Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #38 (June 2007)

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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. T206 Proof Strip Goes Unsold; Intrigue Remains
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Scans Needed: Postcard-Back Exhibits
5. OC Magazine Issue #12 on Track for July Delivery

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

June 2007

5Live, NY City SCP with Sotheby's Live NY Auction (see website for details).
8-10Schaumburg, Il SportsFest (see website for details).
20-21Internet Mastro Collector Auction website for details).
21Internet American Memorabilia website for details).
24Internet Heritage Monthly Sports Auction (see website for details).
26Phone/Internet Prestige Collectibles Auction (see website for details).
28Phone Barry Sloate Auctions (see website for details).

July 2007

10Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).
29Internet Heritage Monthly Sports Auction (see website for details).

2. T206 Proof Strip Goes Unsold; Intrigue Remains

One of the most intriguing and valued pieces in the vintage baseball card hobby failed to meet the consignor's reserve at a recent auction held by Leland's Auction. The item, a five-card strip of players from the T206 set, is shown below. As seen, the strip is badly creased in multiple places. However, it is the only proof strip from the T206 set known to exist. Incredibly, the strip includes the most sought after of all vintage baseball cards--the card of Honus Wagner. Along with Wagner, two other superstars of the period, Mordecai Brown and Cy Young, are found on the strip. All three players are now in the baseball Hall of Fame.

As with the recent sale of the most pristine example of the Wagner card itself (featured in an article in Issue #11 of Old Cardboard magazine), the five-card strip has stirred considerable renewed interest about the artifact itself as well as the lore surrounding its curious past.
For comparison, we have also shown a side-by-side grouping of production cards for the same five players (see images below). These are images of the actual cards as they were distributed in cigarette packs.

In comparing the images in the strip with the individual cards, it quickly becomes clear that several changes were made between the printing of the proof (prototype) strip and the the actual production run. While the Wagner card appears unmodified, noticeable changes in each of the other four cards occurred. Thus, a "blue" collar was added to the images of Brown, Frank Bowerman and Johnny Kling. The jerseys for Young and Brown were darkened and colorized. Even more apparent is the application of a red team insignia linking Bowerman to the National League Boston Doves.

Although the modifications are significant, the basic pose, cropping and background colors remain constant.
The five-card strip has been widely known to the vintage hobby for only about eight years. It was a part of the collection of Barry Halper and first auctioned to the public as Lot #822 in Sotheby's landmark "Halper" auction of September 1999. The now well known strip has changed hands several times since in both private transactions and through other auction houses including Mastro Auctions.

Adding even more intrigue to the strip, it is said to have been originally in Wagner's personal possession. According to the auction catalog write-up for the Sotheby's sale, "Of special note is the fact that this strip of cards was actually found many years ago in an attic of Honus Wagner's old house by the new owners, along with various personal effects, including correspondence and uniforms."

Given these origins of the strip, one cannot help but speculate about the circumstances under which it came into Wagner's possession. It is widely believed that Wagner had his card pulled from production and distribution with "T206" brands of the American Tobacco Company. The question is then raised about whether or not this strip was provided to him in a last-ditch effort to persuade him to change his mind.

Now a century later, it is not likely that any new details will surface to help answer that question. So while the speculation seems likely to remain just that, interest in the strip and its origins will not doubt grow.

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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:
1957   R414-13   '57 Topps "Regular Issue"

Set Checklists have been added for:
1928   W461   Exhibits
1949   R449   Smack-A-Roo

Set Galleries have been added for:
1928   W461   Exhibits
1949   R449   Smack-A-Roo

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 many 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. Scans Needed: Postcard-Back Exhibits

Longtime Exhibit collector Adam Warshaw has written an extremely informative and comprehensive article about the 1925-31 "Postcard-back Exhibits" set. The article is scheduled to run in the next issue (Issue #12; Summer 2007; see issue summary below) of Old Cardboard magazine. To fully illustrate the article, we need scans of three cards from the set. They are (1) the Faber "solid background" variation, (2) the Todt "solid background" variation and (3) the Peckinpaugh "Cleveland" variation.

For those not so familiar with these relatively obscure variation cards from the set, the examples shown here should aid in identification. In the example cards for Tris Speaker (above right), the card on the left is the "regular" card; the "solid background" variation is shown on the right. Although the pose is the same, the photographic background (except for the area around the labeling) has been replaced with a solid color. Note that many color variations exist and are unimportant for this example. It is scans of this solid background variation (any color) that we need for the cards of Urban Faber and Phil Todt.

The needed Peckinpaugh card is a labeling variation of the card shown at left. On the card shown, the label is hand-lettered showing Peckinpaugh as a member of the Washington American League team. In the needed variation, the labeling is typeset inside a solid colored panel and shows Peckinpaugh with Cleveland.

Also, although not needed for the article, we would appreciate scans of the Pipp, Smith and Walburg cards to complete our image gallery for this set. Once complete, we will post the full gallery on the Old Cardboard website.

If you can supply images for any of these cards, please send via email attachment to If you do not have an image but know where we might find one, please also let us know.

Thanks much for any of these scans that you can provide. All input is sincerely appreciated and will allow us to avoid running blank spaces labeled "Image Not Available" in the article.

5. OC Magazine Issue #12 on Track for July Delivery

Issue #12 (Summer 2007) of Old Cardboard magazine is now being assembled and is on track for delivery by early July. The issue marks the completion of three years of publication. All twelve issues to date have been produced in full-color for delivery on or ahead of schedule. We appreciate your continued support as we renew our commitment to bring you the most comprehensive information resource for vintage baseball cards and memorabilia.

The cover for this latest issue highlights our lead article--the first of a two-part series covering the earliest baseball card sets produced by Topps Gum Company. In this article, author David Hornish profiles the first eight of the company’s mainstream or "regular-issue" baseball series produced annually beginning in 1952. In a companion article to be published in our next issue (Issue #13), Hornish describes the various novelty and test series that Topps produced during the same timeframe. Together, the articles provide a comprehensive overview of the baseball card sets that were issued during the formative years of a dynasty that continues to dominate the hobby today.

The second major article in the Summer 2007 issue focuses on the 1925-31 Postcard-Back series produced by Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago. After providing an overview of the set, author Adam Warshaw provides a convincing case for the timeframe over which cards in the set were produced, which is somewhat longer that previously documented in hobby references. The numerous variations of the cards in the set are then explored in detail. Included are discussions of the five players in the set that have cards with different labeling formats to reflect team changes, another five players with two entirely different poses, and the eight players in the set with like poses but different card backgrounds. Examples are shown in "mini-galleries" that compare cards within each of these variation subsets.

In addition, Warshaw describes the five basic back variations known for the set, one of which was only recently confirmed. Rounding out the most comprehensive article ever published about the set, Warshaw provides examples of the three different very rare 4-on-1 cards known for the set and discusses the common poses and design formats for the twelve cards common to both this and the W517 Strip card issue. A "rainbow" of examples of twelve cards of Charlie Hartnet, each with a different color or background variation, also demonstrates the wide range of colors for cards found in the set.

Other article(s) planned for the Summer issue will be confirmed as the magazine is finalized and prepared for the printer. When the layout is completed around the middle of June, these additional articles will be added to the Abstracts Page for Issue #12 that can be found on the Old Cardboard website at the link below.

The above feature articles are in addition to the magazine's regular "Editor's Notebook," "Collector's Dugout," and "Old Cardboard Crosswords" sections. Abstracts for each of the above articles, including thumbnail images of the full-color page layouts, can be viewed on the Old Cardboard 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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