Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #47 (March 2008)      www.oldcardboard.com


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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.

Contents:
1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. 1934 V94 O-Pee-Chee (aka Canadian Butterfinger)
3. Latest Updates to the OldCardboard.com Website
4. Matty Mysteries: ID Assistance Requested, Please
5. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)


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

March 2008

27Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction CCA18 (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Fusco Auctions (see website for details).

April 2008

2-3Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
9Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).
11-13Strongsville, OH Ohio Sports Collector's Convention (see website for details).
17-20Rosemont, IL The Premier Collectible Conference & Exhibition ( see website).
24Phone/Internet SCP with Sotheby's (see website for details).
26Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction CCA19 (see website for details).
4/30-5/1Internet Only Mastro Premier Auction (see website for details).


2. Vintage Set Profile: 1934 V94 O-Pee-Chee (aka Canadian Butterfinger)

For decades, most vintage baseball card collectors have referred to a relatively scarce cousin to the 1934 R310 Butterfinger set simply as "Canadian Butterfingers." But despite this long-standing hobby reference, it now appears certain that the Canadian premiums were issued by the O-Pee-Chee company of London, Ontario, Canada. They are designated as set V94 in the American Card Catalog.


R310 Butterfinger (Grove)

V94 O-Pee-Chee (Grove)

Note: both images are shown
at about one-third actual size.

As shown in these examples, the two closely related sets are almost identical in design. They are both "oversize" premiums printed in sepia on paper-thin relatively low-grade stock.

The white-bordered card fronts all display full body action poses. Labeling is limited to a simulated (not facsimile) autograph of the player, printed across the lower portion of the image. All cards from both sets are blank-backed. There is no other labeling to indicate the player's position, team or set sponsor.

The key difference is in their size. At 7-3/4 x 9-3/4 inches, the R310 premiums are about 15 percent larger than their Canadian counterparts (6-1/2 x 8-1/2-inches).

The O-Pee-Chee set contains 58 players versus 65 players found in the Butterfinger issue. However, only 36 players are common to both sets. Hence, there are 22 players that are unique to the Canadian set and 29 players in the R310 set that are not found in the Canadian issue.


V94 O-Pee-Chee "Samples" Wrapper
The "proof" that links the V94 premiums to O-Pee-Chee rather than Butterfinger is on an envelope wrapper that contained "Salesmen's Samples" of the O-Pee-Chee cards. The printing on the envelope (shown at left) clearly shows OPC as the producer of the set and offers "A large 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 Picture of your favorite Baseball Star and a large stick of Gum for 1 cent." The envelope further indicates that the pictures and the gum were distributed to retailers in boxes that each contained 100 pictures and 100 sticks of gum. Although only 50 "Big League Stars" were promised in the set, collectors have now counted a total of 58 players in the V94 set.

The envelope was first reported in the May 1997 issue of Canadian Sportscard Collector. However, the news of the discovery was not widely known among US collectors, many of whom continue to refer to the set as "Canadian Butterfingers."

Vintage collectors today are familiar with O-Pee-Chee, who produced a 40-card baseball issue (V300) in 1937. The company is perhaps even better known for its production of hockey cards. With this discovery that links the 1934 V94 premiums to O-Pee-Chee, however, the earliest date of production for an O-Pee-Chee baseball set has now been moved forward by three years.

Note: A detailed V94/R310 cross-checklist that includes all cards from both sets has been added to the Old Cardboard website. Profiles for both both the V94 (O-Pee-Chee) and the R310 (Butterfinger) issues are also provided on the website.



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3. Latest Updates to the OldCardboard.com 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 for:
1914   E & S Publishing Postcards

Set Checklists have been added for:
1914   E & S Publishing Postcards
1934   R310   Butterfinger Premiums
1934   R320   Goudey
1937   V300   O-Pee-Chee

Set Galleries have been added for:
1934   R310   Butterfinger Premiums
1934   R320   Goudey
1937   V300   O-Pee-Chee

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 editor@oldcardboard.com.


4. Matty Mysteries: ID Assistance Requested, Please


New England Gum Company
We have recently encountered two different Matty cards (supplements or premiums?) not well known to the hobby and hope that some of our readers may be able to help identify their origins. Both are sepia images showing Mathewson in a pitching follow-through pose.

