Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #65 (September 2009)

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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. PCL Exhibit at San Francisco Airport
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Book Review "The Complete New York Clipper Baseball Biographies"
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.

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September 2009

25-27King of Prussia, PA Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show (see website for details).
29-30Phone/Internet Legendary Auctions "Sports and Historic Photos" (details on website).
30Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
9/30-10/1Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Fall Masterpiece Auction (see website for details).

October 2009

1-2Internet Heritage Signature Sports Auction (see website for details).
6Phone/Internet Mile High Auction (see website for details).
15Phone/Internet Collectible Classics CCANet5 Auction (see website for details).
17Internet Brockelman & Luckey Auctions (see website for details).

2. PCL Exhibit at San Francisco Airport

Old Cardboard subscribers Mark Macrae, Ray Saraceni, Alan O'Connor and Doug McWilliams were all key contributors to an impressive vintage baseball card and memorabilia exhibit now on display at the San Francisco airport. We were able to take a first hand look during an airport layover on a recent trip from Austin to Beijing.

Old Cardboard's reaction to the exhibit: Great job, guys. We are proud to have you as subscribers.

The exhibit (most of which is pictured in the panoramic above) is located in the International Terminal of the airport. It is outside of airport security so you don't even have to take your shoes off to gain access!

Each of the eight teams in the Pacific Coast League (1903-1957) is represented in a separate five-foot wide segment of the exhibit. The teams include the San Francisco Seals, Oakland Oaks, Los Angeles Angles, Hollywood Stars, San Diego Padres, Sacramento Solons, Portland Beavers and Seattle Rainiers. In a few cases, related former teams such as the Vernon Tigers are represented in the appropriate team's section.

1912 PCL Championship watch fob of Oakland Oaks pitcher Cy Parkins (artifact courtesy Doug McWilliams)

Of particular interest to Old Cardboard readers are example card images from a number of Zeenuts, Obaks and other vintage card sets.

In all, more than 1000 man hours were devoted to the development of the exhibit, which features in excess of 300 player uniforms, early baseball equipment, trading cards and other artifacts of the Pacific Coast League from the first half of the twentieth century.

The museum quality exhibit will remain on display through the end of October. It is located in the North Wall Case of the International terminal.

Through its many artifacts, the exhibit documents the early history of the PCL, which was formed in 1903 when the California League's four teams (San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles) joined with two new franchises representing cities in the rival Pacific Northwest League (Portland and Seattle). It was a time when the western extreme of Major League teams (considered the Eastern Leagues by loyal PCL followers) was St. Louis.

The early years of the PCL were tumultuous. Players frequently "jumped contracts" to join other leagues, struggling franchises pulled up stakes and moved to different cities, and unruly behavior took place on the field and in the stands.

Although the PCL continues to operate today, it suffered a sudden decline in 1958 when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants moved to San Francisco. As a result, three of the PCL's flagship teams (the Los Angeles Angels, the Hollywood Stars, and the San Francisco Seals) were forced to immediately relocate to smaller markets. The league currently includes sixteen teams that stretch eastward as far as Nashville, Tennessee.

The San Francisco Airport Museums (SFAM) is the first airport museum in the country to receive accreditation from the American Association of Museums. Its exhibits change throughout the year to provide an educational and cultural experience for the nearly 30 million passengers who use the airport annually. The museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibits.

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3. Latest Updates to the Website

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

Set Profiles have been added for:
1879-80   New York Clipper Woodcuts
1956   Topps "Big League Emblems" Felts
1958   Topps "Big League Emblems" Felts

Set Checklists have been added for:
1879-80   New York Clipper Woodcuts (in order published)
1879-80   New York Clipper Woodcuts (alphabetical by player last name)

Set Galleries have been added for:
1879-80   New York Clipper Woodcuts (with links to player bios)

Updating the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage sets is an ongoing project, so check back 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: "The Complete New York Clipper Baseball Biographies" by Jean-Pierre Caillault

Founded in 1853, the New York Clipper was among the most successful sporting and theatrical journals of the nineteenth century. Its links of baseball began in it first year of operation with coverage of a game played July 5 of that year between the Knickerbockers and the Gothams--both of New York. Its longtime links to baseball were further enhanced with the addition of Henry Chadwick to its sports staff in 1857.

