Sunday, January 13, 2013

Learning About Vintage

It amazes me how popular old baseball cards are today.  I don't mean 1960s old.  I mean 1910s old.  Cards featuring players that may have never played a televised inning.  The players on early 20th century tobacco cards had to deal with opponents like Ty Cobb or unruly fans that enjoyed throwing rotten apples at rival players.

Those were harsh times.  Those little tobacco cards from that era fetch some good money at card shows in 2013.  When I was at the SoCal Baseball Expo on Friday, several folks were asking vintage dealers for old tobacco cards.  I didn't just over hear one or two guys asking.  I really mean that several fellows of varying ages asking for these types of cards.

I thought that was interesting and am glad that people love baseball history.  Baseball isn't just a game, it is a learning experience.  Someday, I will pick up some real tobacco minis when I learn more about them.  I need to learn more about the players from the first couple decades of the 20th century, learn the sets names, and know price ranges.  I also need to get some info on how to tell if a 1910 tobacco card is a fake.  This may be info that I need.

If anyone is an expert in collecting these cards, please leave me an email or a comment.  I will even take some answers from people that just think that they are experts.

A vintage vendor dude, had a box of cards labeled as new arrivals.  He stated that these were cards that he had just received and didn't sort them out by year yet.  The 5000 count box was filled with vintage goodness from the 40s-70s.

This Hank Greenberg really caught my eye.  I had never seen a card from this set before.  A fellow collector was sitting next to me.  As I was paying for my stack of cards, he noticed the Greenberg.  I asked him if he knew anything about this card.  I just knew the guy must be a vintage expert.  He brought reading glasses, a magnifying glass, and a briefcase.  This dude was legit.

Well anyways, he said it was from a set that came with a book.  The set is referred to as the 1961 Golden Press set.  These cards were a page in the book and had perforated edges for kids to rip them out.  The briefcase collector added that the set included all Hall of Fame players and was fairly cheap to put together.

I looked around online and found that the only cards from this set they may get pricey are the Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.  Not sure, if I will go for the whole set, but I will try to look out for some more singles from the Golden Press.

I have a lot to learn about the older card sets.  I know way too much about card sets of 2012 and I am not sure any of that information will be useful in 50 years.    


Carl Crawford Cards said...

I have a Golden Press Charles Bender. It seems like a cool set!

Michael Chase said...

There's a lot I need to learn of Vintage too. It's definitely not my area. A little too high end for my liking but appreciate and respect vintage, just the same.

Dhoff said...

I dig that Golden Press set, and that Greenberg is the one card I really want from that set. I'll be on the lookout for my own.

With vintage, I seek out the low-end deal. If someone wants $10-$15 for a no-name baseball player tobacoo card that's beat to hell with dinged corners and a hole punched through it, it's probably legit. Seeking poor condition cards makes for a good way to play it safe and still get to enjoy vintage. But that's just me.

Ernest Reyes said...

Yeah, Golden Press cards. They actually came in uncut perforated sheets in a little book. If I remember correctly, they had 6 cards per page,and some of the cards are actually on the front and back cover of the book. There are 33 cards total in the set.

Potch said...

I haven't seen anything from that set. That's a great looking Greenberg.

Potch said...

Pardon, but how is the card stock? Just curious. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is a really great post and I couldn't agree more. The cards from that era hold big time appeal, but there's also some nightmare stories out there about collectors getting misled into making bad buys, trades, whatever.

Honestly, I know nothing about cards from this era, aside from some names and visual layout and design themes used that was also shared with various popular Americana themes of the day. That shared, I found this book enjoyable, though not totally enlightening, "The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories." Of course, "The Card," by O'Keefe, is also a great read about the Honus Wagner storyline. "The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It," is promising.

Above, Dhoff nailed it and I agree completely. Vintage cards can be the card collectors playground of the wealthy. Until, that is, you put "poor" into the search.

Poor condition it is, and the collection grows!

That's a beauty Greenberg card, by the way.