Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #30 (October 2006)

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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. 1910's Green's Nebraska Indians Postcards
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Reader Feedback: "Notebook Covers" and "Cracker Jack"
5. Baseball's Oldest Old-Timer Turns 111

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 Show and Auction Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

October 2006

22Phone/Internet American Memorabilia (see website for details).
25Phone/Internet Collectible Classics (see website for details).
26Phone/Internet Mastro Classic Collector Auction (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Heritage Signature Auction (see website for details).

November 2006

3Phone/Internet Lew Lipset Auction (see website for details).
10Phone/Internet (see website for details).
10Phone/Internet Man on the Rock Auction (see website for details).
27Internet Heritage Internet Auction (see website for details).
30Phone/Internet SCP Auctions/Sotheby's (see website for details).

2. 1910's Green's Nebraska Indians Postcards

An interesting issue of postcards from the first decades of the twentieth century features a popular baseball exhibition team known as Green's Nebraska Indians. The team played mostly in small towns in the mid-west, often in a Wild West Show setting that was common for the period. In their travels, the team promoted and sold postcards of both individual players (example shown) and team poses.

The barnstorming team was founded by Guy W. Green, an energetic baseball promoter, who organized the club shortly after receiving his law degree from the University of Nebraska in 1897. With help from John DeYoung Smith, a Lincoln lawyer and salesman, Green had recruited most of a twelve-man team by June 20, 1897, chiefly from the Genoa Industrial and Agricultural School, the Santee Normal School, and the nearby Omaha and Winnebago reservations. Green's original club consisted of nine Indian players and three non-Indian players.

The Nebraska Indians began their first season with two losses to Wahoo, Nebraska. In nearby Fremont they won the first of two afternoon games but lost the second. It wasn't until they reached Lincoln on June 25 and 26, 1897, that they began to show their true talents. On June 25 they defeated the University of Nebraska by a score of eighteen to twelve. Perhaps more important than the victory, however, was the carnival atmosphere that the Indian players established on the Lincoln baseball diamond, a vital factor in the team's subsequent ability to draw crowds.

Green traveled with team members through 1907 as they crisscrossed the country, playing town teams that challenged them. In addition to the clowning and the team's exciting play, the club relied on the American Indian identities of its players to draw large crowds.

From 1898, its first winning season, to at least 1914, the last season for which a record is available, the Nebraska Indians established an impressive reputation as one of the most formidable exhibition teams in the country. The team records listed in Green's pamphlet, Fun and Frolic with an Indian Ball Team, and on 1912 and 1914 postcards sold by his successors, the Beltzer brothers, are remarkable. The cumulative total for those years is 1,237 wins, 336 losses, and 11 ties. They consistently outplayed their opponents and even more consistently triumphed over hecklers shouting insults from the grandstand.

Note: A set profile page for the Green's Nebraska Indians Postcards has been added to the Old Cardboard website. We are not aware of a hobby checklist for these postcards and would welcome any additional information from our readers about the team or the postcards that they issued. Please direct any feedback to

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

3. Latest Updates to the Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles, checklists and set galleries. Recent (past 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Profiles
have been added or significantly expanded for:
1907   Green's Nebraska Indians Postcards
1951   R414-5   Topps Red/Blue Backs
1952   R414-6   Topps Regular Issue
1953   R414-7   Topps Regular Issue
1954   R414-8   Topps Regular Issue
1955   R414-9   Topps Regular Issue
1956   R414-11   Topps Regular Issue

Set Checklists have been added for:
1910-1918 Base Ball Stars Notebooks (expanded based on reader feedback from eNews Issue #29)
1929 Star Player Candy

Set Galleries have been added for:
1906 WG2 Fan Craze (American League)
1910-1918 Base Ball Stars Notebooks (expanded based on reader feedback from eNews Issue #29)

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. There are now many thousands of card images on the Old Cardboard website and the list continues to grow. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, card images, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all input to

4. Reader Feedback: "Notebook Covers" and "Cracker Jack"

Notebook Covers: In our last issue of the Old Cardboard eNewsletter, we profiled the "Base Ball Stars" series of notebook covers. Focus was on the dating of the series based on players featured on the covers and the algebra assignments of the original owner of an example notebook with a Mordecai Brown cover.

