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  #1  
Old 06-14-2002, 09:23 AM
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Default What about foreign cards?

Posted By: Kevin Cummings

I don't think any serious collector would consider the Cuban issues not to be legitimate cards.

But how does everybody feel about cards out of the mainstream (like the All-Time Greats series or the T & M Sports Umpires series or the Conlon Collection series) that may have the only "card" of an umpire or executive? How about the Ted Williams subsets of the Negro Leaguers or the Laughlin Old Time Black Stars series that may be the only issues of some of the Negro League players?

Does the fact that they were not issued contemporaneously with their active careers disqualify them?

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  #2  
Old 06-14-2002, 10:23 AM
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Posted By: runscott

The '33 Cobb Sport Kings card is nice, but I don't understand its value since it was issued after he retired. Same for some of the '40 Playball cards such as Joe Jackson. On the other hand, I'm a hypocrite in that I have t206s of many retired players.

I picked up both of the Ted Williams sets ('93 and '94) and have enjoyed them - lots of interesting info about players and nice pictures. I like the way the manufacturer used a set of cards to present baseball history. I wish they had put out one more series though - a lot of great players are missing.

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  #3  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:01 PM
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Posted By: warshawlaw

I am reluctant to buy them, however, because of the artificial trade barrier between the US and Cuba. When Castro dies it is quite likely that we will see normalized relations between the countries. Until then, we have no way of obtaining a realistic assessment of the rarity of the Cuban issues. The "attic effect" of a US-Cuba normalization could be dramatic.

As for cards of retired players, I distinguish between cards of players who were totally out of the sport at the time of issue (such as the Sport King Cobb or 1940 Jackson) and cards of those who were involved in baseball in a non-playing capacity at the time of issue (such as the T206 Hugh Duffy). The former are all time great issues, the latter are regular issue cards.

Also, you can make a valid distinction between cards of active players who became HOFers for managing or executive work and guys who went into the HOF for playing but also managed. If I was putting together a HOF collection, I would probably prefer a John McGraw card as a manager (A T206, say) over a playing era card of him. Ditto for Jennings, Mack, Lasorda and some others I can't think of right now. If Gil Hodges makes it, I don't know what to do. . .

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  #4  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:19 PM
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Posted By: John Wojak

Gil is a good point. How about Yogi or Joe Torre, if he eventually makes it? Also, how about Stengel? While he was a good player with some moments in the spotlight, he is in the Hall on the strength of his managerial career. Should a HOF collection have him as a player or as a manager? Just asking, not really sure if I have a strong opinion one way or another. I guess I do tend to agree that a HOF collection should probably include cards as a manager or as a player depending on why they were inducted, such as a T206 McGraw. Hugh Jennings is an interesting case, since he had a HOF-calibre playing career and then had considerable success as a manager as well.

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  #5  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:25 PM
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Posted By: john(z28jd)

this discussion was made for him? I know he tries to get the earliest card,so i think he would say even if they made it as a manager if they had a card from their playing days thats the card he would get for his hall of fame collection.That doesnt make it right but its just an opinion

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  #6  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:33 PM
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Posted By: petecld

I have no problem accepting Cuban issue as legitimate. I think they are facinating cards. If I was putting together a HoF collection I wouldn't have a problem including them as long as they were issued during the players career. Even if US-Cuban relations open up I don't see a huge increase in their availability. They will be probably become a little more visable but I don't think the change will be dramatic but you never know.

I will agree with others regarding HoF Mgr. cards. Mack, McGraw, Stengel - I would want them as managers. That's what they are known for. Good point with Jenings though, I guess in his case I would just ignore how he is labeled - player or manager - and just buy my favorite card of him.

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  #7  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:42 PM
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Posted By: Marc S.

Cuban cards are legitimate cards. I was actually very surprised by warshawlaw's comments. I never really considered that there may be many of these still in Cuba. I've always grouped them sort of like the Venezuelan Topps cards of the 1960s -- hard to find because people collected them in different ways, with few surviving high grade examples. I know that a lot of the major autograph dealers have made their way to and around Cuba (through whatever means) to acquire significant collections of autographs of Cuban players. I would have thought that perhaps the cards would have escaped, too.

