundreds more pages just to cover the sets. 
So please take a look at and spend some time checking it out.  I think you'll find it very informative and interesting. 
Enjoy the hobby's a great one.