Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Ultimate Ty Cobb Back Run

A complete Ty Cobb Red Background T206 back run has been completed.

T206 collector Jamie Blundell began his journey on a whim in 2011 when he acquired a Ty Cobb red background with a Drum back. 

In 2013 Jamie saw an image of a Ty Cobb back run with 17 different backs and he decided to put together his own run. He made a checklist of all the backs which came to 30 different.  Some of those backs are extremely rare and would be almost impossible to obtain.  But Jamie started working on it nonetheless.

Over the next 7 years Jamie would chase down card after card.  His second one was the elusive Lenox back making his first two the Drum and Lenox which are both very tough. 

He then plowed through several backs acquiring 22 different examples in 2013 alone.  Including a 1 of 1 Broadleaf 460 back. 

He continued to add cards including a blank back, a Ty Cobb back, and just recently he obtained his final card.  The T214 Victory.  There was a great article about Jamie's journey on the blog that you can read here.  It was written back in Feb. 2017 before Jamie finished his run. 

The story culminates here in a Net54 post when Jamie announces he obtained the final card.

Here is the complete run for your viewing pleasure.

Click to Enlarge
Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

More Baseball Punchboards

Back in 2018 I wrote about some baseball punchboards that I had picked up and showed a couple other examples.

The link to the old post is here.  I wrote about a couple Diamond Dust punchboards back then.  These seem to be the most popular boards and they do seem to be the most decorative ones.  I personally like them the best of the boards that I've come across.

There are Diamond Dust "cards" that people believe came from one of the different types of Diamond Dust boards.  These cards all have several horizontal creases that indicate they were folded or rolled up and inserted in the holes that were punched.  I've also heard that the boards were not thick enough to hold these cards. 

One of the examples I'm sharing tonight has an image of the board at an angle and you can see the thickness of the board itself.  And it looks thick enough to have held the cards to me. 

Here's the full board and then the angle shot to show the thickness. 

The cards are not very large and they are folded up so they are short in width.  So I think they possibly could've fit in this board.  All the other boards I've seen are thin and definitely couldn't have held a card. 
Here are some more examples of different styles of punchboards that I've found recently.  I just wanted to share some new images with you.

This one did not payout any prizes but was instead used to donate to the Damon Runyon Memorial Cancer Fund.  It was only meant to be played as a game.

Here are a few more Diamond Dust examples from different years.



Here is an example of a later issue Diamond Dust board called the New Diamond Dust.

And then there are these ones that are different types altogether.  This one is called E-Z Pickin' Ball Club.

Here is a very generic example with no actual players pictured or named on it.

This last one is very nice.  It's called Pennant Winners and also only has generic baseball images and no specific players, but it looks great.

There are a lot of different styles of punchboards and they come with different themes.  Some are different sports and some are non-sport related.  But they are pretty cool collectables. 

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Blog Header Ball Park

So what is that ballpark in the header of my blog?

If you look closely you can read that it says National League Park Chicago.  That is what it is, but it was known as West Side Park and was the home to the Chicago Cubs for many years. 

It was built in 1893 and looked a bit different than how it looks in the photo in my header.  There were no upper seating sections going down the first and third base side in the beginning.  There was a small covered grandstand behind home plate at the start of the 1900's. 

When the team started playing better ball they expanded the seating in 1905.  You can see the slightly extended grandstand in the image to the right.

Notice the uncovered stands extending past third base at this time.

The park was estimated to have sat up to 12,500 spectators.

In 1908 the club expanded the seating further covering the bleachers on the first and third base sides with more private box seating. 


Here is a shot of the 1909 World Series and you can see the upper deck has been extended even further past the third base foul line and into left field. 

