Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #34 (February 2007)

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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. Hobby Pub History: The Old Judge Newsletters (1985-1994)
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Kalamazoo Bats Team Cabinet Unveiled
5. N28 Allen & Ginter: 1887 or 1888?

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

February 2007

21-22Phone/Internet Mastro Classic Collector Auction (see website for details).
22-23Phone/Internet Hunt Auction (see website for details).
25Internet Heritage Sports Collectibles (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).

March 2007

7-8Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auction (see website for details).
22Phone/Internet Mile High Card Company (see website for details).
25Internet Heritage Sports Collectibles Auction (see website for details).
27-28Phone/Internet Collectible Classics CCA14 Auction (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet American Memorabilia Auction (see website for details).
29Phone Barry Sloate Auction (see website for details).

2. Hobby Pub History: The Old Judge Newsletters (1985-1994)

Beginning in 1985 and continuing for ten years, The Old Judge newsletter served as a primary source of information for vintage baseball card collectors. Written and published by Lew Lipset, one of the hobby's leading collectors and dealers, the eight-page newsletter was published in an 8-1/2 x 11 inch format. It started and ran for two years as a quarterly (Issue #1 through #8), before moving to a bi-monthly with Issue #9 (February 1987), then monthly with Issue #18 (July 1988). By the end of its run in January 1994, the newsletter totaled fifty issues.

The newsletters contain a wealth of information. Although one of its primary purposes was to provide updates to the publisher's landmark three-volume Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards, the newsletter also contained informative price guides, as well as numerous lively editorials about the state of the hobby, and more.

With some exceptions, each newsletter ran eight pages in length and carried no advertising. In most cases, pages four and five (the centerfold) contained a 2-page pricing summary for a major vintage baseball card group (N-cards, T-cards, E-cards, etc.) with each group updated on a rotating cycle every several issues. Pricing generally summarized each set with a set price as well as a price for each of the key players in the set as well as a single price for all "commons." This was an important reference at the time as the detailed price guides that checklisted all players sets--especially vintage sets--were just beginning to be distributed.

Perhaps the most important contributions of the newsletter, however, were the many articles that summarized new discoveries for vintage sets. This, combined with Lipset's sometimes unbridled editorials and opinions about the state of the hobby, made for interesting reading.

The newsletter was also amply illustrated with black and white images of vintage cards, packaging and other items described in the text.

As with some vintage card sets, the sequence labeling of the Old Judge newsletter had an occasional instance of skip numbering, supplemental numbering, combined numbering (one issue with two numbers), etc. The complete run was issued as follows: 1 through 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 7 through 46, 47/48 combined, and 50. Note that Issue #38 was distributed but printed without a date or issue number, and Issue #49 was never distributed. Thus, in total, fifty separate newsletters were printed and distributed. The first 23 of these were also reprinted in a bound volume (The Old Judge: The First Four Years) in 1989.

Examples of The Old Judge newsletter occasionally show up on eBay at prices typically around $5 per issue. A complete run, if it can be found, might sell in the $250-350 range. As a supplement to the publisher's Encyclopedia, the newsletters make a meaningful purchase for the more advanced vintage baseball card researcher.

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:
1888 N104 Duke "Comic Characters"
1911 W530 Pinkerton "Scorecards"
1930 D351 Grennan Baking
1940s V410 Canadian Cracker Jack Sports
1952 Wheaties"

Set Checklists have been added for:
1926   M101-7   Sporting News Supplements (by player last name)
1926   M101-7   Sporting News Supplements (by issue date)
1936   R311-1   Premiums (Glossy Finish)
1936   R311-1   Premiums (Leather Finish)
1941   R324   Goudey Regular Issue

Set Galleries have been added for:
1926   M101-7   Sporting News Supplements (by player last name)
1926   M101-7   Sporting News Supplements (by issue date)
1941   R324   Goudey Regular Issue

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. Kalamazoo Bats Team Cabinet Unveiled

N690-1 (Type II) Kalamazoo Bats -- Detroit Team Cabinet
An 1887 Kalamazoo Bats team cabinet card of the Detroit B.B.C. (Baseball Club) was recently discovered and unveiled to the vintage collecting hobby. The discovery brings the total number of teams on the set checklist to five. Previously, cabinet cards have been known for the Athletic Club, Boston B.B.C., Philadelphia B.B.C., and Pittsburgh B.B.C.

The discovery was announced recently by Mastro Auctions, Inc. The company is scheduled to sell the card in their April 2007 auction.

The cabinets were produced by Chas. Gross & Co. to promote the company's Kalamazoo Bats tobacco brand. They have acquired a hobby designation as N690-1 (Type II) Team Cabinets. When affixed to a heavy cardboard black mount, they measure about 4-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches. The team photos are displayed in a horizontal format.

The team cabinets are the rarest and generally considered the most desirable of several Kalamazoo Bats sets. Other series include cabinet-size cards that display one or two players rather than team photos. These individual player cards are referenced in the hobby as N690-1 (Type 1). In addition, there are two series of smaller sized (Carte De Vista) cards that depict either one or two players (designated as N690) or team photos (N693). The smaller CDV cards measure about 2-3/8 by 4 inches.

5. N28 Allen & Ginter: 1887 or 1888?

N28 Front

N28 Back
There seems to be some difference in the minds of vintage collectors (and in hobby references) about the date of issue of the popular
N28 and N29 Allen & Ginter "World's Champions" tobacco card sets. Virtually all hobby references have until recently either been silent on the date-of-issue issue or have labeled the N28 set as an 1887 issue and the N29 cards as an 1888 issue. As seen from the images, the design for both sets is very similar. Each has a different checklist printed on the card backs. Otherwise, the relatively minor differences are the change of the Allen & Ginter label (from the front of the N28 cards to the reverse of the N29 cards) and the added notation "Second Series" placed at the top left of the N29 card backs.

N29 Front

N29 Back
Each of these two sets contains a total of 50 cards representing multiple sports of which baseball is only one. The N28 set includes cards for ten baseball players while the N29 set contains six. The fact that none of the players overlap between the two sets provides further evidence that the N29 issue might well have been considered by its designers as a continuation of the N28 set rather than a new and independent set.

The key to dating the N28 set is the card of John Clarkson, who is shown wearing a Boston jersey (see N28 Clarkson example card above). The records show that Clarkson played the full 1887 season with the Chicago White Stockings (in an interesting twist, the team evolved into what is now the Cubs--not the White Sox--but that is another story). Clarkson did not start playing with Boston until the following year, thus setting the production date for the N28 set at not earlier than 1888.

N43 Front
The change in the N28 dating from 1887 to 1888 also brings into question the correct dating for the N29 Allen & Ginter set as well as it's companion N43 set which is based on the same baseball and other non-baseball subjects.

Since it is the "Second Series," the N29 set has always been listed in hobby checklists as an 1888 issue, trailing the N28 set by one year. However, since it is now believed that the N28 set was produced in 1888, it becomes uncertain whether the N29 set was produced later that same year or in 1889.

While the answer may never be known with certainty, we will assume that both sets were produced in the same year--1888. Thus, we will continue to list N29 as an 1888 set in the set summary on the Old Cardboard website. For the same reasons, we will also continue to list the N43 set as an 1888 issue.

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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