Sunday, May 5, 2019

T206 Walter Johnson Portrait PSA 9

The PSA 9 T206 Walter Johnson Portrait that was being auctioned off on eBay has ended without a sale.

A few posts ago I mentioned that there was a PSA 9 T206 Walter Johnson portrait being sold on eBay and that I might do a follow up on it after it ended.  Well, the auction ended and the card did not meet the reserve.

The bids were strong getting 33 bids up to $89,188.86.  That's a decent price but the seller wanted more apparently.  I know I would if it were my card. 

 
 
This card has been skyrocketing in value the last few years.  In fact, two different PSA 9 Johnson portraits sold in 2018 by Heritage Auctions and they realized $108K and $114K with buyer's premium.  So this one could've gone much higher than $89K. 

The reserve likely kept some bids away as potential bidders sometimes assume the reserve is going to be a ridiculous number and won't be reached anyway. 

Let's see if it resurfaces on eBay again with a lower reserve or no reserve and see what happens.  

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

Friday, May 3, 2019

Recent Pick Ups

Well, I don't usually talk about modern cards, but I am a sucker for 80's rookies.

I recently picked up three cards that I'd like to share with you.  The first one is vintage, a 1968 Atlantic Oil of Bob Gibson.  This card finished the set for me, although now I'll have to separate my set into the two different back types.  One is the rules back and the other is the play ball back.  Then I'll have to complete each separate set, again.  Good thing I like this set.

 
Next up are two great 80's rookies.  One is the 1989 Donruss the Rookies Ken Griffey Jr.  I like this one much better than his regular 1989 Donruss card.  I think the pose is better and I like the Rookies logo in the upper right corner.


And then in keeping with the 80's rookies, I picked up a 1987 Classic Travel Barry Bonds.  This is the yellow back version so not as rare as the green back, but I needed them both anyway so this one works for now.  I really like the yellow border on this one along with the yellow in Barry's Pirates uniform.


So those are my recent pick ups folks.  I hope you like them as much as I do.

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Jim Thorpe Cards

I was just thinking about Jim Thorpe and the cards he has from his playing days and after and thought I would post a little about them.

There are several cards of Jim from the early years but many may not be well known.  Here are some of his more common cards.

This is Jim's 1933 Goudey Sport Kings card featuring Jim as a football player. 

On the back of this card it talks about Jim being born in Oklahoma in 1888 as part of the Sac and Fox Tribe.  He attended the Carlisle Indian School and excelled at all sports.

He was especially known for his prowess at football scoring 198 points in 1912. 

He also played baseball, basketball and track and won the decathlon and pentathlon in the Olympics. 

It's easy to see why Jim was considered a Sport King in this set. 

Another very common card for Jim is his 1955 Topps All American Football card.  This is one of my favorites of his just because of the image on the card.  It's a very powerful card.

 
This card features Jim in his Carlisle uniform suited up and ready for battle on the field.
 
There are a couple of cards of Jim during his playing days that command a decent premium these days.  One of these cards is his 1916 M101-5 Sporting News.  This is a wonderful card.
 

This card features Jim during his stint with the NY Giants in the National League.  There is another card showing Jim on the Giants that is very rarely seen.  It is the 1915 W-Unc strip card featured here.
 
 
This is one of my favorite Thorpe cards and I like the other cards from this obscure set as well. 
 
Another card that is very rare from his playing days is his Colgan's Chips Tin Tops card.  This is a very hard to find card that doesn't show up for sale very often at all.  The odd thing about this card is the fact that Jim's portrait is hand drawn instead of a photo like most of the other cards in the set. 
Are there any more cards from Jim's playing days?  Actually, yes, there is one more that depicts Jim in the Pacific Coast League after his career with the NY Giants.  Not everyone knows he played in the PCL but he did.
 
This card is Jim's 1922 Zeenut card when he was playing for Portland.
 
 
 
There are some other really cool cards of Jim out there as well.  Of course, Jim was an America Indian and he embraced his heritage.  So it isn't a surprise to see him on some cards in his Indian attire.
 
Here are three examples of some 1930's Exhibits in three different colors of Jim in his ceremonial head dress. 
 
 
While these aren't the easiest of exhibits to find, they also produced smaller strip cards of the same pose that are even harder to find. 
 
 
 
There is another variation of this strip card with the dotted lines on the bottom as well.


There is also a really cool post card that issued of Jim in the 1912 Olympics that can be found with a little searching.


And for good measure, I'll mention the card that was issued in 1959 in the Fleer Ted Williams set that pictures Jim along with Ted.


 
Then, although they aren't cards, how can you talk about Jim Thorpe cards without mentioning the stamps that were made in his honor as well.  Here are two beautiful postage stamps commemorating the greatest overall athlete.