As for umpire cards -- I typically view the 1955 Bowmans as legitimate to collect for a HOF collection, but I don't feel the same way for the T&M Sports Umpires. Personal preference perhaps.

As for managers who were players -- I typically view their first playing card as the one I would collect. I don't know if it makes the most logical sense, but perhaps it is just an excuse to hold an older card of the player. Sparky Anderson was a horribly player for the Phillies for his short stint in the late 50's, early 60s, but I would much rather own his 1959 Topps card than a 1989 Topps manager card.

I also think that some of the executive cards issued by Topps and other in the 1950s also make my list of "legitimate" HOF cards.

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  #8  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:48 PM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

The Vorthian/MW discussion was somewhat entertaining for a while, but, after thousands of comments (including mine), it grew old. As I read the accusations and counter-accusations, it became boring. I found my mind wondering to stuff I actually cared about.

Historically, I am a HOF collector. Cardwise, I still need McPhee, McGowan, Harry Wright, and the dreaded Allegheny Selee to complete my collection of players, coaches, umpires, and executives who have had cards issued contemporaneously with their tenure in pro ball. On the flip side, I have Cuban and Puerto Rican cards of every negro league HOF'er who has cards of whom I'm aware (excepting the Vino Peptona
Barnet card of Willie Foster which is utterly impossible), including Charleston, Lloyd, Dandridge, Dihigo, and Day. To my knowledge, none of them have an American issue card.

So here's my question: What comprises a HOF collection? Does the card have to be issued in North America to qualify? Opinions?

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  #9  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:57 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

These are rare, authentic, vintage cards. I have never understood how any true HOF collection could be complete without them represented.

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  #10  
Old 06-14-2002, 02:07 PM
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Posted By: Kevin Cummings

.....if an umpire whose career postdates the issue of the 1955 Bowman set gets elected to the Hall of Fame? Cal Hubbard has a legitimate card, but Steve Palermo doesn't?

Since the T & M Palermo card is contemporaneous with his career, it sounds like you are basing your legitimacy solely on who produced the card. That being the case, how can you justify the Cuban cards being legitimate? Who then is a legitimate producer and who isn't?

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  #11  
Old 06-14-2002, 02:51 PM
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Posted By: Marc S.

Kevin: Your points are valid, and your questions make absolute sense. My methodology certainly leaves a lot of holes/problems with executives and other game officials, and I by no means suggest it reconciles those holes.

Perhaps I am just prejudiced against modern cards? Nearly ever modern player, official, or anyone else associated with baseball has had a baseball card produced at some point after 1980. Thus, they fall from legitimacy in my eyes. If George Hildebrand made the Hall of Fame at some future point, I would never look at his 1993 Conlon card as a "hole" to fill a HOF collection.

Perhaps if I refine it like this: If a player has a card produced contempraneous to his career -- that should be considered a legitimate card. Outside of that, it should not. So an umpire who was active in 1990 should be able to use the T&M Umpire cards. But this then necessarily excludes issues like the 1961 Fleers, the 1993 Conlons, any of the TCMA cards, and any of the cut-up game-used stuff of yesteryear's stars that current manufacturers shove in packs of product.

Thanks for your points.

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  #12  
Old 06-14-2002, 09:20 PM
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Posted By: Julie Vognar

The English Jack Johnson, portrait in a sweater wiyh a big black border (1910); Branch Rickey's only card (correct me if I'm wrong),m the Cracker jack--already managing the Cardinals, Kid Gleason playing in the Allegheny set, and a photo of him by Conlon in 1919 as the White Sox' manager. The 5 Jackie Robinson Bond Breads, rather than the leaf or the Bowman rookies--he's sooo handsome! The Tip Top BreaD yOGI Berra--blimey, if he isn't handsome, too! Canadian Goudey 1933 Moe Berg==bilingual.

Stuff like thaT.

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  #13  
Old 06-15-2002, 01:43 AM
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Posted By: Paul

What about players or executives who have only team issue photos? I have a black & white team issue photo of Bill Veeck from the late '40s or early '50s, when he was an executive with the Indians. I have included it in my Hall of Fame collection as my only "card" of Veeck, but would understand it if others felt it was unnecessary / overkill.

