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Howe’s Hunter
02-20-2017, 05:27 PM
Thanks to everyone for the heads-up on the large collection of Howe's cards that became available on eBay yesterday. Apparently, when I contacted the seller, I wasn't the first to reach out to him, which took him by surprise, but it let me ask a few questions that could fill in some gaps of when the cards came to market.

I reached out to the seller, and asked about his listings that all said he had rubber stamped the cards when he got them as a kid, and someone else had already stamped them by that time. That would have been Howe. So I asked exactly when would he have been a kid? His response is below....

Well, I certainly didn't think this would create such a stir. I've heard from a few collectors about this. Was he a contemporary of Burdick? I'd never heard of his name before.
When I was about 16 (1969), I had become very interested in Cleveland baseball history and wanted to collect something other than the current Topps issue. I subscribed to one of the early trading card hobby papers and got in touch with Wirt Gammon of Florida. He was one of the hobby giants in those days and I suppose he is the one who bought McCormick's collection. I bought all of the Cleveland Naps that he had which gave me almost the entire team set (he had other non-McCormicks). Because of the stamp, I figured I may as well make my own mark on them; never realizing how very popular (and expensive) they would become later on.

Previous to this, the earliest I knew of any of Howe's cards belonging to someone else then coming to my collection,was 1974 This takes it back to 1969, when at least nine of the cards moved at one time to another collector, who has held them since that time. And I had never heard of Wirt Gammon, but that would make sense for someone in the area to have gotten the collection in a big chunk, then selling them via hobby magazines and shows, with the results still showing up 42 years later.

Not much of a story, but thought I'd share. And again, with thanks to everyone for help in this project.

rajah424
02-20-2017, 05:37 PM
Is there a link to these auctions?

Jantz
02-20-2017, 05:46 PM
Good story Ed!

Where was the Ebay seller from? I see you mentioned he was interested in Cleveland baseball history, but he may have lived somewhere else. I'm just curious of the travels Howe's T206s have taken.

Congrats!

Jantz

trdcrdkid
02-20-2017, 05:52 PM
Wirt Gammon was one of the most prolific writers for hobby publications from the 1940s to the 1980s. He was a sportswriter in Tennessee. In his column for the Ballcard Collector in the late 60s and early 70s, he frequently wrote about big lots of T206s he had bought, and he sold them at bulk rates. When you subscribed to his newsletter, he would send you a free T206. I have just about all of his columns from 1947 on, in various publications (Sports Exchange Trading Post, Sport Fan, Sport Collector, Sports Trader, Ballcard Collector, Sports Collector's Digest).

Exhibitman
02-20-2017, 06:12 PM
Wirt Gammon was the subject of a Wagner story that typifies how the old school collectors used to behave. He wanted a Wagner and found a collector with one who refused to sell it. Gammon kept trying, finally just sending the collector a blank check. The collector filled in the first offer because he hadn't been negotiating, he just didn't want to sell the card. Source: The Complete Book of Baseball Cards by Steve Clark (1976).

RedsFan1941
02-20-2017, 06:50 PM
Perhaps a reader will help ...

midmo
02-20-2017, 07:03 PM
he frequently wrote about big lots of T206s he had bought

I have just about all of his columns from 1947 on, in various publications

It would be really cool if Gammon happened to write an article about his McCormick collection purchase. This should keep you busy this week David. :)

Howe’s Hunter
02-20-2017, 07:43 PM
Special thanks to a board member who has agreed to be a bidding partner as the two of us try and corner the market on these nine. I'll keep everyone posted as to our success.

Jobu
02-20-2017, 07:56 PM
The 1969 date is interesting because he died in 1976, as you showed us previously (http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=171365).

I wonder what made him sell his collection (at least) 7 years before he passed away.

Jason
02-20-2017, 09:55 PM
Great backstory on a very interesting collection. Hopefully more information comes to light on these.

Howe’s Hunter
02-21-2017, 08:08 AM
Here is a bit more information...

Hi Ed, I m an Indians fan who has lived my entire 63 years in Toledo, OH. I m still thinking about how cool it is that I ve been sitting on these cards for almost 50 years never knowing that they were somehow special to anyone else. I hope you re able to get them all.

I made the decision to sell off my collection bit by bit as I have grandkids who don t have any interest in baseball history, or in collecting for that matter. Thus, it doesn t make any sense to just leave the cards to them. They might end up in the trash. Better for someone who truly enjoys them to have their turn to own them. The money I make is going to be used to fly out to Arizona in 3 weeks and see the Indians in spring training. I'm collecting memories now instead of cards.

and finally ...

I forgot to mention this about one of your questions. I discovered a wonderful collectors paper (actually, more of a pamphlet) back in the day called The Trader Speaks which had stories about different baseball card sets by Wirt Gammon and some other writers. It was published in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY by a man whose name I do not remember. He was later bought out by Sports Collectors Digest. TTS also included classified ads and that is how I obtained the cards from Mr. Gammon.

