Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
Old Cardboard eMagazine Issue #173                               March 2020


Welcome to Old Cardboard, the most complete reference resource for information about collecting vintage baseball cards and related memorabilia.  More information about this eMagazine and its companion website is found at the bottom of this page.

Contents:
1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Set Profile: 1911 T217 Mono Cigarettes PCL Players
3. Eagle Hall of Fame Posters: More Facts Emerge
4. 1920s Tip Top Bread Set Resurfaces; Expansion Continues
5. Set Profile: 1958 Bond Bread Bisons
6. Latest Additions to the OldCardboard.com Website
7. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)


1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar

The following is a summary of vintage card events coming up in the next 60-90 days. For the most current listings of additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Key Events Calendar, accessible directly from the home page of the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?
Email editor@oldcardboard.com
March 2020
19Phone/Internet CollectAuctions.net Auction (see website for details).
26Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
April 2020
3-5Chantilly, VA CSA Chantilly Show (website).   Canceled due to Coronavirus
7Phone/Internet M. R. Clark Auction (see website for details).
11Internet Brockelman Auctions (see website for details).
16Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
17-19Strongsville, OH Strongsville Sports Collectors Convention (website).
19Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions (see website for details).
25Phone/Internet SCP Auctions (see website for details).
May 2020
2Phone/Internet Small Traditions Auctions (see website for details).
2Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
2Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).
7Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
7-9Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
14Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
15Phone/Internet Leland's Catalog Auction (see website for details).
30-31Seattle, WA WSSCA Show (see website for details).
June 2020
4-6Long Beach, CA Long Beach Expo (see website for details).
15Austin, TX Old Cardboard eMagazine Release (Issue #174; website).
18Phone/Internet RR Auction (see website for details).
18Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
25Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
27Phone/Internet Small Traditions Auctions (see website for details).

(more calendar events)


2. Set Profile: 1911 T217 Mono Cigarettes PCL Players


T217 Front

Back
Among the rarest of all tobacco issues, this 1911 series of "200 portraits" includes only 25 cards that feature baseball players--all members of teams from the Pacific Coast League. The balance of the cards in the set feature "Leading Actresses" of the period.

The set was produced by Mono "Turkish Blend" Cigarettes for distribution on the West Coast. The unnumbered cards have since been assigned the designation T217 in the American Card Catalog.

The black and white player photos measure 1-1/2 by 2-5/8 inches--the typical tobacco card format of the period.

Two of the players (William Delhi and Hughie Smith) appear twice in the set, resulting in an issue of 23 different players. All player images are knee-up poses in uniform. The player's name and team are printed along the bottom borders of the cards.

The card backs are printed in blue ink. They promote "Mono Turkish Blend Cigarettes" at the top, followed by the message "200 Portraits Selected from Leading Actresses and Base Ball Players." The price of the cigarettes (10 for 5 Cents) is printed at the bottom of the card backs.

Most all of the baseball players featured in the set are relatively little known members of the Pacific Coast League. About one-third of them went on to play in the Majors. Perhaps the best known among these was Roger Peckinpaugh, who in 1912 signed with the Cleveland Indians in what would become a 15+ year career in the Big Leagues--mostly with the Yankees and the Senators.

Only one error card can be found in the set. The card labeled "Gene Knapp, Port." is actually that of Portland pitcher Gene Krapp (but who can fault the printer for making such a spelling error).


Opening of Pack. When opened, this Mono Cigarettes "slide and shell" box revealed a T217 card of Bert Delmas, along with 10 cigarettes arranged in two rows (from The Old Judge News-letter, Summer 1985, Issue #2, p. 5)

This 2nd known Mono Cigarettes pack was discovered in the first decade of the 21st century (image courtesy of Jon Canfield)
The ultra-rare Mono cigarette packs shown here are the only ones currently known in the hobby. The one at left was first revealed in The Old Judge Newsletter in 1985. The T217 card of Bert Delmas was found inserted and positioned with its back adjacent to the cigarettes, exposing the card to potential tobacco stains. The full card of Dalmas is shown in the T217 example at the top of this article.

The Mono pack shown at right was discovered in the early 21st century, nearly a 100 years after the cigarettes were manufactured. As seen, the packs are labeled simply "Mono Cigarettes" over a solid red background.


T217 Actress Card
Based on the promotional message on the backs of the cards stating that there are 200 cards in the series, and the twenty-five baseball cards confirmed for the set, it can be inferred that the series contains 175 actresses. Of these, only about a dozen actress cards have been confirmed, making them even rarer than their baseball player counterparts.

An example of one of the actress cards is shown at right. As seen, the actress cards use the same design as the baseball cards except for one important element--the identity of the subject at the bottom of the card.

The lack of card labeling may have contributed to the even greater scarcity of the actress cards, as the few of the cards that were distributed were perhaps tossed away by early owners because they were not able to identify the subjects.

