Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #15 (July 2005)

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. Fleer Corp. Joins Gum-card Graveyard
3. Latest Updates to Website
4. Old Cardboard Magazine Completes First Year
5. Name That Place (Answer: Ft. Monroe)
6. $3 Discount on Tickets to National

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 latest listings on all upcoming vintage card shows and auctions, see the Show and Auction Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor
July 2005
19Phone/Internet Prestige Collectibles Japanese Baseball Auction #25 (see website for details)
27-31Chicago, IL The National Sports Collectors Convention (see website for details)
31Internet Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
August 2005
11Internet/Phone Memory Lane: Buried Treasures Auction III (for details, see the website)
16Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (for details, see the website)
17-19Internet MastroNet Premier Auction (for details, see the website)
18Internet/Phone Collectible Classics Auction CCA7 (see website) for details).

2. Fleer Corp. Joins Gum-Company Graveyard

Long-time baseball-card giant Fleer Corporation was placed on the auction block last week following an extended period of uncertainty in the company's future. The company's assets were purchased by Upper Deck for $6.1 million. The sale proceeds will be used to help liquidate some of the company's debt.

As reported by Sports Illustrated, Fleer's creditors include dozens of current and former professional athletes. Among these is baseball's Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, who is owed $14,350.

Fleer's demise ends what is by far the gum industry's longest running corporate history, which extends back more that a century and a half. That's when, in 1849, Frank H. Fleer is said to have first begun his gum business. Later, in the early part of the 20th century, the Fleer company is credited as the first to develop and market bubble gum.

Fleer is best known as the producer of a seemingly endless stream of "modern" card sets beginning in 1960s and continuing into the 21st century. Many of today's baseball card collectors remember the Fleer "rookie" set as being the 80-card "Ted Williams" series produced in 1959 (the example card at right is from that ground-breaking set). However, Fleer's branding of a strip card set in 1923 pre-dates the Ted Williams issue by 36 years!

The 1923 Fleer set was produced by the company's branding of an otherwise blank-back set of strip cards, designated as set W515 in the American Card Catalog. Further information about the W515 set can be found on the Old Cardboard website.

The message on the back of each card reads "Every Five-Cent Package of Fleer's Bobs and Fruit Hearts contains a picture of a famous person. Get the complete set of 120. FRANK H. FLEER CORPORATION, Philadelphia."

Because the 1923 Fleer cards are so scarce, a complete checklist is not currently known. It is assumed that 60 of the "set of 120" cards correlate directly with the 60-card W515 issue. Based on the message printed on the back of the card and the few examples now known, it is believed that this early Fleer set may have also included cards for 60 additional non-baseball athletes and celebrities.

After a considerable amount of consolidation among companies that issue baseball cards over the past few years, the remaining "big three" are now: Topps/Bowman, Upper Deck/Fleer, and Playoff/Donruss/Score.

3.  Latest Updates to Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles and additional checklists and set galleries. Recent (past 30 days) updates include:

Set Profiles
have been added or significantly updated for:
1938 Sawyer Biscuit "Cabinets"
1880s-1890s Baseball Cabinets
1911 M131 Baltimore News Newsboys Series
1949 Gallina Blanca
1946? Eagle Lodge

Set Checklists have been added for:
1938 Sawyer Biscuit "Cabinets"
1911 M131 Baltimore News Newsboys Series
1931 W517 Strip Card Set
1914 E224 Texas Tommy (Type 1)
1914 E224 Texas Tommy (Type 2)
1928 R333 Delong

Set Galleries have been added for:
1931 W517 Strip Card Set
1928 R333 Delong

We will continue to update the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage issues, so come back often to check out the latest additions. Any assistance from website viewers in adding new checklists and scans for card galleries is most welcome. Please send input to

4. Old Cardboard Magazine Completes First Year

Issue #1

Issue #2

Issue #3

Issue #4

With the mailing of Issue #4 earlier this month, Old Cardboard magazine celebrated the completion of its first year of publication. Brett and I want to again thank all for our subscribers, authors and advertisers for your continued steadfast support. We have enjoyed a busy and successful first year and look forward to producing many more quality issues of the magazine as well as this free monthly eNewsletter. We also plan the continued expansion of the Old Cardboard website at

We are committed to being "Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards," and to providing interesting and colorful articles in a timely manner. Old Cardboard is truly a resource put together by vintage collectors for vintage collectors, and we always invite your suggestions on ways to better serve the hobby. We appreciate your feedback and your support.

Note: A narrative summary of the contents of the articles found in each issue can be accessed by clicking on the above image for that issue. We still have copies of all back issues, which can be ordered online. It's not too late to start your collection today.

5. Name That Place (Answer: Fort Monroe)

1930's Photo

Recent Photo
In our June eNewsletter, we asked our subscribers for assistance in identifying the fortress featured on a 1930's vintage postcard that has a baseball field at its center (see image at right). Several replies quickly identified the fortress as Fort Monroe, VA located at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. A more recent color photo of the 80-acre fortress is provided here.

The quickest reply, and the winner of a set of Old Cardboard's Type-Card Gallery Prints, was Donald Johnson of Springfield, VA. Don admits that he perhaps has a slight advantage. He is a Major on active duty in the military.

In addition to a number of other correct answers, guesses ranged from Key West to Wake Island. We appreciate all replies.

Fort Monroe has an interesting history. As early as 1609--long before baseball was ever "invented"--fortifications were built at the site by the British. The structure shown in the images was completed by the U.S. government in 1834 and named for President James Monroe. It was held by Union forces throughout the Civil War. Following the war, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, was imprisoned there from 1865 until 1867.

Long a U.S. Army coast-artillery post and school, the fort became headquarters of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) in 1973.

We are told that baseball games are now played a short distance away, outside the fortress. It sure looks to us, however, like there is still a playing field laid out at one end of the "drill field" at the center of the fortress--almost exactly where it was located nearly three-quarters of a century ago.

6. $3 Discount on Tickets to National

Just an "FYI" to Old Cardboard readers that plan to attend the 26th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago next week (July 27-31, 2005): NAXCOM is offering a $3 discount on day tickets ($12 rather than $15). The tickets can be ordered online and are good for any day at the show. They can be picked up at the company's will-call desk at the entrance to the show. Multiple tickets can be purchased if you are planning on attending more than one day. As an added bonus for first-day attendees, the tickets will get you in at 4 pm--an hour before the crowd--when the show opens to the public on Wednesday, July 27. The only requirement is that you register for a free NAXCOM account on their website (follow this link for details).

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 before 1950.  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.