12.22.2009

1923 W515-1
Al Mamaux

Sometimes you can get really great deals on eBay.

This 1923 strip card of Al Mamaux set me back $5.99. A great deal for a 87-year-old baseball card.

For those of you not familiar with strip cards, they were sold in strips. Several cards joined together and then cut apart. Some with scissors, some with knives. This one looks like it was torn from its neighbor.

As far as I know, the cards were sold for a penny in machines similar to the ones that sell gumballs at the local grocery store.

As a kid I saw my first strip cards in a magazine and later bought my first cards at a national sports card show in Anaheim, Calif. It was at the Disneyland Hotel. It was the 1980s. It was a time when there were baseball card shop on just about every corner. For those of you who are younger think of Starbucks.

I remember buying cards of Rogers Hornsby, Walter Johnson, Wally Pipp, George Sisler, Ty Cobb and even a Babe Ruth. I think they were like $5 each. Ruth may have been $20.

I wanted nothing more than a real Babe Ruth when I was a kid and the one I got that day is still a cherished part of my collection.

So if you want to add a vintage baseball card to your collection consider a strip card. They can usually be had for a fraction of the price of their tobacco cousin.

Just don't expect to find a Babe Ruth for $20. We're not in the 80s anymore.

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