Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #20 (December 2005)

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

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Schapira Bros. Big Show Candy Cards Discovery Reported
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. E-Card-mania Continues; E107 Breisch-Williams Cards Lead the Way
5. Recently Unveiled Postcard is Josh Gibson's Earliest Card
6. Old Cardboard Holiday Special

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar

The following is a summary of vintage card events coming up in the next 30-45 days. For the most current listings on additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Show and Auction Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor
December 2005
2-4Philadelphia, PA EPSCC Ft. Washington Show, Ft. Washington, PA (see website for details).
6-7Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction #9 (see website for details).
7Catalog/Internet Mile High Card Company Premier Auction (see website for details).
7-9Internet MastroNet Auction (see website for details).
8-9New York City Grey Flannel Auctions (see website for details).
New York City
Sotheby's with SCP Auctions (see website for details).
15-16Phone/Internet Leland's Catalog Auction (see website for details).

2. Schapira Bros. Big Show Candy Cards Discovery Reported

Old Cardboard subscriber Lou Alfieri has discovered a small group of Schapira Bros. Big Show Candy cards that includes five players not previously found in hobby checklists. The discovery provides new insight about the set and when it was produced.

The player cards previously not known to collectors include those for Stan Coveleski, Joe Dugan, Hy Meyers, Roger Peckinpaugh and Aaron Ward. All five are pictured below.






Importantly, the team markings on the uniforms for four of these five players are clearly shown on the cards. Correlating these teams with known data about the careers of the players strongly suggests that the set was produced around 1921 or 1922--several years earlier that previously thought.

Consider especially the following player team changes:
1) Dugan is shown in a Philadelphia Athletics uniform; he last played for Philadelphia in 1921.
2) Meyers is shown with a Brooklyn cap; he last played for Brooklyn in 1922.
3) Peckinpaugh is shown in a Yankees uniform; the last year he played in New York was 1921.

Summary information about the Schapira Big Show Candy cards is provided on the Old Cardboard website. An updated checklist of all currently known cards from the set is also provided. We encourage any readers who can add to this checklist or provide further information about the set to please do so. Any input provided will be shared with all our readers. To complete our picture gallery of the set, we also need color scans of Burns, Daubert, Meusel, O'Neil, Ruth, and Scott.

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3. Latest Updates to the Website

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

Set Profiles
have been added or significantly expanded for:
1905 Rotograph Postcards
1930-31 Harrison Studio Postcards
1950 Baseball Player Vending Charms

Set Checklists have been added for:
1913 Voskamp's Coffee Pirates
1920 W514 Strip Set
1922? Schapira Bros. Big Show Candy
1930-31 Harrison Studio Postcards
1937/38   F7   Dixie Lids

Set Galleries have been added for:
1920 W514 Strip Set
1930-31 Harrison Studio Postcards
1937/38   F7   Dixie Lids

We continue to update the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage issues, so check in often to check out the latest additions. Any assistance from website viewers in adding new checklists and scans for card galleries is most welcome. Please send input to

4. E-Card-mania Continues; E107 Breisch-Williams Cards Lead the Way

As Old Cardboard reported earlier this year (both in OC eNewsletter #16 and in the Fall 2005 Issue of Old Cardboard Magazine), caramel "E-Card" activity and prices have recently soared to new levels. And the trend so far continues unabated.

Leading this trend are cards from the 1903 E107 Breisch-Williams issue. These unique black and white caramel cards fill the time gap between early tobacco cards of the 1880's and the many tobacco and caramel sets that emerged around 1910. The Breisch-Williams issue includes many of the baseball greats from the nineteenth century who in 1902 were just winding down their careers (such as Ed Delehanty, George Davis, and Ned Hanlon), as well as future superstars who were just starting out on the road to stardom (such as Honus Wagner, Eddie Plank and Cy Young).

The very short supply of Breisch-Williams cards, however, has long failed to quench collector's demand, driving their prices ever higher and their availability even lower. Fortunately for collectors, nearly 100 of these obscure cards have recently surfaced and are being auctioned in early December. Most were recently discovered in one of the most significant "finds" of these rarities in many years.

