Let’s Help One of Our Own

Many in the hobby refer to it as a community or family.  I subscribe to this, as I have met some wonderful people because I collect sports cards.  I hope that you feel the same and that’s why I am writing this post.

Many of you know Rich Klein.  He’s been a part of the hobby for decades.  He’s worked for Beckett, works for COMC now, writes at SABR Baseball Cards and I believe has written for Sports Collectors Daily.  I’m sure that there’s more that I know of, but they are slipping my mind at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.

I’m not going to share anything too personal, as I am posting this without him asking or even knowing.  He would never ask anyone to post something on his behalf.  His wife Dena recently spent a week in the hospital due to complications with a disease.  The have a Go Fund Me page to help with various medical expenses and I’m asking people in the hobby to step up and help out one of our own.

I’m not asking you to send $100.  Imagine what $5 per person that reads this could do.  That’s basically a pack or two of cards, depending on your tastes and budget.  Maybe instead of that blaster you think about buying on your next Walmart or Target run, what about helping out someone out and throw that $20 to help with someone’s medical expenses?  Reverse the roles.  How thankful would you be?

From Dena’s Go Fund Me page:

My name is Dena Medwed Klein and I have been struggling with a disease called focal segmented glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) for many years, which has caused chronic kidney failure. I have recently been placed on the kidney transplant list, and am currently trying to find a living kidney donor. Until I get a donor, I will be on dialysis .
My special-education aide salary doesn’t allow for much savings, and neither does my husband’s job. The money will help cover my time off work, the life-long medications that I will be taking, and the expenses that insurance won’t cover (both for dialysis and when I can eventually have the transplant). I have worked in special education for over 15 years and want to continue helping my students succeed.
In addition, if you are interested in being tested to be a match for a kidney donation, either check my Facebook page or go to http://livingdonordallas.org . I do not know exactly when dialysis will begin, but the doctors and I are hopeful that a living donor will be available soon. I am grateful for everyone in my life, and appreciate each and every one of you.
Every day is a blessing and I will continue to live each day to its fullest. Thank you for being a part of my life and for all of your support.

What do you say, card family?  Can we help out just a little?  I think we can and hope we do.   If you’re willing and able to help, you can click here or below to take you to the link.  I know that Rich and Dena will appreciate any amount that anyone can donate.

Dena’s Kidney Fund

Happy collecting!


1957 Topps Baseball Set Break from BurlsSports.com

Kin Kinsley
October 31, 2016

There was a time that I though box breaks were the greatest thing. After awhile, I no longer felt that way. Also, how I collect has changed in the last 18 months and now I’m more into vintage, with a few exceptions. I assumed that would mean no more breaks for me if I felt the urge unless I just got into one to say that I did. Continue reading

Nostalgia: For Me, It’s About the Details Too

Kin Kinsley
October 21, 2016

The hobby that we love is an always-evolving one.  Whether it is the number of card companies, the kinds of cards (numbered, memorabilia, etc), the ways we add to our collection or any number of other things, change is always a constant.  Something that does not change is nostalgia and the memories of simpler, more innocent times in our lives that cards can bring.

You see it with the older collectors that stick to vintage.  Many abhor new products.  It has caused some to leave the hobby, including the man that gave me my first baseball cards.  As parallels, inserts and memorabilia cards continued to become the focus of many, he tapped out of the hobby.  I can’t say that I blame him.  However, he still has all those old cards that can bring back the memories of his youth.

Continue reading

Frustration in the Unknown

Kin Kinsley
October 4, 2016

I envy vintage baseball card collectors.

Are they more expensive than similar cards in other sports?  Absolutely.

Are there more people chasing them?  Oh yes.

Is there more of most of the cards available?  Undoubtedly.

None of those are the reason why I envy those collectors.  I think they are lucky because more is known about the cards that they are collecting.  The reasons for that?  See the three questions above.  More demand equates to more collectors researching the history of the cards.

The American Tobacco Company T206 set is the granddaddy of all baseball card sets.  It starts at the top with the Honus Wagner (a copy just sold for $3.1M on October 1) but is popular for many reasons.  Many collectors focus on back variations.  Cards were produced of some Southern League players, but in more limited quantities.  There are many ways to collect the set.

LINK:  ‘Jumbo Wagner’ Sets New Record — Topping $3M

The popularity of the set has accounted for no lack of information on the set.  You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of threads about the set on net54baseball.com.   In a thread I posted there, asking for general knowledge, someone gave me a link to a 77-page piece on the set (link below).

