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  #1  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:50 AM
mullinsm mullinsm is offline
Mike Mullins
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Default Small Cracker Jack find - my first

Last month I flew to central Montana for a family visit. While we were all together, my aunt and mother in law were going though some of my grandmother's old albums. My MIL, who knows I like old baseball cards, called me over and said "Here's something you might want to see." She showed me one page from the album:






Then another:






And then:



I was dumbfounded. I've always read about cards in scrapbooks but never had the fortune to see any first-hand. And nice cards too! Not the top stars from the set, but a couple Hall of Famers, and a hall of shamer too...

I was especially thrilled that they were something from the family. I don't have any other family cards, unless you count my brother's 1977 Eddie Murray rookie... We're not totally sure who put the scrapbook together, but it spans the teens through the 50s and mostly contains recipes, news articles, etc. These are the only sports cards. I'd love to know their story - this part of Montana 100 years ago was very rural and remote, so a box of Cracker Jacks would have been a real treat.

Condition-wise, I was impressed by how clean and new some of the cards look, almost like they went straight from the box into the scrapbook. Four are crease free. On the downside, they're securely glued to the pages, and someone penciled in other names on the tops of each card. I was thrilled that my aunt and uncle let me take them home, but they aren't going to win any grading contests.

I don't know much about the Cracker Jack sets. Please enlighten me! Someone snuck a peek at the back of Rickey and it's printed upside down, so at least that one is from 1915, right? I assume the rest are as well, but they slightly wrinkled the card in the process and I almost died. Someone else dinged a corner on the Maranville as well - people stop picking at them! - so I put them away before anyone else got any bright ideas.

I would appreciate opinions and advice on how best to preserve and protect these. I won't mess with the pencil marks, but I would consider removing the cards from the pages. I have soaked scrapbook paper off a few t-cards with good success before, but not Cracker Jacks. Has anyone had luck removing these? Did I read that soaking makes the red bleed into the borders? I know different glues react differently to water, and I thought I could test the glue by trying to soak off one of the non sports cards first. Is it worth contacting a professional conservator for help? Any recommendations?

Or maybe I'll just leave the cards on the pages. They do make a nice display, and keeping them together preserves their history as a group. Either way, I have no intention to sell them. They are special and I'd like the cards to stay in the family.

Thanks for your input and expertise. I always learn something when I come here. Have a great day and happy collecting. Cards are still out there!

Mike
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:18 AM
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You've got 4 Hall of Famers plus Cicotte out of the 8 cards. Nice!

You should be able to soak those cards off the pages, if you know what you're doing. I would start with the Evans, since it's a common and in the worst shape of the lot, and see how it goes. Here is a post I made a few years ago about how to soak cards: http://net54baseball.com/showpost.ph...70&postcount=7
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:03 AM
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Default CJs

What a great story and find for you, congrats. The family element certainly adds a glow to it!
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:07 AM
Aquarian Sports Cards Aquarian Sports Cards is offline
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Very cool!
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:38 AM
Huysmans Huysmans is offline
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Cool!

I would suggest not soaking the cards and keep and display them as is, maybe having the pages added together in a large frame. This is the way they were originally kept by your family for over a century, keep that heirloom intact for future generations.


Brent

Last edited by Huysmans; 06-10-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:01 PM
RollieFingers RollieFingers is offline
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Personally, me...I would make money off that/those.
Just saying
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:13 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
You've got 4 Hall of Famers plus Cicotte out of the 8 cards. Nice!

You should be able to soak those cards off the pages, if you know what you're doing. I would start with the Evans, since it's a common and in the worst shape of the lot, and see how it goes. Here is a post I made a few years ago about how to soak cards: http://net54baseball.com/showpost.ph...70&postcount=7
As with just about every post about soaking this one neglects the important fact that if you are going to do it you should use DISTILLED water. Tap water can contain many impurities which can damage a card including chlorine. You can find distilled water in many chain drugstores and some supermarkets, Target etc. and it is usually less than $2 a gallon
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huysmans View Post
Cool!

I would suggest not soaking the cards and keep and display them as is, maybe having the pages added together in a large frame. This is the way they were originally kept by your family for over a century, keep that heirloom intact for future generations.


Brent
Agree. That's such a unique item.
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  #9  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
As with just about every post about soaking this one neglects the important fact that if you are going to do it you should use DISTILLED water. Tap water can contain many impurities which can damage a card including chlorine. You can find distilled water in many chain drugstores and some supermarkets, Target etc. and it is usually less than $2 a gallon
I've soaked many, many cards over the past 25 years using tap water and have never had a problem. But I'm sure it can't hurt to use distilled water.
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huysmans View Post
Cool!

