Nostra Culpa

As Jason and I have been checking the blog feedback mailbox for your Burdick Award Nominations* we’ve realized that we don’t check that mailbox very often at all. This partly our fault since the blog email doesn’t go to either of us and partly due to WordPress not giving us a single notification about there being new messages.**

*Several great suggestions already. Please keep them coming and make the selection committee’s life as hard as possible.

**Literally everything else lights up with an unread-notifications counter.

Anyway, I’ve decided to clear out that mailbox and pull out all the messages which aren’t spam. It’s pretty apparent that a lot of the messages aren’t the kind of thing that Jason, me, this blog, or SABR are equipped to handle. But I’m going to go ahead and sort them into buckets and post everything here.

Apologies for this being extremely text-heavy. If anyone wants to chime in in the comments that would be awesome.

Possible future post ideas

My favorite messages are the ones that suggest possible future posts. I’d love for any of our contributors to pick these up and run with them. And if you have covered these in your personal blog by all means drop a link in the comments. My initial thoughts follow each question.

Do you have any knowledge about the mid 80’s Star Co player sets such as Mattingly, Murphy, Carlton. Were these licensed cards and do they have any value? I cant seem to find any useful info online about this time in baseball card production by the Star Company. The card’s design mirrors the Star Co basketball design from the licensed ’84, ’85, ’86 sets.

Given how prevalent these sets were—along with the gradient design and all of its “premium” parallels like Nova—it’s sort of amazing that we haven’t had anyone post about these both as cards and how they were clearly ordered by card shops to satisfy regional interests.

I am wondering who played the most MLB games but never appeared on a Topps baseball card. Marshall Bridges appeared in 206 games for 4 teams over 7 years-no Topps card. Anyone ever do any research along this line?

Another great post prompt. This obviously would be limited to the Topps era of cards since anyone playing before 1951 has a huge advantage here. My gut says the answer here is Tony Horton but I really have no idea.

I read Mark Armour’s excellent piece on Houston Astros cards of the 1960s. I wonder if anyone can shed any light on this: After issuing its inaugural team card of the Houston Colt .45s in 1963, why did Topps not issue Houston team cards in its 1964 and 1965 baseball sets?

So I had no idea about this. I do know that the team photos were often provided by the teams so maybe Houston didn’t provide a new photo. A the same time I’ve also seen the same team photo used in multiple years so who knows.

Why does the 1969 Topps set have so many cards that use the same photo as their card in the 1968 set? I always wondered why.

Such a good post idea that Mark Armour already wrote it in 2017.

Questions about value

We also get a lot of questions about what things are worth. This is a subject which Jason and I (and Mark and Chris before us) avoid on here. It’s quite possibly the only subject that we avoid on here. This blog is about usage and how it intersects with our understanding of baseball.

All that said, I’m including the questions here since the hive mind in the comments might be useful. As before my initial reaction follows each question.

I wanted to sell my complete Baltimore Orioles collection (from 1954 to present). This has 2776 regular issued cards (Topps, Bowman, and in the crazy 90’s Fleer, Score, etc) and 438 special issued (e.g., MVP, World Series, etc) for 3214 cards. I contacted Heritage Auctions and they said they mostly deal with graded cards. Do you have any suggestion on where to sell?

Forget about the “where to sell” question I want to know more about this collection, how it started, what were the toughest things to find, and why you’d part with something that cool after completing it.

I was given the 1933 big League set. My question is that all the cards don’t have the white border around the card. Do they still have value?

In this community we believe that cards have value because we value them. There are plenty of us for whom trimmed cards like this are the only way to afford them and as a result we treasure all those well-loved classics.

I was wondering if you guys could help me out with a 1960 Venezuelan Yaz. I sent it to PSA and it is authenticated as a Venezuelan but, after posting on eBay and receiving messages questioning its authenticity as a Venezuelan. You guys have anyone that can help?

A solid “who grades the graders” dilemma here. That people don’t trust PSA should be a huge warning sign for everyone who’s placed their trust in that company. Similarly, that Beckett just claimed that its grades are only guaranteed for the person who submitted the card threatens to upset the whole grading industry.

I have a team signed baseball from the 2000 2001 Cuban national championship team. Wondering if there’s any value in it

I’m 100% certain that there’s someone out there who would value that.

I’m doing some research on the intersection of baseball card value and copyright protection. To this end, I’m trying to find a database of old baseball card values from early Beckett Baseball Card Magazines (1984-1994). Are you aware of any such database or would you know anyone that might have such a database?

Leaving this in the value section but even someone as jaded about the monetary value side of the hobby as I am would be interested in a historical card value ticker. If such a thing exists by all means drop a link in our comments.

I have a Goudey 1933 Joe Cronin card with a card #189 front ( with a Joe Cronin fielding pose ) and a Joe Cronin #63 card back. My online research to date has not yielded any information, any indication that such a “wrong back” error card has ever been identified. I just read Jason’s very interesting and informative article about the 1933 set, and there was no indication of any prior knowledge of this error. How can I find out the market value of this card, which has some edge staining and would probably grade as a 3 or 4 ?

Zero idea on market value but I’d love to see photos of this.

Advice & Mysteries

We also get a decent amount of “what is this?” and “please help” questions. Many of these could likely be solved by some time on TCDB but some are genuine mysteries. Others are too open-ended to really respond to.

