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  #1  
Old 11-17-2023, 06:05 PM
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Default The thread with the Bob Lemke card creations - share and reminisce

I had known about hobby giant Bob Lemke for many years before his passing, but only had a couple of interactions with him, both involving this board. The first one was very indirect, but doesn't shine too positive of light upon me. Someone inquired on here about the Greiner's listing (cards that fall within the E210/W502/Tharp's etc. family) in the Sports Collector's Digest Catalog that suddenly appeared in their big book. No one on the board seemed to recall having seen any examples from this set, and I believe I was the first one to conjecture that perhaps the listing for this set (no photos, by the way) had been made up to identify if other entities were just copying their information.

I say very indirectly, as no response from Bob came in the same thread, but I remember reading a somewhat upset rebuke concerning this topic from him on a different thread at a much later date...I have always felt bad about this, because I, in a sense, had questioned the integrity of someone that had already proven for decades to be a real asset to the hobby.

The 2nd interaction a few years later involved a larger group of Obak cards that he listed for sale as a group lot in the BST section at a very, very, very (did I mention very yet?) good price, which luck would have it I was the fortunate one that responded first. When I received them, not only did I get the cards identified in the listing, but Bob sent, if I remember correctly, about 12 to 15 additional Obaks as well. I was very pleased with my bounty, but I felt that Bob had just sold these all to me for a song, so I listed a bunch of the duplicates as auctions on the BST, letting Bob know I would be sending all the proceeds of these auctions to him, hopefully slightly making up for me being such a dillweed previously.

Which leads me to the focus of this lengthy post. I had no idea, until some time after he had passed away, that Bob was involved in producing incredibly realistic fantasy cards utilizing Topps designs (and I believe others). A recent BST auction in the $1.00 start category offered by Ben caught my eye...a 1967 Topps, or 'Bobbs' as identified on the card, of Sandy Koufax. The card just blew me away how authentic it seemed, and the great photo of Sandy that he chose fits right in with the rest of the set. I won this at a practically giveaway price, and in fact Ben may have actually just practically given it to me for free. Thanks Ben!

Bob's website is still out there, but I strongly suggest that you DO NOT VISIT IT, because it is one of the few I have encountered that my Norton security flagged as being UNSAFE. Perhaps it is because I just don't poke around the internet that much. If I did, then maybe I would come across more of these sites, and wouldn't that be glorious.

It is a safe place around here, so please share any of these Bob Lemke creations you might have, and feel free to reminisce/muse on Bob as well.


Brian
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2023, 09:06 PM
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I 'met' Bob through his blog many years ago. I soon began picking up some of his fantasy cards to supplement my player collections. Sandy Koufax and Jackie Jensen cards come to mind. I need to pull them and scan them as most are no longer available on my (now retired) blog. He almost always sent along a bonus or two when I ordered.

When I was building the 1958 Topps set I knew the hole in the checklist at #145 left by the unissued Ed Bouchee card was going to gnaw at my 'completist' soul. But Bob's 'imagined' '58 Bouchee was the perfect placeholder. Bob actually had a couple of different versions of his Boushee available. I purchased the black background card (the '58 set is overloaded with yellow cards) but Bob sent both.

Bob Lemke was talented, knowledgeable, and generous. His passing was a great loss to our hobby.

EFizshd.jpg

58 bouchee f yellow.jpg
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2023, 09:09 AM
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Mr Lemke was an amazing gentleman and I can't say enough great things about the few interactions I was lucky enough to have with him.

I met Bob through this site. It was around a year before he passed. I PMed him about a card myself a couple members and a few other friends had been discussing for some time. I 100% believe it is counterfeit and most others believe it to be a proof/prototype or some other special type of card. I offered to send him one to look at if he would. Bob replied that his vision had gotten so bad that he really couldn't give me an answer. I highly respected his honest answer.

During this time I found out about his website and his cool custom creations. I bought a few from him but I really wanted to learn how to make them myself. Back then there wasn't a ton of good custom card makers like now. I asked most for any help they would give me and they all told me to pound sand. That is except Bob. He went out of his way to help me in anyway he could. He even sent me the exact materials he was using and explained what/how he done stuff.

When I first started making custom stuff it was simple changes to some of Bobs awesome designs. I would post them on here and give Bob all the credit he deserved. He posted in a few of those threads. I am not sure if me appreciated me giving him credit or not. I do know he was the only person who would help me learn how to make custom cards. It was only a few interactions towards the end of his life but it was greatly appreciated by me.

