Anonymous Collectibles NJ said...

“Let me see if I got this right. You buy low grade

beat up cards and feature them on your blog.

That’s awesome. Totally different than all the

other blogs I have seen featuring the nicest cards.”


1940 Play Ball
Goose Goslin

I've recently purchased a half-dozen Play Ball's over the last week, one in worse condition than the next.

When I saw this Goose Goslin I had mixed emotions. Is a baseball card a poor old baseball card even if it has the top quarter torn completely off?

I own plenty of cards that have been torn but taped back together. Just look at my last post. But this piece is just flat out gone. The more I think about it the more I really don't care.

This card seems to have as much character as any, maybe even more. Plus it's more than 70 years old. And it's a Play Ball, one of the most underrated sets ever.

And as a bonus I was reading the ad underneath the PLAY BALL logo on the card's back.

It reads: Coming! That Smashing, Crashing Hero, friend of millions. SUPERMAN. This great card gum series will soon be at your dealer's store. Ask for it.

As a kid in 1940 it must have been a tough choosing between baseball and Superman.


1967 Topps
Fence Busters

If cards could talk.

For about 75 cents per half how could I resist this beauty.

It seems that years ago, someone decided to make the split. It reminds me of one of those old prom photos that you cut in two after breaking up with an old girlfriend.

I wonder which Willie broke the previous owner's heart.

Could it have been Mays after returning to New York in 1972? Or maybe it was McCovey who left the Bay Area for sunny San Diego in 1974?

Either way someone made this relationship whole again. And all that was needed was a piece of tape.



1909 T206
Hal Chase

As a kid, before the Internet existed, I got my early baseball knowledge from things like encylopedias, almanacs and books.

I remember walking into a bookstore that was right around the corner from my grandparents home and finding "Baseball As I Have Known It," by Hall-of-Fame writer Fred Lieb. Lieb's love for the game began in the early 1900s when he cheered on his Philadelphia Athletics during the American League's earliest days.

He would later cover that team, along with several others as he made his mark as a reporter in Philadelphia and New York. His book is a wealth of knowledge. And I read every page.

Chapter 8 is titled: Hal Chase: He had a corkscrew brain. It focuses on the darker side of baseball -- Gambling, throwing games, cheating, you name it. And at the center of it all was Hal Chase.

Chase was regarded as a smooth-fielding, good-hitting first basemen. One of the best. Some would even consider him as the deadball era's biggest draws along with Ty Cobb.  Lieb mentions him as being on par with the likes of Lou Gehrig, Bill Terry, Frank Chance and George Sisler. But only when he wanted to be. It seems like he had all the skills but didn't always use them.

He would often be late in covering the bag or let the ball fall from his glove. Many of his managers flat out accused him of throwing games. And I think most baseball historians agree that he was no good. But he filled the stands and his antics were often overlooked.

By 1919, he was banished from the game. Many think he was instrumental in the Black Sox scandal that would rock baseball.

So in 1909, when a kid would have pulled this card from his dad's pack of cigs it must have come with some mixed emotions. Not only were you getting a card of one of the best but of a known cheat. Oh, and it was pink.

Probably not your first choice.



1909 T206
Stoney McGlynn

I learned something new today.

In 1991, Major League Baseball changed its definition of a no-hitter. Since 1991, a no-hitter must be at least nine innings.

That wasn't the case prior to the new edict. Pitchers were one credited with no-nos if they lost a game as a member of the visiting team where the home team didn't bat in the ninth inning; and if a game was shortened due to weather or darkness.

Manny no-hitters were erased from the record books. Include one from Stoney McGlynn.

On Sept. 24, 1906, McGlynn tossed a 7-inning no-hitter against Brooklyn. The game ended in a 1-1 tie after darkness.

Another interesting fact: On June 3, 1907, McGlynn pitched both games of a doubleheader, winning the first game but losing the second.

Oh the things you learn when buying poor old baseball cards.


1961 Fleer
Babe Ruth

I've posted this card before. Not this exact card but the same player, year and issue. You can find it here.

Most collectors try and replace their cards with better examples. But here at Poor Old Baseball Cards, I replace my cards with the lowest conditioned card I can find. And when it comes to this 1961 Fleer Babe Ruth, I've found a better (worse) card.

At some point, this card was literally ripped in half. And it still would be in two pieces if it weren't for that strip of tape holding it together.

This 1961 set has been gaining ground in my book for a while. It's not the oldest set and it's not all that common, but what I like most is that the cards in the set are relatively affordable. Even Babe Ruth. I just picked this one up off eBay a few weeks ago for under $10.

Some may ask: Why would anyone pay $10 for a baseball card that has been ripped in two?

My answer is simple: Babe Ruth.

And in the world of vintage poor old baseball cards, that's a valid argument. Don't you think?


1909 T206
Harry Pattee

From what I can tell, there are six cards in the T206 set that feature horizontal poses: Joe Birmingham, George Mullin, Danny Murphy, Barney Pelty, Jack Powell and Harry Pattee. 

I've been collecting T206s for a while now, I'd guess 25-plus years. I recall buying my first - Eddie Collins - at a local baseball card shop at a time when baseball card shops were like Starbucks, one on practically every corner.

I remember studying the players, famous or not: Ty Cobb, Rube Marquard, Red Ames, Admiral Schlei, Walter Johnson and John Titus (one of my favorites since he wore a moustache).

But I don't recall Harry Pattee. After looking him up, I realized he only played one season and only 80 games. A member of the Brooklyn Superbas. He had 76 hits, nine RBI and hit for a .216 average.

