Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #68 (December 2009)

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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. Walking Stick Draws Lively Auction Action
3. Latest Additions to the Website
4. Set Profile: 1953 Weaver's Wafers
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

December 2009

9Phone/Internet Heroes of Sport Auction (see website for details).
9Phone/Internet Grey Flannel Holiday Auctions (see website for details).
9-10Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auction (see website for details).
10Phone/Internet Historic Auctions (see website for details).
12Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
15-16Phone/Internet Legendary Auctions (see website for details).

January 2010

30Phone/Internet Legacy Sports Rarities (see website for details).

2. Walking Stick Draws Lively Auction Action

A piece of baseball memorabilia that caught our attention in last week's Leland's Sports auction was Lot #232: a walking stick presented to J. Ward, Jr. in 1886 by the "Star B.B. Club."

I was particularly interested in the piece, as I have been fortunate enough to inherit a similar walking stick that belonged to my great-great grandfather, Wm. P. Hardeman, a Confederate general. It was given to him in the 1890's by the then aging members of his old Civil War brigade.

At first glance, the walking stick in the auction might be attributed to Hall of Famer John Ward, who was 36 years old at the time the piece was engraved. In fact, the title and description of the lot in the auction catalog state that the piece did indeed belong to HOFer Ward.

However, it was later determined that the subject piece did not belong to HOFer John Ward and that there is no known connection between Ward (the Hall of Famer) and the "Star B.B. Club." An "update" statement to that effect was added to the online lot description before the auction closed.

Famous owner or not, the gold-handled example in the auction is a beautiful piece that clearly relates to baseball in the nineteenth century. And it therefore carries with it at least a few tidbits of baseball history.

Old Cardboard's initial research revealed several baseball teams that were active in the mid-1880's and named themselves "Star's." None that we have found so far, however, included a J. Ward (or J. Ward, Jr.) on their roster. Perhaps one of our readers from the Society for Baseball Research (SABR) might be in a better position to link player J. Ward, Jr. to the Star B.B. Club. Please let us know if you can provide any additional info.

The lot in the auction sold for a little over $2,500, including the buyer's premium. While it clearly has value based on the baseball history that it holds, the curious reader at this point might wonder about the value of the gold in the handle--considering that today's gold prices hover over $1,100 per ounce.

The gold value may be less than one would expect. Here's why.

Such walking stick examples are often said to be "gold handled." In reality, the handles are gold filled, which means they are fabricated from a core of brass or other metal around which a thin layer of gold is bonded under heat and pressure. The result is a quality piece with all the appearance (and perhaps even more ruggedness) of pure gold but without the shortcomings of electro-plating or the cost of solid gold.

Often, gold filled items contain markings that indicate how much and what type of gold was used in the added layer. Thus, a marking such as 1/20 14K means that the handle contains 1/20 (5%) 14K gold by weight. The actual weight of the handle in the auctioned lot is not known. However, assuming a handle weight of 5 ounces, 5 percent of which is 14K gold, the handle would have an intrinsic value around $160 (i.e., 5 ounces x $1,100 per ounce x 0.05 gold layer content x 0.58 purity of the 14K gold layer).

As another frame of reference, similar "gold handled" walking sticks (but not related to baseball or to any well known person) typically sell in auctions and antique shops in the range of $250-500, more or less.

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3. Latest Additions to the Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles, checklists and card galleries. Recent (past 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Profiles have been added for:
1909-10   Murad College Sports Series Silks
1910   Punch Cigarros
1953   Weaver's Wafers (Potato Chips)

Set Checklists have been added for:
1924   V122   Willard's Sports Champions

Set Galleries have been added for:
1924   V122   Willard's Sports Champions

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 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. Set Profile: 1953 Weaver's Wafers

A very obscure minor league set from America's heart land is the focus of this month's vintage card set profile. The little known set was issued around 1953 by Weaver's Wafers--a potato chip brand produced in Lincoln, Nebraska. According to collector Dan Bretta, who provided the scans of the example cards shown here, the company went out of business just a few years ago.

According to Bretta, "I bought them from a lady off of ebay a few years ago who was from Minnesota...she obtained them at an auction in a box of ephemera that was not baseball related...these were the only two she had."

Neither Dan nor Old Cardboard have ever seen any other cards from the set. We would be very interested if any of our readers may have cards of other players or can provide any further details about the set or its sponsor.

Because of the player selection on these two cards it appears that they are from either 1953 or 1954 as both played for Lincoln in those two years, according to Bretta. Finding one or two more cards from the set would probably pinpoint the exact year.

The team first became the Lincoln Chiefs in 1953. They had been previously known as the Lincoln Athletics--a Western League franchise and farm team of Philadelphia's Major League club--before Connie Mack sold the team the previous year.

As seen in the examples, there are staple holes at the top of both cards. From this, Bretta surmises they were stapled to the outside of the potato chip bag at the top seam.

The black and white cards measure 3-1/4 x 4-1/2 inches and have blank backs. They are numbered with the player's full name, position and an ad message for Weaver's Wafers and note that the Chiefs can be followed on KOLN radio (Lincoln's first radio station--now KLIN).

A Set Profile page for Weaver's Wafers cards has been added to the Old Cardboard website.

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

Jennings Portrait Pose Completes Gallery.  A portrait pose of Hughie Jennings has now been added to the 1908 PC773-3 Wolverine News Co. Postcard gallery on the Old Cardboard website. Thanks to Old Cardboard reader Mike Harrington, the Gallery is now complete with all 20 cards from the set.

Back Pack Reminder.  As a reminder, our Back Pack special (full run of Old Cardboard from Issue #1 through #20 for $99) continues through December 31 (see Old Cardboard website for details).

Holiday Greetings to All.  As we complete our final eNewsletter for 2009, we wish all our readers a Happy Holiday season and a prosperous new year. We sincerely appreciate the continued support that we have received from all our readers and advertisers and look forward to an eventful 2010.

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.