Does that football pose look familiar?  It's the same image as on his 1955 Topps All American football card.
 
If you don't know much about Jim Thorpe, you should read a little about him.  He was an amazing athlete who was treated wrongly (in my opinion) after proving his amazing skills in the Olympics. 
 
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.
 


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

One of the Big 4 on eBay

There is a decent SGC 1.5 T206 Eddie Plank on eBay right now.

It's a BIN or Best Offer right now with the BIN at $53,999.00.  I know there is a T206 Walter Johnson PSA 9 on the Bay at auction that is currently at $80,100.00 but I'm more interested in the Plank. 

I've always been fascinated by the Eddie Plank because it's such a nice looking card that just doesn't show up all that often.  I understand the PSA 9 Johnson is rare too in that condition, but I still like the Plank more.

 
The back bothers me a little bit as it has some clear writing.  You know I like back stamps but this writing doesn't do anything for me.
 
 
I'd still like to see if this one sells.  I can't imagine it would sell for the asking price when they have the offer option.  Maybe I'll do a follow up on the Johnson when that auction ends.  At least we'll know what the hammer price is there.
 
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Some Random Pick Ups

Figured I would share some new pick ups I recently acquired.

This is just for fun really, but I trade cards with a bunch of guys and I recently received this card in a batch of others.  Its a 1966 Topps of Bill Faul, but what I love about it is the added details.  The scars, glasses, big tooth and goatee.  I love vintage cards like this that have writing all over them. 

 
Just look at this beauty,  I love it.
 
Earlier today I decided to pick up some 2018 Topps packs that were on sale for $1.50 each.  I wasn't expecting much more than just the fun of opening some packs.  But I was fairly excited to find this Evan Longoria jersey card.  I know it's not some huge hit, but any relic card is a cool pull for me. 
 
 
The only modern cards I really collect are the relic cards so I'm happy with this one.  I generally give away the rest of the cards to other guys I trade with. 
 
Lastly I was excited to pick up this new E93 Fred Clarke for that set.  This card puts me at 50% completion on the set. 
 
 
So those are some of my recent pick ups guys. A rather eclectic mix this time I think.  But all well loved cards. 
 
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.



Saturday, April 27, 2019

New Beckett Vintage Collector

I recently received the current issue of Beckett Vintage Collector.

It was actually gifted to me by a friend (hi Linda) because it had an article in it related to T206 back stamps.  I was thrilled to get it and read the article.  It even pictured several card images that I have featured in my Great T206 Back Stamp Project including one of my very own cards. 

I was a little surprised my project wasn't mentioned in the article at all, but that's not a big deal.  I was just happy that back stamps were getting recognition.  The article focused on a few specific stamps like the F Scott Fitzgerald stamps, Jefferson Burdick, Date stamps, and quite a bit of focus on the Howe McCormick collection of Ed McCullum.  That collection is amazing and I've very happy it was featured in the article. 

Then as I read more articles in the magazine, I started reading about the 1912 T207 set and noticed something.  The article was written by our friend Anson Whaley.  Nice article Anson.  Gave me more appreciation for the set that I didn't really have before.

So if you get a chance to pick up the issue, here is an image of it for reference.  I would recommend it.

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

Saturday, April 6, 2019

ID Help - What are these?

I recently picked up these two very interesting cards of Frank Chance and Frank Baker.

As you can see, they are orange and blue and picture pretty bad images of two players.  They are labeled on the bottom front with the player's last name and a number.  And on the back with the players last name. 

 
 
But what are they?  Nobody seems to know exactly for what they were made.  Many think they were part of a board game and were attached to some sort of base that allowed them to be moved around the board.  Let's look at the details.
 
They are all different sizes and are not cut uniformly as seen below.  The examples below are not mine but represent all the ones I know of that exist other than my two.
 
 
As you can see they are cut rather haphazardly which, to me, shows they were not produced for a commercial board game with any sort of quality control.
 
They also all have similar paper loss on the bottoms, front and back, where they seems to have been some adhesive brushed on.  This obviously suggests they had something attached to them.


If you look closely you'll notice that there is another Chance printed on the bottom back of his card. 


 
This would suggest that multiples were meant to be produced.  But why print the front and back on the same side.  Perhaps they were meant to be folded over for some reason. 
 
Perhaps the most interesting trait is the fact that the heads are cut and pasted on the body of a single player and many of the cards show the same body for each player.  The bodies have been identified in photos of the 1910 team photos for the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Athletics.  These two teams faced off in the World's Series that year.
 
 
If you look at the image used to Chance, you can see the player (Sheckard) who's upper body was used was actually sitting in the original photo.  So to create the players in the set, the creator had to use Sheckard's upper body, someone else's legs, and each player's head all pasted together.  For the Baker (and other players with the same body) they just pasted each player's head on the body.
 
