Friday, June 9, 2017

Hidden Gem: Rare Ty Cobb E95 Promo Card Discovered

By Jon Hanley

Last week an exciting discovery was made deep in the dungeons of Dean’s Cards. As Dean’s son, home from college, I was given the task of researching this unique Ty Cobb card, a relic previously undiscovered. When Dean first acquired this artifact over ten years ago, he knew it was old and most likely rare, but remained unsure what he had on his hands. After several experts admitted they had never seen anything like this item before, Dean hesitated from releasing it to the market. As a result, this cardboard depiction of the 4,000 hit club’s founding member sat on a shelf and waited ten more years until its mysteries were finally unraveled.

Photo by Dean's Cards
According to our research, Philadelphia Caramel expert Erik Varon recently discovered a nexus between this lookalike E95 Ty Cobb card and a Philadelphia Caramel Company advertisement issued circa 1910. Varon concluded this card was cut from an ad similar to the one pictured below, which was probably distributed to convince potential vendors to carry the company’s soon to be released baseball cards. This would make this item one of the earliest known promo cards. These 1909 Philadelphia Caramel cards were later designated by collectors as E95’s, and feature twenty-five stars of the day including Cobb. While our find may appear almost identical to the E95 Cobb card, further inspection will reveal that the lettering was enlarged and moved from the bottom margin to above Cobb’s head, probably to make the image more suitable for a larger print.


Photo by Erik Varon
The most peculiar part of this card is the jumble of wordage featured on the backside, the characteristic which enables the item’s identification. While the front of the ad featured Cobb, the backside described the company’s caramel and other products with phrases like “jelly confections” and “soft cream centered chocolates”. These words match up almost perfectly with the Philadelphia Caramel Co. advertisement mentioned above.


Photo by Net54
As learned from an online forum, the ad included a second promo card beside Cobb featuring prizefighter Jim Jeffries, who came out of retirement to challenge the 1908 Heavyweight Champion, Jack Johnson. The Philadelphia Caramel Co. simultaneously released a set of boxing cards, later designated as E79’s, since baseball and boxing were the two most popular sports in the United States at the time. When the backsides of the two cards are placed side-by-side they fit together like pieces in a puzzle.

Unfortunately, the full advertisement will likely never be found, as these cut-outs are extremely rare on their own. To our knowledge, this Cobb card is only one of three in acknowledged existence, making it the rarest item ever stumbled upon at Dean’s Cards.

One of these sold through Heritage Auctions in 2009, with the item description reading, “Until the full piece is discovered, this lone remnant will remain as our inspiration to keep searching those dusty attics and flea markets looking for long forgotten treasures.

Our find is not only another remnant of this lost treasure but is in much better condition than the item sold eight years ago. Dean’s Cards will most likely auction this rare piece of history on eBay later in the month, but for the time being, we remain too caught up in the excitement of discovery to consider a starting price.

We hope our discovery will encourage others to join this Crusade to uncover further artifacts of America’s greatest pastime. After all, discoveries like this are one of the many pleasures of our favorite hobby and yet another reason why grown men still play with baseball cards. 

If you would like to read more about the Philadelphia Caramel Company, check out Erik Varon's new book, Jakob's Story and the American Dream, recently released on Amazon.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Recent Collection Purchased From 1958: The Topps All-Star Collection


1958 Topps Baseball

At Dean's Cards, we buy hundreds of vintage baseball card collections every year.  These collections range from cards acquired during childhood (that have most likely been sitting in a closet or attic for years), to collectors selling their baseball card sets and cards that have taken years to acquire through shows, card shops, or a websites like DeansCards.com.

1958 Topps #150 Mickey Mantle
Everyone has their own reasons for selling their vintage cards. One of the reasons could be a collector wanting to sell their duplicate cards.  We've had many cases of customers and clients sending us their dupes in order to maybe focus on another part of their collection, or simply clean out the attic or closet a little bit.  Here's an example of a customer that sent us his extra 1958 Topps Baseball cards for us to purchase.


The "bulk" of the collection


It's no understatement to say that we just bought
box upon box of 1958 Topps cards.
For those who may not be experts, the 1958 Topps Baseball Card Set is easier to build than some other sets released around the same time.  1957 Topps Baseball has an expensive mid-series, that can make the set a bit pricier to complete. 1959 Topps Baseball has a high number series that's slightly more expensive, and also has almost 80 more cards than its 1958 counterpart.  This makes 1958 Topps Baseball an appealing set to build for those new to collecting Topps cards from the 1950s.

This set is also fun to build in the sense that it has so many star cards of those beloved Hall-of-Famer's of the 1950s.  This is due to the Sport Magazine All-Star subset, as well as multi-player cards depicting various players from around the league.  These cards are often themed and have titles such as, "Slugger's Supreme," "Birdie's Young Sluggers," "World Series Batting Foes" and "Rival Fence Busters."

