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Archive for December, 2007

’56 Bowman test?

A guy identifying himself as “John” posts this comment:

I enjoyed looking through the 2008 catalog. I have done a lot of
research regarding the take over of bowman by topps in 1956. If a test
card from the ’56 bowman cards popped up with a back and ’55 stats,
could you put a price tag on that card if it graded well.

My good friend “Bob,” who wrote the first 16 editions of the Standard Catalog, fielded this one:

The short answer would be, yes a pre-production proof of one of the proposed ’56 Bowman designs with both front and back printing would be a great rarity, regardless of grade, but that there’s no way to guess a
price until it has been through a major auction.

[It’s very possible] he got ahold of one of the Baseball Card Magazine “repli-cards” from the Oct., 1988 issue (Pg. 558, 2008 edition SCBC).

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New Old Judge

Brian Van Horn and I have gone back and forth a little on this one, and after deciding we’ve got a new variation on the 1887-1890 N172 Old Judge Tom Forster (Milwaukee) card; his latest email—which makes me say we’ve got a keeper for the 2009 book—and the pic:

I [got] the card 13 years ago in a grouping of 11 Old Judges I picked up in a group purchase. The card is not a 169 (b), but an unknown variation. The 169 (b) shows Forster squatting to field a grounder. This card has him standing upright a fly ball to land in his hands. I consulted with Jay Miller, David Levin, Richard Masson and Kevin Struss as well as Lew Lipset. None of the gentlemen have ever seen the card before.

Anyone want to take a stab at pricing of this card (not the above card in particular, but this card in general)? While the jury’s still out, I kind of like the ballpark of 169(b). What do we number it? 169(d)? Do any Old Judge collectors have this in their deep-reference books or other hobby information where it’s been assigned a number? Thanks for your input.

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Beckett checks in

Elon Werner writes:

Mark Anderson, Beckett’s Grading Services Director, sent me a link to
your site. I have added it to the blogroll at the Beckett Blog site.
Keep up the good work.

Thanks much, I’m adding you to our blogroll right now.

As I posted earlier in the discussion of the Parnell Bowman card, all I care about in the context of this blog and the big book is accurate cataloging and pricing information. I have nothing but respect for Beckett, and I am sure they feel the same way for the Krause team. There is room in different reference books for different pricing opinion, and anyone who claims an absolute value is deluding themselves.

We are friendly competitors, not Michigan-Ohio State or Cowboys-Redskins. Although, from what I understand, a lot of Becketteers are ‘Boys fans. Perhaps there is room for some friendly wagering, perhaps if the Grand crusaders from D.C. meet Romo’s Pretty Boys in the playoffs? (For those who don’t know already–or haven’t deduced from the pic of old Tris up top here at the blog, the Red Sox and Redskins are my personal alliances, although Tigers and Patriots are secondary teams I follow…I hope old Wade rests Romo and the entire defensive line Sunday). Like, I’d put up my ungraded 1983 Topps John Riggins sticker up against Tracy Hackler’s BGS 10 1978 Topps Dorsett rookie, which I could eBay if the Redskins won…like this dude did.

Price Guide Humor. An acquired taste—at best.

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Our indefatiguable Cameo Pepsin pin collector Al Simeone (who sends us new finds as soon as he gets them) racked up another this week. Meet C. Burrell, perhaps an ancestor of Pat Burrell’s? Probably not.

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Welcome to Forum 54 folks

I just put up a note on Forum 54’s vintage message board publicizing this blog. Welcome everyone who found us via that route. Here’s a little eye candy from eBay—I’m sure you guys and gals already discussed this to death but I’m also sure it’s tough to keep that salivating reflex from happening all over again once you look at it.

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Help reader Phil Arem and us catalogers determine what this is…is it uncatalogued or are we just missing something there already in the book? To wit, he writes:

I wasn’t exactly sure how to submit these 2 items so I emailed you here. One appears to be a 1939 Pirates Premium from Duquesne Brewing Co. featuring—among others—Honus Wagner as coach, Lloyd Waner, Arky Vaughn, Heinie Manush and Pie Traynor as manager. The second is a premium given out in 1927, when Babe Ruth was training in Hollywood in the off season. Any help as to value etc?

And, the pictures:


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Collector Bruce Moreland calls the 1950 Bowman Mel Parnell card one of the “nastiest” of the Bowmans; we’re assuming he means “of the cards out there in the wild for collectors to chase, these are in the worst shape, good luck finding ones that haven’t been abused.” It’s a classic #1 card.

Standard Catalog
reader Erik Powell wonders about its value. He emails:

Great job w/ the new “Standard” !! I just a had a question? 1950 Bowman Baseball, #1 card in the set is Mel Parnell. You list @ $500 in nrmt
[$550 in the 2008 edition] and Beckett lists @ $150 in nrmt. One of you is way off. Any help??

Whoa! When I get emails like this, I surf and sift through prices (two PSA 8s have sold for $7,000+ and $10,000+ recently) and when I am not satisfied (as in, not a lot show up in NrMt so there’s not a great amount of data to answer it straight-up) I play one of my favorite games: Put the Dealer on the Spot. In this case, Bill Henderson, the self-anoited “King of Commons” (I love that!) has a VG Parnell in his eBay store so I rang him up, identified myself, but didn’t say which competing guide was high and which was low. I just said “what’s your gut say?”

(And don’t think I am dissing Beckett. Pricing is a nebulous science, and a lot of the times, multiple arguments for pricing a card can be defended. Putting together a price guide is very difficult, and I have nothing but respect for Beckett—as well as my colleagues at SCD.)

Henderson said that, outside of a slab, he’d split the difference and price it $250 at his store. If it were in a NrMt slab, $500 might not be a big enough number. In any case, since it’s the #1 card—and they are so tough to find now in NrMt—$500 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

While that isn’t a ringing endorsement of the SCD price, if it were an NFL replay on a coach’s challenge, the ref would say there isn’t enough indisputable evidence to overturn the call. The price will remain $550 for the 2009 book. That doesn’t mean Beckett’s wrong; it just means that I’m convinced enough people would pay that price or even more in this Era of the Set Registries—especially at card shows or live auctions—that I’m not going to lower the value.

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