Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #51 (July 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: 1947-49 Ruth Tribute Card
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. T204 Player Identification Errors (The Rest of the Story)
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

July 2008

7/30-8/3Chicago National Sports Collectors Convention (see website for details).

August 2008

1Chicago Mastro 2nd Annual Summer Live Auction (see website for details).
6Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).
6-7Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auction (see website for details).
20Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction CCA21 (see website for details).
21Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (see website for details).
25-26Phone/Internet Mastro Premier Catalog Auction (see website for details).

2. Vintage Set Profile: 1947-49 Ruth Tribute Card

Ruth Tribute Card (Front; reduced about 20%)

The oversized card in this one-card "set" is believed to have been distributed both in minor league (American Association) ballparks and as a premium for subscriptions to Pacific Coast Baseball News.

Ad and coupon used to promote Ruth Card

The only labeling on the front of the borderless black and white cards is a facsimile signature of Ruth.

The 3-7/8 by 5-5/8 inch cards were apparently distributed by two different sponsors (see card back examples below). As indicated by the last line at the bottom of the card on the left, the cards were provided "Compliments of American Association of Professional Baseball Clubs." In a variation, this sponsor's tag line is omitted (example on the right). It was these cards with the omitted sponsor's tag line that were distributed as premiums offered along with a one-year (1949) subscription to Pacific Coast Baseball News, a publication of the Pacific Coast Sports Publishing Company of Los Angeles. While both variations are scarce, neither back variation is considered substantially more difficult to find than the other.

Back--Type 1
(sponsor's tag line at bottom)

Back--Type 2
(no sponsor tag line)

Both back variations are the same except for the sponsor tag line. As shown in the examples, both are filled with Ruth's batting statistics from 1920 through 1934 while he was with the Yankees, and his pitching statistics for the years 1915 through 1918 while with the Red Sox. Ruth's batting performance is also provided for the each of the five years that he participated in the World Series. A narrative at the bottom of the card also provides career highlights.

The Ruth card was promoted in coupon ads that ran prior to the start of the 1949 season. The card was obtained as a premium by sending the coupon part of the ad along with $1.00 for a 1949 annual subscription to the newspaper. According to the ad, the Pacific Coast Baseball News was a semi-monthly with thirteen issues published during the baseball season. It claimed to be "the only publication exclusively serving Pacific Coast diamond fans."

An example issue of the sponsoring newspaper (Pacific Coast Baseball News) is shown at right. The issue was distributed September 10, 1950 (Vol. 4, No. 11), about a year or two after the premiums were produced.

According to a Bob Lemke blog post in November 2013, "As early as September, 1948, and continuing into the 1949 pre-season, the Ruth card -- minus the American Association notation -- was advertised in the Pacific Coast Baseball News as a premium.... Alternatively, the publisher offered the card alone for a dime in other ads. Similar ads were run at the same time in The Sporting News."

The Pacific Coast Sports Publishing Company also produced the Los Angeles team yearbook and distributed card sets of the team players in 1948 and again in 1949. These team sets are identified in the American Card Catalog as sets W725.

Summary information about the Ruth Tribute Card 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:
1933   PX3   Double Header Buttons

Set Checklists have been added for:
1933   PX3   Double Header Buttons
1952   F337   Num Num Potato Chips

Set Galleries have been added for:
1934-36   R318   Batter Up
1952   F337   Num Num Potato Chips
1952   F337   Num Num Potato Chips (includes back images)

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. T204 Player Identification Errors (The Rest of the Story)

The most recent issue of Old Cardboard magazine (Issue #16; Summer 2008) noted an error in the identification of card #96 from the T204 Ramly set. Well, as the legendary news commentator Paul Harvey would say, here's the "Rest of the Story."

According to Mark Fimoff, an Old Cardboard author and photo identity expert at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), card #96 is mislabeled "Powell, Pitcher, St. Louis A. L." The player pictured is actually Harry Howell, a Powell teammate who was also on the Brown's pitching staff the year the Ramly set was issued (1909). Conversely, card #57 labeled "Howell" actually pictures Jack Powell. So the photos for the two cards were erroneously swapped in the card design and layout.

But there's still a little more. To complete the rest of the T204 misidentification story, we should also mention that Card #37 labeled Donahue continues to be listed as Jiggs Donahue in some hobby checklists. The player pictured, according to Fimoff, is Jiggs' brother Pat. Makes sense, since the label further identifies the player as "Catcher, Boston A. L." Pat was catcher for the Red Sox in 1909; Jiggs never played for a Boston team.

Note: A T204 Ramly Set Profile (including a detailed Checklist and a complete Set Gallery) is provided on the Old Cardboard website.

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

National Hook-up. Brett and I will both attend the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago next week and hope to see many of our readers at the show. If we don't cross paths on the convention floor or at an after-hours event, please don't hesitate to give us a ring to coordinate an on-site visit. Brett can be reached at 512-466-5372; I am at 512-466-5358. Hope to see you there.

Article Index Expansion Continues. The Old Cardboard Article Index for vintage baseball cards continues its gradual but steady expansion. Last month, we announced the additions of articles from the complete 20-issue run of Sports Scoop, a hobby magazine published in the early 1970s. More recently, we have added the first installment of articles from The Trader Speaks, a leading hobby monthly with a 15-year run from 1968-1983. This first installment includes thirty articles from 1978 issues of TTS. Articles from other years will continue to be added as time permits. The Index now contains entries for nearly 700 articles focusing on vintage baseball cards and memorabilia. It can be accessed directly from the link above or by selecting the Article Index icon on the Old Cardboard Home Page.

USPS Commemorates "Baseball Anthem" Centennial. The United States Post Office unveiled earlier this month a 42-cent stamp commemorating the centennial of the classic song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Written in 1908 by Jack Norworth and set to music by Albert Von Tilzer, the composition is now credited as the third most-sung song in America (following only the "National Anthem" and "Happy Birthday"). The stamp was designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, AZ, based on an 1880s Baseball Trade Card from his collection. We'll have more information about the stamp, the song and the Trade Card from which the stamp was designed in the Fall 2008 Issue (#17) of Old Cardboard magazine.

2008 Hold'em Series Update. The seventh on-line tournament of Old Cardboard's 2008 Texas Hold'em Series was held this past Tuesday, July 22. The Leaderboard Results are now posted on the Old Cardboard website. Although the ranking of the top five players remains unchanged, Rob DeWolf's (wolfie51sb) first place win in the tournament moves him into a comfortable lead by adding 5 points to his Series total. Congrats to Rob. Next month's Tourney is now set up at PokerStars (#97698603; Old Cardboard #8; Password for Registration is h813h813). Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 26 at 20:30 EST (7:30 pm Central). All collectors of vintage cards or memorabilia are welcome to join in all the fun. It is a low-stakes ($11 tournament entry) Texas-friendly game. Check out the above link for details. We wish all participants the best of luck.

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.