Bpm0014
02-21-2017, 09:48 AM
Is there an ebay link to the cards??

Howe’s Hunter
02-21-2017, 09:59 AM
Here is a listing for all nine of the cards the gentleman has up for auction. As mentioned, a board member has volunteered to be a bidding partner in all in hopes of getting all nine of the cards back with the others.

Special thanks to him, and to everyone for not bidding against us.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/162402084283?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/162402086631?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/112309382497?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/162402095669?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/112309388717?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/162402101516?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/162402103573?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/162402105664?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/112309395581?_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

h2oya311
02-21-2017, 10:52 AM
Special thanks to him, and to everyone for not bidding against us.


I love your pursuit of this collection and think it is one of the coolest collecting goals in this hobby, but admittedly, this comment feels icky to me. I hope the gentleman selling these cards is able to make enough money to be able to purchase his flight to AZ and attend a Spring Training game here.

atx840
02-21-2017, 10:56 AM
My favourite collection going, good luck Ed!

Howe’s Hunter
02-21-2017, 12:01 PM
I love your pursuit of this collection and think this comment feels icky to me. I hope the gentleman selling these cards is able to make enough money to be able to purchase his flight to AZ and attend a Spring Training game here.

Sorry, didn't mean to make it sound like I hoped I was the only one bidding, and that Mr. Nicolls wouldn't get the full value of his cards. My intention was that I appreciate that many on the board, even if the card might fit something they are working on (specific brand back set, Southern League sub set) have been kind enough to not bid against me when cards that fit both of our collections come up. I've also tried to post in the past if one comes up, but is way, way out of my league to say go ahead, go for it, because I know I have no chance.

I have snipes in place for the cards, well in excess of what I would consider fair market value. I'm not trying to take money away from the current owner, just expressing thanks to those who might say "Oh, I've always wanted a card of So-and-So, but I'll wait for the next."

Really didn't intend for this to become icky, or seem underhanded. Sorry.

Bill Nicolls
02-21-2017, 01:06 PM
My AZ trip is already paid for; just looking to get some extra $ to defray the credit card bill.

Bestdj777
02-21-2017, 01:08 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to make it sound like I hoped I was the only one bidding, and that Mr. Nicolls wouldn't get the full value of his cards. My intention was that I appreciate that many on the board, even if the card might fit something they are working on (specific brand back set, Southern League sub set) have been kind enough to not bid against me when cards that fit both of our collections come up. I've also tried to post in the past if one comes up, but is way, way out of my league to say go ahead, go for it, because I know I have no chance.

I have snipes in place for the cards, well in excess of what I would consider fair market value. I'm not trying to take money away from the current owner, just expressing thanks to those who might say "Oh, I've always wanted a card of So-and-So, but I'll wait for the next."

Really didn't intend for this to become icky, or seem underhanded. Sorry.

I don't think it came off that way at all, so I wouldn't worry. These cards are special to you, and you just hope that no one artificially inflates the price and keeps you from getting them. Seems reasonable to me. I hope the seller gets market for them and that you get them at market price--the same thing I hope for myself and the sellers when I am buying cards. Good luck!

Bpm0014
02-21-2017, 02:59 PM
The only thing icky about this thread is that a grown man used the word icky. Cream puffs....

I love your collection as well Ed, and most of us knew that you weren't suggesting anything shady. Good luck with the purchase!

h2oya311
02-21-2017, 05:36 PM
The only thing icky about this thread is that a grown man used the word icky. Cream puffs....

I love your collection as well Ed, and most of us knew that you weren't suggesting anything shady. Good luck with the purchase!

I know everyone has a hard-on for Ed's collection (I do as well), but any time auction prices are manipulated in any fashion, I don't like it. Hey, the next time anyone sees a Helmar Stamp or rookie card that I need at auction, please don't bid it up because I'm going after it. If I were the one selling these cards and I saw collusion like this I would be a bit ticked. I'm glad the seller seems cool with this (per his previous post).

And I know Ed isn't intentionally doing anything shady, but if even one person on Net54 chooses not to bid (and would have otherwise been the under-bidder), then pricing manipulation has occurred and the seller is out some change. Sorry, no way around it.

Obviously the sheer number of t206 collectors out there will likely make this a moot point and I'm sure market price + a small premium for the stamp will likely result (but not from the bid of a fellow Net54 board member). If this were a more thinly collected (niche) card issue or focus, then I think more would actually agree with me. I seem to recall someone arguing recently that Negro League item prices have come down considerably due to collusion among the Negro League collecting community - "I'll bid on that one and I promise not to bid on that one and we'll both come out ahead". It's a good strategy (for the buyers).