Paul

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  #14  
Old 06-15-2002, 09:43 AM
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Posted By: Kevin Cummings

....when it comes to executives. It would be great if one of the mainstream companies produced cards of executives (contemporaneous to their careers or not), but that's just not the case. So one has to bend the rules a bit to find something to satisfy the need.

I think wirephotos would be last on my personal list, but any commercially available image (so team issue photos qualify) would fill the bill.

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  #15  
Old 06-15-2002, 10:09 AM
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Posted By: runscott

Picture available in 1942 "Major League Baseball Guide" (pub. Whitman)

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  #16  
Old 06-15-2002, 10:52 AM
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Posted By: Jeff Obermeyer

Harridge also appears in the 1956 Topps set, along with Giles. As far as I know, that set is the only one in which a major manufacturer has included executives. It's also interesting that the Commissioner doesn't appear in that set, only the league presidents.

Jeff Obermeyer

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  #17  
Old 06-15-2002, 11:21 AM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

1.) Fan Craze
2.) Centenial Stamps
3.) Callahan

I'm sure that I am missing some.

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  #18  
Old 06-15-2002, 05:17 PM
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Posted By: paul

The '59 Topps set has a second card of Giles, and also one of Frick. The '57 or '58 Topps set has a group card of Harridge and Giles together. The Eurekas Sports Stamp set has Frick and Happy Chandler.

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  #19  
Old 06-15-2002, 06:32 PM
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Posted By: MW

Warshawlaw --

I very much agree with your statement on U.S.-Cuban relations. Until trade restrictions are normalized, there can be no real census or estimation of the availability of vintage Cuban baseball issues. Granted, they were probably produced in much smaller quantities than most other issues of the time, but who is to say that there aren't still some undiscovered "warehouse" or forgotten "retailer" stocks that will eventually make their way to the United States once barriers are lifted? And don't forget that there are also some pretty rabid baseball fans in Cuba. It only stands to reason that there are some pretty impressive collections of Cuban baseball cards over there too.

Even given the transport of Cuban baseball cards through a third country, I still think that supplies in the United States are diminished with what they would be given normal trade relations.

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  #20  
Old 06-16-2002, 01:42 AM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

MW,

Not to pick on you, because the responses have gone far afield, but your answer has nothing to do with my initial question. That question sought opinions as to whether a HOF collection was composed only of cards issued in North America, or whether card such as those issued in Cuba or Puerto Rico were also neccessary. The relatively overwhelming response seems to be that Cuban card are "legitimate," which I presume means that they are necessary to a true HOF collection. At least that's the assumption I'm working off of.

If that assumption is accurate, what difference does it make whether the "legitimate" Cuban card was produced in a quantity of one or one million? Regardless of embargo issues,isn't it necessary to have a card of the player in question in order to truly say that you have a HOF collection?

I understand all about the embargo, and agree with you that there are probably a number of cards, perhaps even sets we are unaware of, that are sitting in collectors hands there. That is a given. However, I'm not really interested in the scarcity or availability of HOF cards in the various Cuban sets as I'm interested in whether a player from whatever set it is needs to be counted when determining the degree of completion of one's HOF collection. That's my basic question. What is your opinion about that?

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  #21  
Old 06-16-2002, 10:17 AM
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Posted By: MW

Ken --

Your question has already been answered by numerous individuals. What are you seeking? A consensus? I was unaware that I was not allowed to address a related topic.

Also, "begging the question" means something entirely different. It's the fallacy of assuming in the premise of an argument that which one wishes to prove in the conclusion. Since you claim that I am "off topic," how could I be "begging the question?"

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  #22  
Old 06-16-2002, 02:18 PM
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Posted By: warshawlaw

When you think of the guy how do you depict him? Stengel, no question, I see him around 65 in a Yankee uniform. Mack, in a suit on the bench. McGraw, in that black WS uniform. Torre, in Yankee pinstripes sitting with his arms folded chewing sunflower seeds on the bench. Actually, Torre is pretty easy. He was a very good player but nowhere near HOF material absent the Yankees' managerial run, which rightfully puts him into the thick of things. That being said, from a card collecting standpoint, I'd want a 1971 Torre in top condition as my representative card. Hodges has legitimate HOF numbers as a player and a stellar managing career. I've got a number of his player cards but I like the 1969 Mets card best.

