Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #59 (March 2009)

Please Note: If images are not loading in this email, click here.

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. 1930s Dream Discovery Yields SPC Walter Johnson; Much More
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. 1933 R328 U. S. Caramel Wrapper Believed Found
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 2009

13-15King of Prussia, PA Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show (see website for details).
20-22Rosemont, IL Sun Times Sports Collectibles Convention (see website for details).
25Phone/Internet Mile High Auction (see website for details).
28Phone/Internet Legacy Sports Rarities (see website for details).

April 2009

1-2Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
4Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
16Phone/Internet Lew Lipset Auction (see website for details).
17-19Strongsville, OH Strongsville 2009--Ohio Sports Collectors Conv. (see website for details).
23-24Phone/Internet Heritage Signature Sports Auction (see website for details).
23-25Rosemont, IL Premier Collectible Conference & Exhibition (see website for details).
29-30Phone/Internet Legendary Auctions (see website for details).

2. 1930s Dream Discovery Yields SPC Walter Johnson; Much More

Display Box for "Headliners and Gum"
Who could have imagined? In the first decade of the twenty-first century, vintage card collectors have seen several important discoveries that provide new perspectives about card sets from the 1930s and before. None of these finds, however, compare to an amazing discovery announced early this month by Robert Edward Auctions.

The collection is comprised of dozens of unopened gum boxes and packs from various issues that date mostly from the 1930s. "We have never before seen a single unopened box of gum cards from the 1930s," according to an REA statement, In fact, the discovery was so amazing that REA felt the need to show pictures of the wide range of card sets on their website because "if we weren’t able to provide photographs, we wouldn’t expect anyone to believe us. It would just sound too ridiculous to be true."

Lots from the discovery will be offered in the company's Spring 2009 auction which closes May 2.

Perhaps the single most important part of the discovery, at least as far as vintage sportscard collectors are concerned, is a display box filled with unopened packs of what collectors have long referred to as 1929 Star Player Candy cards.

The display box, shown above and previously unknown to collectors, contains examples of three baseball players along with examples of golfers and aviation-related themes. Perhaps most interesting about the box is that it is clearly marked as being a product of Dockman's (John H. Dockman & Sons), one of the sponsors of the E92 candy set produced twenty years earlier.

Equally unknown before the discovery is one of the unopened packs found in the display box--that of Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson. This is an extremely significant discovery as Walter Johnson was previously unknown in the set and is a new checklist addition. Previously, only two baseball players (Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig) were known and the non-baseball cards were unreported, at least among vintage baseball card collectors. The 1929 Star Player Candy Set Description, Checklist and Gallery of cards have been updated on the Old Cardboard website to reflect this new discovery.

1929 Star Player Candy Johnson (unopened pack)
As seen in the front and back images at right, the Johnson card remains in its original unopened glassine package with the card front clearly visible. The package is stapled shut at the top. The image of the package back also reveals that the cards were distributed along with over thirty small round pieces of gum. While the gum obscures the card number and detailed text printed on the card back, it is readily seen by inspection of the original pack that the print text does exist, according to Robert Edward Auctions.

The 1929 SPC set and its closely related 1928 series are detailed in an article written by John Esch in Issue #11 (Spring 2007) of Old Cardboard magazine. At that time, according to the article, "we don't know what type of candy, the producer of the candy, or how it was distributed. No packaging has surfaced."

While all of those questions are now answered by this new discovery, other questions are raised, especially about how the set acquired its hobby name of Star Player Candy. According to Rob Lifson, president of REA, it is likely that the 1928 display box or header card advertised "Star Players" or "Star Players and Gum" much like the 1929 display box reads "Headliners and Gum" and the name carried over.

Sounds very plausible, but the only way to know for sure is to discover the 1928 display box. Let's not hold our collective breaths, however. If we consider this to be the vintage baseball card "discovery of the century" then we may not have another for quite some time.

Other baseball-related items in the discovery include:

Never-before-seen premiums of Whiz Bang Gum
Last but certainly not least, the discovery also includes a display box filled with packs of never-before-seen "Whiz Bang" gum. The brand, previously unknown to vintage collectors, was manufactured by Frank H. Fleer Corp.

Also included in the display box are small disk-shaped "boomerang flyers" intended to be distributed as in-store premiums with the gum. Among many other (mostly western) movie stars of the period are three "boomerang flyers" featuring baseball players Charlie Hartnett, Lefty Grove and Goose Goslin (examples shown here). Each disk measures three inches in diameter. A set profile page for the Whiz Bang Premiums has been added to the Old Cardboard website.

