Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #16 (August 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. 2005 National Sports Collector's Convention (A Review)
3. Latest Updates to Website
4. Book Review: A Portrait of Baseball Photography
5. eBay Vintage Sellers List (An Update)
6. Caramel Card Prices Sizzle

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
August 2005
11Internet/Phone Memory Lane: Buried Treasures Auction III (for details, see the website)
12Internet Cuban Baseball Cards Auction (see website for details)
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).
September 2005
9-11Los Angeles West Coast Sports Collectors Expo (Contact: see website for details).
16-18Philadelphia, 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).

2. 2005 National Sports Collector's Convention (A Brief Overview)

Taking advantage of a late July cool spell, the National Sports Collector's Convention kicked off in Chicago with strong interest in vintage cards and memorabilia.

The 26th annual event was held Wednesday, July 27 through Sunday, July 31. A few of the highlights included a display of a major portion of the well known Frank Nagy collection (the T206 Wagner from that display seems to get overshadowed by the towering stacks of other vintage cards from the collection). Other displays featured a high-grade complete set (said to be be second finest ever) of T205 Gold Border tobacco cards and an original 1918 letter from Red Sox management offering Babe Ruth a bonus based on Ruth's pitching record for the then current season. All of these display items are scheduled for auction over the next few months. Perhaps more importantly for vintage collectors wanting to return home with purchases in hand were the seemingly endless rows of dealers, many of whom were buying, selling and trading vintage cards and memorabilia.

Most vintage collectors appeared very pleased with the offerings of vintage material although some expressed apprehension over the prices a few of the cards and sets were bringing. If there was any underlying topic of discussion, it was the dearth of caramel cards found at the show and the high prices that were bringing (see separate article below).

At least on the surface, most all dealers seemed very pleased with strong sales. One dealer even stated that he exceeded his sales expectations for the entire show even before the first session ended on Wednesday evening.

On Friday evening, following a day of buying, selling and trading vintage cards at the show, members of the Network 54 Vintage Baseball Card Forum converged on nearby Shoeless Joe’s Sports Bar for an evening of fun, food and lively discussions about their latest vintage baseball card finds. With more than 35 people in attendance, the group is among the largest (if not, the largest) gathering of collectors of old cardboard ever assembled in one place. The forum consists of members from a large cross-section of geographically dispersed areas. The members also represent a wide variety of vintage collecting interests, with specialists in 19th century cards and memorabilia, early 20th century caramel, candy and tobacco cards, postcards, Exhibits, newspaper supplements, and much more.

The Fall 2005 issue of Old Cardboard magazine will provide more detailed coverage of the show along with photos of all of the displays mentioned above. The Collector's Dugout section will be expanded (this issue only) to include a group photo of the Friday evening gathering with each of the attendees identified. More than any other "Dugout" feature published to date, it will provide a venue for readers to "meet" dozens of their fellow collectors. It's the next best thing to being there!

Next year's show will be held in Anaheim, California. We hope to see you there.

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:
1919 M101-6 Sporting News Supplements
1949 Sun Picture Camera Indians
Home Run Candy Bar

Set Checklists have been added for:
1888 N43 Allen & Ginter
1949 Sun Picture Camera Indians
1933 R300 George C. Miller

Set Galleries have been added for:
1888 N43 Allen & Ginter
1933 R300 George C. Miller

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. Book Review: A Portrait of Baseball Photography

Collecting baseball cards prior to the 1960s was accomplished mostly on uncharted ground. Checklists were not widely circulated, there were few reference points for determining value, and most collectors had little information available about the various cards that they sought to collect. Such is the case now, more or less, for baseball photographs as we enter the twenty first century. The lack of a common "play book" from which collectors can evaluate baseball photographs has until recently deterred collectors from venturing into this branch of the vintage baseball collecting hobby.

The new book, A Portrait of Baseball Photography, provides that needed foundation. Published by MastroNet and introduced at the 2005 National Sports Collector's Convention in Chicago last week, the book is written by seasoned baseball photograph collectors Marshall Fogel (profiled in Old Cardboard's Collector's Dugout section of Issue #4), Khyber Oser and Henry Yee.

Beginning with the basics, the book details the origins and classifications of news and wire photos and provides historical overviews of the major news photo services. A large section documents the careers of some of the great baseball photographers including Joseph Hall, Carl Horner, Charles Conlon, George Burke and others--many of whose photographs were used in the production of baseball card sets well known to vintage card collectors today. An appendix details the various photographic processes from the earliest daguerreotypes to the silver-gelatin paper prints that dominated photographic printing in the twentieth century.

The volume is lavishly illustrated in black and white and printed on quality coated paper for enhanced image detail. Further, many of the illustrations are as compelling as the one found on the cover (shown above), which shows Babe Ruth behind the lens of an early camera and Lou Gehrig looking on.

For the vintage collector with even a passing interest in photo history, we grade the book NrMt.

Marshall Fogel, Khyber Oser and Henry Yee, A Portrait of Baseball Photography, Volume 2 of the company's Vintage Guides series (MastroNet, Inc., Willowbrook, IL, 2005). Further information about the book and how it can be ordered will be posted later this month on the MastroNet website. Price is $25 postpaid and includes Volume I of the series (MastroNet Reference and Price Guide for Collecting Game Used Baseball Bats).

5. eBay Vintage Sellers List (An Update)

The Old Cardboard eBay Sellers List has been updated. The Old Cardboard eBay Sellers List is a compilation of the hobby's top sellers of vintage cards and memorabilia on eBay. Each of the entries on the list includes a direct link into the seller's eBay auction. The list is compiled for our website visitors and is not based on any advertising or other influence.

The list ranks the 50 most active sellers by a simple formula using their number of eBay sales transactions multiplied by the percentage of vintage material sold. It also compares each seller's typical shipping costs, their eBay rating, and whether or not they will accept PayPal or credit card payment. An example display of the top five sellers is shown below:

The eBay sellers list is updated frequently; be sure to bookmark it and use as an Alt-Tab companion when shopping for cards for your collection. For a complete listing of all 50 sellers, visit the eBay Sellers List on the Old Cardboard website.

6. Caramel Card Prices Sizzle

E97 "Common"
Early 20th century caramel cards, which for a long time have taken back seat to tobacco cards produced during the same time period, seem to have become a hot commodity in recent months.

As collector Tim Newcomb lamented after the recent National show in Chicago, "I ... moaned to all who would listen about a common player E97 that was graded PSA 2 and was priced at $500 by a solid dealer not known for insane pricing. Yet later the card was sold. This seems to raise the bar pretty dramatically on caramel cards." Newcomb did point out, however, that the same dealer had other E97s at $300-400 that remained unsold.

"To me a card that runs into three figures isn't a common," according to Adam Warshaw, another collector who specializes in Exhibit cards. He adds, "If I'm going to have to spend that much, I'll go the extra amount to own a HOFer or popular player."

In Old Cardboard's discussions with other collectors, we were unable to reach a definitive explanation for the dramatic increases in caramel card prices. Perhaps the most plausible rationale goes something like this: (1) Prices for all vintage cards continue to be strong; (2) new collectors are entering the hobby at an increasing rate, and some old-time collectors are expanding into new sets; (3) unlike tobacco "T" sets which average over 100 cards per set (some much more), the caramel "E" sets average less than 50 cards each (some much less). Therefore, (4) even with the higher prices, caramel sets should be a little easier and less expensive to complete.

Maybe (just maybe) this would be a good time to stop collecting sets and start collecting types!

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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