When looking in my card room these stuck out. They are some of the first things I made using Bobs stuff as a template. The top 6oz size is actual size of a real 6oz Jell-O box. Made a ton of cool stuff since then but these are the beginning of what Bob taught me.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2023, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
When looking in my card room these stuck out. They are some of the first things I made using Bobs stuff as a template. The top 6oz size is actual size of a real 6oz Jell-O box. Made a ton of cool stuff since then but these are the beginning of what Bob taught me.
Great boxes! Is there any danger of someone selling them as "real?" (Talking about the ones that aren't fantasy boxes.)

Last edited by ocjack; 11-18-2023 at 10:41 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2023, 11:12 AM
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Great boxes! Is there any danger of someone selling them as "real?" (Talking about the ones that aren't fantasy boxes.)
I made way nicer ones than those that included the actual Jello packet inside the box. Yes someone could make some near perfect replicas but it would take a lot of equipment and knowledge in printing. You cannot make something that would pass as real to someone knowledgeable on them with a home printer.
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Old 11-18-2023, 12:07 PM
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After some digging I found the very first items I ever bought from Bob. The top 2 Jell-O boxes are from Bob. He just sold the printouts on a full sheet of paper and I cut them out to the box size. Being a huge fan of the 89 Fleer Bill Ripken card the bottom one is one of my favorites that I designed.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2023, 12:40 PM
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Great boxes! Is there any danger of someone selling them as "real?" (Talking about the ones that aren't fantasy boxes.)
Unfortunately, we can never underestimate the gullibility, stupidity, greed, and probably some other apropos adjectives among some of our fellow collectors. As the succinct saying goes, "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID."

I was never disuaded from purchasing and enjoying a few of Bob Lemke's fantasy masterpieces. The above 1963 JELL-O Black Raspberry with a variant photo of Mickey Mantle was a stroke of genius. The picture of Mickey was employed on JELL-O's large advertising poster adorning supermarket aisles to capture a kid's attention. I like the photo the General Foods' baseball card design team chose for Mickey in 1963. However, the gorgeous advertising poster photo was much more attractive, and so it was a great surprise to me when I saw Mr. Lemke thinking the same way. Thus, I bought Bob's 1963 JELL-O Mantle box creation, and chose to keep it flat as an unfolded box. I really cherish it.

Three of my other Bob Lemke creations were from his 1955 Topps All-American Football set update series. Bob loved that set, and he slowly built his update series into well over 100 additions. There's a few I wish I had taken the time to buy, natch. Be that as it may, I really love and admire the Jackie Robinson, Bronko Nagurski, and Kenny Washington cards I got. Beautiful, just beautiful. Of course, I have been a fan and an admirer of a good quality fantasy / custom card creation. They're just as a Graig Kreindler limited edition print of one of his paintings, merely shrunken down to the size of an actual trading card, and perhaps more limited than the number of prints he makes.

I never bought Bob's stuff thinking they would appreciate, but I simply loved them. Of course, over the course of my collecting life, whenever I bought something because I loved how it looked, THOSE have been the items that did appreciate. They are harder to part with.....

Thanks for initiating this thread. Bob Lemke's work should not be forgotten. ---Brian Powell

Last edited by brian1961; 11-18-2023 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 11-18-2023, 01:53 PM
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I first wrote to Bob when I was like 10 because I had some cards that weren't in the Standard Catalog for some 70's Sporting News and other sets that had incomplete checklists. He was a really great guy and did a lot for the knowledge end of the hobby.

Never bought any of his awesome fantasy cards, but I spent plenty of time checking them out on his site. Had to limit my collecting in some way, but I kind of regret it nowadays.
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Old 11-18-2023, 04:20 PM
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1965
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Old 11-18-2023, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
After some digging I found the very first items I ever bought from Bob. The top 2 Jell-O boxes are from Bob. He just sold the printouts on a full sheet of paper and I cut them out to the box size. Being a huge fan of the 89 Fleer Bill Ripken card the bottom one is one of my favorites that I designed.
That Ripken flavor is amazing! It's what I like to yell out the driver's window at the top of my lungs when someone cuts me off in traffic.
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2023, 09:57 PM
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Bob sent me a copy of the the Munson custom after I supplied him the image because he had misplaced his.



I too was inspired by the Jello boxes he created.......



