The experts have been stumped here at the Standard Catalog, which typically (but not always) means we’ve been asked to identify an obscure 1970 collectors’ issue.

So I throw it to y’all: What it this card? Recently purchased on eBay by a reader, the card is in a “PSG slab” of some sort (can anyone tell me what THAT is, too?) identifying it as a 1957 Baseball’s Best Ted Williams #56-1 on the front, although the image is unclear. On the back, it clearly is a puzzle piece.

What the [ bleep ] is it?

Rich Klein took a stab at this, noting that the scan makes it impossible to know for sure:

I think that is what is called in the Beckett Data Base 1976 Taylor/Schmierer Bowman 47 #21 Ted Williams.

Loyal reader Pete D’Luhosch asks:

I’ve got a question re. vintage card pricing. If a near mint 1951 Bowman is priced at $100 in the Standard Catalog, what would a NM/MT example be? A MINT example? Is there a multiplier for vintage cards that are better than NM?

The answer:

It’s one of those things that falls under the category of “things that are are rare enough–and the market changes enough–that the correct answer is ‘some number, higher than NM, agreed upon by you and your buyer/seller.'”

Truth is, that’s high-end stuff and we can’t get a bead on it because it’s a moving target.

A good yardstick is eBay and SCD’s reference site for non-eBay auctions, SCDauctions.com. While that isn’t the be-all and end-all, it can give you an idea. If it doesn’t have the exact card you are looking for, you can kinda get an idea of the multiplier by poking around in the general year and series, etc. I.E. if a Mays and Pafko go for 3x NM in mint slabs and you can find a couple other singles verifying that pattern…you have your answer of a reasonable asking price.

All this make sense? A little “inside baseball” on this imprecise science.

The 2009 Catalog is done!

Hello again everybody, I’ve emerged from the bunker with a pile of reader emails to post in this space.

Where have I been? Helping my editor Justin Moen and the tireless publishing soldiers in Iola to get the 2009 Standard Catalog into the retail pipeline in time for y’all to twist your loved ones’ arms and get yours gift-wrapped for the holidays.

I updated the picture in the “Get Yours Now” box at the right–check out the new cover.

Enjoy the book. It was a monumental team effort from our 50-strong gang of hobby experts who help us out (special recognition to Barry Sloate, Rob Lifson and Bob Lemke, who did a lot of heavy lifting and helped us make some last-minute judgment calls) and the Krause F+W crew.

On to the 2010 edition.

I have many reader cards and questions to post on this blog, I’m getting behind. But I am taking a break today to give you a little more info on me.

I live in Nashua, NH, and we’re proud of our one little postage-stamp sized piece of baseball history: Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella broke the minor leagues’ color line in the United States for the Dodgers’ local farm team in town as Jackie Robinson readied himself for the bigs in Montreal. The catcher and pitcher soon followed Robinson to Brooklyn–and together, became baseball royalty. A mural painted on the wall of a local tire shop commemorates Nashua’s contribution to MLB and its culture, and I walk by it almost every day.

Anyway, comments are welcome on this, or on the fact that I look pretty dumb with pens in my pocket…

Thanks Alex Bier for taking this picture with his really cool camera.

Can anyone answer this?

I have an oddball question for you. I recently came across an original
boxed set of the 1923-24 Walter Mails Game with instructions, rules card and
player cards. What I am wondering is that the package (and the contents as
pictured) lists 55 players compared the 56 in the SCD catalog. Can you give
me a little info in whether the red backs might have been the initial set
produced since there are less players than the Blue backs that I have seen
on-line. You do mention that the player info differs from red to blue, but
I want to make sure before I grade these and have someone state that the set
is missing one. Take a look at the scans and let me know your thoughts.

As far as we can tell, both have 56. Justin Moen, my partner in crime back in Iola, says:

From what I’ve seen, there are indeed 56 players in this set and, unless new
evidence suggests otherwise, the blue backs were issued first and in less
quantities as opposed to the red backs. And many variations of player
personal data between red and blue backs have been reported.

But of course we would like confirmation (or rebuttal) from the people who collect these cards or have knowledge dealing with them. Thanks!

We get email. Anyone else have one of these and how much did you pay?

this is a 24 millimeter aluminum coin that was given to me by the man who
put them in wheaties boxes back in 1950. this one has a blank back and the
larger one has a script name of the player on the back. i also had both
sizes of musial, kiner, and feller. only the small robinson.

REA’s Rob Lifson sent in three more R301 Overland Candy wrapper additions (thanks!):

  • Dolph Camillli
  • William (Bill) Nicholson
  • Terry Moore