Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #75 (July 2010)

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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. Set Profile: 1938 Signal Gasoline Oakland Oaks
3. Latest Additions to the Website
4. Book Review: Nebraska Indians; Fun and Frolic ...
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 2010

27Internet 2010 Old Cardboard Texas Hold'em Tourney #7 (details).
28-29Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (see website for details).

August 2010

4-8Baltimore, MD National Sports Collectors Convention (see website for details).
5Baltimore, MD Heritage Auctions Live (see website for details).
6Baltimore, MD Legendary Auctions Live (see website for details).
12Phone/Internet Auction (see website for details).
14Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
19-22White Plains, NY White Plains Sports Card Show #30 (see website for details).
24Internet 2010 Old Cardboard Texas Hold'em Tourney #8 (details).

2. Set Profile: 1938 Signal Gasoline Oakland Oaks


Most vintage collectors (especially those who collect Pacific Coast League cards and memorabilia) are familiar with a couple of Signal Oil sets produced in the late 1940s just after the close of World War II. Few collectors today, however, are familiar with a black and white set produced by Signal Gasoline in 1938--before the onset of the war. The set featured twenty-four players of the Oakland Oaks.

The cards in the 1938 set (actually oversized stamps) each measure a relatively small 1-5/8 by 2-3/8 inches. The card for manager "Dutch" Zwilling is shown here at approximate actual size. As shown in the example, the player's name and position is indicated along the bottom border. Cards are known with both blank backs as well as backs with faint watermark-like labeling as shown in the illustration.

According to PCL card expert Mark Macrae, the cards were distributed to fans, one card per fan, with a different player card handed out at each home game. The games were played at Oaks Park in Emeryville, CA.

In addition, a sixteen-page album was also produced to contain the cards and provide additional information about the team's 1938 schedule, player's 1937 batting (and pitching) records as well as instructions on how to keep score and calculate batting averages. According to Macrae, the albums were not distributed to customers at the ballpark, but at Signal Gasoline service stations.

The 1940s Signal Oil sets include one issued in 1947 (featuring several Pacific Coast League teams and best known among collectors today). The cards in this 1947 set (as well as several other baseball card sets of the period) follow a cartoon format drawn by major leaguer Al Demaree. Another set was produced by Signal Oil in 1948. The 1948 set was printed in color and includes only Oakland Oaks players.

Unlike the later Signal Gasoline card series of the late 1940s, the 1938 set is not listed in the American Card Catalog. It is also omitted from the current edition of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.

A complete Checklist and Gallery for all 24 players in the 1938 Signal Gasoline set can be found on the Old Cardboard website. A detailed article featuring all Signal Oil card sets is also planned for an upcoming issue of Old Cardboard magazine.

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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:
1938   Signal Gasoline

Set Checklists have been added for:
1938   Signal Gasoline
1909   PC805   Novelty Cutlery

Set Galleries have been added for:
1938   Signal Gasoline

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. Book Review: Nebraska Indians; Fun and Frolic ...

The McFarland Press has added an interesting new title to its Historical Baseball Library series. It is actually two titles in one book--both originally written and published as booklets by Guy H. Green about the Nebraska Indians barnstorming baseball team of the early twentieth century. The original booklet titles were:

1) A Complete History of the Nebraska Indian Base Ball Team (1903)
2) Fun and Frolic with an Indian Ball Team (1904).

Both (and especially the former) are very difficult (and expensive) to find in their original editions. This new McFarland edition also includes an appendix that contains an article, "Experiences with and Indian Ball Team," that Green wrote and was printed in the Nebraska State Journal in 1908.

Green's works detail the athletic success and humorous escapades of the most famous American Indian barnstorming baseball team. Altogether, the team played well over 1500 games during Green's management. The games were played throughout the midwest and east coast with a winning percentage greater than 75 percent.

Guy Green was an attorney, journalist, businessman, Presbyterian evangelist and baseball entrepreneur. While he is best remembered today as the owner-manager of the barnstorming Nebraska Indians, he also founded Green's Japanese Baseball Team in 1906 and Green's Native Hawaiian Baseball Team in 1913. He died in Kansas City in 1946.

The recent release is edited by Jeffrey Beck, associate dean of graduate studies and professor of English at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Beck's narrative not only combines the reprinting of the original century-old booklets, but includes a comprehensive introduction that provides historical background and perspective about Green as well as the team and their barnstorming adventures that spanned a well over a decade.

Beck's 250-page book is illustrated and includes a detailed index.

Vintage collectors have been aware of cards and memorabilia related to the Nebraska Indians team including a variety of postcards (see example at left), cabinet photos, handbills and other interesting items. Note: the postcard is obviously used with the sender's card-related message written on front and mailed in June, 1907. Only three months earlier (March 1907), the USPS began allowing messages to be written on "divided" postcard backs. The back of this card, however, uses an earlier "undivided" postcard template.

Lincoln, Nebraska resident and Old Cardboard subscriber Dan Bretta has one of the leading collections of Nebraska Indians baseball-related items and is currently preparing an article describing his research for a future issue of the magazine. A Set Profile for the Nebraska Indians postcards can also be found on the Old Cardboard website.

Guy H. Green (edited by Jeffrey P. Beck), The Nebraska Indians and Fun and Frolic with an Indian Ball Team (McFarland & Company, Publishers, Jefferson, NC and London, 2010).

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

Checklisting Mislabeled Cards. A Partial Checklist of vintage cards in which the player named on the card is not the player pictured has been added to the Old Cardboard website. There are no doubt many other such examples. The list is organized by major card groups and now contains over 50 mislabeled cards--all from sets produced before 1950. We welcome any corrections or additions to the list. Please send all feedback to We will update and expand the list accordingly. Note: For more information about checklisting mislabeled cards, see the Editor's Notebook section of Old Cardboard magazine Issue #23.

See You at National. Brett and I look forward to seeing many of our friends and subscribers at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. It's only a couple of weeks away with a convenient new venue well located for East coast collectors. If you have a few extra minutes and we don't bump into each other on the floor, please feel free to call Lyman (512-466-5358 cell) or Brett (512-466-5372 cell) so we can arrange to meet in person. We'll plan a full report in the August eNewsletter.

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.