Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #45 (January 2008)

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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. Topps Wrappers with Mullin Cartoons
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Jim Beck (1944-2008): A Memorial Tribute
5. Vintage Baseball Card Article Index Now On-line
6. Old Cardboard's Texas Hold'em Tournaments for 2008

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

January 2008

24Phone Barry Sloate Auctions (see website for details).
26Live/Internet Fusco Auctions (see website for details).
29-30Internet SCP with Sotheby's Internet-Only Auction (see website for details).

February 2008

7Phone/Internet Mile High Auctions (see website for details).
2/29-3/2Reading, PA Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show (see website for details).

2. 1950 R414-1 Topps Wrappers with Mullin Cartoons

1950 R414-1 Topps "Mullin Cartoons" Wrapper (inside)

As we processed David Hornish's article "Topps (Part II): Novelty & Test Issues of the 1950s" (Old Cardboard Issue #13 (Fall 2007, p. 23) for the printer, we still had not located a single example (or even an image) to illustrate the obscure 1948 R414-1 "Willard Mullin Cartoon" wrappers, one of the issues discussed in the article.

The cartoons were printed on the backs (inside) of the wrappers used to distribute small plugs of Topps gum, and are among the rarest of all early Topps issues. Although listed in the American Card Catalog, there were simply no examples to be found after weeks of searching by both Hornish and the Old Cardboard staff.

Finally, after the article was printed, several examples of the rare issue surfaced, thanks to subscriber Jeff Shepherd of Brooklyn, New York. Shepherd, who specializes in both sports and non-sports Topps collectibles of the period, has accumulated a small group of the wrappers.

R414-1 Topps Wrapper (outside)

Shepherd has also located an advertisement from the period that promotes the Mullin cartoons, which provides new information about the date of distribution and cost of the gum. Because the ad was printed in late 1949, Shepherd figures the gum was distributed in early 1950, not in 1948 as previously believed. The ad also indicates the two slabs of gum were packed into each wrapper that sold for a penny, again dispelling earlier beliefs that the packs sold for five cents.

R414-1 Topps Unopened Pack
The ad does, however, confirm that the cartoons were the work of famous cartoonist Willard Mullin, and were derived from cartoons used in a small magazine from the Spalding Sports Show, a long-running radio program.

As illustrated in the example above, the comics are printed in brown ink on the inside (side next to the gum) of a 2 x 2-7/8 inch foil wrapper. While the cartoon theme shown above is related to baseball, other non-baseball sports and non-sports themes were also featured.

The natural creasing that occurred when the foil wrappers were first used now makes many of them a bit difficult to read. The example above is titled "Pitching Goose-Eggs," a reference to the 1905 World Series. The description reads "All of the games in the 1905 World Series between the Giants and the Athletics ended in shutouts. The Giants won 4 games to 1."

Shepherd has also located an example of an unopened pack as shown here. He welcomes input and questions about this unusual Topps issue. He can be reached via email at A Set Profile page for the R414-1 Mullin Cartoons has been added to the Old Cardboard website.

Note that all images in the above article have been enlarged approximately 25 percent.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

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:
1888   A16   Allen & Ginter Album Premium
1889   A33   Duke "Terrors of America" Album Premium
1920s   Chocolate "La Imperial" Postcard
1950   R414-1   Topps Mullin Cartoons

Set Checklists have been added for:
1888   A16   Allen & Ginter Album Premium

Set Galleries have been added for:
1888   A16   Allen & Ginter Album Premium

Note: the above A16 and A33 albums form a new subcategory under "N" cards because all ACC-numbered albums are associated with 19th century card sets. Estimated Values for albums are for the complete album.

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. Jim Beck (1944-2008): A Memorial Tribute

It is with much sadness that we have just learned that Jim Beck, best known to collectors as the owner of AJ's Sport Stop in Vienna, VA, passed away this past Saturday, January 12, 2008. Jim was a longtime friend that first introduced Brett and myself to the vintage baseball card-collecting hobby.

The following is the full text of a Collector's Dugout profile about Jim that was originally published in Issue #8 (Summer 2006, page 10) of Old Cardboard magazine. It serves as a fitting tribute to Jim's life in baseball and vintage baseball card collecting.

Jim Beck (1944-2008)
"For Old Cardboard Business Manager Brett Hardeman and myself (Lyman), Jim Beck holds a special status. More than any other collector or dealer, he was our mentor as we first became interested in collecting and is the one most responsible for getting us hooked on the hobby.

That was back in the late 1980s. As owner of AJís Sport Stop in Vienna, Virginia, Jim was the source for some of my earliest vintage card acquisitions. Many of those cards are still in my type-card collection, ranging from an N28 card of Joseph Mulvey to a 1950 Bowman example of Warren Spahn.

For several years while Brett was in high school, he worked in Jimís shop.