One standout card (shown above) is that of the Hall of Famer George Davis, whose Major League career spanned from 1890 to 1909 (Davis was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998). The card is being auctioned by MastroNet (lot #1580) in their auction closing December 8. The card is graded as SGC 70 (EX+). As of December 1 (a week before the auction closes), bidding on the card has already surpassed $47,000 (including the buyers premium)! Another MastroNet lot offers three cards of common players (all also in high grade) with bidding now in excess of $7700.

Another auction to be held two days later in New York City includes a whopping ninety-one cards from the E107 set, divided into fifteen lots. Among the most impressive of these are the cards of Hall of Fame superstars Cy Young, Eddie Plank and Honus Wagner (see images below right). The cards are part of a sports and memorabilia auction held December 10 by Sotheby's with SCP Auctions.

Regarded as the key to the set by most collectors, the E107 Honus Wagner card is considered to be much more rare than Wagner's famous card from the T206 set. Many knowledgeable collectors figure that there may be four or five times as many T206 Wagner cards as there are of his cards from the E107 set.

The E107 Wagner is conservatively estimated by the auctioneers to sell in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. However, based on hobby buzz and the extreme rarity of cards from the E107 set, it is likely that the Wagner card will bring a six-figure hammer price--and that's before adding on the 20 percent buyer's premium.

Note: Summary information about the E107 Breisch-Williams set, including a detailed checklist of all cards, can be found on the Old Cardboard website. A comprehensive and well-researched article on the set written by collector Brian McQueen was also published in the Summer 2005 issue (Issue #4) of Old Cardboard Magazine. The article is well illustrated and includes background information about the history of the set's producer, the Breisch-Williams Caramel Company of Oxford, Pennsylvania.

5. Recently Unveiled Postcard is Josh Gibson's Earliest Card

The earliest (and the only known) individual player card from the playing days of Negro League Hall of Famer Joshua Gibson was recently unveiled by Robert Edward Auctions. The real photo postcard is slated for sale in the company's Spring 2005 auction. The card's historic significance is almost certain to make it not only the highest valued baseball postcard, but the highest valued postcard ever sold at public auction.

Gibson's rare autograph on both the front and back of the card will also make it extremely attractive to autograph collectors as well. In addition to the authenticated autographs, a salutation found on the reverse is personalized to fellow Negro League catcher Joe Lewis.

The postcard is all the more extraordinary in that it features Gibson as an eighteen-year-old in his first full season with the Homestead Grays Negro League team. Gibson joined the Grays in the middle of the 1930 season and he left to join the Pittsburg Crawfords early in 1932.

Gibson was the star of the 1931 Grays, considered by most historians to be the best Negro baseball team of all time. Playing as an independent team in 1931, they are credited with a record of 163-23 against all levels of competition. In that season, Gibson logged a record 75 home runs.

The "Joe Lewis" in the salutation is almost certainly Joseph Herman (Sleepy) Lewis, who was a star catcher in the Negro Leagues from 1919 to 1936 with many teams including the Baltimore Black Sox, Washington Potomacs and the Lincoln Giants.

The Gibson card was for many years part of the collection of Louis Santop, another star of the Negro Leagues. Several examples from the Santop collection (including the Gibson card) were from an obscure set of real photo postcards produced by Harrison Studio of Hot Springs, Arkansas. All cards from the set include the postcard markings on the reverse along with an "AZO" stamp box.

The Harrison Studio set includes cards of both individual players as well as team photo cards of the Grays during spring training for both 1930 and 1931. Because Gibson had not yet joined the team when the 1930 team photo was taken, he is found only in the 1931 postcard. The photo for his individual player card was no doubt taken at the same time. The 1931 team card is shown here; Gibson is in the back row; fourth from right.

Both team cards from the Harrison Studio set are dated in white lettering near the bottom of the cards. The dates are "3/30/30" and "4/3/31" respectively.

A set profile for the Harrison Studio issue, along with a checklist and gallery of all currently known cards from the set, has been added to the Old Cardboard website.

6. Old Cardboard Holiday Special

Hard to Shop for?

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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, (2) a companion website at and (3) this eNewsletter. The Old Cardboard website contains more than 500 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced before 1950.  Each of these 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. Old Cardboard eNews provides current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website and the magazine. It is published around the middle of each month. For a FREE subscription to the eNewsletter, or for subscription information on Old Cardboard Magazine, please visit the website at If you find this information resource helpful, please tell your friends. We need your support and your feedback. Thank you.

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