Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #23 (March 2006)

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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. Honus Wagner "Rookie" Card on Auction Block
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Old Cardboard Magazine Issue #7 on Target for April Delivery
5. MLI wins NAXCOM VI:2 Contest; Focus Now on March 30 Auction

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.

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March 2006

15-16Phone/Internet Huggins and Scott Auction (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction (CCA10; see website for details).
30Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
31Phone/Internet Heritage Signature Auction (see website for details).

April 2006

6Phone/Internet Lew Lipset Auction (see website for details).
19-21Phone/Internet MastroNet Premier Auction (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Lelands Sports and Americana Auction (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions Spring Auction (see website for details).

2. Honus Wagner "Rookie" Card on Auction Block

Vintage collectors sometimes wonder whether Honus Wagner made baseball cards famous or if Wagner's baseball cards contributed at least in a small way to his superstar status. Despite his legendary aversion to tobacco cards, Wagner's image made its way onto the king of all cards--the now-famous T206 card #486. But while the Wagner T206 card's rarity has contributed to its sky-high value, it is relatively commonplace when compared to another Wagner card discovered a few years ago in Louisville, Kentucky.

The one-of-a-kind card (see front and back scans at left) shows Wagner in a Louisville Colonels uniform, the team with which he played for three years before finding a permanent career home with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Like the T206, the more recently discovered card was originally produced to advertise tobacco products. In this case, it was used to promote the "Hans Wagner 10-cent Cigars" manufactured by Louisville resident Henry Ruccius. The card also pitches "Koda, Bowler, Our Favorite and Farmers' and Gardners' Favorite 5 Cigars."

The "Reccius Wagner" as it is sometimes called, is considered by some to be Wagner's true rookie card. It is to be auctioned at Leland's Spring catalog auction scheduled for April 28. Bidding starts at $25,000.

The historic card measures 3-3/8 by 4-3/4 inches. It's size and the relatively thin stock that it is printed on is more reminiscent of 19th century trade cards than those from the T206 set and other issues of the 1910's. The reddish-orange card features the youthful portrait of Wagner printed in black ink inside an oval frame. Printed vertically along both sides is the contact information for the producer: "2606 Elliot Avenue, Louisville, KY" on the left side and "Home Telephone 6807" on the right.

A trade union imprint is found above and to the left of the Wagner portrait. In addition, the card back is filled with wordy prose extolling the virtues of union made products and the workers who make them.

Notwithstanding a technical grade of PSA 1 (Poor-Fair), the card has considerable eye appeal.

The exact date of issue and method in which the card was first distributed are today unknown. Speculation among collectors estimates the date of issue as early as 1897 or as late as a decade or more later. Most evidence suggests it was produced around 1899. In grading the card, Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) labels the date of distribution as 1897-99.

As PSA states on its website, "the 1890 city directory for Louisville lists Henry Reccius as living on Elliott Street, and Louisville had 4-digit phone numbers prior to 1900." Both of these facts are consistent with an 1899 estimate for the production of the card.

Perhaps adding a little uncertainty to the dating of the Reccius Wagner card is a "Honus Wagner Cigar" box (see example at right) bearing the same pose as the one found on the Reccius card. Several such boxes are known to exist.

Based on the labeling printed on the box, it is known that these boxes were produced around 1919 or later. However, it is believed by Cigar historians that the two manufacturer's (i.e., Reccius and the one that produced the box) are likely not related.

Research on the background of the card reveals that the it's producer, Henry Reccius, was already making cigars in 1870 at the age of 18 years while still living at home in the Louisville area. It is also interesting to note that two of Henry's younger brothers (John and Phil) both played major league ball with Louisville and other American Association teams in the 1880's, more than a decade before Wagner signed with the team.

Despite its technical grade and uncertainties about the date that it was produced, the Reccius Wagner remains among the most appealing and historically significant of all tobacco cards. Perhaps time (and further research) will help settle the speculation among collector's whether it is Wagner's true rookie card.

