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Archive for March, 2008

Larry Fritsch

We’re dedicating the 2009 Standard Catalog to Larry Fritsch, and I wanted to make a note of it here.

The hobby lost one of its Mount Rushmore figures last December, a guy who also dropped a lot of knowledge on our book and assisted founding editor Bob Lemke whenever he could. It’s safe to say that Larry Fritsch helped shape our reference into what it is today.

Reading his obituary in the Stevens Point Journal, it’s clear that Fritsch was a lot more than one of the country’s top card dealers and an obsessive collector-cataloguer to boot; he was a contributing member of his community, too.

The hobby marches forward, and a lot of things have changed and promise to continue to evolve as baseball moves through a controversial era loaded with allegations about using and lying about performance-enhancing drugs. That can’t be encouraging a lot of new collectors to the hobby at the moment. A brutal economy (that doesn’t look to be improving) is forcing card companies–and the dealer ecosystem that supports them–to make tough choices. Larry Fritsch claimed to be the first full-time vintage card dealer; the ones who carry on the tradition are struggling.

One thing that will never change, however. We need more guys (and gals) like Larry Fritsch.

Update: Bob has taken it upon himself to write the dedication, which I endorse completely. I did not know how heavily Fritsch was involved in “the making of” our book until I read his dedication. Here’s an excerpt:

…each year as the “big book’s” deadline approached, Larry would make the short drive from his headquarters to ours carrying a much-annotated and dog-eared copy of the Standard Catalog into which he had penciled a year’s worth of checklist additions, corrections, set discoveries and other enhancements that he wanted to share with the hobby through these pages.

Great stuff.

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Reader Steven Lambert asks if we should include a DiMaggio card with a Cooney back in the listings for 1941 Play Ball. Great question, one I took to Bob Lemke himself.

He writes:

While wrong-backs seem more plentiful among Play Balls than typical for
pre-war sets, I don’t think they merit any special mention in the
description or listings.

So as editor, here’s another case where I defer to Bob. Don’t mess with success, says Don.


Cooney back image from Vintage Card Traders’ online “virtual collection,” an excellent web resource.

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More Cameo Pepsins

Robert Edward Auctions, says old friend Al Simeone, has 7 uncatalogued Cameo Pepsins in its upcoming auction:

Hi Don,
Well, hot off the press there will be 7 more to add to the Cameo Pepsin
listings. Brooklyn: Canavan, Grim, Payne; Chicago: Everett, Terry; Cincinnati:
Dwyer; and Indianapolis: Hogreiver.

Here are some pics [featuring some of] of them.

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Anyone have a definitive date and title for the following set currently being hashed in this Forum 54 thread? The main thing we want to know is what to call it, what to date it, and what to value it.

Thanks Alan Elefson for the scans and of course the heads up.

It came in this envelope:

Here’s a sample of the 22 pictures.

Interestingly, there’s always a lot of action around Cubs 1930s and 1940s picture pack. I wonder if it’s because Cubs collectors are so intense and passionate (i.e. there’s stuff like this surrounding every MLB team of the era) or if there was more of this because Chicago’s such a big city/market, or a combination of both? Just seems like we are always tracking down some Cubs Picture Pack or competing product at all times during the development of next year’s book. Not like I am biased against them, I am happy when collectors find anything that isn’t catalogued, because a) I really enjoy this hobby and b) my editors wouldn’t justify putting out next year’s edition if there wasn’t anything left to add, right?

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Hey kids, gather round the blog and see if you can give reader Walt Meder Jr. any help on what this card is.

He writes:

Enclosed are copies of “Baseball Fact” card. Card is 2-1/2 inches by 4 inches
and has a blank back. I believe these cards were inserts in early 1970’s Fleer Baseball packs. Please let me know what this card is. It is not listed in your SCD annual book.

Anyone recognize this?

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Here’s a new Seaver item that an enterprising collector gave me via my MySpace, which I use as a sort of home base for my music writing—and I don’t check the messaged too often (so sorry for missing this for two months!) and as always, thank you for your kind words. He seems to think that we’re missing more names on the Coke bottle set—can anyone send me a list?

Hello, I’m assuming I have the correct Don Fluckinger here. I could find no other way of contacting you. I hope you don’t mind my sending this message.

Every year I buy the new edition of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards and I enjoy looking through it. I use it mainly for the pre 1980 section. I am interested in many cards but my specialty is Tom Seaver stuff.

While looking up the value for the 1967-68 Coke bottle caps I noticed that you didn’t havs Seaver listed. Seaver is one of the NL all stars in the set. His cap is numbered N7. I noticed that the guide starts the NL all star checklist at N19 Hank Aaron. There are also some other Seaver items I have that aren’t listed in the guide. One is a Quaker iron on transfer identical to ones in the 1978 RC cola
iron on set.

Like I said I always buy the guide and it truly is a great reference guide. It’s helped me a lot in the 20 years it’s been out. Thanks, Jim Resseque

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