Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #88 (August 2011)

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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. 1936 R311 Red Sox: A "Photoshop" Variation?
3. Latest Additions to the Website
4. 1910-11 H. T. Webb White Sox Postcards Analyzed
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 Key Events Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

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August 2011

24-25Phone/Internet Legendary Auctions (see website for details).
25Phone/Internet Sirius Sportscards (see website for details).
25Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
27Phone/Internet GEM Mint Auctions (see website for details).
27Phone/Internet Paragon Auctions (see website for details).
31Phone/Internet Sports Card Link (see website for details).

September 2011

8Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction Net 16 (see website for details).
23-25King of Prussia, PA Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show (see website for details).
28-29Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).

2. 1936 R311 Red Sox: A "Photoshop" Variation?

A curious variation in the 1936 National Chicle R311 (Glossy Finish) set has long intrigued vintage collectors. The Boston Red Sox team card can be found in two distinct variations (see card images below).

1936 National Chicle (Boston Red Sox "Sky Above")

1936 National Chicle (Boston Red Sox "No Sky")

Both cards are derived from the same photographic original and the images are both cropped the same on the left and right sides. However, one card is cropped with considerably more sky showing at the top, while the variation "no sky" card provides a little extra caption space at the bottom.

And while the captions that identify the players in the photo contain the same information, the print used in the "no sky" variation card is somewhat larger.

Perhaps the most intriguing difference, however, is that one full level of the building in the background of the "sky above" image has been photographically removed, providing room for even more sky!

Alternatively, it could be argued, one level has been added to the building in the "no sky" variation. But that seems less likely considering that such a modification may have been more difficult to implement using 1930s pre-Photoshop techniques.

Regardless of whether the building was made taller or shorter, there seems to be little rationale to explain why the variation card was needed.

The R311 Premium Set was distributed around 1936 by the National Chicle Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The premiums were apparently used by the company to help promote its Diamond Stars and other brands of chewing gum.

The R311 premiums are actually comprised of three different subsets--each with its own checklist and differences in content and design. They include the "Glossy Finish" and the "Leather Finish" baseball series, as well as a seventeen card set of football-themed cards.

The cards in all three sets are unnumbered and carry the R311 designation in the American Card Catalog. In addition, all three sub-sets were distributed as premiums, all have blank backs, and the cards in all three sets measure 6 x 8 inches.

A table on the R311 page of the Old Cardboard website summarizes the key features and differences for the two baseball subsets.

One of the key differences in the baseball subsets is in the surface of the cards. Thus, the baseball subsets are referred to as either "Glossy Finish" and "Leather Finish" series. As the hobby name for each set suggests, cards in one subset are noticeably more glossy. The surface of the cards in the other set is much more textured as if the image had been printed on a leather surface. All cards in the football subset have a glossy surface.

Other differences also distinguish the two baseball subsets. On close inspection, it is seen that the R311 Leather Finish subset has a double border around the card image. The outside "white" border surrounds a slightly darker inner border printed on the card. The Glossy Finish cards have only a single white border.

Another difference in the two R311 baseball subsets may aid in their identification. Some (but not all) of the player cards in the Leather Finish subset contain a "National Studios" logo printed in the lower right corner; no such label is found on any of the Glossy Finish cards.

If all these identification efforts fail, the collector can refer to the checklists for each subset. There are only two players (Jimmy Foxx and Mel Harder) that are common to both sets, so a specific card can be readily correlated with its proper subset simply by finding it on one of the two checklists. Team cards (there are only two team cards in the Leather Finish set) are also readily identified by comparing the card titles to those on the checklists.

Galleries for both the R311 "Glossy Finish" and "Leather Finish" baseball subsets have been recently added to the Old Cardboard website.

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3. Latest Additions 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 Galleries have been added for:
1936   R311   "Glossy Finish" National Chicle Premiums
1936   R311   "Leather Finish" National Chicle Premiums

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 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. 1910-11 H. T. Webb White Sox Postcards Analyzed

1910-11 Webb RPPC (Harry Lord)
Collector Mark Rios recently came across a previously unknown postcard depicting Harry Lord, the third baseman of the Chicago White Sox. The real photo postcard (RPPC) is postally used, canceled February 14, 1911 from the small town of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, some sixty miles from Chicago.

As shown at left, the card front does not include any text or other labeling for either the player or the producer of the card. The reverse (see below) includes the familiar postcard template along with a credit line on the left side that reads "Photo by H. T. Webb 6959 East End Ave., Chicago."

Unfamiliar with this labeling on the reverse, Rios undertook an extensive search on the Internet and among other collectors of vintage baseball postcards to better identify the card. Interestingly, he did find one other RPPC, also of a White Sox player, that appears to be from the same series.

The second card is from the collection of vintage postcard collector and Old Cardboard author Robert Silverman. It is of White Sox pitcher Joseph "Butcher Boy" Benz and can be viewed on Silverman's website at (scroll about midway down the page). The reverse of both cards carry the exact same postcard template and Webb credit line on the reverse. The postcard of Benz is unused but does include an interesting penciled note on the reverse: "Joe Benz, White Sox, My father roomed with him 1913-15." As Silverman notes, it is presumably from the offspring of a teammate.

1910-11 Webb RPPC (back)
Aside from the postmark on the card of Harry Lord, Rios sought to date both cards based on the uniforms shown on the card fronts, with interesting results. Both players are wearing a particular White Sox uniform--all white with a thick dark vertical panel coming down half way along the chest with the word "SOX".

This uniform design was used only during home games during the 1910 and 1911 season, according to the Baseball Uniforms Database of the National Hall of Fame website.

To further narrow the time line, Rios notes that Lord played for the club from August of 1910 until 1914. Thus, the photo of Lord had to have been taken sometime between August of 1910 and the date of the postmark in February of 1911. Since it is an action photo taken at Comiskey Park, Rios concludes, it was almost certainly taken in either August or September, before the season ended.

However, because Benz played for the White Sox beginning in August of 1911, his card could not have been produced until after August of 1911. So if the RPPCs were part of a series, then the series had to have been produced over the span of at least a year (September 1910 to August 1911) or longer.

Because of their rarity (and obscurity), the value of RPPCs such as these are very difficult to assess but would probably sell in a well promoted vintage sports auction in the $200-$300 range in "Very Good" condition for a common player.

Unfortunately, no information concerning H. T. Webb and his other postcards or photography have yet to be found. If any of our readers know of another postcard similarly marked, please contact Mark Rios or Old Cardboard and we will post and update our files accordingly. We appreciate your feedback.

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

2011 National in Pictures. ESPN writer Bill Simmons has posted a Photographic Tour of this year's National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. While Simmons seems to have little appreciation for vintage baseball cards, his sixteen web pages that display over 100 captioned images do provide a realistic and sometimes humorous flavor of what a visitor at the National might experience.

Vintage eBay Made Easy. Old Cardboard's website visitors are finding it easier than ever to search for vintage cards on eBay. We continue to expand and refine our eBay Custom Search Links to make the vintage baseball card searches even more focused. And because the results of the searches are continuously changing, the user can easily check back to find eBay's most recent vintage baseball card listings. All are organized into your favorite vintage card groups.

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.