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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cardboard Connection Radio Interview


On August 15, 2012 Dean chatted with the Cardboard Connections Doug Cataldo, Rob Bertrand and David Wright about his newest book, The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman and Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955. In case you missed it click here , or you can listen below by clicking on the video


Listen to internet radio with Cardboard Connection Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1939 Goudey Premiums - A Teaching Tool

R303B Variation
 In our last post, we took a look at the beautiful 1936 National Chicle Pastels (R312) set.  However, this sharp-looking set that isn't the only 1930's Premiums that have come in this summer's collections.  We have been very lucky this summer to receive many fine collections filled with 1936 Pastels, 1936 National Chicle Fine Pen Premiums (R313), 1936 Goudey Wide Pen Premiums (R314) and 1939 Goudey Premiums (R303).
R303A Variation

The 1939 Goudey Premiums include in three variations - A, B & C.  For the A variation, a full set includes 48 cards that measure 4 inches by 6 3/16 inches and have a brown tone to them.  The R303-B and R303-C sets are larger, approximately 4 3/4 inches by 7 1/4 inches but only have 24 cards in the set.  The R303-B cards have a red color and the R303-C cards have a black and white color. 

How To Pitch Floater
The front of the cards include a nice facsimile autograph to identify the player but what truly makes the 1939 Goudey Premiums so special are the backs of the cards.  The backs of 1939 Goudey Premiums feature "how to" instructions for learning baseball for the kids who purchased them.  These valuable baseball lessons cover topics like "How to bunt," "How to field ground balls," "How to steal bases," and "How to pitch a floater" using written instructions along with truly helpful sketches for any youngster who loves to play baseball.  Even today, the 1939 Goudey Premiums are an excellent baseball teaching tool.

After purchasing multiple collections of 1939 Goudey Premium (R303-A and R303-B) this summer, Dean's Cards currently has a more in stock than any other time in our history.     

Dean Hanley is the founder of DeansCards.com. Dean’s Cards is the #1 seller of vintage sports cards and has over a million cards posted online for sale. If you are looking to sell your cards we would be happy to hear from you. Please fill out our sell your collection form here and we will be in touch. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

1936 National Chicle Premiums (R312)


 It's been an exciting summer at Dean's Cards.  In addition to starting the process of scanning our entire inventory for our customers (that's over 1.3 million cards!) and we haven't stopped adding cards either.  This summer we have bought many fantastic collections from pre-war years as well as the 1950's and 1960's.

One office favorite from these collections are the 1936 National Chicle Premiums (R312).  Also known as Pastels or Color Tints, these cards earn their nickname with exceptional use of color and design.  With such eye-catching appeal, it's hard to believe collectors don't go wild for the 1936 Pastel baseball cards - which makes them a great value.

The 1936 Pastels are 4 inches by 5 3/8 inches or approximately the size of a postcard. A complete set of 1936 National Chicle Premiums consists of twenty-five individual player cards, fourteen multi-player cards and eleven in-action photos.  In addition, the fifty card set includes stunning images and facsimile autographs for twenty-six Hall of Fame players, including Hank Greenberg, Rogers Hornsby, Honus Wagner, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Tris Speaker and one of the earliest Joe DiMaggio cards in a Yankee uniform.

This summer, Dean's Cards has purchased multiple collections of 1936 Pastels and now have more in stock than any other time in our history.     

Dean Hanley is the founder of DeansCards.com. Dean’s Cards is the #1 seller of vintage sports cards and has over a million cards posted online for sale. If you are looking to sell your cards we would be happy to hear from you. Please fill out our sell your collection form here and we will be in touch.          


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer - 1954 Red Heart Dog Food Set



 Although the 1954 Red Heart Dog Food baseball card set is not as popular as many of the Topps and Bowman sets of the same era, it's certainly nothing to bark at.  Despite only boasting 33 cards, the 1954 Red Heart Dog Food set is packed with Hall of Fame players; including #1 Richie Ashburn, #9 Nellie Fox, #12 George Kell, #13 Ralph Kiner, #18 Mickey Mantle, #23 Stan Musial, #27 Red Schoendienst, #28 Enos Slaughter, #29 Duke Snider and #30 Warren Spahn.  In fact, both Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial did not appear in the 1954 Topps baseball set. 

Back in 1954, if your dog ate Red Heart Dog Food, then acquiring these baseball cards was easy.  As a premium for serving your dog Red Heart, kids could mail two Red Heart Dog Food labels along with 10 cents to the John Morrell & Company in exchange for one eleven-card series. Each series can be identified by the background color on the front of the card, either red, blue or green; however, cards with a red background do exist in smaller populations.     