This particular card has seen better days. It appears it spent a good portion if its life in a scrapbook. Nonetheless a great poor old baseball card.


1911 T205
James Delahanty

It's been a few years since I started writing this blog. As a matter of routine, each card gets scanned by a flatbed scanner before I head over to my desktop computer ( or occasionally my laptop) where I compose each entry.

Until now.

This is my first post using my iPad and an app called BlogPress.

Today I give you this wonderful card of one of the Delahanty brothers. Another 100-plus year old card. Oh, how far we've come over the last century.

But I'd put the quality of this card up to any produced today, wouldn't you?


1943 R302-1 M.P.& Co.
Dolph Camilli

Having been a player during World War II, Adolph Louis Camilli simply went by Dolph. Good choice for the 1941 National League MVP.

You don't see these old cards everyday and so when I saw this affordably-priced example on eBay a few weeks back, I snapped it up.

This set was produced by the Michael Pressner Company of New York. From all accounts, they were a novelty and carnival supply company, whatever that means. I think they made those toy trinkets you could win at the fair if you could knock over those milk bottles or get the rubber ball in the peach basket.

There were a total of 24 cards in the set and they were sold at candy stores in strips of eight. They're significant since they were one of very few baseball card sets produced during the war.

Personally I think they are great. They remind me of "Bazooka Joe" comics. I read where someone called these cards among the ugliest ever produced. I disagree.

So they don't have fancy graphics or real photography. I bet the kids loved them in 1943, a diversion from what was happening overseas.

Similar cards were produced in 1949 using the same cartoon figures. One difference between the sets is that the later was numbered.


1911 T205 Charles O'Leary

I'm a huge fan of the white-bordered T206 baseball card.

But I think I may be a bigger fan of the gold-bordered T205. Bold colors, player bios, stats, facsimile signatures and team nicknames add to the sets appeal. Some even classify these cards into three subsets: American Leaguers, National Leaguers and minor leaguers.

AL cards have this diamond design. NL cards have more of an airbrushed portrait look and minor leaguers have an ornate frame.

So far, I have three American Leaguers.

A few days ago I bid on a different T205 card. I had never heard of the player and the card was an absolute beater. It looked like it had been run over by a truck. My kind of card. As a veteran of eBay, I figured my bid would hold up.

Not even close. I was outbid that same day. With days remaining in the auction. I couldn't believe it! I didn't understand.

But then I figured it out: The card was of a minor leaguer. There are only a dozen players in this subset and they demand a premium.

And here I thought I was the only one out there looking for poor old baseball cards.


1954 Topps
Phil Rizzuto

I checked my mail twice yesterday.

Once on my way to work and once after getting home. That's unusual for me, I'm lucky if I grab my snail mail but once a week.

But I was waiting for something special. After nearly a week, I was hoping my poor old 1954 Topps Phil Rizzuto was on its way. And when I opened up my mailbox a few hours ago, I was hoping to see one of those padded yellow envelopes I'm sure you've all seen before. That signature yellow usually means another one of my acquisitions has arrived.

But no yellow envelope. How could it be? It should have arrived days ago.

After digging a little deeper, I found it. It wasn't yellow this time but white. It was a standard envelope with cardboard used as reinforcement.

I knew it had arrived. And like a kid in the proverbial candy store that feeling came over me.

Ah, for the simple joys of life!


1909 T206
Tom Downey

I know I don't have a ton of people that read this blog regularly but I like to think there are a few of you out there. So to those few, I've got a question:

How much would you pay for a genuine 102-year-old baseball card with a corner missing?

It seems that over the last few years I am buying all my baseball cards in a bubble. All I want are poor old baseball cards, the worse the better. And because of that I wonder whether the cards I am buying are worth it.

Of course they are worth it for personal reasons, but are they worth the money I am spending on them? Sometimes I wonder.

This card cost me $10 ($9 +$1 shipping on eBay).

A few other things you can buy for $10:  A little more than two gallons of gas in California; lunch; a ticket to the movies.

When you compare it to some things, maybe a piece of Americana is worth a ten-spot.


1943 La Ambrosia
Juan R. Castaneda

Usually when I don't know a player I can simply Google him and find out plenty. Not the case with the ballplayer on this old card.

What I can tell you is that Castaneda was the manager of Club Circulo de Artesanos. The club played amateur ball in Cuba.

But I didn't get the info from Google. It was from the back of the thin card. It seems Google has never heard of Mr. Castaneda the Cuban ballplayer.

And here I thought Wikipedia had an entry for almost everyone.


1952 Topps
Johnny Berardino

From the back of the card:  "During the off-season he acts in Hollywood movies."

Johnny Berardino's acting name was John Beradino, notice the slight change in his last name. And while he had a part in seven Major League seasons, he missed three season to World War II and won a World Series with Cleveland in 1948, he is best known or his work on the television screen.

From 1963 until his death in 1996, Berardino played Dr. Steve Hardy on "General Hospital." Yep, it's the same guy.

He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not bad for life after baseball.


1938 Exhibits 4 on 1
(Feller, Trosky, Bale, Averill)

So it's been forever since I last posted. Sometimes you've got to just live life.

But yesterday, I really started missing posting my poor old baseball cards. It had been a while since I picked up a stack of old cards. A couple days ago I did just that and this card was on top.

I bought this card because of Bob Feller.

Who am I kidding? I bought this card because of its horrible condition. Tape, stained, torn and dirty. My kind of card.

When taking it out of it's protective sleeve, it split in two.Yep, two pieces, right below poor Bob's head. 74 years later, this card is really brittle.

I wasn't too bummed though. I figure it's just another chapter in its storied life. If only this card could talk.