Here is a nice color postcard of the park which shows what it would've looked like back then.
The West Side Park was the home of the best Cubs teams of the twentieth century and hosting two back to back World Series championships both against the Tigers.  It was also in 1908 when the Cubs beat the NY Giants to get the World Series after the infamous Merkle Boner play required a replay of a game to determine who won the pennant.  
The park was getting older in the teens and eventually the team was moved to the newer steel and concrete park named Weeghman Park. Weeghman Park was originally built for the Federal League Chicago Whales in 1915 and was named after their owner Charles Weeghman.  After the Federal League folded the next year, Weeghman bought a large interest in the Cubs and moved them to Weeghman Park in 1916.  Weeghman Park can be visited today but it is now known as Wrigley Field.
So that's the short story of West Side Park and the image used at the top of my blog.
Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

An Illustrated Introduction to Japanese Baseball Cards

My friend Rob Fitts has a new book out about Japanese Baseball Cards.

From Rob's website:

About Rob Fitts:

A former archaeologist with a Ph.d. from Brown University, Rob Fitts left academics behind to follow his passion - Japanese Baseball.  An award-winning author and speaker, his articles have appeared in numerous magazines and websites, including Nine, the Baseball Research Journal, the National Pastime, Sports Collectors Digest, and on

He is the author of five books on Japanese baseball. His next book, Issei Baseball: The Story of the First Japanese American Ballplayers will be published by the University of Nebraska in 2020.
Earlier books include Mashi: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer (University of Nebraska Press, 2015); Banzai Babe Ruth (University of Nebraska Press, 2012); Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005).
Fitts is the founder of SABR’s Asian Baseball Committee and recipient of the society’s 2013 Seymour Medal for Best Baseball Book of 2012; the 2019 McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award; the 2012 Doug Pappas Award for best oral research presentation at the Annual Convention; and the 2006 Sporting News- SABR Research Award.  He has also been a finalist for the Casey Award and a silver medalist at the Independent Publish Book Awards.
A popular speaker on the history of Japanese baseball, Fitts has spoken at many venues including the Library of Congress, the Japan Embassy in Washington DC, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the Japan Society of New York, the Asia Society of New York, the Nine Baseball Conference, the Society of American Baseball Research Annual Convention, and the American Club, Tokyo.

While living in Tokyo in 1993-94, Fitts began collecting Japanese Baseball cards.  He is now recognized as one of the leading experts in the field and has created the ebusiness Robs Japanese Cards LLC.  He regularly writes and speaks about the history of Japanese baseball cards.

Rob's latest book is not available in pdf and paperback versions and can be purchased at the link below.

In addition, Rob is running a promo right now.  Get 10 free Japanese baseball cards with a purchase of An Illustrated Introduction to Japanese Baseball Cards paperback between August 1 and August 10 (or until... supplies run out). 
Buy the paperback version of illustrated Intro at
and receive 5 vintage (1948-1980) and 5 modern (1981+) cards with the book. These cards will be from the same sets as pictured below.

Here are some pages from the book for reference.

I hope you take advantage of this spectacular offer and order a copy and get the free cards too.

Best of luck to Rob with this book.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.


REA Summer 2020 Auction

The 2020 Robert Edward Auctions summer auction is going on right now.

I get excited each time there is a new REA auction, especially when the catalog arrives.  I, like a lot of other odd collectors, smell it when I open it.  It's hard not to smell it to be honest.  It's a very specific experience if you've never had one. A catalog I mean. 

So I spent some time perusing it and decided to post some items that I found particularly interesting.

Of course I wanted to showcase one of the major cards in the auction to be fair. 

This is a stunning 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie PSA 9.  The opening bid was $100K and it is currently at $170K as I write this.  I had no idea this card was capable of selling for this much.  I'll be watching to see what it ends at. 

Then I came across a card I have wanted for a long time but will never own.  This is a 1887 N175 Large Gypsy Queen of Mike "King" Kelly.  I hope to some day own a King Kelly Old Judge, but the Large Gypsy Queens are much more rare.  There are only nine Large Gypsy Queen subjects known at this time.


There are also smaller Gypsy Queens that are the size of standard Old Judge cards but they are much more available than the large ones even if they are fairly scarce themselves.

Next up is a couple of related cards of one of my favorite players of all time, Ty Cobb.

These are 1910 E-Unc cards.  The first one has the diamond part of the card still intact.

