Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #49 (May 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. Vintage Set Profile: 1909 T204 Ramly
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. A Card is a Card is a Card. Or is it?
5. 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 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

May 2008

15Phone Barry Sloate Auctions (see website for details).
17Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
19Internet Brockelman & Luckey Auctions (see website for details).
21Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. XVI (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Historic Auctions (see website for details).

June 2008

6Phone/Internet Leland's May Catalog Auction (see website for details).
21Phone/Internet Fusco Auctions (see website for details).
TBDPhone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction CCA20 (see website for details).
18Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).
25-26Phone/Internet Mastro Auctions Premier (see website for details).
28San Francisco Bay Area Vintage Collector's Show (email Mark Macrae for details)

2. Vintage Set Profile: 1909 T204 Ramly

A checklist and complete gallery for the 1909 Ramly Cigarettes set was recently added to the Old Cardboard website. This latest gallery addition highlights one of the most important and distinctive of all twentieth century tobacco issues.

The cards were issued in packs of "Ramly Turkish Cigarettes," from which the set received its hobby nickname. A few rare cards were also issued under the T.T.T. Cigarette brand, but that's another story that we'll save for a future article in Old Cardboard magazine. Both brands were produced by Mentor Company of Boston. The cards are recorded as set T204 in the American Card Catalog.

T204 Anderson (Oval Frame)

T204 Anderson (Square Frame)
Another rare anomaly found in the Ramly set is that six of the 121 players in the issue are also found framed inside a square (rather than oval) ornate border. An example for one of these players (outfielder John Anderson who played for the Chicago White Sox the previous season) is shown here.

Unlike most cards of the period, the T204 cards were manufactured with an embossed frame. Interestingly, the square frame variation cards required not only a change in the printing presses, but in the added equipment needed for producing the embossed frame.

As seen in the T204 Set Checklist on the Old Cardboard website, the other five players that are sometimes found with a square frame are: Frank Bancroft, Wm. Bransfield, Jesse Burkett, Wm. Dineen (Dinneen), and P. J. Moran. Note: A Dinneen example of the square-frame T204 variation (graded PSA VG3) is currently being auctioned as Lot #15 in the Memory Lane auction ending this Saturday (May 17).

As noted in the current issue of Old Cardboard magazine (see Jerry Spillman, "1908-09 PC760 Rose Co. Postcards: Embossed Design on a Green Field," Issue #15, p. 29-33), there are many parallels between the T204 Ramly and the PC760 Rose postcard sets. Like the Rose Company postcards, the Ramly design features oval-cropped Carl Horner-produced portraits inside an ornate frame. Both sets also feature a distinctive embossed card design.

There are many additional and interesting aspects related to the T204 set (packaging, advertising displays used to promote the brand, back variations, and the Mentor company's dispute with rival Helmar brand of the American Tobacco Company) that fall beyond the scope of this eNewsletter summary. Author willing, we plan to feature these and other details of the T204 set in a not-too-distant future issue of Old Cardboard magazine.

Note: A Set Profile, Checklist and full set Gallery for the T204 Ramly issue can be found on the Old Cardboard website.

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 for:
1947   Sport Magazine Premium

Set Checklists have been added for:
1895   N300   Mayo's Cut Plug
1909   T204   Ramly

Set Galleries have been added for:
1895   N300 Mayo's Cut Plug
1909   T204   Ramly

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 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. A Card is a Card is a Card. Or is it?

Defining what makes a "vintage baseball card" can sometimes be sticky business. We have already offered our view of what qualifies as "vintage" (see Editor's Notebook, Issue #7 of Old Cardboard magazine). At least for purposes of defining the scope for Old Cardboard, "vintage" includes anything produced fifty years ago or longer. The definition of "baseball" is straightforward and is generally agreed upon by all.

However, defining exactly what a baseball "card" is (and is not) has been the subject of debate among vintage collectors for many years. Although it is constructive to sometimes re-visit the question, it is a question in which there will never be a consensus. In reality, the question is largely irrelevant or can be answered accurately by just about any vintage collector regardless of how long they have been in the hobby or how knowledgeable they are. The simple truth is that all definitions are correct when viewed from the perspective of each individual collector.