I would suggest not soaking the cards and keep and display them as is, maybe having the pages added together in a large frame. This is the way they were originally kept by your family for over a century, keep that heirloom intact for future generations.
This is what I would do since you have no desire to sell. Id frame them all together in a nice professional display, along with the family photos glued to the same page. It would be something you pass to your kids, and hopefully something that would stay in the family for generations a window into your familys history. Very cool and IMO more valuable just the way they are.
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  #11  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:22 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
I've soaked many, many cards over the past 25 years using tap water and have never had a problem. But I'm sure it can't hurt to use distilled water.
Long before I moved to Virginia the water in D.C. had enough chlorine in it that you could taste it. It may not be found in drinking water these days, but you cannot be sure what is added. Some people may also use well water which can have minerals which may affect the cards. Glad to see that you have had no problems, but from an archival point of view distilled is always better than tap water.
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  #12  
Old 06-10-2019, 06:04 PM
JollyRoger JollyRoger is offline
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I'd imagine a good soaking would loosen the glue and they would detach easily from the scrapbook pages. I'd leave them the way they are if they were mine though. Great find!
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2019, 12:03 PM
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If it were just a random pickup of some scrapbook sheets, I would have no issue with soaking them. But if they were owned by a family member, I would want to keep them as is, and perhaps frame them as mentioned by others.

Brian
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2019, 01:02 PM
mullinsm mullinsm is offline
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Thanks to everyone for the responses and advice! I really appreciate it. I am leaning towards leaving them as is, for now at least. Fortunately, I'm not in any hurry. If I do decide to liberate them, I'll post my results here. If I frame them, I'll share that as well.

One thing I want to investigate is the names penciled in on the borders. Initially I thought they might be the players' first names, but that's not the case. Most of what's written is full names I don't recognize: Chester Larsen, Frank W., etc. My guess is that the owner wrote his friends' names on the cards, but given how few people lived (and still live) out that direction, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. If I find out more I'll share it here.
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2019, 01:48 PM
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Congrats on the find.

It's interesting to note that on the same board members are talking about cards that have been presumably soaked, cleaned up, and bumped a couple of grades being the biggest scandal in our hobby's history. And in this threads others are giving advice on how to do it.
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2019, 01:56 PM
tschock tschock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerplyr80 View Post
Congrats on the find.

It's interesting to note that on the same board members are talking about cards that have been presumably soaked, cleaned up, and bumped a couple of grades being the biggest scandal in our hobby's history. And in this threads others are giving advice on how to do it.
Almost as 'interesting' to note how you conveniently leave out trimmed and recolored when setting up strawmen.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2019, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerplyr80 View Post
Congrats on the find.

It's interesting to note that on the same board members are talking about cards that have been presumably soaked, cleaned up, and bumped a couple of grades being the biggest scandal in our hobby's history. And in this threads others are giving advice on how to do it.
It depends on whether they consider it restoration or conservation.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2019, 03:46 PM
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A decent percent of vintage cards would still be in scrapbooks without someone soaking them out at some point. A very common practice in play for decades in the hobby that, in the vast majority of the cases, was not meant to deceive...how else are you going to see the back side?

A card was more likely to keep its fresh new look if it was stored in a scrapbook compared to other storage options. I imagine a large chunk of the legitimate top condition vintage cards had a good soak to separate them from scrapbook paper...and I see nothing wrong with it.

Brian
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2019, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tschock View Post
Almost as 'interesting' to note how you conveniently leave out trimmed and recolored when setting up strawmen.
I agree, those are the issues we should be concerned with. But this board can't even agree on if soaking is acceptable. I don't have a strong opinion on way or the other. But many of the cards guys are worked about have simply been cleaned up a little. Much as these would have to be if removed from their present location.

Is soaking ok for scrap book removal, but not stain removal? Where do we draw the line? Will PWCC's conservation definition become the industry standard? Will PSA update the definition of altered? Lots of interesting unanswered questions right now.
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  #20  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:04 PM
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First off to the OP I have to say it is an amazing find. Regardless of players just finding CJs in a scrapbook would be an adrenaline rush. Huge Congrats on a nice find of good looking CJs. When it comes to vintage cards, Sometimes perfection has errors. Happy collecting.

Soaking a scrapbook page to loosen cards has been done forever in the hobby from the most trusted names to the guys shady as fuq. If it doesnt come off with plain water then its permanent. If you use chemicals or other bio agents to clean, remove, or alter the card in any way then its altered.

If the OP decided to soak those cards I would think the black card stock would wreak havoc on the card. Maybe add drops of water to the back of the stock and allow time to soak through. Hopefully once the area is damp, Not Saturated, the card will pop right off and the glue will dry fairly quickly. I would suggest good ole card savers and penny sleeves for storage over grading. If you feel the need to soak and rinse I guess you could. Removing the glue with plain water wont remove the stain it made and it wont adversely effect the card in any way it hasnt already by leaving it on there and not soaking it. You Cant Soak Away Age in a card with plain water. I can promise you it is impossible without the aid of something additional. If those cards go into a bath to soak it could also leave a film residue on them from the glue breaking down. Not to mention the cards would be more prone to foxing and discoloring after prolonged soaks. Its reminds me of the Take this pill to fix your issue. Take these three to fix the side effects from that one.
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2019, 08:18 PM
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Just wondering. Those cjs are wafer thin and very fragile. Would they hold up to a soak?
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:23 PM
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Just wondering. Those cjs are wafer thin and very fragile. Would they hold up to a soak?
Yes they will and you can search for previous threads for cards that will and will not take a bath in plain water. I think the list was pretty extensive the last time I seen it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:00 AM
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Yes they will and you can search for previous threads for cards that will and will not take a bath in plain water. I think the list was pretty extensive the last time I seen it.
If someone spots it please post the link here.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:23 AM
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If someone spots it please post the link here.
Here you go:

http://net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=169988
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