Altogether, we purchased over 3,000 cards from 1958 Topps.  Many of these were duplicates.  We LOVE buying collections like this.  If you aren't familiar with how our "Everyday Discounts" work, click here.  The more cards we have in inventory and the more cards you buy, the more you save!  Nobody else has the selection of 1958 Topps as Deanscards.com.

An All-Star Celebration


1958 Topps #487 Mickey Mantle AS
was triple printed, making it one of the least expensive
Mickey Mantle cards to purchase from the 1950s.
There was an exceptional amount of All-Star cards included in this collection.  Even though they were part of the all-stars subset, not all of these guys were big-time Hall of Famers.  Herb Score wasn't even an All-Star in 1957.  He actually was hurt for most of the season after being hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald.  A promising pitching career, for all intensive purposes, was cut short as Score would never return to form after the injury.  Virtually every other player depicted in this subset would go on to have productive careers in the big leagues.

All in all, we bought:

41 - #476 Stan Musial AS
27 - #477 Bill Skowron AS
17 - #478 Johnny Temple AS
24 - #479 Nellie Fox AS
24 - #480 Eddie Mathews AS
22 - #481 Frank Malzone AS
32 - #482 Ernie Banks AS
31 - #483 Luis Aparicio AS
19 - #484 Frank Robinson AS
10 - #485 Ted Williams AS
19 - #486 Willie Mays AS
35 - #487 Mickey Mantle AS
31 - #488 Hank Aaron AS
25 - #489 Jackie Jensen AS
27 - #490 Ed Bailey AS
33 - #491 Sherm Lollar AS
17 - #492 Bob Friend AS
21 - #493 Bob Turley AS
19 - #494 Warren Spahn AS
17 - #495 Herb Score AS

If you're interested in selling your collection to us, please read our seller testimonials. On there you will find dozens upon dozens of satisfied clients. For more information on selling a vintage baseball collection in general, please click here. We look forward to hearing from you!

By Dean Hanley

 Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog.

Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards. Both are available in eBook and paperback form.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recent Collection Purchased From 1909-1913: M101-2 Sporting News Supplements


1909-13 M101-2 Sporting News Baseball Supplements

At Dean's Cards, we buy hundreds of vintage baseball card collections through the mail each and every year. These collections range from cards acquired during childhood (that have most likely been sitting in a closet or attic for years), to collectors selling their baseball card sets and cards that have taken years to acquire through shows, card shops, or a website like DeansCards.com. This is another story of a recent collection we were able to purchase.
M101-2 Sporting News Ty Cobb

Typically, as we have stated before, collections mailed to us (and we get a lot! Hundreds a year.), are usually in the form of those little cardboard rectangles that Goudey, Topps, Fleer, Bowman and other gum companies made so popular. When you get into the late 1940's, to the beginning of Topps in the early 50's, and to the present; baseball cards (mostly around the 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" variety) are the standard.

That's not the case for the collection we are featuring in this post. They're not really cards, although they feature baseball players. These poster-sized supplements are more like something that you'd hang on your wall rather than put in your bike spokes.


So what are these things anyways?


The 1909 M101-2 Supplements were issued with the Sporting News
sporadically throughout 1909-1913.

The 1909-13 M101-2 Sporting News Baseball Supplements set includes 100 poster-sized supplements measuring 7 1/2" x 10".  The front of the Sporting News supplements include a sepia photo of the players with date and player name.  Backs of the M101-2 supplements are blank.

The supplements were issued with Sporting News sporadically throughout 1909 to 1913. I say sporadic, because they weren't included with every Sporting News magazine, and there are large gaps in time where there was no supplement included at all.

The most interesting thing about this set might be the photography used to depict the baseball players. You rarely will see better photos taken during this time period of guys like Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, or Walter Johnson.

What makes it even better is that there are several supplements which have multiple players featured on the front. These player combinations range from players talking to shaking hands. The most valuable of these multi-player photos has to be the March 17, 1910 Ty Cobb / Honus Wagner.

The recent M101-2 Sporting News Supplements Find


This Sporting News Supplements set is loaded with photos of Hall-of-Famers.

Recently we had a rather large collection of these supplements sent to us through the mail that we were able to purchase. Most of these posters were in low to mid-grade condition, but they all had great eye appeal. These things are just plain neat, and the photography is beautiful. If you want something that captures a moment in baseball history to place around the man cave, these are close to perfect.

Included in the collection were supplements depicting Hall-of-Famers like: Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Eddie Plank, Walter Johnson and a famous non-HOFer - Shoeless Joe Jackson.

So head over to DeansCards.com and check these unique items out!

By Dean Hanley


 Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog.

Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards. Both are available in eBook and paperback form.