]
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Old 11-19-2023, 05:14 AM
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Default Bob Lemk

I used to enjoy looking at his web page with all the " cards that never were",
the were well done
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Old 11-19-2023, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
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I used to enjoy looking at his web page with all the " cards that never were",
the were well done

I did as well, always looked forward to the next card
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  #14  
Old 11-19-2023, 12:11 PM
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I really like the Bob Lemke cards and have picked up 15 or so over the years and will post what I have...whenever I bought one I would go to his blog for context about the card

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Old 11-19-2023, 12:26 PM
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Great cards everyone...keep posting them, because for me, they are all new! I really like that Jello box Killebrew.

Brian

Last edited by brianp-beme; 11-19-2023 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 11-19-2023, 12:32 PM
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I helped Bob with an image for his 1955 All-American issue of Kyle Rote (with SMU) and he sent me 3-4 copies of the card as a “thank you”.

I was struck by how well made the cards were done, i was expecting something that felt more like those “retro” cards that Krause Publications would insert in sheets in “Baseball Cards” and Baseball Card Price Guide” magazines I grew up with in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. These cards Bob made, in contrast, were great!!!

I still have them somewhere.
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Old 11-19-2023, 12:39 PM
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Here are a few more

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Old 11-19-2023, 12:46 PM
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A few more...more to come.

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Old 11-19-2023, 01:14 PM
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My favorite is the Mickey Mantle Redman and the funniest is the 1955 Topps AA of Bluto Blutarsky.
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Old 11-19-2023, 01:16 PM
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A few more "Bobbs".

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Old 11-19-2023, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhettyeakley View Post
I was struck by how well made the cards were done, i was expecting something that felt more like those “retro” cards that Krause Publications would insert in sheets in “Baseball Cards” and Baseball Card Price Guide” magazines I grew up with in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. These cards Bob made, in contrast, were great!!!
I agree, the 1967 Koufax I have looks and feels like it came out of a Topps wax pack from that year.

Brian
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Old 11-19-2023, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
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I agree, the 1967 Koufax I have looks and feels like it came out of a Topps wax pack from that year.

Brian
Unfortunately towards the end of Bob making the cards they quit making one of his best materials. He used to use a semi-gloss front that everyone quit making about the time he was helping me out. Someplace I probably still have the empty package he sent me that had a few sheets left in it when he sent it to me.

What he did was print the backs on birthday/christmas card stock and the fronts on semi-gloss label paper.

Last edited by bnorth; 11-19-2023 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 11-19-2023, 06:13 PM
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A couple more Bobbs.

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Old 11-19-2023, 06:22 PM
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Old 11-19-2023, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
After some digging I found the very first items I ever bought from Bob. The top 2 Jell-O boxes are from Bob. He just sold the printouts on a full sheet of paper and I cut them out to the box size. Being a huge fan of the 89 Fleer Bill Ripken card the bottom one is one of my favorites that I designed.
Ben, I shouldn't ask but will anyhow: How is the flavor of the Billy Ripkin card?
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:06 AM
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Two more
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2023, 03:33 PM
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Default Lemke cards

I managed to grab a few of his creations:
1952 Topps Paul Petit
1954 Topps Charley Pride
1954 Bowman Charley Pride

I think they’re great. He did a helluva job.
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  #28  
Old 04-18-2024, 09:36 PM
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Default Checklist Lemke cards

I was wondering if anyone compiled a complete list of cards that Mr. Lemke produced? I was fortunate to purchase from him his cards of Charles Peete.
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Old 04-19-2024, 04:55 AM
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I was wondering the same thing and the closest I ever came was this from T.S O'Connell:
Baseball only

