Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
Old Cardboard eMagazine Issue #180              December 2021

Welcome to Old Cardboard, the most complete reference resource for information about collecting vintage baseball cards and related memorabilia.  More information about this eMagazine and its companion website is found at the bottom of this page.

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Old Cardboard SPECIAL ISSUE: Baseball Comic Postcards

                  by Lyman Hardeman and Frank Keetz
3. Recent 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 90 days. For the most current listings of additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Key Events Calendar, accessible directly from the home page of the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?
December 2021
18-19Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).
19Austin, TX Old Cardboard eMagazine Release (Issue #180; website).
30Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).

2. Old Cardboard SPECIAL ISSUE:
Baseball Comic Postcards

by Lyman Hardeman and Frank Keetz

Editor's Note: This is our first ever Special Issue of the Old Cardboard eMagazine. It coincides with a major expansion of the OC website, and is focused entirely on a growing segment of vintage card collecting--Baseball Comic Postcards.

This article, along with the accompanying website expansion, broadens the hobby's knowledge for nearly 100 baseball card Sets. In addition, it provides additional facts and images for more than 200 Singles (postcards that are not part of sets).

This new expansion is embellished with galleries of more than 900 different individual card images. All of them are presented in full color, some of which have never been seen by even the most advanced collectors.

We are fortunate and very grateful to have two veteran Baseball Comic Postcard collectors as key contributors to the article. Co-author Frank Keetz, now 94 years young and otherwise known as the "Dean of Baseball Comic Postcards," is author of the original 1976 booklet (and 1983 update) by that title. In addition, long-time collector Eldon Mohler has provided untiring assistance in producing scans of large numbers of postcards from his very advanced collection. Without either of these contributors, this Special Issue would not have been possible.

We hope that you enjoy the Special Issue.

First (1976) and Last (1983) Editions
of Frank Keetz' Baseball Comic Postcards.
The printing of Comic Postcards of all themes evolved directly from 19th century
trade cards. They are among the earliest postcards printed, and are also found among the earliest baseball postcards of all types.

Twelve different sets of comic postcards with a baseball theme were identified by J. R. Burdick in the American Card Catalog (final 1960 edition, page 158). These are assigned the numbers PC798-1 through PC798-12 and represent a wide range of the types of cards published. They are sometimes referred to in the hobby as Group A.

Descriptions and examples from each of these sets are provided later in this article, following a summary table that compares the key aspects of each series.

The Golden Age of Postcards

The use of postal mailing cards began to pick up momentum late in the nineteenth century. By the middle of the first decade of the twentieth century, the momentum evolved into the Golden Age of Postcards that spanned the period from around 1906 through 1915, influenced by both Post Office policy and social and economic trends.

1905 Union Publishing Company Postcard.
Post Office policy laid the groundwork. The implementation of Rural Free Delivery to deliver mail to remote areas, as well as changes in postal rules to remove some postcard restrictions, helped advance the use of postcards.

As a result, it is estimated that nearly a billion postcards were mailed each year during the Golden Age. While only a small portion of these were devoted to comic baseball themes, that still amounts to many millions of Baseball Comic Postcards mailed (not counting those kept by collectors and never posted) during the decade 1906-1915.

The collecting of Baseball Comic Postcards provides all of the challenges and enjoyment of collecting more traditional cards. Further, it is often at much less cost and sometimes agumented with a little humor. So if you are on a restricted budget and enjoy researching and organizing your collection, these cards may be just what you are looking for.

Numerous additional sets of baseball comic postcards, all produced in the first half of the twentieth century, have now been identified beyond these twelve. Examples of many of these additional cards are presented on the Baseball Comic Postcards continuation webpages. These can be accessed from links at the top and bottom of this page.

Estimating Issue Dates of the Cards

The issue dates attributed to traditional baseball card sets are often based on the known playing careers and team changes of the featured players. While Baseball Comic Postcards do not have that advantage, there are several relatively straightforward methods in which its date of issue can be determined. When available, these methods are the ones used to date the cards in this article and on the Old Cardboard website.

Card Dating via Copyright

Card Dating via Postmark(s)

Card Dating via User Msg.

Perhaps the most direct method of dating postcards is via a copyright date printed directly on the cards (example at left; copyright in lower right corner; click to enlarge).

However, less than about twenty percent of Baseball Comic Postcards show a copyright date. Fortunately, approximately half of them have legible postmarks showing their date of mailing. By sampling the postmarks of multiple cards, it is usually possible to estimate the original date of issue as the earliest date of the postmarks.

There are actually two postmarks in the middle example shown, as was common practice at the time. The first (March 18, 1906) was stamped at the originating post office in Nashville, TN, while the second (March 20, 1906) was stamped two days later at the receiving post office in Northhampton, MA.

Similarly, a few postcards have hand-written dates by the sender that indicate when the messages on the cards were written (and presumably about when the cards were purchased and mailed). In the example at right, the hand written date (July 2, 1912) is the same as the postmark, as might be expected. Interestingly, this card was written by "T. W." in Saginaw, MI, asking his friend "Tom" in nearby Belding, MI to dig worms to bring to their planned mid-summer fishing trip. Apparently, there were no worms to be found in Saginaw! (select image to rotate and enlarge).

By combining these three methods, it is possible to accurately estimate the issued dates to within one or two years in almost all cases.

