Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #77 (September 2010)

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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. Remarkable Discovery Expands T207 "Red Cross" Player List
3. Latest Additions to the Website
4. Set Profile: 1929 Universal Toy & Novelty Mfg. Co.
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 2010

23Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (see website for details).
24-26Valley Forge, PA Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show (see website for details).
28Internet 2010 Old Cardboard Texas Hold'em Tourney #9 (details).
28-30Phone/Internet Hake's Americana Auction (includes baseball; see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
29-30Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
30Phone/Internet Schulte Auctions (see website for details).

October 2010

9Phone/Internet Brockelman & Luckey Auctions (see website for details).
14Phone/Internet Mile High Auction (see website for details).
16-17Hempstead, NY "Long Island National #13" (see website for details).
21-22Phone/Internet Heritage Signature Sports Collectibles Auction (see website for details).
26Internet 2010 Old Cardboard Texas Hold'em Tourney #10 (details).
27Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).

2. Remarkable Discovery Expands T207 "Red Cross" Player List (and much more)

When collector Tim Newcomb profiled the 1912 T207 "Brown Background" set in our
June 2010 eNewsletter (#74), the intent was to summarize the key features of an issue for which few new discoveries had been reported in the past decade or so.

Little did we know when we published that June update that an amazing new discovery relating to the 98-year-old tobacco set was "just around the corner." Thus, to our great surprise, it was revealed in late August that eight different cards from the set with the ultra-rare "Red Cross Tobacco" backs had been discovered.

Previously, only five T207 examples with the Red Cross backs had been reported and no duplicates were known. Remarkably, seven of the eight players in the new discovery were previously unknown to the set and thus nearly triple the number of players in the checklist of T207 Red Cross backs. Only the card for Russell Blackburne in the new discovery was previously known.

Most significant, however, is a card for Louis Lowdermilk, widely considered by collectors (and even singled out by Jefferson Burdick in the American Card Catalog) to be the set key, or most difficult card to find. The front and back of Lowdermilk's card is shown above.

Until four T207 Red Cross cards were auctioned by hobby veteran Lew Lipset some two decades ago, the T207 Red Cross backs were unknown to the hobby. Three of these cards were for players Russell Blackburne, Ward Miller and George "Buck" Weaver. After checking with Lew and several long-time T207 set collectors, we were unable to identify the fourth player from the early discovery. If any of our readers can confirm the identity of the player that fourth card, please do so and we will update the set checklist on the Old Cardboard website accordingly.

In addition to the four cards auctioned by Lipset, another T207 card with the rare Red Cross back was revealed in the past decade and prior to last month's discovery. The relatively low-grade card featured Bill Lange on the front.

The new discovery was first announced last month on the Full Count Vintage Baseball Card Forum. According to forum moderator Jay Behrens, the 81-year-old owner of the cards is a non-collector that wishes to remain anonymous. He inherited the cards from family in Louisiana that has owned them since they were originally produced a century ago.

Interestingly, the origins of all but one of the Red-Cross-back cards can be traced directly back to Louisiana, where they were no doubt first distributed. Curiously, all of the known players from the previous discoveries were for Chicago White Sox players. The recent find, however, includes players from several different teams. It is also interesting to note that all of the eleven now-known T207 Red Cross players are from the much scarcer "Broadleaf-Cycle" sub-group (Group 2) of the T207 backs (see Tim Newcomb's article referenced above for a discussion of the two groups of T207 backs).

The backs for all eight players in the new discovery are shown below:





Miller (Otto)




While much of the focus of the new find has been on the T207 Red Cross backs, numerous additional less scarce but known cards were also found. They include more than two dozen additional T207 cards--all with Anonymous (Factory No. 3, Dist. of Louisiana) backs. Perhaps the most notable is one that features Buck Weaver on the front.

In total, more than 80 cards were found in the collection, which according to the owner have been schuffled between closets and attics in a Whitman's candy box for many decades.

Examples from other (non-T207) sets include over a dozen 1914-16 T213 Type 2 Coupon Cigarette cards. Of particular note is a lower-grade Coupon Type 2 example of Walter Johnson.

