Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #17 (September 2005)

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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. Old Cardboard Issue #5 Now in Production
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Featured Set of the Month: 1912 T205 "Gold Borders"
5. N172 Old Judge Population Trends
6. Name That Place (and That Player)

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar

The following is a summary of vintage card events coming up in the next 30-60 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
September 2005
23-25Philadelphia, PA EPSCC Ft. Washington Show, Ft. Washington, PA (see website for details).
28-29Internet/Phone Huggins & Scott Auctions (Contact: see H&S website for details).
29Internet/Phone American Memorabilia (Contact: see See website for details).
30Internet 20th Century Only "Real Collectors Auction II" (See website for details).
October 2005
19Internet Andy Madec Auction (see website for details).
20Internet/Phone Mastronet Classic Collector Auction (see website for details).
25-27Internet Geppi's Memorabilia Road Show Auction (see website for details).
29-30Internet Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).

2. Old Cardboard Issue #5 on Target for October 15 Delivery

(click image for more details about Issue #5)
Issue #5 of Old Cardboard magazine has now entered the production phase. We will be uploading the files for the final layout to the printer soon and are on track for another on-time delivery to subscribers around the middle of October.

The cover for Issue #5 (shown at right) displays vintage cards for ten of the sixteen lesser-known Hall of Famers featured in our lead article. In that article, SABR researcher David Fleitz has provided Old Cardboard with an exclusive digest of his recent book "Ghosts in the Gallery at Cooperstown" (McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC, 2005). The article (as well as the cover for this issue) is illustrated with cards from a wide variety of vintage sets with several dating from the 19th century.

In another article, West Coast collector Adam Warshaw focuses on arcade cards that relate baseball and Hollywood films and stars. The article is enhanced with a series of full color (and full size) images of cards that are described in the narrative.

Other articles include an overview and a gallery of all 14 lithographed panels from the Allen & Ginter album (A16 in the American Card Catalog), along with a few details and a gallery of the complete set of trade cards known in the hobby as set H807-17 (Bluish-Green Series). In addition, the 2005 National Sports Collector's Convention is viewed from the vintage baseball card and memorabilia collector's perspective. Several of the more interesting items that were showcased at the convention are highlighted.

As an added way for vintage collectors to get better acquainted with fellow hobbyists, the Collector's Dugout section for this issue has been expanded to include a panoramic group photo of members of the Network 54 Vintage Baseball Card forum. The photograph was taken at a dinner held by the group during the National convention in Chicago. All 35 participants that attended the dinner are identified.

Additional details about the contents of Issue #5, including thumbnail images of the layout for all articles, can be found on the Old Cardboard website.

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3. Latest Updates to the Website

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

Set Profiles
have been added or significantly expanded for:
1887-93 Baseball Currency

Note also that the set profiles for the four Centennial Flour sets have been moved to their proper listing category under "F" (Food) issues at F340.

Set Checklists have been added for:
1887-93 Baseball Currency
1903 E107 Breisch-Williams Caramel
1911 T205 Gold Borders
1911 Western Playground

Set Galleries have been added for:
1887-93 Baseball Currency
1911 T205 Gold Borders
1911 Western Playground
1916 M101-4 Sporting News (Gallery of All Known Backs)

We continue to update the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage issues, so check in 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. Featured Set of the Month: 1911 T205 "Gold Borders"

(110 cards)
(76 cards)
(12 cards)
1911 T205 Gold Border set has long been a favorite among vintage collectors. Beautifully lithographed, the 208-card set offers numerous challenges in set size as well as the number of different card back sponsors and other card variations that collectors have found. The printed gold borders, however, are subject to edge chipping and make the cards unusually susceptible to wear.

The condition sensitivity of the T205 cards makes a high-grade set being auctioned later this month look all the more appealing. With an overall grade of 6.23, the group is said to be the 2nd finest T205 set registered by PSA. It will be auctioned September 29 by American Memorabilia, Inc. Additional information about the set and the auction can be found on the AMI website.

T205 Set Overview: Of the 208 cards that make up the basic T205 set, a few more than half (110 cards) represent American League players. The balance of the cards show National League (76 cards) and Minor League (12 cards) players.

The card designs are unique within each of these three groups. As illustrated in the examples, American League Players are framed inside a baseball diamond with baseball equipment icons below the player portrait. National League players are displayed with a simpler design that allows more space to present larger portraits of the players along with a facsimile of the player's autograph. The card designs for the twelve Minor League subjects include an ornate frame with the team initials in both upper corners. This subset also contains the only cards with action shots (rather than portraits) of the players.