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  #23  
Old 06-16-2002, 02:32 PM
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Posted By: warshawlaw

It was not about whether the cards are legitimate. They are and for the Negro League players, they are just about the only contemporaneous issues and are their rookie cards (However, I'd stick to a US issue for those players depicted on one. Let's say there is a 1935 Satchel Paige card from Cuba or Mexico; no one is going to convince me that his Leaf or Bowman (I forget which) is not his true rookie card).

My point was that I would not rush to collect these cards and pay the big rarity premium on them until after the trade situation normalizes. Foreign cards often bring very high prices initially when "discovered" by US collectors then crash when the supply reaches the demand. Case in point are the English Churchman's boxing cards from 1938. Three years ago, these cards routinely went for $150+ as sets and Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, etc., sold for $20-$30 each. When it became apparent that these cards could be sold here, UK dealers came in with massive inventory and the prices crashed. Who is to say that the same will not happen when free enterprise reaches Cuba. The fact that guys like Stinson who go over there looking for memorabilia do not find much is not meaningful. They are essentially smugglers/black marketeers defying a totalitarian government. Of course it is going to be hard to find stuff in those circumstances. When the commerce is legalized and formalized over there we will see a burst of Cuban cards. After all, look at the news reports of all the tapes and CDs that survived the Taliban in Afghanistan, where they'd whip or kill you for having the stuff.

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  #24  
Old 06-16-2002, 03:09 PM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

I wasn't trying to pick a fight, I was simply seeking an opinion and yes, perhaps, a consensus. In any event, there is no doubt that you should at all times feel free to ignore the question at hand in favor of addressing whatever topic you may feel is related.

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  #25  
Old 06-16-2002, 04:17 PM
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Posted By: MW

The topic I've written about is inherently associated with yours and is of great importance to serious collectors of vintage cards. Maybe someday when you are forum moderator you can delete all of the posts you feel are off-topic.

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  #26  
Old 06-16-2002, 04:40 PM
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Posted By: runscott

...or Clark Griffith for my HOF type set. Torre would be tough, but I would rather have his '68 Braves card than a modern manager card. I wouldn't want a '54 Look 'n See for my Babe Ruth HOF'er card, nor a Sport Kings Cobb. And I wouldn't mind having a Cuban Babe Ruth, as long as it was printed while he was playing.

Did I break all the rules?

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  #27  
Old 06-16-2002, 08:51 PM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

I have never claimed to be the God of vintage chatboards. That is rather clearly a position you feel you occupy. I simply asked an opinion question, received a non-response from you, then had the audacity to point that out.

In any event, how about we quit hurling insults at each other? I have better things to do with my time and hopefully so do you.

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  #28  
Old 06-16-2002, 10:55 PM
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Posted By: MW

<< I simply asked an opinion question, received a non-response from you, then had the audacity to point that out. >>


My post was NOT in direct response to your question -- your question had long since been answered. During the course of many threads on this board, interesting topics arise that are either directly or indirectly related to the original post. In this case, what I wrote was directly pertinent to what was being discussed by some members. You act as if my opinion is irrelevant to your infinite wisdom on Cuban baseball cards. Grow up.

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  #29  
Old 06-17-2002, 01:04 AM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

MW,

I asked for your opinion to my initial question in my first post to you. At that point, I cared. Now I once again just think that you are a pretentious and condescending twit who generally has to make himself feel better by demeaning others. That must be a hard way to live life. I feel sorry for you.

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  #30  
Old 06-17-2002, 01:11 AM
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Posted By: brian c

re executives in early sets, don't forget frank bancroft and tim murnane

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  #31  
Old 06-17-2002, 08:39 AM
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Posted By: MW

<< I asked for your opinion to my initial question in my first post to you. >>


Asked or demanded? You act as if I am legally obligated to only answer your one question and that I'll be held in "contempt of chatboard" if I discuss any other related topic. Who is the one with the EGO the size of MONTANA? Look, you've got some great Cuban baseball cards, but why behave like you're the kind of all things Cuban? It's really silly and argumentative. I still can't believe you're attacking me for posting on a related topic.

