Which Tobacco Card Sheets are Best?

One of, if not THE, most commonly referenced phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence is that “all men are created equal.”  While I believe this to be true, I don’t believe it when it comes to my hobby.

Picture it…late September, 2016…Duane’s Sports Cards in Arlington, TX…


That was where and when I purchased my first two T206 cards.  They weren’t pretty, but they were $5 apiece and after almost 30 years in the hobby, I owned two cards from arguably the most popular sports trading card set ever.  Continue reading


Fake T213 Coupon and Rare T206 Backs Provide a Valuable Reminder

Pre-War Card Magazine

The rebacking of cards has been a popular scam in the past. That practice, if you’re not aware of it, is taking a card, skinning an unpopular back off of it and adding a more desirable back to it.

Rebacking is generally done for two reasons. In some cases, cards that have been glued into scrapbooks and then removed have heavily damaged backs. Adding a new back as a replacement fixes that damage. In other cases, cards with perfectly good backs have been replaced with fake backs of ultra scarce cards.

This is probably best seen in the cases of T206 cards, which have numerous backs – some much more valuable and desirable than others. In this scam, a collector would take a card with a common back and replace it with a much more scarce back to make it a more expensive card.

A new surge in…

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Sex Sells: Women were popular in 1800s baseball issues

Pre-War Card Magazine

When most collectors think of 1800s baseball, they generally think of some of the game’s biggest stars, like Cap Anson, Tim Keefe, and King Kelly. But while those players are certainly littered throughout 19th Century issues, one of the more unique trends in the 1800s was to actually include women in baseball card sets.

The idea to use women on cigarette cards, of course, isn’t a surprise. Sex sells and that’s true whether you’re trying to move tobacco or cars. But what was kind of fascinating is that women were routinely pictured as actual players even though women’s baseball teams weren’t (at least not in widespread fashion) really a thing back then.

What’s more is that most of the women’s baseball cards weren’t really produced in large numbers. They are often very difficult to find and, as a result, pretty expensive with many of them topping $100 for even low-grade…

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When World War I hit, baseball card production dropped

Pre-War Card Magazine

While pre-war cards are associated with World War II, issues from the World War I era always fascinate me. Production of tobacco and caramel cards was at an all-time high around 1910 but, as you might expect, production of baseball cards heavily dipped during World War I.

Even if you only count the massive T206 set as one release, there were still about 100 baseball card sets printed from 1909 through 1913. From 1914 through 1918? Similar to T206, if we count the M101-4 and M101-5 sets as one set (they had many sponsor advertising backs), there were only about 1/3 as many printed.

Many of those sets, too, were of the smaller or regional variety. Only a few major sets were printed during that time and here’s a look at most of them.

1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack (E145)

14CJ 103 JacksonThese were among the most significant sets to come out…

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Ten Ways to Help Avoid Fakes in the Vintage Card Market

Pre-War Card Magazine

In addition to which sets to collect or how to start a collection of pre-war cards, one of the most common questions I’m asked is how to avoid fakes.

The best answer, really, is that knowing what’s legit and not legit is best learned with experience with certain issues. Until you get a feel for handling certain cards and seeing them in person, identifying fakes can be somewhat difficult. Even if, for example, you’re familiar with T206 cards that same experience may not always translate over to trying to determine authentic Goudey cards.

Also, always consider the player. A Babe Ruth card is much more likely to be faked than your average, everyday common card. Fakes of lesser cards do happen. A lot. But generally, those aren’t happening at anywhere near the rate of big name cards.

Keep in mind that these are more guidelines and not rules. These are…

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Ten of the Rarer, Somewhat Under the Radar, T206 Commons

Pre-War Card Magazine

The T206 set is widely known for its ‘Big 4’ in terms of the rarest cards in the set. Led by the Honus Wagner card, these four cards (Wagner, Joe Doyle N.Y. Nat’l, Sherry Magie error, and Eddie Plank) are often out of the reach of collectors in terms of price.

Beyond those, there are another five cards, which are known to be tough. That includes the St. Louis versions of the Bill O’Hara and Ray Demmitt cards as well as the Bill Dahlen Brooklyn and Kid Elberfeld Washington portraits, which are rarer than their Boston and New York counterparts, respectively, as are the George Brown Washington cards compared to his more plentiful Chicago versions.

Continuing down the line are some other known tough commons. There are the John Titus cards, which were difficult to find for some time due to at least one collector hoarding copies of them. Same…

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Artist Jared Kelley Returns To Work On SAGE’s Sportkings

Sports Card Info

Since the announcement that SAGE will be producing the next incarnation of Sportkings, little information has been provided about it.  So far, the two Walter Payton promo cards found in 2018 SAGE Hit Premier Draft Low Series are what we have to go on.  Granted its only two cards, I do like what I see.  I’m a total sucker when it comes to artistic sets, and that is what Sportkings has always been.

On the reverse side of those Walter Payton promo cards, SAGE does list what we can expect:

  • Game Worn Cards
  • On-Card Autographs
  • Spectacular Patches
  • 1/1 Sketch Cards w/ Autographs
  • 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards
  • Original 1933 Sportkings Cards

After some intense investigating, I’ve learned that artist Jared Kelley is working on some cards for the next edition of Sportkings.  Specifically the 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards.  If that name sounds familiar, its because Mr. Kelley…

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