Today, more than a century after the T217 cards were distributed, many questions remain about the origins and the manufacturer of the cigarettes. There are no clear references as to where (or by whom) the cigarettes were produced.

There is a brief and somewhat cryptic listing in a 1909 New York City directory for a "Mono Cigarette Co." with Douglas Burrello and Robert Paris as proprietors, The trail seems to end there, with no links to the West Coast where the brand was clearly distributed. We welcome any further information about the company from our subscribers.

A Set Profile, Checklist (expanded to include player's team) and Gallery of all 25 baseball cards in the T217 Mono Cigarettes set can be found on the Old Cardboard website.


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3. Eagle Hall of Fame Posters: More Facts Emerge


Wagner (Front)

Wagner (Back)
(displayed at approximately 1/3 of actual size)
More than a half-century since it was produced, relatively little is known about this impressive set of oversized posters...and the circumstances of their production.

Before now, hobby checklists have shown that five baseball players and two boxers were in the obscure set.

Recent discoveries, however, uncovered during the research for this article, reveal that there are at least seven baseball players, six boxers and a couple of dozen other non-sports subjects in the long-running series.


Kennedy
Further, hobby references have long speculated that the set was produced in the 1940s. We now know that the posters were distributed over a wide span of years (totaling approximately two decades) with at least one subject (that of President John F. Kennedy) distributed after Kennedy's inauguration in early 1961.

The poster series was produced by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), apparently for use in decorating the walls of their "aeries" (meeting places).

Each of the posters is titled "Eagle Hall of Fame" at the top.

All of the large format posters measure approximately 9-1/4 by 11-1/4 inches with a high gloss surface on the front. They are "self-framed" (i.e., a 3/4-inch simulated wood grain border is printed around the perimeter of the photograph in the middle).

With the exception of "World Famous Athlete" Jim Thorpe, the seven known baseball players contained in the set (Grove, Mack, Musial, Spahn, Thorpe, Wagner and Young) are all members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Likewise, all of the six known boxers (Baer, Dempsey, Fitzsimmons, Gibbons, Jeffries and Sullivan) are members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.


Thorpe

Spahn
The two Baseball Players recently added to the Checklist
for the Eagle Hall of Fame Poster set are Jim Thorpe and Warren Spahn.
The two baseball players previously unknown in the set (Jim Thorpe and Warren Spahn) are pictured here.

As indicated, the subjects are not limited to popular sports figures of the period. The set also includes at least two dozen prominent non-sports subjects including five U.S. Presidents, other politicians, war heroes and FOE officials. The overall selection of subjects was no doubt intended to highlight key members of the FOE that stood out for their achievements either within or outside of that organization.

The poster stock is very thick and heavy cardboard similar to poster board stock found today. Backs are blank with a white poster board appearance. The cards are unnumbered and are not listed in the American Card Catalog.

At the bottom of each card is a three-line panel that identifies the subject, states his title (e.g., Baseball's Star Pitcher, 29th President of the United States, Mayor of New York, etc.). The last line in the panel indicates the FOE "aerie" in which the subject was a member.

* * * * *

Note: The Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) was founded in 1898 in Seattle, Washington by a group of six theater owners as a charitable and sometimes political advocacy group. It has expanded for nearly a century and a quarter. In 2011, the organization had grown to more than 1500 locations and 850,000 members plus 250,000 in a Women's Auxiliary. It is said to contribute more than $100 million each year to various charitable causes.

Reader Request: If any of our readers can verify the existence of the card for boxer Bob Fitzsimmons, please contact editor@oldcardboard.com so we can update the details on the Eagle Hall of Fame checklist.

A Set Profile and Checklist for all known posters in the Eagle Hall of Fame set (including boxing and non-sports subjects), along with a complete Gallery of Cards, has been added to the Old Cardboard website.


4. 1920s Tip Top Bread Set Expansion Continues

In 1921, White's Bakery of Baltimore, MD ran ads announcing the production of a set of postcard-sized cards of players for the hometown Baltimore Orioles. At that time, the Orioles were a minor league franchise of the International League.

Soon thereafter, however, the rare and mysterious set went underground for nearly nine decades.

After remaining under the radar for all that time, the regional set resurfaced to the collecting hobby in 2009. Since 2009, several additional cards or small groups have resurfaced, mostly from residents of the Baltimore area.

The obscure set is important for several reasons. Significantly, the Lefty Grove card from the set is the Hall of Fame pitcher's rookie card.

Actually, it is his pre-rookie card, since Grove did not begin his seventeen year career in the Majors until he joined the Athletics four years later, in 1925.