Pricing Guidelines for Baseball Comic Postcards

As with more traditional vintage baseball cards, the pricing of Baseball Comic Postcards is subjective, at best. The value of postcards varies perhaps even more widely than traditional cards. The values assigned here, therefore, should be used as guide lines for searches on eBay, postcard websites, and in other mainstream auctions.

We have divided postcard pricing into five ranges and assigned one to five "$" symbols, respectively, to each range. For postcards in "Good to Very Good" condition (i.e., without significant flaws even if they have been mailed), the ranges are:  $ ($2-9);   $$ ($10-24);   $$$ ($25-49);   $$$$ ($50-99)   and   $$$$$ ($100+). We welcome feedback from our readers about your experiences in buying and selling cards for your collection.

Organizing and Cataloging the Cards

Example from Group A
As previously indicated, the organization and cataloging of Baseball Comic Postcards began with twelve set listings in the American Card Catalog. The ACC listings are limited to a single line description for each set, with all dozen entries occupying less that a quarter of a page in the catalog. There were no checklists or detailed descriptions to more completely define the sets. As indicated, this group is sometimes identified as Group A.

Example from Group B
Building on this twelve-set foundation, veteran collector Bill Barker expanded the list in the 1960s by seventeen sets. These were assigned the numbers PC798-13 through PC798-29.

In the first edition (1976) of Baseball Comic Postcards, Frank Keetz expanded this list of sets to number PC798-66, then expanded further to PC798-79 in his 1983 second (final) edition. Although the pace has slowed, a few new sets have been identified since the 1983 edition of Keetz' book. These have been added to the new Baseball Comic Postcards section of the Old Cardboard website by continuing this established numbering plan, beginning with PC798-80.

These "baseball-only" sets added by Barker and Keetz (along with several sets recently appended) are referred to as Group B on the Old Cardboard website.

It should be noted that the above classifications are for sets containing only baseball-related postcards and do not include baseball comic postcards that are part of primarily non-baseball related sets. They also do not include baseball singles. Both of these groups are discussed further below.

Example from Group C
About two dozen sets have been identified that are primarily non-baseball related. These are grouped separately in Keetz earlier publications and on the Old Cardboard website.

Thus, these sets are sequenced as PC798-C1 through PC798-C24 and up. Together, they are referred to as Group C. Any new baseball-related postcards that are part of primarily non-baseball sets will be added to this category.

Example from Group D
Similarly, baseball comic postcard "singles" are numbered starting with PC798-D1. These "Group D" cards are organized a little differently than in the other groups. Because these "singles" cards are so numerous (219 different entries in Keetz 1986 edition), they are often organized and stored alphabetically based on the caption found on the cards. That is the way they are organized in Keetz 1983 reference and the method that we will follow in on the Old Cardboard website.

In summary, Baseball Comic Postcards are typically organized into four Groups, as described above. They are listed here as follows:

Group A   (The Basic 12 -- Sets Cataloged in the ACC)
Group B   (Baseball Comic Postcard Sets -- Other)
Group C   (Baseball Comic PC's in Mostly Non-Baseball Sets)
Group D   (Baseball Comic PC Singles -- Not Part of Sets)

Continued on the Old Cardboard Website

As an extension to this article, four scrolling web pages have been added to the Old Cardboard website--one page for each of the above groups. All four pages are linked via navigation panels (at the top and bottom of each page) that allow for ready access to Galleries of more than 900 Baseball Comic Postcard images. As more postcards are discovered, they will be added to the appropriate group on the website.

We welcome any corrections or new additions to the website, and hope that you enjoy your journey throught this new Baseball Comic Postcards section of Old Cardboard.

OC eMagazine Sponsor

3. Recent 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:
1896   P24   Yellow Kid Pinbacks
Note: In addition to the above pinback set, we have made more than 100 Set Profile additions to the new Baseball Comic Postcard section of the Old Cardboard website. These can all be accessed from links in the above article.

Set Checklists have been added for:
We have added Checklists for nearly 100 sets to the new Baseball Comic Postcard section of the Old Cardboard website. These can all be accessed from links in the above article.

Set Galleries have been added for:
We have recently added Galleries for about 100 sets (as well as over 200 "singles" cards) to the new Baseball Comic Postcard section of the Old Cardboard website. These galleries contain images for more than 900 different baseball-related postcards. These can all be accessed from links in the above article.

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.

1887 N28 Allen & Ginter
1888 N29 Allen & Ginter
N162 Goodwin Champions
N172 Old Judge
N184 Kimballs
1800s BB Trade Cards

D303/D304 General Baking
D305 Bond Bread
1946-50 D317 Remar Bread
1910 D322 Tip Top Bread
1947 D323 Tip Top Bread
1916-21 D350 Standard Biscuit
(more custom searches
by major card groups)

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

Plan Now for the 2022 National in Atlantic City. Tickets for the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, NJ are now on sale. The 42nd "National" opens on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 with the traditional reception for all attendees who have purchased one of the multi-day packages. The convention extends through Sunday, July 31. Details about the National, conference housing options and more are described on the Convention website.

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 (currently on hold after printing 34 Issues), (2) a companion website at and (3) this eMagazine. The Old Cardboard website contains well over 1000 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of the 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.  Each Old Cardboard eMagazine provides three or four articles about vintage baseball card sets or related memorabilia, current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website.  It is published quarterly around the middle of the last month of each quarter.  For a FREE subscription to the eMagazine, 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.

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