Also noteworthy are three examples (Doyle, Knight and Miller) from the seldom seen 1910 E105 Mello-Mint issue as well as nearly three dozen examples from the 1910-13 T215 Red Cross Tobacco issue. The T215 cards include several dead-ball era Hall of Fame players and examples with both Type I and Type II backs.

A T207 Set Profile including a detailed Checklist and full Gallery is provided on the Old Cardboard website. All of the confirmed T207 players with Red Cross backs are identified in the checklist.

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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 Profiles have been added for:
1929   Red Background Game Cards (revised)

Set Checklists have been added for:
1912   T207   "Brown Background" (updated to identify all 11 confirmed players with Red Cross backs)

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. Set Profile: Red Background Game Cards

Old Cardboard website visitor and SABR member Rich Stattler recently sent us a scan of a card from an obscure strip card set produced around 1929.

Shown at right, the card depicts Jim "Jumbo" Elliott, who pitched for several teams over a career in the Majors that spanned a dozen years. His longest stint was with the Brooklyn Robins (the team identified on the card) from 1925 through 1930.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the card, however, is the producer's labeling in the upper right corner. The circular logo printed on the card front directly connects the set to the Universal Toy and Novelty Mfg. Co. of Chicago. Although the set's connection to Universal Toy has been previously reported, it is still listed in some checklists and price guides simply as 1920s "W-Unc" Strip cards of unknown manufacturer. This is the first card that we have seen that clearly displays the Universal Toy logo and the Elliott card is the only one known from the set that displays the logo.

All known cards are printed in two colors (black and red) and have blank backs. As seen from the examples shown here, they are crudely designed and produced. Each measures approximately 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 inches. According to hobby veteran Lew Lipset, the cards were printed on 16-card sheets.

Another interesting card from the set is that of Doug McWeeny shown at left. Curiously, McWenny never played for the Giants, as stated on the card, during his ten-year career in the Majors. Like Elliot, he pitched for the Brooklyn Robins during the period that the set was produced.

Typical for the set, the McWeeny example shown here is noticeably miscut. The miscut does, however, support the belief that the cards were produced in sheets and without borders between cards.

To date, cards for only five players from the Universal Toy set have been reported by collectors. Two (Ruth and Gehrig) are baseball superstars while the remaining three (Elliott, Hogan and McWeeny) are relitively obscure. Oddly, considering that Universal Toy was headquartered in Chicago, all five known players from the set played for New York teams when the cards were produced.

A Set Profile page for the 1929 Red Background Game Cards set can be accessed on the Old Cardboard website.

Note: The Universal Toy and Novelty Mfg. Co. is also known to veteran baseball card collectors as the producer of cards cataloged as Set W504 in the American Card Catalog,

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

Beckett Reports Steady Prices for Vintage. Hobby publisher and price tracker Beckett Media recently reported that, despite a down economy, the market for vintage sports cards remains relatively strong. In its Report Card newsletter earlier this month, the company states that "one area that has not suffered is high-end vintage. Important and rare cards continue to sell for very strong prices. If it's rare, it's still in demand and there are still buyers able to pay the price." Further, according to the report, "the more common issues are a great place to bargain shop. Even pre-war has its bargains. If you have ever wanted to own T206 cards, check out some online auctions. T206 cards are possibly the most plentiful of all pre-war cards. With so many available, its no wonder collectors have put these on their buying back burner. Some think there are plenty enough around that they will still be there when times are better, and they are probably right but that doesn't mean the bargains will be there later when demand goes up again."

Memory Lane Launches "Own It Now" Program. Early this fall, California-based Memory Lane, Inc. (MLI) will distribute its first catalog under its recently announced "Own It Now" program, with items available for direct (non-auction) sale. The new program will not replace the company's quarterly auctions, but rather supplement them. Under the "Own It Now" program, the consignor sets a selling price with a first-come, first-served opportunity available to buyers for two weeks. At the beginning of the third week, MLI will invite potential buyers to contact their office and make an offer on any unsold items. Owners of the consigned items will then opt to accept or reject the offer. Sellers will pay a 20% fee for sales made under the program. Unlike more traditional auction formats, buyers will pay nothing over and above the price of the item plus shipping costs. More information about the program can be found on the MLI 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.