LINK:  Inside T206 – A Collector’s Guide to the Classic Baseball Card Set 

I recently picked up a couple of cards from the set, but it’s not an interest of mine.  I am into trading cards that revolve around the Indianapolis 500 and the men that have driven in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

My interest in the history of the Indianapolis 500 reached an all-time high this year, leading up to the 100th Running of the race.  I began researching and found a few vintage sets that were about the race or contained drivers in the race.  That’s where I came across the 1911 American Tobacco Company Auto Drivers (also known as T36) set.

I haven’t been able to find much information on the set.  It is a 25 card set, by the book.  This is the “set information” from Beckett.com.  “This 25-card set was produced for The American Tobacco Company. Each card includes a small ad for either Hassan or Mecca Cigarettes on the cardback. All 25 cards were produced with both ad back variations. The cards measure 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 and came with square corners. The cards are unnumbered and feature top race car drivers of the day from both North America and Europe representing all types of auto racing events. They were packaged one card per 10 cigarette pack and two per 20 cigarette pack. The cards were inserted in cigarette packs starting on March 27th, 1911 and ending on March 31st, 1911. Special thanks to Jon Hardgrove for providing much of this information.”

I’m not the world’s greatest internet researcher, but I feel quite positive that I am at least average.  Other than that, I’ve only been able to find one other piece of information on the set, an old auction listing that had information I was not aware of.



Outside of these pieces of information, I know very little about the set.  However, learning about back variations made me wonder about the T36 cards.  I knew there were both Hassan and Mecca backs, presumably making this a 50-card set.  Then I learned about Factory variations and checked the cards that I could (both mine and currently for sale).  They do come from two different factories, 30 and 649.  Is this a 100-card set?

So far, I don’t have enough evidence to make a solid hypothesis, but for me the door is open than this could be a 100-card set with all variations.  I have found out a couple of things examining the few copies of these cards that I know of.

I have two copies of the Ralph DePalma card.  One has the Mecca back and one the Hassan.  They have different factory numbers.  This was the first pair of variations that I knew of, leading me to believe it is a 50-card set with the variations.

For months I believed that this was the “master” set, a Mecca and Hassan back for each.

Most of these cards I’ve seen are listed on eBay with ridiculous Buy it Now prices.  When auctions come along, they end anywhere from 33-50% of the ones establishing residency on eBay.  The auctions don’t come along often, at least that I have found.  Over the last six months or so, I have seen five auctions and won four of those.

In the last month, two George Robertson cards have been up for auction and I won both of those.  When I saw the second one, I was interested in the back.  It was a Hassan back, just like the one that I had.  However, it was from Factory 30 but the one in my possession already was Factory 649.

The combination of these two pairs of variations has me back to thinking that the complete, master set will indeed be 100 cards.  So far these are the only cards I have seen with the different backs, but one is a brand variation and one a factory variation.

Since I cannot find much info on the set, I am left to researching them myself.  My hope is that sometime soon another DePalma or Robertson variation will come along, but I doubt it will be soon.  Luckily, I’m young enough that I have plenty of years to try and unravel this mystery.


Yes, a Non-Baseball “T” Card Addition

Second T36 Post for a Second Place Finisher.

My Third 1911 American Tobacco Auto Drivers (T36) Card

T36 Pickup – 1911 ATC Auto Drivers Ralph DePalma SGC 40



Bryan Clauson (1989-2016): Reflection, Thoughts & A Few Cards

Kin Kinsley
August 8, 2016

This is going to be the most random, disorganized post I’ve written. Most of the time, I am straight to the point. They beat that into me in Journalism school. In TV and Radio, you get to the point. You don’t waste words. I don’t think I’m going to waste words; there are just so many of them. There are so many thoughts. This is a piece that I wish I wasn’t writing. Continue reading

Why are YOU letting eBay dominate, while likely complaining about eBay?

Kin Kinsley
August 5, 2016

Rarely does a day go by that I don’t see someone online complaining about eBay.  Sometimes it’s a seller complaining about fees, not being able to leave negatives, or any other number of things.  Other times, it’s buyers complaining about high prices or something else.

I won’t say that I disagree about these issues.  My question is WHY are you letting eBay dominate?  There are options out there.  Perhaps you have to do a little more work, but isn’t it worth it to pay lower fees as a seller or a lower cost as a buyer?

Continue reading