It is this pre-rookie status of Grove's card that makes it the key to the already rare set, and justifies (at least for some vintage collectors) the five-digit prices that it has recently fetched. For example, the Grove card showed here sold in a Memory Lane auction in January of this year for just over $30,000, including buyer's premium. The Memory Lane auction also featured three previously uncataloged players from the Tip Top Bread set (those for Boley, Marlette and Thomas).

Interestingly, the spelling of Lefty's last name on his Tip Top Bread card (i.e., "Groves" with a trailing "s") is not a typo. Although he is well known to collectors, fans and historians today as Lefty Grove, few are aware that the left handed pitcher was born as Robert Moses Groves (with an "s").

In verifying this fact, we found that many official public records (including Grove's World War I draft card, his census records for every decade from 1900 through 1940, etc.) list him as "Groves." Curiously, Lefty's WWI Draft Card is filled out at the top as "Groves" but signed at the bottom as "Grove."

In addition, some other early baseball cards and team photos identify him as "Groves" (as illustrated in the example die-cut stand-up game card shown here).

The Tip Top Bread cards also highlight the 1921 Orioles, who under Manager Jack Dunn, ended the season winning 119 games to 47 (20 games ahead of their nearest competitor). The 1921 season was midway through an Orioles dynasty (1919-1925) during which the team won seven consecutive International League pennants. Dunn, who is also featured in the Tip Top Bread set, is perhaps best known as the one credited with bringing Babe Ruth into Major League Baseball.

The sepia-toned cards measure 3-1/4 by 5-1/2 inches and are printed on thin stock with blank backs. The player images on the front are mostly chest-up portraits of the player in uniform. The images are printed inside thin black frame lines and wide white borders.

The only labeling on the cards is the player's full name in all cap lettering followed by his position and "Baltimore 'Orioles' 1921" near the bottom of the image. The sponsor (Tip Top Bread) is not identified on the cards. The only "proof" connecting the card set to Tip Top Bread, therefore, is in the ads that ran in the Baltimore Sun promoting the set.

A question remains whether the "Tip Top" brand for this card set is the same as the "Tip Top" brand that sponsored other issues familiar to vintage collectors (e.g., the 1910 D322 Ward's Tip Top set and the Ward's 1947 Tip Top set). The Ward Bakery was among the largest and most geographically diverse bakers in the country and was affiliated with other bakeries and brands. On the other hand, the Baltimore set described here was sponsored by "White's Bakery" and there is currently no known connection between the two bakeries. Needs further research. Old Cardboard readers: please let us know if you can clarify.

A Set Profile, Checklist and Gallery of all known cards in the 1921 Tip Top Bread set have been added to the Old Cardboard website.


5. Set Profile: 1958 Bond Bread Bisons


Front

Back
Printed on thin card stock, the Bond Bread and Pastry brand in Buffalo, NY sponsored a set of nine cards featuring the home town minor league Buffalo Bisons.

The 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inch card fronts featured black and white portraits of nine of the Bisons players. All, including manager Phil Cavarretta, are shown in uniform.

The set was cataloged in the American Card Catalog as set D301 "Buffalo Players."

Curiously, the ACC indicates that the set contained 10 cards. However, only 9 cards are known in the hobby today and the set is considered by most vintage collectors to be complete at nine cards.

The cards for Luke Easter and Jim Small are reported to have been short printed.

The player's full name and position are printed in the white border at the top of the card.

The card fronts also promoted the TV series "Casey Jones." Although the ties between the TV series and Bond Bread remain unclear, it appears that Bond Bread was also one of the sponsors of the TV series on the local Buffalo TV Channel 2.

The player's full name and position are repeated on the card backs, printed in red and blue ink. Player stats are then provided along with a brief bio. These are followed by the suggestion to "trade cards with your friends." A loaf of bread and a pastry box are then pictured at the bottom along with "Bond Bread & Pastry" printed is Old English lettering at the bottom.

* * * * * * * * *


Alan Hale, Jr.
As noted above, the fronts of all of the cards in the Bisons set promoted the "Casey Jones" TV shows. The short-lived "Casey Jones" show was an American Western television series that ran during the 1957-58 season, based around the pioneering western railroads.

The show starred Alan Hale, Jr. as Casey Jones. Hale is perhaps better known for his role as "Skipper" in the 1960's television series "Gilligan's Island".

The Casey Jones show lasted for only 32 half-hour episodes, although re-runs continued to be aired for several more years.

A Set Profile, player Checklist and Gallery of all nine cards for the 1958 Bond Bread Bisons set have been added to the Old Cardboard website.