A complete checklist (including variations) for the T205 Gold Border set has recently been added to the Old Cardboard website. In addition, a complete gallery of all 208 cards can now be viewed. We believe that the T205 set is among the most attractive in the vintage baseball card hobby. If you think that you may not agree, just take another look at the gallery.

Note: We are planning to publish and article in a future issue of Old Cardboard magazine focused on the eleven different T205 backs and the dozen or so card variations known to collectors. To do so, we need your help. If you would like to consider writing or contributing to the article, please let us know. We would especially like to obtain high-resolution (300 dpi) scans of the more difficult Broadleaf, Drum and Hindu backs as well as scans that illustrate some of the card variations. Please send all input (scans/comments/questions) to

5. N172 Old Judge Population Trends

Old Cardboard subscriber and article contributor Joe Gonsowski has just compiled a few statistics about the ever popular 19th century N172 Old Judge set. His study shows trends in the graded quantities as well as the grades assigned the cards over the past couple of years. The results are summarized in the charts below (all produced by Gonsowski based on data gathered from the PSA and SGC grading services).

The first graph shows the total number of cards graded over time together with the average cumulative grade. Gonsowski cautions that data should be intrepreted very carefully in reaching any conclusions. While PSA generally has graded many more 20th-century cards, the data shows that, at least for the Old Judge set, SGC has processed nearly two-thirds of the total cards graded.

It is also apparent that the average grade is dropping with time. Some collectors suggest that this is due to tougher grading standards although it may very well be that an increase in lower-grade submissions explains the difference.

The second chart summarizes the grade distribution of Old Judge cards based solely on data obtained from SGC. The chart shows a fairly normal distribution with 64 percent of the cards found within the SGC 30-60 range. As a reminder, grading scales for mid-grade cards from the two services are roughly as follows: Good (SGC 30, PSA 2); VG (SGC 40, PSA 3); VG-EX (SGC 50, PSA 4); EX (SGC 60-70, PSA 5).

There are a total of 520 different players in the Old Judge set. At 2396 cards graded, SGC averages just under five cards per player. However, due to rarities such as the 19 California League players and others, the current population report represents 472 different players, or 90.8 percent of the 520 total players in the set. Last year at this time, cards for only 80.1 percent of the Old Judge players had been graded by SGC.

The last table should be of much interest to collectors of Old Judge cards for players that are now in baseball's Hall-of-Fame. As might be expected, the 27 HOFers found in the Old Judge set account for fully 15 percent of the total submissions, despite the fact that HOFers make up only 5 percent (27/520) of the total set. According to Gonsowski, this disproportionately high submission rate for HOFers can be attributed to the higher value of the cards together with his belief that most of them were better cared for over the past eleven and a half decades. He also believes that the HOFer cards--more than the cards of non-HOFers--may also suffer from inflated numbers due to re-submissions and crossovers.

Importantly, the table serves as an indicator of the relative rarity of HOF cards. From the results, an Old Judge HOF collector would expect that a Comiskey or King Kelly card might be much easier to find that one for Wilbert Robinson or Bid McPhee.

The above statistics gathering, analysis and reporting is part of an ongoing effort by Gonsowski. He welcomes any comments and suggestions from Old Cardboard readers. He can be reached at

6. Name That Place (and That Player)

(click on image to magnify center portion)
Due to the strong response and interest in the "Name That Place" write-up in our June eNewsletter (eNews
Issue #14), we have followed-up with another challenge for our readers. We need your input to help identify the vintage photo (both the ballpark and the base runner in the foreground) shown at right.

As seen, the photograph this month is packed with action. The image was found on a 3-D stereo view produced by H. C. White Company, a major manufacturer of stereographs during the first decade of the twentieth century. The company was headquartered in Bennington, VT and had offices in New York, Chicago and London before going out of business in 1912.

The game was played around 1908 (give or take a couple of years). The base runner in the foreground is wearing a "Chicago" jersey.

Reader Challenge #1: The first challenge is to identify the ball park in which the game was played. Hint: The "structures" in the background on the right side of the image appear to be empty rail cars in which some of the fans were transported to the game.

Reader Challenge #2: The second challenge is to identify the base runner in the foreground. Hint: Just click on the image above to get a magnified view of this player that clearly shows the "Chicago" on his jersey as well as more detailed facial features.

REWARD: The first reader to answer either challenge along with minimal supporting "documentation" wins a free set of Old Cardboard's Vintage Type-Card Gallery Prints. Documentation could be simply a description or convincing rationale, or another photo (or baseball card) with a similar view/pose to compare with the ones shown here. Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from you. --OC Staff

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.

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