In keeping with the dog days of summer, Dean's Cards recently added abeautiful 1954 Red Heart Dog Food complete set  that grades out in Excellent Plus condition.  The cards in this impressive set have very little wear and very nice centering, especially the signature card in the set, #18 Mickey Mantle, which grades out in Excellent/Mint condition.



Dean Hanley is the founder of DeansCards.com. Dean’s Cards is the #1 seller of vintage sports cards and has over a million cards posted online for sale. If you are looking to sell your cards we would be happy to hear from you. Please fill out our sell your collection form here and we will be in touch.          


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1954 Topps – Topps Gets Busy



This article was written by Dean Hanley and was published in the July 3, 2012 issue of Sports Collectors Digest.

While Bowman was still reeling from its expensive 1953 color venture, Topps was enjoying its newly discovered success in the competitive world of bubble gum baseball cards. Sy Berger refused to lose the initiative and was determined to further improve the Topps product offering.

While Sy Berger had contracted for artists to hand-draw the 1953 cards, he wanted a new and cutting edge design for the 1954 issue. He would borrow from the 1952 set and again use colorized photographs, although this time Berger wanted to include a black-and-white action shot that would lie across part of the colorized portrait. This concept proved to be a tough sell to both Topps executives and artist Woody Gelman, who all initially disliked the concept. Berger, who was never one to be easily discouraged, kept persisting and finally got his way. The result was the most attractive baseball card produced to date.

Years later, Sy Berger recalled, “I had advocated action photography for three or four years. They wouldn’t hear of it, and I had two big file cabinets full of action pictures. They did a survey and found out that the kids wanted action pictures. They came to me in December and said, ‘Where are we going to get color action pictures?’ – and I had them.”

Each of the 1954 Topps cards features a large color image of the player’s upper torso, which shares the remaining space with a smaller full-body black-and-white photo of the player in an action pose. Each card contains a large team logo at the top of the card and a facsimile autograph at the bottom of the card. Located next to the team logo at the top of the card is the player’s name, position, and team name. A bright, colorful background that extended all the way to the card’s top edge sets the design and makes the player’s image appear to jump off the card. The backs of the 1954 Topps cards are just as busy. Printed on the back is personal information, history, statistics and a colorful, eye-catching cartoon about the player.

The 1954 Topps baseball card set includes 250 vintage size cards, each measuring 3⅝” by 3¾”. The year is unique in that it’s a mixture of aging stars from the pre-war era of baseball as well as rookies that would be destined for the Hall-of-Fame. Topps had once again manufactured an exceptional set that would stand out amongst the Gum Cards War chaos of the 1950s.

A Great Rookie Card Class 


The 1954 Topps cards captured the new burst of talent that was beginning to transform the game of baseball. In 1954, Topps (or should we say Sy Berger) was insightful enough to secure the rights to print all the rookie cards of three bright and exciting players who would be perennial All-Stars for the next two decades and eventually be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame. These were: #94 Ernie Banks, #128 Hank Aaron, and #201 Al Kaline.


The 1954 Topps set also contains the rookie cards of #25 Harvey Kuenn – A.L. Rookie of the Year and #132 Tommy Lasorda – who would be enshrined as a manager. This impressive list of baseball giants would prove to have a great impact on the sport for years to come and Banks, Aaron, Kaline and Kuenn would go on to play in a combined total of 63 All-Star games! The 1954 Topps set also features the exclusive cards of Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson and Warren Spahn.

 “Teddy Ballgame” comes home from war

Topps and Bowman were still competing for the baseball card market as well as the player rights to produce the cards. By 1954, Bowman was pulling ahead in the number of players it had signed to exclusive contracts. Sy Berger, a Red Sox fan, had been desperate to sign Ted Williams, who was exclusive with Bowman.

Berger’s coup of 1954 was signing Williams to a five year contract. For the first time, Topps offered a player (Williams) more money than the standard contract in order to get him to appear on a Topps baseball card.

To help justify this cost, Topps featured Williams on both the first and last card in the set (#1 and #250). Bowman also printed a card of Williams without realizing that he had signed an exclusive contract with Topps. Bowman was forced to stop production of the #66 Ted Williams card, thus making it the most scarce and valuable card in the 1954 Bowman set.





Trying to make Chicken Salad without much Chicken

There are 60 cards featuring rookies in the relatively small 1954 Topps Baseball Card Set. Although the set had only 250 cards, Topps once again struggled to fill out the set due to contractual obligations of many of the players. To reach this number of cards, Topps printed cards of 25 coaches and managers. Many of the players and managers featured in the 1954 set would never have another card printed.

