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06-14-2007, 11:19 AM
Posted By: <b>Alan Elefson</b><p>Hi-<br /> I am sorry for the ambiguity of the title, but hopefully my question will make itself clear as I type. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share information regarding vintage sports memorabilia, specifically, "hidden gems" For example, I would love to obtain a list of books that contain early references to baseball that a flea marketer like myself might otherwise pass on. I realize information like this is treated like its classified material, but I am hoping some folks might be willing to share. <br /> Obviously I am looking for information that will give me an advantage when hitting flea markets, and I also know that this same information will be read by other avid flea marketers but to me it is worth a shot. Besides books (that bear no overtly obvious signs that it is baseball related) I would love information on early cabinet photos. For example, are there any famous cabinets or series of cabinets (or CDVs) that feature players in street clothes? In other words photos that I would likely skip right by if looking for baseball uniforms or equipment. I realize there are plenty of individual cabinets that fit this description and it would be impossible to keep an eye out for these, but I was hoping folks here might know of a series or a specific photographer. For example, I typically look closesly at any cabinet photo by Elmer Chickering, mainly because I have hard he took photos of teams and players. However, I also know he ran a major studio (in Boston I believe) so there are tens of thousands of photos that bear his stamp that have nothing to do with baseball.<br /> In short, I am looking for "inside" information that will give me a leg up at auctions (estate auctions, not sports ones) and flea markets. I completely understand the reluctance of providing such information (if everyone knew the information, certain collectors in the know might face more competition and higher prices for obscure items) but I figured it was worth asking. To try and boil it down to a simple request, Please post about baseball memorabilia you think the average person would not know is baseball related.<br />Alan

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06-14-2007, 12:27 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>You are correct that most secrets will be kept secret by insiders. But a few thoughts nonetheless:<br /><br />There are cabinets and CdV's of ballplayers in street clothes, but the only trick you have to know is what the players look like, and be able to identify them on the spot. For example, most cabinets of Harry Wright show him in a suit, but you have to know what Harry Wright looks like. Of course, every 1880's photograph features a man with a handlebar mustache, so you can't assume every one you see is Tim Keefe or John Clarkson. That is a common error made by everyone who haunts antique shops and flea markets. The first pile of cabinets they come across always seems to have a baseball Hall of Famer.<br /><br />There are no great secret books as there will be something sports or baseball related in the title. You won't find great baseball content in a cookbook.<br /><br />Your best hope might be that the seller knows he has something baseball related, but may undersell it. I've had that happen a number of times, but the so-called secret find isn't that easy.

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06-14-2007, 01:01 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>The more time you spend in the hobby the more you will learn....the more experience and knowledge you gain will be to your advantage at estate sales, antique shows, et cetera. It may be harder to find that bargain on ebay, but there are still lots of deals to be had in a venue where you hold the most knowledge. I can say that I gained most of my knowledge on my own. I have a huge library of auction catalogs, I spend a considerable amount of time searching on the internet and I ask a lot of questions of those that know more than me in certain areas. The real secret is to keep learning.

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06-14-2007, 03:28 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>The deceased Hugh Addonizio was a famous/infamous politician, Mayor of Newark NJ, US Congressman and imprisoned for mob activity. Most people, even political collectors, don't realize he was the quarterback for the legendary 1930s 'Seven Blocks of Granite' Fordham football team, that included lineman Vince Lombardi. I've bought Addonizio's autographs in political collections, and sold them as football autographs. In fact, I had no trouble selling them to footballers after explaining who he quarterbacked for. <br /><br />I think in general most baseball memorabilia is obviously baseball. Notable exceptions is the Life magazine with Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in Cleopatra on the cover that includes a Post baseball card sample with Mickey Mantle and the 1800s Harper's Weeklys with baseball woodcuts inside.<br /><br />My brother in law collects non-sport autographs and he told me to to look inside the book covers of books in used book stores, as you will occasionally find one signed by the author. He got a Jimmy Carter signed book for like $3 that way.

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06-14-2007, 04:55 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>There are lots of examples of seeming non-baseball items that would be of interest to baseball collectors. There is a magazine called Gentry magazine that has a Ty Cobb card inserted into it in the Fall 1956 Issue. I have lots of Examples of this type of thing, but that's my one tip for the day.

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06-14-2007, 06:30 PM
Posted By: <b>Anonymous</b><p>I fear that I am turning into a one trick pony on this board but there is a book Called Baseball Before We Knew It (David Block 2005) which has a bibliogrpahy of baseball refrences up until 1860. I have been able to purchase many of these "hidden Gems" at very low cost. And just incase anyone is wondering I am not in any manner asscoated with this book.

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06-14-2007, 06:48 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Jason<br /><br />There are a few gems that are not in Block's book. For example, there is a fiction book from 1863 with limited baseball content on the internet right now for $10. (Don't worry--I'll post the details after the suspense builds <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> <br />However, I had to respond for another reason, as your typo was priceless: "asscoated" for "associated"<br /><br />Max

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06-14-2007, 06:53 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason Mishelow</b><p>Now Max maybe I meant "asscoated"<br />This site needs a spellcheck before I make a even bigger fool of myself <br /><br />Now this 1863 Book- is it the Uncle Nat Book?

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06-14-2007, 07:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Not Uncle Nat, but good guess. It's selling for outrageous prices right now--or should I say it's listed for those prices. A few years ago, it was an undiscovered gem for $10 or $20.<br /><br />Max<br />

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06-14-2007, 07:22 PM
Posted By: <b>Jimmy</b><p>you should study all aspects of the hobby to get a leg up - reading books and hobby news and viewing auctions is great to do at home. When you are out at flea markets and other shows use what you have learned. This will come the most important first step, then you can reach out to other dealers and collectors with knowledge and respect for the hobby. - and yes by the way this board is great for questions.<br /><br />email me if you would like more info, I help many collectors and dealers find unique and interesting items<br /><br />Take Care Jimmy<br />

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06-14-2007, 07:36 PM
Posted By: <b>Clint</b><p>Barry there's some pretty good baseball content here.<img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> <a href="http://tinyurl.com/2jzzqv" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/2jzzqv</a><br /><br />Study your local baseball history, sometimes you can find photos of major leaguers before they were stars.

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06-14-2007, 07:56 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Well Clint, you got me on that one. I made up cookbook off the top of my head, and sure enough there's a cookbook with baseball content. You learn something new every day.<br /><br />David Block's book has the best bibliography for pre-1860 books ever compiled, but many of the early books depict bat and ball games similar to baseball, but not baseball.<br /><br />I had a copy or two of Uncle Nat and it does have some very nice baseball content. As I recall the boys are arguing over whether to use the NY or Massachusetts rules when they play.<br /><br />And yes, the Life magazine from 1962 with Burton and Taylor is great if nobody pulled out the post cereal card; and I've had that Gentry magazine with the oversized T205 Cobb, but that's a tough piece to locate. Not likely to show up at a flea market.