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4reals
02-19-2013, 02:15 PM
I found this card by chance and picked it up on ebay having never heard of it or seen one before.

The seller calls it a 1983 AJAX Dog Food card and also has a Chili Davis (giants) and Kent Hrbeck (Twins) for sale. I haven't seen any other examples of this set. I also haven't been able to find it cataloged in SCD or Beckett Almanac to view a checklist and determine who the other players in the set are.

Do these go by any other names? The backs are blank and there are no other print markings or designations. Just what you see on the card front. Am I missing something?

sdkammeyer
02-19-2013, 02:25 PM
might be some help here..... includes a checklist as well.

http://www.freedomcardboard.com/forum/baseball/91167-1983-ajax-dog-food-set-hrbeck-others.html

Bob Lemke
02-19-2013, 02:48 PM
Just to reiterate . . . both the "1983" and "1984" Ajax Dog Food card sets were an unauthorized collectors' issue, i.e., bad-looking "Broders."

4reals
02-19-2013, 02:55 PM
Well, that was easy...you both summed it up pretty well. Thanks for the link to the other thread...I've gotten out of the habit of searching over there.

That thread on FCB fails to mention two things though. And Bob, you're probably the guy that can answer this too (forgive me if this is a tired subject that you've had to repeat multiple times in the past), but ...

1) How was it determined that these were AJAX dog food cards since there is no mention of AJAX on the card? Were they distributed in plastic or cellophane packs inside the dog food or were they a test run item for the following year? '83 wasn't that long ago...I'm sure some collectors on this board would remember possibly finding them while feeding their canine companions.
2) What was the determining factor in changing it from an "authorized" collector's issue from earlier SCD publications to an "unauthorized" one? Is there certain criteria used for all cards and/or sets in determining what is authorized? And what person(s) determines this, is there some type of committee or something?

Thanks for your patience with my ignorance...

4reals
02-20-2013, 02:16 PM
After further inspection it appears as though the word AJAX faintly appears (very faintly - can barely make it out) in the bottom left black border. I looked at the other examples in the FCB forum and they have the same...still wondering if they were actually distributed in product. If so, I wonder if unopened packs of any of these exist?

sdkammeyer
02-20-2013, 02:22 PM
Yes, they were inserted as singles in a cellophane wrapper inside the dog food. I believe (if my memory is correct) the card/wrapper was attached with some glue on the inside of the bag towards the bottom on the side.

I think I still own a few of these, and I can VIVIDLY remember begging my parents to buy that specific type of dog food just for the card.

I can also remember getting bitched at for opening/dumping the entire bag as soon as we got home :)

moeson
02-20-2013, 03:20 PM
Maybe you are thinking of the Milk Bone cards. As Bob has stated, the AJAX cards were Broder type collector issues not associated with an actual dog food company.

Bob Lemke
02-20-2013, 03:28 PM
I'm not sure what you mean about "authorized" collectors' issue. I believe they were always cataloged as unauthorized in the SCBC.

I also think Steve is thinking about the Milk Bone cards. "Ajax" cards were never associated with any product.

I believe that when they first came to market they were advertised with the Ajax name in one or more of the hobby periodicals, maybe even SCD.

sdkammeyer
02-20-2013, 03:57 PM
Actually, now that you guys mention it .... I believe it was purina dog food. Not ajax or milk bone.

Now you got me wanting to sift through the mountain of 30 year old stuff in the closet :)

4reals
02-20-2013, 05:01 PM
I believe they were always cataloged as unauthorized



So, they were never associated with product, which means I don't have to look in vain for an unopened Guerrero pack.

But I'm still stuck on this unauthorized thing. Who has the authority to categorize something as authorized or unauthorized? What is the criteria for determining such a thing? Does unauthorized mean they were made without compensation to the players? Or does it mean there is a secret society of ancient card collectors in a smoke filled room who put a large red DECLINED stamp on the AJAX baseball card submission form?

aelefson
02-20-2013, 06:29 PM
Joe-
I believe a Broders type issue, or an unauthorized issue, means that a collector/dealer made the set on their own, with no MLB license. Further, these sets were made to sell to unsuspecting collectors as legitimate product (hence the Ajax label on your card). Personally, I have several of these from Ball Street and a few other "companies" in my Don Mattingly collection. I buy them if I do not have them and if I can find them for less than a dollar. Some collectors will never touch them, especially those who were burned speculating on them in the 80s. Others will never touch them because there are so many legitimate issues out there. Even collector issues such as TCMA are considered legitimate, because there was never an intent to defraud buyers. As awlays, collect what you like but keep in mind there are hundreds of these sets produced in the 80s, and very little of it is catalogued in any standard hobby publication.
Alan

4reals
02-20-2013, 11:21 PM
Thank you for your response Alan. I've heard the term Broder-type used for years but incorrectly assumed it was a name brand like "Jay Publishing" or "Score" or whatever. I didn't realize the term Broder had a specific meaning. Damn, I missed the bus on that one! That's why when Bob said it was a bad looking Broder it didn't register as a negative to me (shaking my head at myself). I guess in the end it doesn't really matter if something is authorized or not, all that matters is whether the card has perceived value and what a collector is willing to pay for it. If a set of these sold for over $100 like the FCB thread said then who cares if it's unauthorized, there's buyers out there for them...kinda like those Helmar hand painted replica cards that keep popping up on ebay. Seems to me those would be a great present day example of an unauthorized Broder card, but hey, people are paying money for those too, probably as a cheap secondary option to owning the real thing.