Anyway, just my opinion.

ullmandds
02-21-2017, 05:41 PM
I know everyone has a hard-on for Ed's collection (I do as well), but any time auction prices are manipulated in any fashion, I don't like it. Hey, the next time anyone sees a Helmar Stamp or rookie card that I need at auction, please don't bid it up because I'm going after it. If I were the one selling these cards and I saw collusion like this I would be a bit ticked. I'm glad the seller seems cool with this (per his previous post).

And I know Ed isn't intentionally doing anything shady, but if even one person on Net54 chooses not to bid (and would have otherwise been the under-bidder), then pricing manipulation has occurred and the seller is out some change. Sorry, no way around it.

Obviously the sheer number of t206 collectors out there will likely make this a moot point and I'm sure market price + a small premium for the stamp will likely result (but not from the bid of a fellow Net54 board member). If this were a more thinly collected (niche) card issue or focus, then I think more would actually agree with me. I seem to recall someone arguing recently that Negro League item prices have come down considerably due to collusion among the Negro League collecting community - "I'll bid on that one and I promise not to bid on that one and we'll both come out ahead". It's a good strategy (for the buyers).

Anyway, just my opinion.

Price "manipulation" has become part of the hobby. Anything you want...that becomes known you want it...will be reflected in the price.

bnorth
02-21-2017, 05:45 PM
I know everyone has a hard-on for Ed's collection (I do as well), but any time auction prices are manipulated in any fashion, I don't like it. Hey, the next time anyone sees a Helmar Stamp or rookie card that I need at auction, please don't bid it up because I'm going after it. If I were the one selling these cards and I saw collusion like this I would be a bit ticked. I'm glad the seller seems cool with this (per his previous post).

And I know Ed isn't intentionally doing anything shady, but if even one person on Net54 chooses not to bid (and would have otherwise been the under-bidder), then pricing manipulation has occurred and the seller is out some change. Sorry, no way around it.

Obviously the sheer number of t206 collectors out there will likely make this a moot point and I'm sure market price + a small premium for the stamp will likely result (but not from the bid of a fellow Net54 board member). If this were a more thinly collected (niche) card issue or focus, then I think more would actually agree with me. I seem to recall someone arguing recently that Negro League item prices have come down considerably due to collusion among the Negro League collecting community - "I'll bid on that one and I promise not to bid on that one and we'll both come out ahead". It's a good strategy (for the buyers).

Anyway, just my opinion.

I completely agree with everything you said. Now for full disclosure 2 other members, another nonmember friend and myself do this on a certain card we all collect. It does save us $ but it really does hurt the seller every time one of those cards is listed for sale because with out that agreement I can guarantee it would sell for much more.

Bpm0014
02-21-2017, 06:47 PM
In this situation there is absolutely zero premium on a Howe McCormick stamp. If anything, the seller will probably get MORE than he originally would have. Other situations yes, but not here. I'll gladly sit this one out and I hope others do as well.

h2oya311
02-21-2017, 07:19 PM
In this situation there is absolutely zero premium on a Howe McCormick stamp. If anything, the seller will probably get MORE than he originally would have. Other situations yes, but not here. I'll gladly sit this one out and I hope others do as well.

Fair enough. I expect anyone with a conscience to sit this one out. I guess I prefer the "unwritten rule" policy when it comes to this sort of stuff though.

Please clarify though...there's no premium for the Howe McCormick stamp but seller will get more because of it? Huh??? Sounds like a premium to me??

h2oya311
02-21-2017, 07:20 PM
For what it's worth I hope Ed and his buddy win them all...

Bpm0014
02-22-2017, 08:39 AM
The seller will get more for it because it's safe to assume that Ed will do whatever he can (within reason) to win it most, if not all, of them. Thus a $20-$25 card may sell for $30-$40...

Angyale
02-27-2017, 10:10 AM
If so, how many did you end up with? Just curious.

Angyale

Sean
02-27-2017, 11:59 AM
If so, how many did you end up with? Just curious.

Angyale

All nine cards were sold to two buyers, so it looks like Ed got them. :)

Howe’s Hunter
02-27-2017, 02:03 PM
Thanks to my bidding partner, and to Sean who also volunteered to help if needed, I was able to get all nine of the lots with Howe's stamp on the back. Also heard from another board member who discovered one of Howe's cards in his collection, so in the next couple of weeks, I should have a total of 10 new cards to add to the rebuilt collection.

Thanks to everyone for their continued help.

Ed

bobbyw8469
02-27-2017, 02:14 PM
Congrats Ed!! Do you find more joy getting a tough one like Nap Lajoie or does every single card thrill you, no matter how big or small the player is??

PS- Im guessing Mr. McCormick only had one card per player per pose, or have you come across multiple copies of the same card yet?

Steve D
02-27-2017, 02:36 PM
Congratulations Ed; I'm pleased you were able to get all of them!

Steve

Jerry G
02-27-2017, 02:53 PM
Perhaps a reader will help ...

That's what I remember most about Wirt's column. That and the very cool T206 curtains in the background of his picture. Maybe we would call that his avitar now. He seemed like a very kind man.