Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
The Play Ball baseball cards were issued by Gum Inc.,
from 1939-1941. This is a 1941 Ted Williams--the 1941
set consisted of 72 cards, and were also the only year
Play Balls were printed in color.
The Ted Williams is one of the more expensive cards in the
set, along with Joe DiMaggio and the rookie Pee Wee Reese.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
T206 cards were issued from 1909 through 1911 by the
American Tobacco Trust. With its white borders and
many back variations, this set is known among card
collectors as "The Monster." It is also one of the few card
sets recognized by those outside the hobby, due to the
large number of high dollar cards it contains (Honus
Here is an example of the T206 Ty Cobb, who was an original
Hall of Fame inductee in 1936. (I'd recommend you go visit
it in our ebay store, however, Mr. Cobb has found a happy
home.) Ty Cobb held was the all time hit leader until Pete
Rose broke his record, not to mention a successful business
Walter Johnson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame
alongside Ty Cobb, was a pitcher for the Washington Senators
when his T206 card was issued.
You can find a gallery of T206 cards at The T206 Museum Gallery.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The T205 Gold Border set is considered by many collectors to be one of the most beautiful card sets ever issued. This set, issued in 1911 by the American Tobacco Company, uses vivid colors, attractive portraiture, plus an attractive (and, unfortunately, very condition sensitive) gold border.
Like the T201 Mecca Double Folders, also out in 1911, the T205s, or "Gold Borders," have player biographies and stats, setting a precedent for future sports cards. The Gold Borders depicted the American, National, and Minor leagues. American League cards have the player portrait surrounded by a baseball diamond. The National League cards, like the Christy Mathewson pictured, has one of the excellent portraits on a bright background, plus the first use of facsimile autographs ever on a sports card. There are twelve Minor League cards, which have more detailed borders, and the pictures are often "action shots" of the players.
Like most tobacco cards, the T 205 cards measure 1 1/2 by 2 5/8 inches. The Gold Borders were issued in eleven different brands of cigarettes, including Sweet Caporal, Hassan, Polar Bear, American Beauty, Cycle, Piedmont, Sovereign, Honest, Broadleaf, Hindu, and Drum. The T205's are subject to the chipping around the edges, making it difficult to find them at a very high grade--the Mathewson pictured here is PSA graded a 2--but they still remain a favorite among collectors, partly due to the number of early Hall of Famers included in the set.
If you'd like to see more 1911 Gold Borders, the T205 Gallery has a card set on display on-line.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Here is a 1933 Goudey card of Hall of Fame player
Mel Ott (nice game face!) The 239 card set was issued
in Goudey bubble gum packs, each card measuring
2 3/8 by 2 7/8 inches.
Goudey was the first American company to issue baseball
cards with each stick of gum, though they had been available
with cigarettes and certain lines of candy for many years.
There are two series in the 1933 set, Mel being from
series two. The first series cards have a red band
across the bottom with the words "Big League
Chewing Gum." Interestingly, or oddly, enough, the
1938 set picked up in numbering where the 1933 set
Unfortunately, the 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth is a commonly
forged card: some estimate that over half of the 1933
Ruth Goudeys in circulation are counterfeits. There are
ways to spot the fakes, however.
If the 1933 you're looking at has a glossy finish on the front,
that's a bad sign--these cards should appear matte. Next,
check the text on the back of the card, looking at it under
magnification. If the printer's ink appears dotted rather than
solid, that's another sign of a reprint. Also, many cards have
been artificially aged, so don't let a few creases, a short dip in
a cup of tea, and some sandpapered edges fool you! I've
read that the 1933 Goudeys won't fluoresce under a black
light, but as most of us don't routinely carry one of those,
rely on your common sense when buying in person, and a
reputable grading company when buying on-line.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Here's another set of cards not generally seen--the Topps
1951 Connie Mack's All-Stars. Now in our ebay store are
these two --Christopher "Christy" Mathewson, who was
an original Hall of Fame inductee in 1936, and Tristam
"Tris" Speaker, who was inducted the second year, 1937.
These were distributed by Topps in 1951, and are printed
on a medium weight card stock, about 2 inches by 5 inches.
The figures are diecut, meant to be folded out and stand up,
similar to paper dolls.
Unfortunately, there are forgeries out there. Things to watch
for in a fake Connie Mack's All-Stars card are heavier weight
card stock, non-diecut figures, and obviously hand cut edges.
Our image will enlarge if you click on it, but if you want to see
more 1951 Topps Connie Mack's All-Stars, check out (yes, again!)
Dan Austin's Virtual Card Collection .
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Scott has been on an old card kick lately, and one of his recent finds
is a T201 Mecca Double Folder. Have you ever seen these?
These cards were distributed nationally in 1911 in Mecca
Cigarettes. They have beautiful, colorful lithograph images,
but if that's not enough for you, how about the fact that they
are made to show TWO different player images. This is
achieved by flipping the folded flap up or down--a first in
baseball cards. Another distinction are the player stats (we
now take these for granted) shown on the back of each card.
In 1911, this was not yet a common practice.
T201s are also quite a bit bigger than the previous (and
subsequent) tobacco cards, and made of a lighter weight
cardstock, as well--this makes it tougher to find one in
very good shape, but what can you expect from a card that
was designed to be folded and unfolded, and is almost 100
There are fifty separate two-player cards in the T201 set, fifteen
of which include at least one Hall Of Fame player. Our card
pictured here is one of the ORIGINAL Hall of Fame inductees,
Walter Johnson (his fold up buddy is Gabby Street). You can
find this card in our ebay store.
Want to see more T201s? Check out this awesome site:
The Virtual Card Collection by Dan Austin.
Thanks for stopping by,
Scott and Trisha