Saturday, May 14, 2011

Card identification success

Well, I shipped off an email to Bob Lemke about the Koufax postcard. I am hoping he'll be able to pinpoint its origins, although I'm sure he gets requests like this constantly.

Meanwhile, I received another package recently that caused me to run toward my Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (yes, run, I like to keep in shape). The cards came from Matthew Glidden at Number 5 Type Collection. He was holding an Easter Card Hunt Giveaway, based on the numbers on the back of the cards (too cool), and I was a winnah! Weeeeeee!

One of the cards I received was the item you see before you. You may think it's merely a picture from a really old newspaper glued to some ancient piece of cardboard, and you wouldn't be far from the truth. But it's more than that.

The card is a 1948 R346 Blue Tint of former Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Bruce Edwards, the guy who was kind of forced to the background (and to the outfield) by Roy Campanella.

The SCBC says that the R346 cards were originally issued in strips of six or eight and are known for their blue tint (some of the cards have black-and-white variations). The backs are blank.

Once I figured out the identification of the card, I was excited because I believe this is my first card from a set that is known strictly by its American Card Catalog name as designated by Jefferson Burdick! That is awesome. I may like vintage above any other kind of card, but I have never really gotten into the super older cards, which explains why I don't have cards from sets with Ts, Rs or Ws in front of their name. It's about time that I did.

Maybe the best part of receiving the card was the opportunity to research it and figure out exactly what it was.

After the Koufax snafu, I needed a boost. So, emboldened, I set forth ready to identify the other cards in the package from Matthew.

Too easy. A 1961 Topps Dick Hall card. This is the card that I won by guessing a number closest to the number on the back. I guessed 192 and this card is numbered 197.

I'm on a roll now. Two-for-two.

OK, next card:

Ha! Easy as well. This is a 1971 Topps Walter Alston card. I'd know that card any ...

Wait, why is there no color on the card? Why is the photo washed out and in black-and-white?

(*slowly turns over card with sense of foreboding*)

Eeek!!!!! It's blank!!

I am defeated.

I don't know what this card is either.

Promo card cut off a sign, maybe? Some sort of box bottom card?

Mr. Glidden?

Mr. Lemke?


  1. My guess is a colorless proof by Topps to test the borders (since 1971 used full-bleed black) and sheet-cutting equipment. Printing scraps occasionally end up in the market and this one probably turned up in a 10-cent box.

  2. A printing proof makes sense. I don't know why I didn't think of that.