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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 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Profiles
have been added or significantly expanded for:
1911 Stevens Firearms

Set Checklists have been added for:
1909 E101 Anonymous "Set of 50"
1914 T222 Fatima Player Cards
1911 Stevens Firearms

Set Galleries have been added for:
1909 E101 Anonymous "Set of 50"
1914 T222 Fatima Player Cards
1911 Stevens Firearms

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. There are now thousands of card images on the Old Cardboard website and the list continues to grow. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, card images, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all input to

4. Old Cardboard Magazine Issue #7 on Target for April Delivery

Issue #7 (Spring 2006) of Old Cardboard magazine is now at the printer and on track to be in subscriber hands by it's April 15 promised delivery date.

The cover for this latest issue (shown here) is keyed to our lead article about the T202 Hassan Triple Folder series. Co-authors for the article, Lee Behrens and Brian Hodes, have both completed the set after several years of piecing together the 132 component cards. In addition to describing the key features of set, a checklist is included numbered both in the sequence of all 132 different cards in the set as well as by the 76-card sequence based on the black and white card center panels. A separate player cross-checklist also keys each player featured on the T202 end panels with the master checklist.

A full-page sidebar included with the article describes the only known three-panel in-store display used to promote the set and its sponsor, Hassan cigarettes. The three-panel display originally used in 1912 was only recently discovered and is slated for auction this Spring.

Other articles in this latest issue of Old Cardboard include little known details about the 1914 E224 Texas Tommy card sets along with a gallery of all known examples from the 51-card Type 1 set and all but one of the cards in the Type 2 series. The article is written by second time Old Cardboard author John Esch.

Rounding out the issue is Part II of Tim Newcomb's in-depth study of the 1930's "Pens" premiums, and a striking image and revealing description of one of the very earliest baseball matches ever reported in a national news publication.

The above feature articles are in addition to the magazine's regular "Editor's Notebook" and "Collector's Dugout" sections and lots of informative messages from our sponsors. More detailed abstracts for each of the above articles, including thumbnail images of the full-color page layouts, can be viewed on the Old Cardboard website.

5. Memory Lane wins NAXCOM VI:2 Competition; Focus Now on March 30 Auction

Our hats off to Memory Lane, Inc. for winning the NAXCOM Vintage Invitational 2 sales competition. Over the past half-year or so, the company worked its way to the top of a field that started with 32 vintage dealers. To win, MLI had to offer the broadest selection of vintage cards at prices low enough to attract the largest volume of business. It's reward: A $10,000 cash first prize. Additional details about the VI:2 competition can be found on the NAXCOM website.

With the VI:2 competition now history, MLI is focused on its catalog and on-line auction that closes March 30. The event offers an outstanding array of lots for the vintage collector.

Although a signed Ruth baseball may not be the main interest of some Old Cardboard subscribers, we can assure you that all of our readers will be intrigued with a video clip on the MLI website that is used to help place their Ruth-signed baseball into perspective. It was the ball used in the "last home run" that Ruth hit in the "House that Ruth built" (Yankee stadium). The "home run" was part of an exhibition event between two games of a double header that pitted the Yankees against the Washington Senators. The games were played August 23, 1942 and keyed to a wartime bond drive.

In the exhibition, then 55-year old ex-Senator Walter Johnson pitched against Ruth, then 48 years of age. Benny Bengough was catcher for the event, with Hall-of-Fame Umpire Billy Evans looking on. All four can be seen in the photograph at right.

The ball carries the signatures of not only Ruth, but also of Johnson and Evans. It has been consigned to MLI by the original fan, now 78, who attended the game at age 15 and whose father grabbed the ball as it landed in the "Ruthville" section of the stadium beyond the right field wall. It is a Ruth-signed ball with a truly fascinating story. For the whole story and the video that recorded the event, take a look on the Memory Lane website.

If you are more into high-grade vintage baseball cards than Ruth-signed baseballs, then you also will find plenty to choose from in the auction. The auction offers a very impressive array of several hundred vintage cards with grades of 7 (near-mint) or higher. Perhaps even more impressive is that there are examples from more than three dozen different vintage sets are represented, beginning with several 1887 N172 Old Judge cards.

Other auction highlights include high-grade examples of the 1910 E93 Standard Caramel cards of Frank Chance and Eddie Plank; a 1911 T205 Mathewson (PSA 7); a 1915 E145 Cracker Jack Walter Johnson (PSA 8); and a 1916 M101-4 Sporting News example of Joe Jackson graded PSA 8 (see image at left).

All lots for the Memory Lane auction can be viewed on their website.

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 fifty years ago or longer.  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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