Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #37 (May 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. American Association Marks 125th Anniversary this Month
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Book Review: "Before the World Series" by Larry Bowman
5. Clarification (Its the St. Louis Browns!)

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

May 2007

5Phone/Internet Heritage Catalog Auction (see website for details).
11Phone/Internet Auction (see website for details).
17Phone/Internet Historic Auctions (see website for details).
18Phone/Internet Leland's May Catalog Auction (see website for details).
27Internet Heritage Monthly Sports Auction (see website for details).
31Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. "Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XII" Auction
(see website for details).

June 2007

5Live, NY City SCP with Sotheby's Live NY Auction (see website for details).
8-10Schaumburg, Il SportsFest (see website for details).
20-21Internet Mastro Collector Auction website for details).
21Internet American Memorabilia website for details).
24Internet Heritage Monthly Sports Auction (see website for details).

2. This Month Marks 125th Anniversary of American Association

Drinking beer and playing baseball on Sunday? We don't think twice about it today. But those are two of the key issues that resulted in the launch of the American Association (AA) baseball league 125 years ago this month. The first of the league's games were held May 2, 1882. The new league soon proved successful and in subsequent years developed into a credible challenger to it's National League (NL) rival.

Many of the American Association players appeared on baseball card sets of the period including the popular N172 Goodwin "Old Judge" tobacco issue (the players in the image below make good examples; see caption).

(Click on the image for an enlarged view)
Beer Drinking Buddies? The American Association's 1884 Columbus Buckeyes are shown in the team cabinet card above. Nine of the players in the photo later became the subjects for cards in the popular N172 Goodwin "Old Judge" tobacco set. The players are (l to r): Front Row: Frank Moutain and Ed Morris*; Middle Row: Fred Mann*, Tom Brown, Gus Schmelz*, Pop Smith*, and John Richmond; Back Row: Patsy Cahill*, Ed Dundon, Fred Carroll*, Rudy Kemmler*, Jim Field*, and Willie Kuehne*. Asterisks (*) identify players found in Old Judge set.
Following what was considered by many to be the proper puritanical protocol of the Victorian age, the dominant National League had forbidden Sunday games (as well as the consumption of alcohol at any of it's events) since the League's beginnings in 1876. That policy seriously affected the revenue for many struggling teams and became a key stimulus for organizing the new league.

Beginning in May 1882 and continuing for a full decade, the Association became a significant force in the early development of Major League baseball.

In its ten years of existence, the Association challenged the National League for dominance of professional baseball. In seven of those ten years, the American Association and the National League participated in an early version of the World Series. Of those seven post season encounters, the only victory for the American Association came in 1886 when the St. Louis Browns (now the NL Cardinals) defeated the National League's Chicago White Stockings (now the NL Cubs).

During its ten-year struggle to survive, the AA fielded some two dozen different teams. It occasionally lost players to the traditionally stronger NL. But perhaps the most serious blow that led to the demise of the AA was the siphoning of the Association's talent by the Players' League, a third major league formed in 1890.

Because it allowed the consumption of alcohol at games and had breweries among its most ardent backers, the American Association became known as "The Beer and Whiskey League." It's last year of operation was 1891. The remaining teams and players at that time either left baseball or dispersed into various National League and minor league teams.

Today, the American Association is recognized as having full-fledged Major League status and all of its players' statistics and career highlights are counted accordingly in the Major League record books.

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:
1951   R414-3   Topps "Current All-Stars"

Set Checklists have been added for:
1909   S74-1   Silks (White)
1910   S74-2   Silks (Colored)
1911   Big Eater Candy
1933   R305   Tattoo Orbit
1951   R414-3   Topps "Current All-Stars"

Set Galleries have been added for:
1951   R414-3   Topps "Current All-Stars"

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. Book Review: "Before the World Series" by Larry Bowman

The World Series of baseball as we know it today is considered by most researchers to have started in 1903 which marked the beginning of the postseason contests between the National and American Leagues. Postseason matches in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, when they were played, are often thought of today as exhibition games, although the victors in each of these contests could rightfully claim the title of World Champions. In the book Before the World Series, author Larry Bowman describes in detail these early championships and the circumstances that surrounded this tumultuous period of early baseball history.

The book is organized with chapters devoted to each of the postseason matchups throughout the 1880's. With the Introduction and Chapter 1 providing the backdrop for major league baseball organization and events in its formative years, Chapter 2 focuses on interleague play in 1882 and 1883.

The first significant postseason contest detailed in the book, however, was between the National League's Providence Grays and the developing American Association's New York Metropolitans. The three game series was held October 23-25 in the Polo Grounds in New York. As stated in Chapter 3, the games marked the first time in history that the winning teams from two associations met in a formal series to decide the World Championship.

Subsequent chapters of Bowman's book are devoted to postseason contests held in 1885 and 1886 (Chapter 4; both years ended with matches between St. Louis and Chicago), 1887 (Chapter 5; Detroit and St. Louis), 1888 (Chapter 6; New York and St. Louis), 1889 (Chapter 7; New York NL and Brooklyn AA), and 1890 (Chapter 8; Brooklyn and Louisville). Relative to the detail contained in each of these chapters, the Conclusion following Chapter 8 tends to gloss over post season contests of the 1890's, with barely a mention of the important Temple Cup series played each year from 1894 through 1897.

Overall, the book is well researched and documented with footnotes, an extensive bibliography and about twenty well chosen illustrations. It brings to life colorful sports figures from baseball magnates Albert Spalding, Christian Von der Ahe, and Frederick Stearns to legendary Hall of Famers such as Cap Anson, Charles Comiskey and John Montgomery Ward--baseball's first union organizer. The story of Moses Walker, a black major leaguer who played 63 years before Jackie Robinson, sheds light on African Americans' early involvement in baseball.

The book provides a sound historical perspective for collectors of nineteenth-century baseball cards. Many nineteenth-century card sets include players whose teams are featured within its pages. For example, the "Browns Champions" series within the massive N172 Old Judge Cigarettes set issued between 1887 and 1890 contains players from the 1886 championship team from St. Louis (an example card of Curt Welsh from that Old Judge subset is shown at left).

Other card sets with players from 1880's championship teams include the N28 and N29 Allen & Ginter World Champions, N162 Goodwin "Champions," N370 Lone Jack Cigarettes (based on the same player poses as those used in the N172 Old Judge "Brown's Champions" subset) and Lorillard Team Cards, to name just a few.

Before the World Series is available directly from the publisher's website at Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, IL 60115. Retail price is $32. The book can also be ordered at discounted prices from

Sadly, author Larry Bowman passed away in 2002 shortly before his book was released. The book serves as a fitting legacy to him and his research.

5. Clarification (Its the St. Louis Browns!)

In Old Cardboard's April eNewsletter (see OC eNews Issue #36, Item #2), we erroneously identified the team on a newly discovered baseball currency note as the St. Louis Nationals.

Not so.

The ten players on the back of the note were all members of the 1888 St. Louis Browns, a franchise of the American Association. The confusion stems from the title on the front of the woodcut note, which labels the team as part of the "National Base Ball Association."

In fact, the Browns were the only team in the ten-year history of the American Association to win a post-season championship (and therefore the title of World Champions) against their National League counterparts (see Article 4 above).

After the American Association dissolved at the end of the 1891 season, the Browns were absorbed into the National League. Following a couple of name changes at the end of the nineteenth century, the Browns became the St. Louis Cardinals, as we know them today.

Thanks to reader Jonathan Sharkey for helping us to correct this "major faux pas."

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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