Bob, I just read your excellent description of legitimate issues and collector's issues on pg. 5 of the SCBC under the Major League Issues sub-title. That explained everything perfectly.

Feb. 20, 2013 - the day 4reals finally understood the true meaning of "Broder". I just looked up the definition...it's French and means - to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth.

steve B
02-21-2013, 02:47 PM
Ballstreet was in a gray area. No MLB license of the cards but they were part of a magazine so it sort of slid by as allowed editorial content just in card form.

Personally I like some of the unlicensed cards. I collect them when I find them cheap.

I think many of them were as good as the products from the licensed companies, at least one issuer -Pacific- eventually did get a license. And there was an actual Broder. There were a few sets he did that were unlicensed, and some that were a bit gray area like a japan baseball set mostly showing american players.

There was a big push by the companies to stop the production, sort of an early look at the whole rights management thing.
What I found silly was the ways they went after them.
Basically forcing Becketts to not list them was one tactic, then getting writers to denounce them as having no quality and no value since the issuer could just print more. Which is something Upper Deck got caught doing and last I looked they're still listed.

There were abuses, sets "limited" to 15,000, but available with red borders until they sold out then another color later. (Another thing that sounds familiar, like 8 different refractors for each set....)

The later ones took advantage of a loophole. Most league and player licensing groups decided that the minimum number of players they'd license was 8 or something like that. And that they wouldn't try to shut down the unlicensed stuff with fewer players.

And that's part of where Star company got into things, and when Pacific made the Ryan and Seaver sets. And the unlicensed stuff became basically groups of single cards rather than sets.
The licensing enforcement was pushed off onto the teams and individual players and their agents who usually didn't have time to chase down some guy selling a few thousand cards of a popular player out of his garage.

The publicity smearing them and lack of listing in most of the guides meant they died out quietly as demand faded.


Steve B

h2oya311
02-21-2013, 10:16 PM
These are definitely tough to come by. I have one complete set (of 6) and one incomplete set of 4 (missing the Henderson and Ripken, both of which I sold).

Chili Davis, Pedro Guerrero, Kent Hrbek, and Willie McGee don't command much of a premium. The Ripken will often fetch around $75-$100 and the Henderson is a $30-$50 card.

As others mentioned, this was not distributed by the maker of Ajax (cleaning product) or a dog-food company...it was fictitious. The Guerrero you have is from 1983 (according to the 2003 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards). There were also some white-bordered 1984 "Ajax" cards of a few players. I don't have any of those as there is no R. Henderson in that set.

All the best. If you want to see scans of the other cards (or are interested in purchasing any - other than Henderson), let me know.

DaClyde
02-22-2013, 07:26 AM
And there was an actual Broder. There were a few sets he did that were unlicensed, and some that were a bit gray area like a japan baseball set mostly showing american players.

Keep in mind that there were two "Broders". Ed Broder prodiced the TCMA-style sets of Japanese players or Americans in Japan in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Rob Broder started selling his unlicensed cards as advertisements for his glossy 8x10 photos. Very quickly he, and others, realized collectors would eagerly scoop up any new cards of popular players and just started cranking out set after set of the simple, unauthorized sets to be sold at card shows. He was eventually sued by MLB and settled for a fine.

About that time, MLB changed it's licensing rules to prevent "publications" like Ballstreet or Legends from basically printing baseball cards in a magazine wrapper. The cards were supposed to be simply a feature of the magazine to enhance articles, and as such, were subject to the rules of your average newspaper or magazine (as started by Baseball Cards Magazine in the 80s), but eventually people saw that as a way to print their own baseball cards without a license, and wrap it in a tissue thin veil of a magazine.

steve B
02-22-2013, 10:27 AM
Keep in mind that there were two "Broders". Ed Broder prodiced the TCMA-style sets of Japanese players or Americans in Japan in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Rob Broder started selling his unlicensed cards as advertisements for his glossy 8x10 photos. Very quickly he, and others, realized collectors would eagerly scoop up any new cards of popular players and just started cranking out set after set of the simple, unauthorized sets to be sold at card shows. He was eventually sued by MLB and settled for a fine.

About that time, MLB changed it's licensing rules to prevent "publications" like Ballstreet or Legends from basically printing baseball cards in a magazine wrapper. The cards were supposed to be simply a feature of the magazine to enhance articles, and as such, were subject to the rules of your average newspaper or magazine (as started by Baseball Cards Magazine in the 80s), but eventually people saw that as a way to print their own baseball cards without a license, and wrap it in a tissue thin veil of a magazine.

Interesting, I sort of knew there were two, but didn't know what stuff went with which or even if it really was two different people and not just the same guy using a different name to confuse things.

I've never seen the cards that were ads for the photos. Did they have ad backs or were they more like regular cards than promos?

I should make a start at cataloging these things, but it's not easy. There's probably some ads in the hobby magazines for a little while, but they eventually stopped allowing them.

While they're unlicensed, I find that they're all a good deal harder to find than the licensed stuff.

Steve B

DaClyde
02-22-2013, 08:37 PM
Actually I guess it was the 1986 Scott Cunningham cards I was thinking of that actually advertised the photographer's photos:

http://i1030.photobucket.com/albums/y364/tpeichel34/Catalog/Baseball/1986/1986ScottCunningham.jpg

Look up Tim Peichel (tpeichel34 on eBay), he's spent the past 2-3 years attempting to catalog all the unlicensed issues he could find. He's assembled quite a database (and collection) of them.

mcadams
02-23-2013, 03:25 PM
The ugliness of the cards would make keeping them....challenging.