It was during that time that a local newspaper ran an article about the shop along with a photo of Brett holding a 1954 Bowman card of Mickey Mantle (newspaper clipping is shown at left).

Jim started collecting baseball cards in 1954 while growing up in Shawmut, Alabama. Although he still remembers his first card purchase--a 1954 Bowman card of Memo Luna--he is still trying to forget the horror of his mom throwing out his boyhood collection while he was away attending college at the University of Tennessee.

After being involved in a number of sports card and comic book ventures, Jim purchased AJís Sport Stop from its previous owner in 1986. The shop has been in continuous operation since that time. Now, at a time when eBay auctions have dramatically changed the hobby, AJís boasts the longest running baseball card bid-board in the country. But while the weekly auctions are well attended, they no longer end with the madhouse bidding frenzy they once did, according to Jim.

Meanwhile, baseball has been the foundation of Jimís career. He has been coaching youth baseball since the early 1960s and started a menís league in 1989, which he still runs and plays in at the age 62. For the past six years, he has served as the Falls Church (VA) High School baseball coach."

Jim was a true friend to many collectors and will be missed. May he rest in peace.

5. Vintage Baseball Card Article Index Now On-line

We at Old Cardboard have already made significant progress toward meeting one of our New Year's resolutions for 2008: to develop an on-line index of articles about vintage baseball cards. Such an index for articles published by Old Cardboard is often suggested by our subscribers and is long overdue as a tool for researching vintage card sets. The indexing of other hobby publications is planned for later in the year.

The first phase of the project (encompassing articles from Old Cardboard magazine and our monthly eNewsletter) is now complete and can be accessed from the Old Cardboard website. Just select the recently added magnifying glass icon labeled "article index" on the website's home page.

The database-driven index now contains a considerable amount of detail for well over 200 articles. These include all feature articles from the first fourteen issues of Old Cardboard magazine. Article details can be obtained by selecting the article title from the main index listing. Details for each article include customary index data (title, author, issue number, issue date, starting page number, number of pages in the article, number of illustrations, etc.). In addition, the detail for each full-length magazine article includes an image of the magazine cover in which that article appears, a several-line article abstract and thumbnail images of the finished article layout.

Numerous shorter articles found in the Editor's Notebook and Collector's Dugout sections of the magazine are also indexed. In addition, about 75 articles from the Old Cardboard eNewsletter are now included in the database. Direct links to each eNewsletter article are provided so that the user has on-line access to the full text of the selected eNewsletter write-up.

We have also indexed a sampling of articles from the first five issues of Lew Lipset's The Old Judge newsletter published in the late 1980s. During 2008, we plan to complete the indexing of the full run of all fifty The Old Judge newsletters as well as articles form other hobby publications such as The Trader Speaks, Sports Scoop, VCBC, The Sports Exchange Trading Post and others. By year-end, our goal is to expand the index to over 1000 entries--all articles that relate directly to the vintage baseball card-collecting hobby.

The user is also able to filter database searches by Publication, Article Type, and a simple yet very useful Word Search string. Query results can then be sorted by Publication (default), Issue Number and Issue Date.

We have already started using the index internally and have found it to be an invaluable tool for researching vintage card sets and other hobby topics. We hope that you do also and welcome your suggestions for future modifications and enhancements.

6. Old Cardboard's "Deep in the Heart of Texas--Texas Hold'em Tournaments" for 2008

For the vast majority of our readers that could not attend Brett's sixth annual Texas Chili Cook-off, we have found a way to bring a bit of Texas flavor directly to you. Toward that goal, we have organized a series of monthly on-line "Deep in the Heart of Texas--Texas Hold'em Tournaments" to be held throughout 2008.

The tournaments will all be low-stakes events. Of the $11 buy-in for each monthly tournament, $10 will apply directly to the prize pool with $1 going to PokerStars for their on-line services. The tournaments are intended solely for the enjoyment of the participants. They will be private tournaments run by PokerStars and follow the same rules used by PokerStars in their public Hold'em tourneys.

The games are set to begin at 7:30 pm Texas time (20:30 Eastern) on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Tournaments for November and December have been moved up one week so they do not interfere with National Holidays (see 2008 Schedule for details). Each monthly tournament is expected to last approximately 2 hours.

In addition to the winnings for the top place winners of each tournament paid by PokerStars, Old Cardboard will be awarding trophies and other bonus prizes to our subscribers, not the least of which will be Texas Size Bragging Rights going into 2009! These prizes will be based on points accumulated by each player throughout the year. Points will be earned for each monthly tournament and will be updated each month on a Leaderboard that will be maintained and accessible through the Old Cardboard website.

Full details of the tournaments, the bonus award program and for getting set up with PokerStars are posted on the website and can be accessed from an icon that has been added to the Old Cardboard home page.

We look forward to a fun-filled series of tournaments in 2008.

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.