Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
  eNews Issue #140 (December 2015)

Please Note: If images are not loading in this email, click here.

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. Larry Semon's 1920 Baseball Memorabilia Purchase
3. Latest Additions to the Website
4. 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 Key Events Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

December 2015

26Internet Sirius Sportscards (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).

January 2016

7Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (see website for details).
8Phone/Internet Leland's Catalog Auction (see website for details).
15-17White Plains, NY White Plains Sports Card Show (see website for details).
16Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
30Internet Love of the Game Auction (see website for details).
30Phone/Internet Small Traditions Auctions (see website for details).
31Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).

2. Larry Semon's 1920 Baseball Memorabilia Purchase

One interesting fact in a recently released biography of cartoonist, silent film star and baseball fan Larry Semon reveals that in September of 1920 Semon purchased a baseball and bat signed by Babe Ruth (it was the end of Ruth's first season with the Yankees). The purchase price was $500. Reported in the December 1920 issue of Photoplay Magazine, it was no doubt among the earliest recorded sales of baseball memorabilia. The transaction was part of a charity event honoring World War I vets. The event was held at the then-posh Alexander hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Semon posing as a catcher.
(ca. 1915; Photo by Paul
Thompson; image provided
courtesy of Claudia Sassen)

This and countless other details about Semon's short but colorful and excentric life is detailed in "Larry Semon: Daredevil Comedian of the Silent Screen" by Claudia Sassen (McFarland, 2015;

Interestingly, the author is an accomplished cartoonist in her own right. For more than three decades, she has been actively researching Semon and his legacy as a cartoonist and silent film star and producer.

Sassen's book is naturally focused on Semon's film career but contains numerous references to his early career as a newspaper cartoonist and his lifelong interest in baseball. Her 250-page book is printed in an oversize (7 x 10-inch) format and contains nearly 100 illustrations.

Although Semon was well known early in his career as a syndicated cartoonist, he gained far greater worldwide fame as a silent film star and producer of dozens of films in the early 1920s. Among his better known (but not necessarily most widely acclaimed) films was an early (silent film) version of "The Wizard of Oz."

Outside the United States, Semon was perhaps even better known in Europe where his films were widely distributed with subtitles in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Czech, Dutch, Danish and possibly more. It was Semon's European fame that inspired the Germany-based author to research and compile Semon's biography. According to Claudia, she "was constantly confronted with his films from the age of 2 or 3 years on. They were shown on German TV--in the seventies on a weekly basis and in the eighties on a daily basis."

Examples from each of Semon's two 1914 baseball sets include a Ty Cobb postcard (above) and a newspaper supplement featuring Jim Thorpe (right).

Larry Semon is known to longtime vintage baseball card and memorabilia collectors as the creator of two obscure sets--both distributed in 1914 by the New York Evening Sun. One is a set of 7 postcards featuring leading players of the period (six of the seven players have since been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame). The other is a series of 21 newspaper supplements featuring members the 1914 New York Giants team. The supplements are printed in a 9 x 12-inch format and include standouts Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Rube Maquard, Wilbert Robinson and Jim Thorpe.

Examples from both sets are illustrated (with different players than shown here) in Sassen's book. Both sets are also listed in the Krause Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards and both are profiled along with complete galleries on the Old Cardboard website.

Additional details about Semon's baseball card sets (also including full galleries for each set) are provided in an eight-page article, "The Baseball Artwork of Larry Semon: A Prelude to Silent Movie Stardom" in Issue #28 (Fall 2012) of Old Cardboard magazine.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

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 Checklists have been added for:
1937   W463-7   "Four-on-One" Exhibits
1938   W463-8   "Four-on-One" Exhibits

Set Galleries have been added for:
1937   W463-7   "Four-on-One" Exhibits
1938   W463-8   "Four-on-One" Exhibits

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 every month. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, card images, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all input to

Beyond the above pages recently added to the Old Cardboard website, we continue to expand and refine our eBay Custom Search Links to make finding vintage baseball cards on eBay easier than ever. The results of these searches are continuously changing, so check back often to find the most recent eBay listings. Samples of a few of these custom searches are provided below. Hundreds more are provided on the Set Profile pages throughout the Old Cardboard website.

P2 Sweet Caporal Pins
Mrs. Sherlock's Bread
PM8 Our National Game
PR3-3 Orbit Gum
PR4 "Cracker Jack"
PX3 Double Headers

Game Cards
1888 WG1 Game Cards
WG2/WG3 Fan Craze
WG4 Polo Grounds
WG5 "National Game"
WG6 "Tom Barker"
WG8 S&S Game Cards

(more custom searches
by major card group)

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

Happy Holidays! We wish all of our readers
a Happy Holiday season and many additions
to your vintage collections in 2016.

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.