Some collectors have shown suspicion that the font on the backs could be of a later date than 1910, however the font has been identified as Recut Caslon which has been in use since at least 1907 so it could've easily have been in popular use during 1910 when I think these cards were produced.
 
So what do you think?  What are these cards?  When were they produced and why?  I'd love to hear from you.
 
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a mysterious one.
 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

New Back Stamp

Just a quick post showing a new back stamp I found with a special date.

I recently found this new back stamp on eBay and thought it was pretty cool.  It looks like it says, "Geo R Tucker Voted Nov. 8, 1910".  It reminds me of the "I Voted" stickers that they hand out when you vote nowadays. 

The special part is the date though.  It is my birthday.  Of course, not the 1910 part, but you get the point.  Anyway, I just wanted to share this one with you all.  It has been added to the back stamp project online collection of back stamps as well. 

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

Monday, March 11, 2019

Recent Pick ups

Some of my latest pick ups...

First off is my newest E79 Scrappers of Rawlins delivering a right hand.  This is a nice horizontal card from the set.  There are several horizontals in the set and I love them.

 
Next up is a card I actually picked up for my Father.  He is a Rutgers alumnus and I thought he would think this was kind of cool to display on his bookshelf in his office.  It is a 1961 Nu Card of Steve Simms.
 
 
Last is my favorite pick up so far.  It's a 1910 E98 Russ Ford.  I have a few E98s and I'm always happy to add another, even with a missing corner.
 
 
Not a lot to show off really, but some of my latest pick ups to share.
 
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.



Sunday, March 10, 2019

REA Spring 2019 Auction

The 2019 Robert Edward Auctions Spring Auction is now open for bidding and I wanted to share a few of my favorite items with you.

I've gone through the cards that interest me in the current REA auction and pulled a bunch of cards (and a photo) that are some of my favorites.  Lets start with the photo shall we.

This is an original Type 1 photo of Negro League legend Josh Gibson that was used for his 1950-51 Toleteros rookie card.  I'm including an image of the actual card (also in the auction) for comparison.

 
 
Here is the 1893 Just So Jesse Burkett Rookie.  This card is interesting in that is has been restored, but it is so rare (2 known) that it doesn't really matter.   When it was originally discovered it was just the photo part of the card. The entire mount was missing.  The owner found a different Just So of an actress card and had professional restoration done attaching the original photo to the actress mount.
 

 

I don't necessarily collect 19th century cards, but I do like a lot of them.  I particularly like the N172 Old Judge Mike "King" Kelly cards.  Here are two nice examples side by side.  An SGC 6 and SGC 3.5.  I actually like the image on the 3.5 more than on the 6. 

 
Another awesome 19th century set is the 1887 N175 Gypsy Queen set.  They are more rare than their Old Judge counterparts.  I like the Gypsy Queen logo at the top of the cards.  This example is a really nice one as it is a horizontal, two player and HOF card all in one.  It features HOFer Tim Keefe with his teammate Danny Richardson.  It has a nice strong image as well which is another big plus for these cards.
 
 


Now let's move on to the 20th century and the prewar cards that I like in the auction. 

This one would fit right in to my collection as it is a nice low grade card.  I still won't win it, but I'd love to own it.  The 1911 E94 Hans Wagner gold background version.  I'm drawn to the gold versions of this set. 

 
Another set that is related to the E94s is the M131 Baltimore News Newsboys set.  This set uses the same images and checklist as E94 but all the cards have the blue background.  They also have additional type on the reverses that say "The Baltimore News Newsboys Series" at the top.  Here are the four examples in the auction.  Click the image to enlarge it.
 
 
 
My favorite Ty Cobb card, the 1909 E102 Anonymous issue.  The pose with Cobb leaning on his bat and the striking background color make for and amazing card in my opinion.
 
 
Well, let's get to the more common (or not really) T206s.  First up would be a couple southern leaguer Dutch Revelle cards that would be a great start to a back run for someone.  First, the blank back example.
 
 
Then the uber rare Brown Old Mill example.  What?!  Talk about a rare card.
 
 
Also, one of my favorite HOF poses is the Clarke Griffith with bat and this particular example has the rare Cycle 460 back.  This back seems to be a bit more rare than it is given credit for at the present time.  And I happen to like it quite a bit. 
 
 
Last but not least are a couple of my favorite Zeenut cards.  First is a very historically important and rare card of Jimmy Claxton.  This 1916 Zeenut is the first American issued baseball card featuring a black player.  It was a great timing of events that resulted in the issuing of this card as Jimmy was only with the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League for one week in 1916.  That week just happened to be the week that the Zeenut photographer was with the team taking pictures and he got a shot of Claxton that eventually made it on the featured card.  This is not the most well known card in the hobby, but has great significance making it a favorite of mine.
 