 Other characteristics

Instead of an expensive high numbered series, the second series of the 1954 Topps set (#51 - 75) is considered more expensive to collect. Despite a lack of stars featured in this series. The first series (#1-50) has been printed as a gray-backed version that may have been released in Canada. Topps also printed its first multi-player card, which featured twin brothers #139 Ed and John O’Brien.

What frustrates collectors, both in 1954 and today, is that the back of the cards are not oriented in a consistent manner. The 1954 Topps cards do not have a white border on the top of the card, which adds to the card’s beauty. In order to achieve this “bleed” feature the tops of the cards were lined-up against the tops of the cards of the next row on the printing sheet– so that half of the cards would be upside down on the sheet. This is the same technique that Topps used for its 1953 set. However, in 1954, the printer must have forgotten to orient the card backs in the same manner. Therefore, when the front of the cards are stacked to face the same way, half of the card backs have the card oriented to the left and half have the back oriented to the right. When the 1954 Topps cards are sorted in a box, one-half of the cards have the number at the tops of the card and one-half have it at the bottom. Fortunately, Topps never repeated this mistake.

Summary

The 1954 set would stand out from the previous three Topps sets for several other reasons as well. Unlike the 1952 and 1953 sets, there were no short printed cards, making the 1954 Topps set much easier to collect. For the first time, Topps used dual images on their card fronts. The black and white action shots that were superimposed next to the color head shots demonstrated just how innovative Topps was at the time. These dual images would appear on many Topps cards in the years to come. Although their lack of exclusive player contracts put Topps at a disadvantage when compared to Bowman, Topps certainly made up for it with their brightly-colored 1954 set.

 In 1954, there was little doubt that Topps had the most attractive baseball card. Naturally, collectors responded. DeansCards.com sells about five 1954 Topps cards for every three 1954 Bowman cards. I assume that the ratio was about the same with collectors in 1954, as both companies were very cost-conscious and did not want to waste money to print cards that would not sell.1954 was the third consecutive year that Topps outsold Bowman in the baseball card market.



This article is taken from Dean’s book “The Gum Card War and the Great Bowman & Topps Baseball Card Sets of 1948-1955”, which is now available for sale at Amazon.com.

Dean Hanley is an authority on vintage sports cards and has written numerous articles on the topic. Mr. Hanley is the founder DeansCards.com, and with well-over one million vintage cards in inventory, DeansCards.com is the largest seller of vintage cards on the web. Dean has also published Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards”, which is also available in eBook form at Amazon.com and has just released a T207 reprint set. For more information, please visit www.DeansCards.com 


If you are looking to sell your cards we would be happy to hear from you. Please fill out our sell your collection form here and we will be in touch.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Rebirth of the T207- Brown Background Set – 100 years later

                             
A couple years ago, when I was co-writing my first e-book, Before there was Bubble Gum: Our favorite pre-World War I baseball cards, I became fascinated by the unique look of the T207 set. The T207 set, commonly known as the brown background set, was originally manufactured by the tobacco industry giant, the American Tobacco Company, in 1912. The T207 baseball cards measure 1½” by 2-5/8”. Shortly after this set was printed, the American Tobacco Company would be dissolved due to the Sherman anti-trust legislation that broke the monopoly on tobacco.

 The T207 baseball card set is a true hobby classic. The 200-card T207 set contains 13 players that are in Baseball’s Hall-of-Fame, including Walter Johnson, Tris Speaker, Frank Chance, John McGraw, Smokey Joe Wood and Joe Tinker. Two interesting T207 cards are Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver, who were members of the 1919 White Sox and banned from the game for life.


 Being a big fan of reprint sets, as they give collectors who may not have the time or money to collect the original set the opportunity to enjoy the cards; I was always disappointed that the T207 cards are the most famous of the pre-war sets that has never been offered in the form of a reprint set. This is something special about being able to hold the cards in your as you go the set and look at the players. I must not be alone in my opinion, as DeansCards.com sells quite a few reprint singles and complete sets every year. For that reason, I decided we should recreate and issue a T207 reprint set. To do so, we created a new company called Dean’s Reprints and began securing the needed images.

The T207 reprint set turned out to be quite an undertaking, and took us two years to complete! The other thing that delayed the T207 reprint set was that I also attempted to finish my first book to be issued in print form. Both projects are now complete and available for purchase.

 Due to the quality of the century old cards, almost all of the T207 images needed to be retouched. Great care was given making sure that the reprint cards remained true to the original set. The original T207 set includes eight possible backs containing the name of tobacco brands in which the original cards were enclosed. We included a variety of these backs in the reprint set including three cards containing the ultra-scarce “Red Cross” backs. We were careful to use those backs on cards, whose originals have been discovered with a Red Cross back.