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  #32  
Old 06-17-2002, 01:23 PM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

The funny thing is that, as I said in my first post to you, I generally agreed with your assessment that there were doubtless a number of Cuban cards remaining in Cuba. That wasn't the question I was interested in at the time, so I asked for a response to my initial question. I'm sorry that you perceived that as an attack. On the other hand, you seem to perceive almost everything as an attack. Therefore, I shouldn't have been surprised. Mea culpa.

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  #33  
Old 06-17-2002, 01:42 PM
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Posted By: MW

Ken --

Sure. You just wanted a clarification. That's why you wrote, "Now I once again just think that you are a pretentious and condescending twit..."

Thanks for clearing that up. I'll be sure to check with you the next time I post something under one of YOUR threads.

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  #34  
Old 06-17-2002, 05:10 PM
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Posted By: Julie Vognar

...with their photos of men playing baseball who haven't PLAYED baseball for 20 years..and then you're supposed to fork over a small fortune for a Shoeless.

Funny, I don't feel that way about thr T206 Duffy and Beckley...

Those C55, 56 Canadian hockey players are gorgeous...

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  #35  
Old 06-18-2002, 01:32 AM
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Posted By: Ryan Christoff

This is one of the only vintage card discussions on this board that I feel I can comment on with any kind of expertise, since my collecting interest is almost exclusively in Cuban cards.

That being the case, I'd like to ask MW and Warshawlaw if they collect Cuban cards? How long have they been searching for Cuban cards? How many 1923/24 Billiken cards have they ever held in their hands? While their comments about the flood of Cuban cards we'll be seeing when trade relations normalize would seem to make some sense, I would have to strongly disagree. Some ideas make sense in theory (like communism itself) but just don't work in real life. Here's why I disagree (please note that I am disagreeing with comments people made in posts, not attacking anyone's personal character):

1. Cuba is a poor country. People there need money. In the past few years it has become apparent that many Americans will pay large sums of money for little cards with pictures of baseball players on them. The island has nearly been picked clean except for a few substantial collectors who have large collections. This small group of long-time collectors is going to be the source of most of the future "finds" in Cuba whether or not Castro ever dies and whether or not the trade embargo is ever lifted.

2. The idea of an undiscovered warehouse or retail stock turning up a hoard of cards is technically possible (since we obviously can't deny that it would not break the laws of physics or other laws of nature) but is probably less likely than a warehouse full of E107 cards turning up. Is that reason not to buy E107s? Because a huge hoard might turn up and alter the market? To some it might be.

3. The idea of an "Attic Effect" in Cuba is almost laughable. In America, there have been numerous "finds" that have literally been found in attics. Do you really think that Cuba is filled with 3-story Victorian houses that have been in the same family since the 1820's? Where are all of these attics in Cuba? Living conditions are very different over there. The likelihood of an attic find yielding a hoard of rare Cuban cards (1920's and earlier) is no more likely than a batch of previously unknown 1880's American baseball cards being found over here. Again, both are technically possible. I would love to see it actually happen. Some of these issues are so scarce I would never have a chance to own them unless a new stash is discovered, so I'm all for it.

4. The novelty effect of foreign cards being "discovered" and in demand, then crashing when supply increases due to the high prices the cards initially bring has ALREADY HAPPENED with Cuban cards. About 2 years ago, eBay was flooded with great Cuban cards (mostly Aguilitas, some Nacionales) of Oscar Charleston, Pop Lloyd, Cristobal Torriente, etc. For about a 6 month period the market was flooded once the first batch sold for good money. Prices dropped dramatically as people began to assume that early Cuban cards weren't that difficult to come by. Since then, how many top-end Cuban card have you seen on eBay? Note that only ONE significant 1923/24 Billiken card (Charleston, Lloyd, Torriente, Mendez, Marcelle, Oms, etc.) has ever been sold on ebay (Torriente).

