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View Full Version : John D Wagner - Early Hobby Collector HOF'er


Leon
03-06-2018, 11:21 AM
Irv Lerner put John D Wagner in the Collector Hall of Fame back in the early 1970s. He was certainly one of the early card collecting hobby pioneers. I thought this was an interesting article in Card Collectors Bulletin concerning him from 32 years ago. The article pretty much sums it up about Mr. Wagner. There is a link to quite a few old letters below, which were addressed to him.

http://luckeycards.com/ccb1986march1.jpg
http://luckeycards.com/ccb1986march2.jpg
http://luckeycards.com/ccb1986march3.jpg

Early Wagner hobby letters -

http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=207944&page=4


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ullmandds
03-06-2018, 12:06 PM
great read. so can we put to bed why the wagner and plank are so rare????

tiger8mush
03-06-2018, 12:19 PM
thanks for sharing!

h2oya311
03-06-2018, 12:20 PM
he paid a penny for one of his two T206 Wagners! Incredible!

joshuanip
03-06-2018, 12:27 PM
awesome story. I love reading history of players and cards. this was different. Thank you.

GasHouseGang
03-06-2018, 02:05 PM
Great post! Thanks Leon.

T206Collector
03-06-2018, 02:12 PM
Wagner also collected autographs on his pre-war cards. One of my most cherished hobby possessions is my Wagner/Snodgrass correspondence and associated autographs, which I've shown a few times on Net54:

<img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8781/29461321632_4573e2aba2_z.jpg" width="640" height="368" alt="SnoEnv"></a>

<img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8164/29461321842_dabf76437a_o.jpg" width="526" height="763" alt="Sno Letter"></a>

<img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8306/29280951260_7ccda47232_o.jpg" width="892" height="661" alt="Snodgrass 2"></a><

Huysmans
03-06-2018, 02:16 PM
great read. so can we put to bed why the wagner and plank are so rare????

Sure... but how do we explain the cigars sold with Wagner's name?

While I acknowledge there is a difference, considering baseball cards would specifically end up in the hands of youngsters, I find it extremely hard to believe he was so against children smoking that he didn't want his likeness portrayed on cards... but he was fine with his mug splashed across large cigar boxes.

ullmandds
03-06-2018, 02:48 PM
Sure... but how do we explain the cigars sold with Wagner's name?

While I acknowledge there is a difference, considering baseball cards would specifically end up in the hands of youngsters, I find it extremely hard to believe he was so against children smoking that he didn't want his likeness portrayed on cards... but he was fine with his mug splashed across large cigar boxes.

do we know when such cigars were sold? perhaps cigars were mainly consumed by adults whereas cigs were the "gateway" drug into smoking more likely to be picked up by kids?

Huysmans
03-06-2018, 03:36 PM
do we know when such cigars were sold? perhaps cigars were mainly consumed by adults whereas cigs were the "gateway" drug into smoking more likely to be picked up by kids?

If it was a scenario where he had a "mild" aversion to children puffing... it would seem plausible that he would have no problem endorsing cigars - seen as an adult vice. But, if he was so against children indulging that he went out of his way to have his image removed from those printing T206 cards... it seems very unlikely that he would endorse a similar smoking product with packaging and advertising that prominently featured both his endorsement and image. That would paint the ole' Dutchman as quite the hypocrite... especially considering the cigars probably brought real revenue as an endorsed item, opposed to the small pittance paid for use of his image on cards.

On a side note... does it not seem odd that out of the hundreds of players that appear in The Monster, ONLY Wagner and Plank - two of the biggest contemporary stars coincidentally - served as the lone individuals to have their images pulled??

trdcrdkid
03-06-2018, 03:38 PM
Great article, Leon! I hadn't seen it before. Wagner wrote about his meeting with Honus Wagner in the October 1, 1941 Card Collector's Bulletin, with additional comments from Jefferson Burdick. He specified that the meeting took place on August 12, 1941, and his account is a little different from his recollection 45 years later. Below is that article, which I previously included in my post on the first T206 checklist, here:

http://net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=239973

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg98/dkathman1/IMG_8306.jpg

sgbernard
03-06-2018, 07:12 PM
Amazing, wow!

Wagner also collected autographs on his pre-war cards. One of my most cherished hobby possessions is my Wagner/Snodgrass correspondence and associated autographs, which I've shown a few times on Net54:

<img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8781/29461321632_4573e2aba2_z.jpg" width="640" height="368" alt="SnoEnv"></a>

<img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8164/29461321842_dabf76437a_o.jpg" width="526" height="763" alt="Sno Letter"></a>

<img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8306/29280951260_7ccda47232_o.jpg" width="892" height="661" alt="Snodgrass 2"></a><

Baseballcrazy62
03-06-2018, 07:45 PM
Great reading guys. Thanks for posting the articles.

Jason
03-07-2018, 11:23 PM
Interesting read. What a fun time that must have been trying to put together the checklists and finding new cards in sets all the time. Great stuff.

NYHighlanderFan
03-28-2018, 01:26 PM
In one of the early annual inch-thick Sport Americana Baseball Card Price Guides, by Beckett & Denny Eckes, you'll find an awesome interview/article with John Wagner. It is inside either edition #3 (red cover) or #4 (yellow cover), sometime around 1982 or 83. When I dig my copy out, I can post the article.

brianp-beme
03-28-2018, 01:48 PM
It is in #4. I kept this price guide just because of this article and the article by Lew Lipset detailing the 1933 Goudey Sheets.

Brian