I have a Gaylord Perry signed set of 6 cards that I believe a company called Star Enterprise printed due to Gaylord being a spokesperson for them. I’m not positive on the company name but it’s very close. How can I send you photos of cards to see if you have ever seen them?

Best way to send us this kind of thing is to tweet at @SABRbbcards so we can retweet it to the hive mind. That said I really hope this is talking about the Peanut Farm cards.

Hello I am looking for some info on Dan Dee Mickey Mantle 2 sided advertising card with Frank Thomas on back any info I would greatly appreciate

No ideas. If anyone knows please drop a comment.

Our son found a Waite Hoyt baseball card in a used book from Library sale in early 1990s. It looks to be dated 1933 or 1932 and it looks like the others I have seen listed on ebay, it is printed in color on front. Only difference is the back is not printed in green ink, it is printed in black ink. Do you have any idea why it would have black ink on back?

I hate to say it but black ink makes me think it’s a reprint. I don’t know enough about these though to say anything definitive.

I am looking for a source of a high resolution version of the original image used for the red portrait T206 Ty Cobb

There’s a decent-sized one on the T206 project page.

Can you point me to a source or reference that may be able to shed some light on the Hygrade All Time Greats set? Specifically, I am looking for information concerning corrections that were made and changes to player photos. There include completely new photos, additions to photos and many recentering of photos, which I believe may have been done to show the players team on their hat or jersey which were obscured.

As always the first stop is TCDB. This is a reminder to me though that I’m long overdue on a post about my Hygrade Baseball Cards Collectors Kit which introduced me to the hobby.

Great article on Donruss Diamond Kings. Is there a source online that provides a listing and checklist for each set for each year. I know the artist changed in the 1990s.

To my knowledge, there’s nothing Diamond Kings specific. Instead you have to check TCDB set by set.

What is the best way to collect Topps baseball cards issued in previous years (1940s to 2010s)? Is ebay a good place to look? Or are there other (and cheaper) ways to collect?

Zero way to answer “best” but this blog has talked about multiple sources of cards from websites like Ebay, COMC, and Sportlots to in-person opportunities like shows and card shops.

I have a lot of Donruss Diamond Kings baseball cards. If you would please email me back because I have lots of questions about these cards.

Looking for a Babe Ruth and Stan Musial Dexter Press Baseball Hall of fame postcards to purchase.

Do you have anything on Jim / James McNeil who played for the Raleigh Tigers in the 1960s?

These three questions are all examples of the kind of thing we don’t really do on here. Anything we’ve covered already can be found via the search function and everything else will be researched using the same tools available to everyone else. We’re not a marketplace or reference librarian.

How to join the blog

The last batch of questions are all basically the same thing and are asking how to join the blog or submit a post. I’ve emailed everyone already and sent invite links out. And I fully apologize again for the delay in getting back to people.

I would like to join SABR & follow this blog.

Join SABR. Though you don’t need to join in order to follow the blog.

I’ve written a piece that I’d like to submit for consideration on the SABR Baseball Cards blog. Are there any guidelines rules for submission? To where should I submit my draft when it is ready?

The one rule is that you have to be an active member of SABR. If you are, contact us (Jason and I promise to check that more regularly) and we’ll get you started. As for guidelines, this place is a sandbox. Focus on cards. How they intersect with your life. How they relate to our understanding of baseball. How they fit in to the larger culture.

If I wanted to write an article do I do it in Google Sheets or Word?

Please not Google sheets. Yes Jason uses a lot of spreadsheets in his posts but those are images by the time he posts them. Outside of that, blogs are primarily plain text. Once you’re a contributor you can compose directly on WordPress. Word or Google Docs are also fine. As is the body of an email.

How do I submit a blog post? I don’t see a create button—or am I missing something?

Once you’re a contributor you’ll have access to the WordPress UI which definitely has both a create post button and a submit post button. If you’re not a contributor yet then we need to get that step taken care of first.

I don’t quite plan on doing a post like this again unless we get another great batch of possible post suggestions. I have my fingers crossed that this will inspire a few posts or at least some blog comments.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

8 thoughts on “Nostra Culpa”

  1. In regard guard to the Baltimore Orioles team Card collection, I once had a collection of all Tigers cards issued by Topps. My reason for selling it is that I am 80 years old and have no one to leave it to so I selling them on ebay under micromos. Donn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to know if any card exists for Sandy Koufax that includes his final season (1966) stats and final career stats? When he retired, he did not have a 1967 card. There was a set of Hall of Famers and/or all time star players around 1990-1992 that was supposed to include Sandy Koufax, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, but these cards were never issued. As I was looking for these cards, and mentioned the missing numbers, one dealer told me these cards were not released.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a number of recent (last 10-12 years) “retro sets” from Topps that feature Koufax. There’s a 2014 Topps Archives Koufax (which is in the 1986 Topps design) that has complete career stats for him. Same for 2016 Topps Archives (in the 1991 Topps design). Probably others out there as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Marshall Bridges is in the 1963 Topps set as a New York Yankee. The player who was in the most major league games without being on a Topps card was Tony Horton (636), but Maury Wills was in 1,137 games before his first Topps card was issued in 1967.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the 1969 Topps set since 1969. The Maury Wills card was probably his first. I cut out a Tony Horton card from a cereal box and added it to the set. I kept track of players who played in 1969 but had no card or rookie card. The most active player with a card or rookie card was Rudy May.


      1. Rudy May was in the 1965 Topps set as a Rookie Star with the California Angeles. He had already been through the Twins, White Sox, and Phillies organizations.


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