 One of the most interesting features of the T207 baseball card set are the player biographies on the back of the cards. Each of these bios needed to be retyped. We were careful to stay true to the original fonts and leave the original century old misspelled words. The one “improvement” that I could not resist was suggested by my teenage son, Jonathan. Jonathan collects cards and commented what a pain it was to keep un-numbered sets organized. For that reason, we numbered each of the cards in the set. I did not feel too bad about adding this one improvement since we felt that we clearly needed to also indicate that every card was a “REPRINT” and not an original. I hope that the hobby purists will forgive us for these minor changes.

Take Care,
Dean Hanley


 TO PURCHASE A T-207 REPRINT SET PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Dean Hanley is an authority on vintage sports cards and has written numerous articles on the topic. Mr. Hanley is the founder DeansCards.com, and with well-over one million vintage cards in inventory, DeansCards.com is the largest seller of vintage cards on the web. Dean is author of the new book, Bowman & Topps Baseball Card Sets of 1948-1955”, which is now available for sale at Amazon.com. Dean has also published Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards, which is also available in eBook form at Amazon.com .Please visit www.DeansCards.com to purchase this T207 Set.


If you are looking to sell your cards we would be happy to hear from you. Please fill out our sell your collection form here and we will be in touch.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 by Dean Hanley.


 Dean’s new book The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 is now available for purchase. For over two years, everyone here at Dean’s Cards worked hard to put this book together.

The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955, by Dean Hanley is now available on Amazon.com in both e book and paperback.


 “In 1951, Bowman's short-lived baseball card monopoly was broken by Topps and the great Baseball Gum Card War was in full swing. Consumers almost always benefit from competition in the marketplace and the card collectors were no exception during the Baseball Bubble Gum Card War. The result was the birth and rapid evolution of the modern baseball card.

 Each spring during the years of 1952 to 1955, American boys had their choice between two great sets of baseball cards. The boys would cast their votes for their favorite issue of the year by sliding nickels across the counter of America's dime-stores to purchase baseball cards from either Topps or Bowman. These wonderful Topps and Bowman sets of the early 1950s sparked the addiction of an entire generation of boys to the hobby of collecting baseball cards.By the end of the decade, 89% of American boys would be collecting baseball cards.

 This battle between Topps and Bowman, for control of the baseball card market, became known as "The Great Baseball Card Bubble Gum War." This contest was fought with such ferocity, that shortly after the war began it became clear that only one company would be left standing at the conclusion of hostilities. The winner would take all.

 This epic conflict for the control of America's favorite collectible is brought to life by the author, Dean Hanley, who is a long-time collector and the founder of DeansCards.com, which has the largest online inventory of vintage sports cards ever assembled. Dean writes a popular blog and has had dozens of articles about vintage baseball cards published in the "Sports Collectors Digest."

 Mr. Hanley is also the co-author of the eBook, "Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards."

Mr. Hanley combines his love of vintage sports cards, over forty years of card collecting experience, and extensive research to bring to life this fascinating battle for control of the bubble gum card market. Hanley examines each of these vintage baseball card sets from the era, details the evolution in the design of the cards, the companies that produced them, and the two visionary men that made these wonderful cards a reality and started a hobby that continues to this day.

"The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955" is a must for baseball card collectors and a fun read for fans of any age.”


  

 Dean Hanley is the founder of DeansCards.com Dean’s Cards is the #1 seller of vintage sports cards and has over a million cards posted online for sale. If you are looking to sell your cards we would be happy to hear from you. Please fill out our sell your collection form here and we will be in touch.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Bowman Gum Company



Jacob Warren Bowman’s biography reads like a fictional character in a movie. Warren Bowman liked to brag that he had been “married, divorced and bankrupt before he turned twenty one years old.” Bowman was six-foot-three and weighed 200 pounds with an ego to match. Known as a playboy, Bowman was also as loud, as he was large. One observer noted, “When people met Bowman for the first time they were alarmed by his loud booming voice.”


 Bowman was born in Ohio and reared in New Mexico. At 18, Bowman moved to Los Angeles and launched a used car business that went under by the start of World War I. After that Bowman worked in Los Angeles as a police officer, until he was caught by a superior officer, in a squad car filled with young women.


 Bowman was a natural born entrepreneur and risk-taker. According to a 1937 Time Magazine article, “After going broke he settled down to work for the Overland used-car agency in Los Angeles until one day he heard that a steam laundry was badly needed in Tampico, Mexico, to wash oil workers' dirty shirts.”


