A 20-Year-Old Redemption Fulfilled, and Why I Have Never Been a Happier Collector

Lew Dawson 1997 LeafI started collecting cards during the late 1980s (baseball, football, and eventually basketball) and can honestly say that I have never enjoyed collecting more than I currently do.  Note, this is not equivalent to saying that I enjoy modern cards the most (my favorite era to collect is actually the late 1990s).  But before I go further into my discussion about enjoying The Hobby, let me provide a brief anecdote:

This story begins in December 2016.  I had just created LinguaSportsCards.com and was looking for topics to talk about.  To that end, I ordered a few boxes of 1990s cards from online sellers.  One of these boxes was 1997 Leaf football.  Inside one of the packs was a redemption for an autographed Len Dawson card numbered to /1948. I took a picture of the redemption card, and posted it on Twitter.  I did not get much of a reaction.  I…

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Putting together an E91 American Caramel set? Good freaking luck with that.

Pre-War Card Magazine

E91 American Caramel Set Overview


Collectors are frequently drawn to the 1909-11 E90-1 American Caramel baseball set. The colors pop off the card and, even if some of the artwork is sketchy (looking at you, lipstick-covered Joe Jackson rookie card), it’s a really popular set.

The E91 American Caramel set? Not so much. For starters, it’s a ‘generic’ issue with the poses and pictures repeating for various players. That WaJo card is a lot less appealing when you consider it’s the same picture used on Harry Krause’s card, for example. It is is lacking a bit with many key players missing. But collectors pursue it, anyway, because it’s an American Caramel set and those chasing early caramel cards are still interested in it.

And if you’re hoping to complete a set, good luck.

Is collecting a set impossible? Nope. You’ll see complete ones from time to time,

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Red Grange No. 9B card in 1926 Shotwell set a true rarity

Pre-War Card Magazine

In 1926, Shotwell Manufacturing Company issued two different sets featuring football star Red Grange. An ad-backed set featured 12 cards that were mostly action shots of Grange as a player. A second blank-backed issue featured 24 scenes with him in a movie, “One Minute to Play.”

Both are popular and rare. As I wrote recently for Sports Collectors Daily, they were issued with Shotwell’s Red Grange candy bars but not many exist today.

The first set I mentioned generally draws a little more interest since the focus is on Grange as a football player. And it’s in that set where you can find a rare variation on Card No. 9.

Card 9A vs. Card 9B

grange-9b-shotwell.jpegGrange Shotwell 9AThe most common card No. 9 features Grange in college with his Alma Mater, Illinois. It is titled ‘Illinois Famous Half Back’ and features a basic half-body shot of him. However, a much rarer version…

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1936 Goudey set the perfect introduction for new pre-war collectors

Pre-War Card Magazine

24 - Paul WanerOne of the more common questions I’ve gotten from collectors is where to start with regards to pre-war collecting. But despite answering it numerous times, it’s never that easy of a question, to be honest.

I can’t really spin someone around in circles with a blindfold on and simply say, ‘go’. As with anything, there are plenty of considerations. What do you like? What’s your budget like? How do you want to collect (sets, by type, specific players, etc.)? Once I have a grip on those, it’s generally pretty easy to make some recommendations.

In general, though, there are a few ‘go tos’ that I can offer. I’ve done this enough that I can rattle off a few options based on specific tastes of collectors. And whenever I’m asked for an easy starting point, one option that I find myself continually recommending is the 1936 Goudey set.

What’s a Goudey?


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