I'm a big fan of rare oddball cards and I think these fit the bill.  The image is the same one used in e93, e94 and e98.  The other one is a blue example that doesn't have the diamond design.

I don't understand why the blue one got a number grade and the red one with the diamond was deemed an A.  I prefer the red one with the diamond, but of course would take either one.

Another of my favorite players, Smokey Joe Wood, is featured on this next one.

I've always liked this card for the portrait image of Wood. 

This is a 1910-1911 M116 Sporting Life card.

These next two are a couple of cards that you just don't see very often at all.  The first is the 1962 Salada-Junket Jackie Brandt Orioles variation. 

Brandt's more common variation has the team spelled "Oriole" without the s at the end.  This was changed late in the print run and very few examples are around with the s in the name.  This is a very scarce variation and is on most Salada want lists. 

The second rarely seen card is the 1963 Pepsi Colt 45's John Bateman card.  This is a super short print card and is very difficult to find. 

I'm currently working on this set and never expect to add this card to my collection.  The current bid for this example is $1,400.  It's a really nice example in great condition but it's a handcut card and only graded Authentic.  Still one of the nicer ones I've seen. 

In 2018 REA sold a PSA 3 example for $15,600.  They estimate there are maybe 10 examples in existence.  I just wanted to show it in case you haven't ever seen one before.

There are so many great items in the auction and I just highlighted a few here.  I strongly suggest you check out the auction for yourself and see some amazing stuff.  The link to the auction is here.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Recent Pick Ups - Boxing Edition

Well, I've picked up a few cards the last couple months and a few of them are boxing cards.

Along with baseball cards, I also collect prewar boxing cards.  Albeit a little more passively than baseball cards.  There are a lot of different boxing sets out there and some are really cool and others not so much. 

I'm currently working on 11 different boxing sets.  Here are some of my newer pick ups.

Abe Attell is my favorite old boxer.  He was a go between guy between the Chicago Black Sox and the gamblers and was a pretty good fighter to boot.  I love picking up a new Abe card.
This is an example of a Decalco Litho card.  There are twenty cards in the set and this is my third.  I find these to be difficult to come across and decent prices so I have happy to find this example of Irish Patsey Cline. 
This is a W529 Big Head version  There are ten of these and they are recognizable by there crude drawings.  These are also a bit more difficult to find and I'm thrilled to have this one.
This W529 example is also of Fred Fulton. As you can see it is the same pose as the big head card above but much better quality.  I love this card for the type at the top of the card and the clean cut. 
I picked up some other cards recently too, but wanted to focus on the boxing in this post;  I hope some of you are interested in these like I am.
Enjoy the hobby all...It's a great one.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Recent Pick Ups

Well, since I've been home so much lately, I've been buying a little more.

A while back I posted about picking up my first 1963 Pepsi Colt .45 panel.  I was able to pick up three more panels recently.


I've also picked up a bunch of 1951 Topps Red Backs recently to start that set.  What a cool set that is.  It has a total of 54 cards in it due to two variations.  I now have eighteen of them.  Here is an example.  There are also Blue Backs but they are much more difficult to complete and I am not working on them.

The cards are small at only about 2 x 2 5/8  inches.  The were originally packed with two cards attached together in pairs that were perforated.  You'll notice that this one has the little tabs of the perforations at the bottom.

I also picked up a bunch of 1968 Topps Game cards for my second set.  I started a second set so I could actually play the game with my son.  It's a fun game to play and a fun set to put together so I figured what the heck, let's do another one.

I also picked up a few more 1969 Nabisco Team Flakes.  I really like that set a lot.  I have half the 24 card set now.  I prefer the cards to have nice big yellow borders, but I'll take what I can get.  Here is an example of what they look like.

Then my favorite new pick up recently was, of course, another E98.  This one is an orange background (my first orange) of Johnny Kling. 

I am really getting into the E98s lately.  I've read that the commons are actually tougher to come by than the HOFers which would make sense since I have more HOFers than commons at this point.  I'm thrilled to have this orange background, I just think it looks so nice.

Well, those are some of my newest pick ups.  I hope you like them.

Enjoy the hobby's a great one.