 “By the time Bowman got to Tampico a local group had already started a steam laundry, so he bought a little motor boat to pull barges. When this enterprise failed, he and another young American chugged off to Veracruz, conceived the idea of revolutionizing the mahogany trade by floating mahogany logs down the rivers to the Gulf. The two adventurers struggled for several days getting a mahogany log out of the forest into a small stream, where, since mahogany is heavier than water, it immediately sank.”


Bowman eventually landed in Philadelphia with only $25 left to his name and started producing bubble gum, an idea that he came up with after a conversation with a gum salesman he met on a cross-country train ride. Bowman founded Gum, Inc., in Philadelphia in 1927. Within two years, Bowman’s “Blony” brand became the #1 selling penny bubble gum and after ten years, Blony had 60% of the U.S. market share of bubble gum sales.



 In his book, “Mint Condition”, Dave Jamison referenced a contemporary report saying that “inside his Philadelphia plant, Bowman presided over a Dr. No-like office, in which the walls were covered with mirrors and he used an electronic switch to buzz in visitors. He would throw another switch to open a hidden door to his conference room, where there was a cocktail lounge and bar.”

The story of Warren Bowman’s life was surreal and colorful. Stories about the man could fill a book. In the 1930’s, Bowman was removed as president of his company by the shareholders, but eventually recaptured control. He went through five wives, the last of which was 28 years his junior. Opinions on the character of Warren Bowman vary greatly, but just about all of his contemporaries agree that it was Bowman’s creativity, leadership and drive than made his company the leading seller of bubble gum.


Bowman’s success was in the cards 


Seeing the sales success that his competitors were having selling gum with cards, Bowman would not be left out. Seeing that the over-crowded baseball card market of the mid-1930’s left no room for profits, the insightful Bowman decided to enter the card market with a non-sporting theme – at least for the time being.


In 1936, Bowman issued his first card set, which was called “the G-Men and Heroes of Law Enforcement.” This set had a modest popularity, but Bowman was now in the card business and his major bubble gum card triumph was about to begin.


One night, while listening to a radio broadcast detailing the atrocities of the Sino-Japanese War, Bowman came up with the concept for the greatest non-sports set ever produced. Issued in 1938, the 240-card Horrors of War set gave a very pro-American view of the recent history of the Chinese-Japanese War, the Ethiopian War, and also the Spanish Civil War. Bowman later issued another 48 cards for the set that featured Nazi-Germany as the main aggressor.


A bubble gum card depicting war was not a new idea, but the 1938 Bowman Horrors of War Set took the concept to a whole new level and remains a hobby classic to this day. The graphics feature bayoneted victims, men in violent hand-to-hand struggles and the slaughter of innocent women and children. The Horror of War cards had tile such as: # 18 Japanese Bomb Orphanage and # 24 Italian Squadrons Flying Low Slaughter Ethiopians.


First offered in a series of 24 new cards every two weeks, Gum, Inc. produced the cards in what at the time was the state-of-the-art, full-color lithography process. This resulted in the proper reproduction of the brilliance and detail of the original art.

 President Franklin D. Roosevelt even used the cards as examples of the atrocities occurring overseas in an effort to awaken America from its isolationist stance. Roosevelt’s "bubblegum diplomacy" only helped to increase the popularity of the 1938 Horrors of War set.

Although the fascist regimes of Italy, Spain and Japan were all targeted , it was the Japanese who took the greatest offense, or at least had the greatest ability to show their outrage, towards Bowman. The Japanese people loved bubble gum. Having opened his first bubble gum factories in Japan in 1932, Bowman and Gum, Inc. were forever banned from doing business in the Japanese Empire and were forced to halt all gum production on the island.

 The set was so successful, that Bowman printed over 100 million Horrors of War cards. This is an incredible number, when you take into account that the country was in the middle of the Great Depression. At one point, Bowman was making $40,000 per week profit from the cards. Although Bowman would continue to issue sets of bubble gum cards containing scenes of war, none would come close to the success achieved by this classic set.


This article is taken from Dean’s upcoming book “The Gum Card War and the Great Bowman & Topps Baseball Card Sets of 1948-1955, which is now available for sale at Amazon.com. 

Dean Hanley is an authority on vintage sports cards and has written numerous articles on the topic. Mr. Hanley is the founder DeansCards.com, and with well-over one million vintage cards in inventory, DeansCards.com is the largest seller of vintage cards on the web. Dean has also published “Before there was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards”, which is also available in eBook form at Amazon.com and has just released a T207 reprint set. For more information, please visit www.DeansCards.com