In case your were wondering, REA has provided some insight about how these packs survived all these years:

"These boxes and packs were saved by a candy and gum distributor as ordering samples. The distributor kept these samples on a large shelving unit just for reference, to identify product for ordering purposes. As new products came in, sometimes boxes of old products would be shoved to the back of the sample product shelf, eventually hidden from view by more current product samples. The boxes and packs presented here were pushed so far back on the shelf that they were completely hidden from view, providing all the elements of a perfect time capsule, and allowing them to be preserved all these years. These boxes and packs, having been received directly from the manufacturers, have not been seen or touched or even exposed to light since being put on a shelf at the candy and gum distributor 70 to 80 years ago!"
We find that simply amazing and welcome reader feedback about the discovery!

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

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:
1930s Whiz Bang Gum Premiums
1951 Berk-Ross
1952 Berk-Ross

Set Checklists have been added for:
1930s   Whiz Bang Gum Premiums
1936   R314 Goudey "Wide Pens" Premiums

Set Galleries have been added for:
1930s   Whiz Bang Gum Premiums
1936   R314 Goudey "Wide Pens" 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 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. 1933 R328 U. S. Caramel Wrapper Believed Found

No one in the hobby has ever reported the existence of a 1932 R328 U. S. Caramel sports wrapper and Old Cardboard subscriber Dan Mckee thinks he knows why.

Actually, according to Dan, "some may have seen it over the years but it is very well camouflaged!" In Mckee's opinion, a wrapper that surfaced with a Joe Cronin card from the set (see example at right) did actually come with that card in it. He believes that this is the wrapper used in the distribution of the R328 cards. His rationale is as follows:

The R328 set is very closely related to the "Presidents" set of similar design also produced by U. S. Caramel in the early 1930s (see example below of Thomas Jefferson). The company was based in East Boston, MA. The Presidents set has a separate designation (R114) in the American Card Catalog. A Gallery of the R114 Master Set (with three background color variations for each card) can be viewed on the Internet.

Mckee believes that the R114 Presidents cards were initially issued in Orange and Blue and lastly in Red and distributed in the wrapper labeled "American Heroes Caramels" (see example below). According to Mckee, "the sports set was then created and instead of making huge changes, the company designed the cards very similar to the red presidents issue."

Following this same minimal-change production strategy, Mckee figures, the company decided not to redo the graphics for the wrapper but instead simply changed the title on the wrapper to read "United States Heroes Caramels."

While most of the subjects of the latter set were baseball players, the set does include five other 'heroes' including two golfers and three boxers.

Since the wrapper was representing the United States Caramel Company, they could get away with leaving the historical graphics in the wrapper design, says Mckee.

Mckee admits that "this is just my opinion but it does give a valid explanation of why no one has ever seen the Sports set wrapper."

Because no R328 U. S. Caramel wrapper has surfaced in over three-quarters of a century since the cards were first distributed, and because the Cronin card from the set recently showed up with the "United States Heroes Caramels" wrapper, Dan's rational seems pretty compelling to us. We encourage any additional thoughts (pro or con) from our readers.

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

Legendary Auctions Assumes Assets of Mastro. According to a March 2 news release, Legendary Auctions, a newly formed Sports and Americana auction house, has taken possession of Mastro Auctions assets. All current registered bidders in Mastro Auctions will be automatically transferred to Legendary Auctions and all outstanding Mastro Auctions business will be processed through Legendary Auctions, according to the release. Doug Allen, Mark Theotikos and Ron Oser (all previously with Mastro Auctions) will head the new auction house at its corporate headquarters in Lansing, IL. Bill Mastro, who has led Mastro Auctions for more than a decade, will not be part of the new company. The new company can be contacted at 708-889-9380. Their new website at remains under construction at this time.

2009 Baseball Guide Now Available--Free to all Baseball Fans. All baseball fans take note. A free copy of SABR's "Emerald Guide to Baseball 2009" is now available on-line. It can be downloaded from the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) website at The Guide, which fills a hole in the baseball record left by the 2006 demise of The Sporting News Baseball Guide, contains nearly 600 pages of detailed statistics for every current player at every level of the professional game, team histories, and up-to-date team contact information and schedules.

"National" Tickets Now on Sale. Admission tickets for the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention are now available online through the National's web site at The show, considered by vintage collectors as the single most important event of the year, will be held July 29-August 2, 2009 at the International Exposition (I-X) Center, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hold'em Reminder. Two of the twelve monthly tournaments of Old Cardboard's 2009 Texas Hold'em Series for vintage card collectors are now complete. The updated 2009 Leaderboard shows that Rawn Hill of South Paris, Maine has a four point lead over Old Cardboard's very own Lyman Hardeman, who has managed to move into second place. With ten tournaments left for the 2009 Series, however, there are still plenty of opportunities for anyone to claim the first place trophy. Tournament #3 is set for March 24. It is PokerStars #143551234 starting at 20:30 ET (7:30 Texas Time); password for registration is n172n172. All vintage card collectors are welcome to participate. See the Hold'em Page on the Old Cardboard website for complete details. We hope to see you at the March tournament and wish all the best of luck.

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.