Sure, there are collectors who would like to narrow the definition to fit their purpose. A collector of rookie player cards, for example, may want to establish guidelines for what is and is not a rookie card. "Card" is underscored here because the definition of what makes a rookie card could be the subject of an entirely different debate.

Conversely, collectors of pinbacks or pennants or leathers or panels from the backs of boxes that contain photos (or drawings) of baseball players (or team logos) may want to stretch the definition to encompass their respective collecting interests.

Acknowledging that this controversy and these diverse interests do exist, it is still worthwhile to discuss guidelines about what makes a baseball card a baseball card. After all, it is that definition and those guidelines that determine the scope of articles published by Old Cardboard.

It seems that Jefferson Burdick got it right when he cataloged baseball "cards" (along with an almost limitless number of cards featuring other subjects) in the American Card Catalog. In the ACC, Burdick adopts a very broad definition. The ACC includes the familiar cards produced in the 1950s by Bowman and Topps that many collectors today consider the epitome baseball cards. However, the ACC also includes a wide range of other "card" groups beginning with nineteenth century trade cards and tobacco insert cards. In between, the ACC defines categories of "cards" that encompasses pins, pennants, silks, leathers, postcards, Exhibit cards, playing cards, match covers, albums and more. All of these groups include card sets that feature baseball-related images printed on some medium and all are considered highly collectible among today's hobbyists.

Beyond Burdick's implied definitions, it is perhaps useful to attempt to rank order various "card" groups according to generally accepted hobby usage. Thus, we will stick our necks out and offer the following groups, ordered from the most traditional "cards" to the least:

  • Cardboard insert cards (T206 White Borders, Goudey, Topps, etc.)
  • Postcards and Exhibits
  • In-store and mail-in premiums
  • Strip cards (generally sold over-the-counter in uncut strips)
  • Periodical supplements (M101-2, M120, M128, etc.)
  • Cabinet and other photo card and premiums
  • Trade Cards (especially those with named players)
  • Cereal/box panels
  • Match covers
  • Game cards
  • Pins, pennants, silks, leathers, buttons, etc.
  • Albums and periodical covers
  • Periodical clippings
Knowing that any such list is subject to differing opinions, we welcome your input and perspective. All noteworthy feedback will be summarized in a future issue of this eNewsletter.

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

Hobby Article Index Expands. We have expanded the Article Index (accessible from the home page of the Old Cardboard website) to include entries for articles published in The Vintage & Classic Baseball Collector (VCBC). VCBC was a magazine for the vintage hobby published from March 1995 through June 2004. The index expansion includes over 200 articles from the full run of VCBC. Specific article topics can be located by filtering on "VCBC" or by using a word search function. The Article Index now contains over 600 entries for articles found in Old Cardboard magazine, the OC eNewsletter, The Old Judge newsletter and now VCBC. It is quickly becoming a valued resource for those researching vintage sets.

"Uncataloged" Card Addition. A previously uncataloged card of Cy Perkins has been recently reported and added to the checklist for the 1922 Schapira "Big Show" Candy set. The Checklist for that set has been updated on the Old Cardboard website, bringing the total for the set to 21 known players.

2008 Hold'em Series (Tourney #5 Reminder). The fifth (May) on-line tournament of Old Cardboard's 2008 Texas Hold'em series is set for Tuesday, May 27 at 7:30 pm Texas time (20:30 Eastern). In last month's tourney, subscriber Rob DeWolf moved in to first place in the Leaderboard for the 2008 Series. Jason Barden of New York City, Brett Hardeman of Austin, TX and Tom Morgan of Naperville, IL, all share a three-way tie for second place. Its still an open race with eight more tournaments in the series remaining to be played. All vintage collectors are invited to participate. To registration for the May tournament, just sign onto PokerStars and register for Tournament 85812288 (Old Cardboard #5) using the access code pc760rose. Complete details for the 2008 Series are provided 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.