Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
  eNews Issue #150 (October 2016)

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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 Profiles: Vintage South African Issues
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?

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October 2016

13Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
14-16Chantilly, VA CSA Chantilly Show (see website for details).
19Phone/Internet Mile High Auction (see website for details).
22Internet BST Auctions (see website for details).
22-23Hempstead, NY "Long Island National" Show (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Leland's Catalog Auction (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Memory Lane "I Own It Now" Sale Ends (see website).
29Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).
30Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions Fall Auction (see website for details).

November 2016

10Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
10Phone/Internet Mile High Auction (see website for details).
15-17Phone/Internet Hake's Americana & Collectibles Auction (incl. baseball; website).
17Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
18-20Chicago Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular (see website for details).
18-20Internet Greater Boston Sports Collectors Convention (GBSCC; see website).
26San Leandro, CA San Francisco Bay Area Show (see web page for details)

2. Set Profiles: Vintage South African Issues

Considering that your editor is visiting the Republic of South Africa as this eNewsletter is being distributed, we thought it appropriate to profile a couple of vintage South African baseball-related sets. Both sets were produced in the 1930s and both were multi-sport issues with only one baseball-related card found in each set.

1936 United Tobacco (shown at approximate actual size)
The first (illustrated at right) was issued in 1936 by the United Tobacco Company. The set is titled "Sports and Pastimes in South Africa." The cards feature color renditions of numerous sports of the period. As shown, the images are "generic" and not intended to represent any particular player. There is no labeling on the card fronts. The all-sports set contains 52 cards, each measuring about 2-1/4 inches wide by 3-1/4 inches in height.

The numbered backs are printed with an ornate background. Labeling beneath the set title indicate that each card is part of a 52-card series that were packed with Springbok Cigarettes, printed in both English and Afrikaans. The heading is followed by a description and brief history of the sport in South Africa depicted on the card front--again in both English and Afrikaans. The English version reads:

"Baseball became firmly entrenched in this country in 1934 when a S. A. Board was formed. In Transvaal and Natal it has been a week-end recreation, but in 1933, Province inaugurated a Saturday League and entered the inter-centre series. Since 1931, Transvaal has beaten Natal 9 times; lost 3. Transvaal has beaten Province 3 times; lost once. Natal has won 2 and lost 3 against Province. Baseball is now a summer Saturday game throughout the Union.

A tag line at the bottom reads: "Issued by the United Tobacco Cos. (South) Ltd., 32 Kloof St., Cape Town." along with a credit to the printer: "Designed and Printed by Cape Times Ltd."

1939 Africa Tobacco (large size; shown about 3/4 actual size)
The second South African set profiled here was produced in 1939 by African Tobacco Manufacturers. Unlike the United Tobacco cards, however, the card images are printed in black and white and based on actual photographs of the featured athlete.

The set features a total of 100 athletes from numerous sports and many countries around the world (a full list is provided on the Old Cardboard website). The set is appropriately titled "The World of Sport."

Not surprisingly, the sole baseball player featured in the African Tobacco Manufacturers set is the card of Babe Ruth. Other key athletes found in the set include Olympic track star Jesse Owen and American boxer Joe Louis, as well as Norwegian figure skater and later film star Sonja Henie.

There is no labeling on the wide-bordered card fronts.

There are actually two sets produced by African Tobacco Manufacturers. They are both identical in all aspects except card size. The cards are found in both large (measuring 2-1/4 by 3-1/4 inches) and small (1-3/4 by 2-1/2 inches) sizes. All cards are printed on light card stock.

The African Tobacco card backs display text inside a simple but attractive graphic frame. The "World of Sport" set title at the top is followed by the notation "A Series of 100," confirming the set size. Each card is also numbered. As with the United Tobacco card backs, the center portion is filled with brief text about the subject on the front, printed in both English and Afrikaans. The English version reads:

"Familiarly known as 'Babe Ruth,' the most famous Base Ball player in the World and the idol of the American public. His meek and non-belligerent attitude often misleads the pitcher to grove him one with fatal results."

The card sponsor, "African Tobacco Manufacturers (PTY), LTD." is displayed at the bottom of the card backs along with its location in "Cape Town" South Africa.

1939 African Tobacco Album Cover
As with several American issues of the period, an album (see illustration at right) was also issued to contain the "World of Sport" cards.

The 24-page album (including covers) measures 8-1/2 by 11-1/2 inches and is designed to accomodate the larger sized cards (as described above).

Each of the 20 pages in the album includes space for 5 cards. Each page also includes the same player profiles (printed in both English and Afrikaans) that is found on the card backs.

The introduction on the inside front cover perhaps explains best the purpose of the set:

"In presenting to their many patrons this 'World of Sport' series, the African Tobacco Manufacturers (Pty.) Ltd. feel that they are following the universal trend in public opinion regarding Sport and Athletics to-day. Whilst realising that it is quite impossible to include every sporting celebrity, they have endeavoured to make this series as representative as possible of sport in all its branches, and in various countries. They trust these pictures will prove interesting, entertaining and instructive."

Remarkably, the album shown contains all 100 cards from the set and was collected by then 10-year-old Albert Runyan (1929-2012) who lived in South Africa with his family between 1937 and late 1939.

According to Runyan's daughter Patricia, he was a lifelong collector of stamps and coins as well as the African Tobacco and other sports card sets.

As Patricia expained recently to Old Cardboard, her father seemed to have a special affection for the World of Sport cards and album. On his family's return in 1939 from South Africa to the U. S. on the steamship Charles S. Tramp, he hid the album under his bunk when the steamer was boarded by sailors from the German battleship Graf Spee. According to Patricia, "he always considered it a wartime success that the Germans didnít get his baseball card collection!"

Later, Colonel Albert Runyan became an Air Force pilot that was shot down and captured on his 89th mission in Viet Nam. After surviving nearly seven years as a prisoner of war, he returned home to the U. S. in 1973. He continued to hold onto his baseball card collectiion, however, until his death in 2012 at the age of 83.

Set Profiles are provided on the Old Cardboard website for both the 1936 United Tobacco and the 1939 African Tobacco Manufacturers sets. In addition, a checklist for all 100 cards in the African Tobacco set has been added.

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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:
1939   African Tobacco

Set Checklists have been substantially updated for:
1939   African Tobacco

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, images of cards missing from our galleries, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all feedback 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.

C46 Imperial Tobacco (Canada)
V61 Neilson's Choc. (Canada)
V300 O-Pee-Chee (Canada)
Propagandas Montiel (Cuba)
Stamps/Transfers (Germany)
Menko Cards (Japan)

S74 "Silks"
1914 B18 Blankets
1939 Centennial Stamps
1930s Diamond Matchbooks
Baseball Sheet Music
1943 Yankees Stamps

(more custom searches
by major card group)

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

eNews Issue #150.   We could not let this eNewsletter go out without noting that it is the 150th consecutive monthly eNewsletter distributed by Old Cardboard.  For more than twelve years now, each issue has contained at least one mini-article and has been accompanied by additional Set Profiles, Checklists and Galleries added to the Old Cardboard website.  We thank all of our advertisers, authors and readers for your continued support for Old Cardboard and for helping to keep the eNewsletters flowing.

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.