Beginning in 1869 and continuing until the initial years of the twentieth century, the Clipper printed biographical profiles of leading baseball personalities, including players, managers, owners, umpires and newspaper reporters of the period. In most instances, these profiles were accompanied by detailed woodcut portraits. Together, they form an invaluable record of baseball, written during the sport's formative period. In total, more than 800 of these profiles were produced.

Each of these profiles has now been faithfully reproduced along with the accompanying woodcut portraits in a 750-page compendium recently released by McFarland Press. The two-volume book, titled "The Complete New York Clipper Baseball Biographies" is compiled by Jean-Pierre Caillault. Historical perspective for both the New York Clipper and the biographies is documented in the author's Preface. Additional perspective is provided in a Foreword written by noted sports historian John Thorn.

Of key importance of the portraits and the biographies is their contemporary nature, produced during the players' lives and careers. Often, the portraits are the earliest (and in some cases, the only) images known of the player. For example, there's a portrayal in 1879 of J. Lee Richmond, published a year before Richmond would go on to throw major-league baseball's first perfect game. There's also an 1880 biography and portrait of Tim Keefe, printed less than two weeks into his 14-year Hall of Fame major league career. Other profiles include early portrayals of Connie Mack, John McGraw, Willie Keeler, Cy Young and Nap Lajoie. In total, profiles for 58 current members of baseball's Hall of Fame are included. Biographies and woodcuts are also found of numerous more obscure but historically important players and personalities.

The fully indexed biographical profiles are presented in alphabetical order, with an Appendix that lists them all in the chronological order they were published. Major League career batting and pitching statistics have been added to supplement the biographies. It is an important image reference in that it begins more than a decade before the popular card sets of the late 1880s, and spans the decade of the 1890s when fewer baseball card sets were produced.

"The Complete New York Clipper Baseball Biographies: More than 800 Sketches of Players, Managers, Owners, Umpires, Reporters and Others, 1859-1903," compiled by Jean-Pierre Caillault (McFarland, Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640). Price for the two volumes is $59.95; they can be ordered direct via the Internet (, fax (336-246-4403), phone (800-253-2187) or via mail at the above address.

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Tim Keefe Portrait
(issued May 22, 1880)

Editor's Note: A well-defined series of 68 of the 800 New York Clipper profiles described above can be viewed on the New York Clipper page of the Old Cardboard website. The subset began as a numbered set of nine players that made up a "Prize Winning Team," presumably the Clipper's choices for the best players of the period. The portraits and write-ups are unnumbered after these first nine.

The 68-card subset is unique in that all are oval woodcut portraits placed inside an ornate frame. All were printed to the same size (4-1/2 x 5-3/4 inches including frame). The series ran from April 1879 through November 1880 and are the only profiles published during that period.

The portrait of HOFer Tim Keefe shown at left is an example from this subset.

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

T205 "Gold Borders" Cited in Smithsonian Magazine.. The October 2009 issue of Smithsonian Magazine recently hit the news stands and it contains an excellent article focused on the Chicago Cubs' most famous infield: Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance. All three players are found in the T205 Gold Borders set. Their Gold Borders' cards.along with original Paul Thompson photographs from which the cards were derived, are used to help illustrate the article. According to author Harry Katz, Thompson produced the photographs before the 1911 season, taking head shots of the players against rough wooden backdrops at New York ballparks. The full text of the article can be found on the Smithsonian website.

Ad-Type Butterfinger Checklist Expanded.. Several previously uncatalogued ad-type Butterfinger cards have recently been added to hobby checklists for the set. Old Cardboard reader and author John Esch has alerted us to one of the new additions--that of Boston Braves catcher Al Spohrer. Two more players, Ben Chapman and Ray Grabowski, have been identified on the Net54 Vintage Baseball Card Forum. A complete and updated checklist of all seventeen known players from the ad-type subset can now be accessed from the R310 Butterfinger Profile Page of the Old Cardboard website.

Levin Strikes Again: The Fargo Find. West Coast dealer Dave Levin has uncovered another jaw-dropping find--this time of N173 Old Judge baseball cabinet cards. The find, which includes thirty-one Old Judge cabinets and one Police Gazette cabinet of Mickey Welch, was first revealed to the hobby earlier this month. All are in exceptional condition. The cards came from the basement of a non-collector in Fargo, North Dakota. It includes the N173 cabinet card of nineteenth century superstar Cap Anson and several other players that have since been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. Scans of all cards in the find, as well as a video of the cards, can be viewed on Levin's 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 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.