6. Recent Additions to the OldCardboard.com Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles, checklists and card galleries. Recent (past 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Profiles have been added for:
1920s   Amatller Chocolates "Los Deportes"
1932   Sanella Margarine   (updated with back variations pictured and compared)
1958   Bond Bread Bisons
1921   Tip Top Bread (Baltimore)

Set Checklists have been added for:
1911   T217   Mono Cigarettes (checklist expanded to show each player's team)
1925-27   W512   Strip Card Set (checklist expanded to show 1927 variations)
1932   Sanella Margarine
1958   Bond Bread Bisons
1921   Tip Top Bread (Baltimore)
1950   V362   Big League Stars

Set Galleries have been added for:
1932   Sanella Margarine
1958   Bond Bread Bisons
1921   Tip Top Bread (Baltimore)
1950   V362   Big League Stars

Updating the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage sets is an ongoing project, so check back often to check out the latest additions. There are now many thousands of card images on the website and the list continues to grow every month. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, images of cards missing from our galleries, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all feedback to editor@oldcardboard.com.

Beyond the above pages recently added to the Old Cardboard website, we continue to expand and refine our eBay Custom Search Links to make finding vintage baseball cards on eBay easier than ever. The results of these searches are continuously changing, so check back often to find the most recent eBay listings. Samples of a few of these custom searches are provided below. Hundreds more are provided on the Set Profile pages throughout the Old Cardboard website.

F-Cards
1916 Tango Eggs
1928 F50 Ice Cream
1935-41 Wheaties
1937/38 Dixie Lids
1952-54 Dixie Lids
1937 Kelloggs
1947-50 Hage's Dairy
1952 F272-3 Wheaties
Num Num Chips

M-Cards
Sporting News Record Book
M101-2 Sporting News
M101-5/4 Sporting News
M101-7 Sporting News
M113/4 Baseball Mag. Posters
M116 Sporting Life
M120 Det. Free Press
Blum's Bulletin Poster
M110 Sporting Life

(more custom searches
by major card group)



7. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)

Aronstein named 1st Recipient of Burdick Award. Hobby Veteran Michael Aronstein has been selected as the winner of the inaugural Jefferson Burdick Award, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the baseball card hobby. The award was recently announced by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Baseball Cards Research Committee. Aronstein will be honored at the SABR 50 convention this summer in Baltimore. Details about the award and Aronstein's contributions to the hobby spanning more than a half century can be found on the SABR website.

W555 Gallery Expands. Thanks to Old Cardboard reader Mike Hornick, we have now been able to add the card of Russ Ford to the W555 Set Gallery. The scarce card has been on the W555 checklist for some time, but the card image has been previously unknown to today's vintage collectors.

Calling all Writers. As the quarterly Old Cardboard eMagazine continues to grow (in both breadth and depth), we welcome submissions of OC-quality articles from our readers. If you have a special knowledge or interest in a particular vintage set or topic that you would like to share with fellow collectors, please email Lyman Hardeman, editor, or call at 512-466-5358. Use the six issues already published (i.e., Old Cardboard eMagazine Issues #167, #168, #169, #170, #171 and #172), plus Issue #173 that you are reading now, as examples for the types and scope of articles we seek. We and all vintage collectors will appreciate your efforts.

Judy Burk (1944-2020). Sadly, we received news earlier this month of the passing of Judy Burk. Many vintage collectors knew Judy and her husband John as proprietors of Collectible Classics, and were familiar faces at many National and regional shows. They also conducted online auctions of often scarce and unusual vintage cards and memorabilia. Some of our readers may remember a very brief appearance by John and Judy in a video we filmed at the 2010 National Sports Card Convention in Baltimore. The Burks are seen starting at 9:33 minutes into the 22 minute film. Our heartfelt condolences to John and the Burk family.

Trade Card Singles Pages Added. As promised, the "Trade Card Singles (Titled)" and "Trade Card Singles (Untitled)" pages of the Old Cardboard website are now live. This completes the initial launching of this significant new section of the website featuring Baseball Advertising Trade Cards. Refinements and additional cards will be added as they are identified. Please take a look and send us your feedback.


Lyman and Brett Hardeman
Old Cardboard, LLC.

Old Cardboard LLC. was established in December 2003 to help bring information on vintage baseball card collecting to the hobbyist.  Produced by collectors for collectors, this comprehensive resource consists of three components: (1) Old Cardboard Magazine (currently on hold after printing 34 Issues), (2) a companion website at www.oldcardboard.com and (3) this eMagazine. The Old Cardboard website contains well over 1000 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of the set summaries has a direct set-specific link to auctions and a similar link to 's powerful search engine for further research.  The website also includes a Show and Auction Calendar, an eBay Top 50 Vintage Sellers List, and much more.  As a result, the Old Cardboard website makes a great "Alt-tab" companion for vintage card shoppers and researchers.  Each Old Cardboard eMagazine provides three or four articles about vintage baseball card sets or related memorabilia, current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website.  It is published quarterly around the middle of the last month of each quarter.  For a FREE subscription to the eMagazine, please visit the website at www.oldcardboard.com.  If you find this information resource helpful, please tell your friends.  We need your support and your feedback. Thank you.

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