Baseball – 1952 Topps (2) Hope & Crosby and Pettit; 1953 Topps Quincy Trouppe; 1954 Topps (4) Adcock (3), Jack Faszholz; 1955 Topps (11) Adcock (3), Ashburn, Thomson, Grimm (3), Crowe, Logan, Bob Thorpe; 1956 Topps (2) Satchel Paige and Hurricane Hazle; 1957 Topps Hazle (2); 1958 Topps (3) Bouchee, John DeMerit and Newcombe/Antonelli dual card; 1959 Topps (12) Rudy York (four Yellow Background, five Green Background), Bob Taylor, and Tribal Elders dual card with Slaughter/Boone/Vernon (2); 1963 Topps Tom Brown (2); 1965 Topps Tony Horton; 1966 Topps Haddix; 1967 Topps Tony Horton; 1968 Topps Steve Chilcott (2); 1969 Topps Spahn; 1970 Topps Spahn; 1972 Topps Doby; 1974 Topps Gary Carter; 1975 Topps Duke Snider; 1977 Topps (3) Reggie Jackson (Orioles, 2) and Dick Allen; 1978 Topps Colavito (2); 1985 Topps (2) Will Clark (Olympics) and Barry Larkin (Olympics); and 1986 Topps (6) Roberto Clemente Jr.;
Tobacco, Gum and Non-Topps Postwar Issues – 1909 T206 Style Cards With Tuxedo Backs, Walter Johnson (5), Mathewson, McGraw (4, one is blank backed); 1912 T202 Triple Folder with Honus Wagner and Carey (2); Lorillard’s Tiger Fine Cut Ty Cobb (3); 1934 Goudey Henry Oana (5); 1935 Diamond Stars Satchel Paige (2); 1936 Diamond Stars Ruth (2); 1940 Play Ball (5) Rudy York (4) and Rizzuto; 1941 Play Ball (6) Dizzy Dean, Novikoff and Rudy York (6); 1951 Bowman Satchel Paige (2); 1955 Bowman George Crowe (2); 1955 Red Man Tobacco Ernie Banks (2); 1953 Johnston Cookies (2) Jay and Hanebrink; 1961 Post Cereal (6) Frank Howard and Jim Kaat (5, two variations, four and one); and 1963 Post Cereal (13) Belinsky (3), Uecker (4), Umbricht (2), Duke Snider (2), Bouton and Gibbs.

Last edited by cubman1941; 04-19-2024 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 04-19-2024, 12:45 PM
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Did he end up posting all of them or just some on his blog ?

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrO...s7f2WTAhnyiLU-
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Old 04-20-2024, 04:58 AM
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In his blog at the time, he mentioned he was going to post some more but I did not go and look.
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Old 04-20-2024, 07:31 AM
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I have 2...the 1954 Topps-like Charley Pride and 1967 Sandy Koufax. Whoever printed them did a fantastic job. Other than "Bobbs" they look and feel like actual cards.
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Old 04-20-2024, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
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A bit off topic, but is someone else producing this card now? I have an Antonelli player collection and found one of these on eBay a few years back and bought it. It wasn't of the same type as y'all are describing original Lemke cards. It was on stock a bit heavier than printer paper, but nothing close to card stock.

In fact, there is still an eBay listing for it.
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Old 04-20-2024, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsonjok View Post
A bit off topic, but is someone else producing this card now? I have an Antonelli player collection and found one of these on eBay a few years back and bought it. It wasn't of the same type as y'all are describing original Lemke cards. It was on stock a bit heavier than printer paper, but nothing close to card stock.

In fact, there is still an eBay listing for it.
People have regularly ripped off his designs. It happened when he was still around and for a while he stopped producing/selling cards for that reason as I recall.

I just went to eBay and searched Koufax custom ACEO and several of his designs show up. I highly doubt the ones that popped up were Lemke-produced, just ripoffs of his work.
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Old 04-20-2024, 01:48 PM
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I highly doubt the ones that popped up were Lemke-produced, just ripoffs of his work.
Thanks for responding. The one I got was so poorly made that I threw it out.
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  #36  
Old 04-20-2024, 02:05 PM
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A few of mine...
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File Type: jpg lemke.jpg (183.1 KB, 136 views)
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Old 04-20-2024, 08:16 PM
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Default 55T Ashburn

I had won the Topps Flexichrome that Topps was going to use for the 55 set. For some reason Ashburn was not issued.

When I won it I contacted Bob and asked if he wanted to do one of his creations. He said yes and asked me to write the back of the card as well.

He "debuted" it here on Net 54. you can see it and read about it here:

https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=121226

and here on Bob's blog

https://boblemke.blogspot.com/search?q=Ashburn
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Last edited by whiteymet; 04-20-2024 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 04-20-2024, 08:38 PM
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Fred, that Ashburn card is a really good one. Love the photos chosen for the front.
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Old 04-24-2024, 03:05 PM
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Lemke is definitely missed in the hobby. A last bastion of a love of pre-war (and all wars ) and cataloging. Thanks for sharing the creations, guys. They definitely have the cool factor.
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Last edited by Leon; 04-24-2024 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 04-25-2024, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
Lemke is definitely missed in the hobby. A last bastion of a love of pre-war (and all wars ) and cataloging. Thanks for sharing the creations, guys. They definitely have the cool factor.
.
I agree!
Love Bob's creation of the Beatles for the 1960 Fleer Spins & Needles set




Last edited by Jay Wolt; 04-25-2024 at 12:47 PM.
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