5. Probably the biggest factor when it comes to the scarcity of early Cuban cards is the climate. If there were ever a stash of old cards sitting in a damp, hot attic for 80 years they would now be a clump of mold. Most of the cards that did survive were pasted into albums and thereby somewhat protected from climate. My guess is that most of those albums have long since left Cuba.

6. In my estimation, there are now more vintage Cuban baseball cards (1920's and earlier) in Florida and Colorado than on the entire island of Cuba. That includes undiscovered collections and future "finds". Don't take that as fact as it is only my opinion, but that's what I believe to be true.

Sorry to ramble on for such an abusrdly long time. Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to chat about Cuban baseball cards.

-Ryan Christoff

P.S. Please keep me in mind when this burst of Cuban cards comes streaming out of Cuba. I will buy everything you can find.

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  #36  
Old 06-18-2002, 05:34 AM
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Posted By: MW

Ryan

First, I'd like to say "thank you" for a well-reasoned discussion and I'm glad that you agree that this subject is not only pertinent to this thread, but also important to many vintage collectors.

I would like to address your points in the same order:

1. Cuba is indeed a poor country, but so was the United States during the Great Depression when all of the 1930s Goudey Gum Company baseball cards were produced and distributed. Not that it provides an exact framework, but my father still tells me the story of a time when his father (my grandfather) didn't even have enough money to mail a letter. Still, tens and perhaps even hundreds of thousands of Goudeys survive today. Baseball cards that were produced and distributed prior to 1980 were not considered a luxury item. Also, consider that many vintage Cuban baseball cards were produced prior to Castro's revolution. Given the situation, I really can't believe these were "rate-limiting" factors.

Next, I don't think it is possible to assert that the island (Cuba) "has nearly been picked clean...." This statement just doesn't seem to be rigorously true given the current trade and travel restrictions as well as the geopolitical environment that still exists. Cuba is close to the U.S. in geographical terms only. Am I to imagine an American citizen buying up collections left and right while on an extended travel visa? Or perhaps there are some island denizens or other Latin American visitors who have sufficient financial backing as well as a good working knowledge of vintage Cuban issues and have already scoured the island buying up all the "good stuff." It's certainly possible, but not very probable.


2. If unopened vintage material still exists in a market economy, then I would assume that the likelihood of a "find" in a socialist economy would not defy the "laws of card-iology." Generally speaking, goods are not "destroyed" as readily in a controlled economy when a prospective buyer is not immediately found. The stories of cases of 1952 Topps cards being dumped into the Atlantic provide a good perspective on this subject. I admit this is only conjecture on my part, but a large find of certain vintage Cuban issues would not surprise me if full access to Cuba were granted to fervent vintage card collectors from the United States. From a common sense perspective, there are a great number of restrictions between countries. Would an enterprising Cuban citizen who discovers a large "stash" of vintage baseball cards have the initiative to know what he has AND take the next step and find a U.S. buyer? I doubt it.


3. I do not think an "Attic Effect" in Cuba is beyond logical reason. It would not surprise me that with the suppression of certain types of information and with restrictions on free enterprise, that some collectors of vintage Cuban baseball cards may really have no idea what they possess. Even today, there are U.S. collectors who have no idea what their Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth cards are worth. Why does it seem so unlikely that a Cuban collector would have even less of an idea what his Oscar Charleston and Martin Dihigo cards are worth? Also, keep in mind that many vintage Cuban cards were produced prior to Fidel Castro assuming power. There was more affluence in the country then and perhaps a better means for producing and distributing baseball cards. Since there was no "collecting craze" in the United States during this time period, there would be no reason why these cards would have made their way here. I believe that the current population of Cuban cards residing in the U.S. is extremely small compared to the total that will eventually be available - but that is only my opinion.


4. The eBay market may have been temporarily "flooded" with Cuban baseball cards about 2 years ago, but I would hardly say that the hobby market was saturated. Also, I don't understand what this proves. Are you saying that because of this one "find," there won't be any more?


5. Cards are inherently "safer" when pasted into albums and preserved between pages. Sure, there's back damage, but I've seen some Cuban cards that were removed from albums with little or no paper loss.