 
The next Zeenut that is one of my favorites is the 1922 card of legendary athlete Jim Thorpe.  This is one of only a few cards of Thorpe from his playing days and his only card featuring him in the Pacific Coast League.  He is pictured with the Portland Beavers. 
 
 
Well, there you have it folks.  Some of my pics to showcase some of my favorite cards in the current REA Spring auction.  Here is a link to the auction so you can peruse the offerings yourself.  REA Link.  I highly recommend taking a look at the auction, even if you don't plan to bid you'll see some amazing items.  Now, I just focused on the cards portion of the auction, but there is amazing memorabilia as well if you're into that stuff. 
 
Let me know what your favorites are.  I'd be interested to see what I missed.
 
Enjoy the hobby all...it's an amazing one.








Thursday, February 7, 2019

Video of Yankees vs. A's April 24, 1934

Here is a spectacular video of the New York Yankees vs. the Philadelphia A's with sound!

This is amazing footage of opening day at Yankee Stadium on April 24, 1934.  It was posted recently on Net54 Baseball Forums and I wanted to share it with my readers in the event you didn't see it there.




You'll see Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx posing for photographers before the game and Connie Mack and Joe McCarthy wishing each other luck for the season.  Then you see Mayor La Guardia throw out the first pitch.

It's a fascinating thing to see these prewar players in action, but to hear them talking, and the crowd roaring in the background, makes it even more special to watch. 

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Another Blue Old Mill Discovered

It appears a second example of a blue backed Old Mill T206 has been found.

At the 2012 National Convention the very first blue Old Mill was unveiled to much fanfare.  Many collectors doubted the authenticity.  Many others who held the card in hand said it was the real deal. 

The card that surfaced in 2012 was this Ed Walsh, pictured here with the blue back.

At the time I was skeptical and even wrote as much here.  I mean the only example of a blue Old Mill just happens to be HOFer Ed Walsh.

Something I asked in my last post about the Walsh was how long it would take for a second example to show up.

Well, six and a half years later apparently.  This one is not a Hall of Famer but is instead the horizontal pose of Powell.  The back of the Powell definitely looks blue like the Walsh. 

 
Ron Kornacki is the proud owner of the Powell and he has provided several very high resolution scans of his card.  Here is a side by side of the Powell and Walsh backs for comparison.
 
 
The Powell is on the left and the Walsh is on the right.  You can see the similarities in the blues.  I actually like the Powell more than the Walsh.
 
Here is a side by side comparison of the Powell blue back next to a regular black back Old Mill.  The black example is on the left below and the blue is on the right.
 
 
 
One theory is that the blue ink, which is darker than the blue used in Piedmont backs, is the same ink as was used on the Polar Bear backs.  Polar Bears are commonly mistaken for being black backs but they are actually dark blue.
Here is a comparison of the blue Old Mill next to a Polar Bear back to show the similarity.  The problem with the theory that the Old Mills were printed after a Polar Bear printing was complete is that the two backs weren't printed during the same period. 
 
To quote long time collector and T206 expert Ted Zanidakis,
 
The Powell & Walsh are 150/350 series subjects which were in OLD MILL print runs circa late 1909 / early 1910.  The first POLAR BEAR print runs were circa Summer 1910.
So it appears they couldn't have been printed at the same time.  But that doesn't mean the ink wasn't used for other print jobs by the American Lithographic Company during the period the Old Mills were being printed.  It's possible that a mix up occurred. 
 
I recently spoke to Ron about his card and his collecting in general.  He's been collecting for the past 41 years but has spent the last 8 years focused on his master front/back T206 collection.  And what a collection he has. 
 
He has a near complete 250 card Polar Bear set with 245 examples and he has all 28 of the Sweet Caporal 350-460 Factory 30 Full Color "No Prints".  He's also 513 cards in to the 524 card Monster.
 
Ron collects more than just baseball cards too though.  He is also an active collector of coins, stamps, comic books and non-sport cards. 
 
I was curious if Ron had the Powell in 2012 when the Walsh was presented to the hobby and he said no, he picked it up in October 2015 and didn't realize it was a blue back when he bought it.  He didn't notice the difference in color until a couple years later when he was looking at backs of other cards in his collection. 
 
I also asked him the big question, what are you going to do with it?  He'd really like to get it in a PSA slab but isn't sure if PSA will grade it as a legit blue Old Mill like SGC did with the Walsh.  If he can get it graded he's not sure what he'll do with it. 
 
Ron created a video on YouTube showing the card in detail so I've posted the video below. 
 





So what do you guys think?  Is this another legit blue Old Mill?  I believe it is and wish the best to Ron no matter what he decides to do with it.

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