The first (shown at right) was brought to our attention by Joe DiSomma, a subscriber from Staten Island, NY. It measures 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, the size of a standard postcard.

As DiSomma describes the card, "It is slightly thinner than most postcard stock (like a lighter postcard; heavier than most paper) and appears hand-cut or trimmed." The caption reads simply "Christy Mathewson" and there is no other identification. As seen in the image, the card carries a curiously unique "New England Gum Co., Cambridge, Mass." stamp on the back.

The Boston area (including Cambridge) in the 1930s was a hotbed for manufacturers of gum and candy products, many of which also issued cards or other premiums to help promote their goods. Area gum and candy makers of the thirties that are familiar to today's collectors include Goudey, Delong, National Chicle, U. S. Caramel, George C. Miller, Gum Products, Uncle Jacks Candy and C. A. Briggs. However, this is the first we have ever heard of the New England Gum Company--from this or any other period. If New England Gum Company was in business during the same period as the others listed here, then the card was produced two decades or more after Mathewson's Major League career, which ended in 1916.


Uncataloged Mathewson
Same pose used in M101-2
The second unidentified Mathewson card (shown at left) is based on the same photograph used the for
his supplement in the 1909-1913 M101-2 Sporting News issue.

This uncataloged example, however, is narrower. It measures about 6-1/2 inches wide by 11 inches tall, although it may be trimmed on the sides. It also has distinctly different labeling than that used for the Sporting News supplement.

As seen in the image, labeling is in bold red letters across a white panel at the bottom of the supplement. And while this one is labeled "'Christy' Mathewson, Pitcher, New York National League," the Sporting News supplement reads "Christopher Mathewson, New York Nationals" in a small panel inside the photo image. As with the Sporting News supplements, this one has a blank back.

The Sporting News supplement was distributed with the August 5, 1909 issues of the newspaper--midway through Mathewson's seventeen-year career with the Giants. It seems likely that the uncataloged supplement shown here was also issued during Matty's active playing career.

We welcome any information from our readers about either of these Matty mysteries. Comments about the New England Gum Company card may also be sent to Joe DiSomma directly at joe@internetville.com.



5. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)

E&S Postcard Checklist Expands. A previously uncataloged card in the rare E&S Publishing postcard set has now been reported, bringing the set checklist to a total of 17 cards. The most recent addition is the card of Jim Scott, then a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. A set overview and updated checklist for the E&S set has been added to the Old Cardboard website.

Rose Postcards Sales Strong. A group of eleven PC760 Rose postcards sold at Mile High Card Company's on-line auction last month with impressive results. Sold as individual lots, the high-grade "commons" averaged more than $1500. Top price was for an SGC 80 card of Addie Joss that sold for over $7500. According to Mile High President Brian Drent the company expects to offer more examples of the popular but scarce postcards in their next auction.

Robert Edward Auction's highly anticipated annual blockbuster auction is scheduled to close May 3. According to REA President Rob Lifson, auction catalogs will ship April 9. Highlights include an 1889 color lithographed Cap Anson and Buck Ewing "Burke Ale" beer poster, a example of the highly coveted T206 Honus Wagner, a 1914 Baltimore News Ruth "rookie," and a T206 near set (520-524). See REA website for details.

2008 Hold'em Series (Tourney #2 results). The second (February) tournament of Old Cardboard's 2008 Texas Hold'em series completed successfully last month. A total of 24 vintage baseball card collectors participated in the on-line event. Lance Galloway of Mobile, Alabama (LRGalloway; it was actually Lance's wife, we are told; Lance was out of town) walked away with top honors and a cash prize of $120. Trae Regan of Deland, FL (viodev) took 2nd place honors and $72. Brett Hardeman, Austin, TX (BrettHardemn) placed a consistent 3rd and $48. A detailed Player Ranking for Tourney #2 has been added to the Old Cardboard website along with a Leaderboard Update for those who scored points toward the Old Cardboard bonus awards. Next tourney will be held Tuesday, March 25 at 7:30 Texas time (CST). Complete details for the 2008 Series are provided on the Old Cardboard website.


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 www.oldcardboard.com 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 www.oldcardboard.com.  If you find this information resource helpful, please tell your friends.  We need your support and your feedback. Thank you.