6. I would not place a large amount of money on the supposition that there are more Cuban cards in Colorado and Florida than on the island itself. What's the rationale?


Ryan - I enjoyed your article in the May 2002 Beckett Vintage magazine... thanks for the interesting discussion!

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Old 06-18-2002, 08:56 AM
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Default What about foreign cards?

Posted By: runscott

I just cleaned up a Cuban 1910 Jack Johnson card that had been glued into an album. It had a large splotch of grey paper glued to each corner. Since the front looked like a Mayo, I wasn't sure if it could be soaked (I don't know about Mayos either), so I dipped a cloth into hot water and dabbed at the paper splotches until they were soaked. I then gently rubbed the paper off. Result: card looked as if it had never been in an album.

Question - could I have soaked the card?

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Old 06-18-2002, 09:48 AM
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Posted By: Ryan Christoff

MW,

Thanks for your response. You bring up some interesting points that I'd like to address. I'll do them in the same order:

1. First, I understand your point using the examples of Goudey distribution and how many of them are still around, but do you really think any of the Cuban issues from the 1920's were initially produced in any kind of comparable numbers? I wish we had accurate production numbers for some of these issues (maybe the number of Goudeys produced is known?) but I have a hard time with the Goudey comparison simply due to the "apples and oranges" factor.

Next, I found it extremely ironic when you wrote: "Am I to imagine an American citizen buying up collections left and right while on an extended travel visa? Or perhaps there are some island denizens or other Latin American visitors who have sufficient financial backing as well as a good working knowledge of vintage Cuban issues and have already scoured the island buying up all the 'good stuff.'" --- That is actually almost exactly how it happens. I know you meant it somewhat facetiously, but it turns out that it's true!

3. I believe you are correct that most Cuban cards that are now in the United States didn't get here prior to Castro assuming power. In fact, it seems that only within the past 20 years, and more specifically the past 5 to 10 years, have the great majority of those cards made their way here. It sounds like we disagree the total number of Cuban cards that were there in the first place. As far as the "attic finds" of Cuban collectors, or them not knowing what their cards are worth, that was true a few years ago, but these days even Cubans have access to the internet. Unless a collector has never told a soul about his collection, it is likely he has been told what it is worth and had offers to help him sell it (from the island denizens you spoke of). I get e-mails on a somewhat regular basis from people IN CUBA who say they found my website on Cuban Baseball cards. They follow ebay religiously and have a good idea about how much things are selling for.

4. The eBay market wasn't flooded from one "find". It was after the first group of cards sold that more and more started to surface. This happens to other vintage cards sometimes as well. If someone sees a rare card they own sell in a major auction for an incredibly high price, they're more likely to part with theirs and thus another one becomes available. Sometimes you see 4 or 5 of a truly rare card sell at auction within the same year. Then nothing for years to come. That's basically what happened to the Cuban cards on eBay. Why don't we see them any more?

5. Yes, cards are safer when they were pasted in albums. That was the exact point I was making. I think you might have misunderstood, or I might not have been clear enough in what I was saying. On this point we agree.

6. While there are definitely several large collections left in Cuba (not as many as you might think), there are also several large collections in each of those states I mentioned. Also in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, etc. These are just the ones I know of, mind you, who knows what the real numbers are. I certainly don't, so all I can do is make educated guesses and speculations, which really don't mean much of anything when it comes down to it. I'm not trying to sway your opinion because it sounds like I have my theories and you have yours and they happen to differ. By the way, there was a time when I did believe that once Cuba opened up we'd see tons of vintage material flow out. That is no longer what I believe, although I truly do hope it happens.

Keep in mind that I am not talking about the issues from the 1940's. My interest is in the earlier stuff.

Oh, and about the Beckett article, the second part is in the June issue. It talks more about specific issues from the 1920's.


-Ryan Christoff

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Old 06-18-2002, 07:51 PM
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Default What about foreign cards?

Posted By: HalleyGator

I have been out of town.

Cuban cards are indeed real cards, and I need some of them to complete my collection.

Maybe someone will have some for sale at the National...


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