Through the magic of Internet research, Old Cardboard reader Todd Schultz almost instantly located a little biographical information about the student that had completed the algebra assignments more than ninety-five years ago. Because of the dates found on the homework assignments, we were able to date the earliest of the notebooks in the series back to at least 1910 (see Old Cardboard eNewsletter Issue #29 for details).

The student that completed and dated the assignments was Parsons Newman, who's portrait in later life is shown at right. As found on a page from the Frederick County, Maryland website, Newman four years later graduated from Boys High School in Frederick before serving in World War I. He then received a law degree from the University of Virginia before returning to his hometown of Frederick where he practiced law for more than 50 years. In 1922, he ran and was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates for a four-year term.

Despite his Mordecai Brown (Chicago Cubs) notebook cover, Newman apparently became a lifelong Yankees fan. More details about his life can be found on the Frederick County, MD website.

Cracker Jack Mystery Resolved?:  After a careful read of Lew Lipset's "1914-15 E145 Cracker Jack" article in Issue #9 of Old Cardboard magazine, subscriber Fran Garcia-Cubero thinks he can explain why the backs of the cards in the 1915 set are printed "upside down." As stated in the article, card backs for the 1915 set were inverted "for some unknown reason."

Garcia-Cubero, an active vintage collector from Valencia, Spain, believes that this was done with a purpose. He believes the back design was inverted so that, when mounted in an album, they could be glued or hinged at the top portion of the cards. The mounted cards, which were printed on paper-thin stock, could then be curled up so that the the player's bio on the back could be readily viewed when desired.

While it is now not possible to verify the intent of the set's original designer, the rationale provided by Garcia-Cubero seems very plausible to us. Because an album was not offered for the 1914 cards of the previous year, that would also explain why the 1914 card backs were printed in normal fashion.

5. Baseball's Oldest Old-Timer Turns 111

Simply amazing!

Born in 1895--the same year as Babe Ruth--Negro Leagues player Silas "Si" Simmons on October 14 began his 112th year of life on planet earth. It doesn't get any more "vintage" than that! His photo at left was taken at his birthday celebration last Saturday.

Although researchers at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) have records in their files of some of Simmons early games, they had no idea until recently that the tricentenarian was still alive. While SABR records are incomplete for Negro and Minor League teams, there is little doubt that Simmons holds the record as the oldest professional baseball player ever. And he is still counting!

Chet (Red) Hoff who passed away in 1998 at the age of 107 is the longest-lived Major League ballplayer on record. Currently, the oldest living former Major Leaguer is Rollie Stiles, who turns 100 next month. Simmons easily outdistances them all.

When presented with a copy of a photograph of the 1913 Homestead Grays (shown below), Simmons identified himself as the second player from the right in the middle row. It is mind-boggling to realize that the two photos of Simmons used in this article were taken some ninety-three years apart and that Simmons' life spans three centuries (19th, 20th and 21st).

The team photograph shown was provided by Ryan Christoff, a SABR member and Negro League researcher based in Boulder, Colorado. According to Christoff, Simmons was in good company. On the same (middle) row in the team photo, third player from the left, is recently elected Hall of Famer Cumberland Posey. Posey became manager of the Grays in 1916, then built the team into one of the powerhouse franchises of black baseball, winning numerous pennants including nine consecutively from 1937-45.

Simmons grew up in a central Philadelphia row house. He was a left-handed pitcher who was signed by the nearby Germantown Blue Ribbons, a well-regarded team. In an interview for a recent article in the New York Times, he said that he started pitching for the Blue Ribbons at age 16 or 17 (1912 or 1913). Box scores and period articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer credit the 5-foot-10 Simmons with routinely striking out 10 or more batters while getting a hit or two each game. Researchers have uncovered box scores and game recaps with his name from many sources throughout the 1910’s and beyond.

Two box scores from 1926 show Simmons pitching for the New York Lincoln Giants of the Eastern Colored League. He also played at least one game for the Negro National League’s Cuban Stars in 1929.

"I had a good curveball and a good fastball," Simmons told the Times, adding that he was paid about $10 a game for his services.

Credit for "discovering" Simmons after all these years goes to David Lambert, another SABR researcher who is also a genealogist that works for the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Based on leads that Lambert uncovered while researching former Negro League baseball players for SABR, he was able to locate Simmons in a nursing home in Florida.

We are sure that all of our readers join us in wishing Si Simmons many more Happy Birthdays to come.

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.

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