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  #1  
Old 08-14-2002, 12:24 AM
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Default M101 Sporting News Issues - New Twist

Posted By: Andy Baran

Leon, Kevin Struss, and I were discussing the issue dates of the M101-5 set at the National, and through the conversation, I now question whether it could have been issued in 1915. There is an Ed Rousch and a Mordecai Brown card in the M101-5 set. Both of those players were in the Federal League in 1915, and there are no Federal League cards in the set. In fact, I believe that Rousch is listed in the set with the Giants, a team that he did not play for until 1916. Based on this information, here is my new theory:

M101-5 Set - Issued in 1916
M101-4 Set - Issued in 1917

Any thoughts?

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  #2  
Old 08-14-2002, 04:40 PM
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Posted By: Julie Vognar

...

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  #3  
Old 08-14-2002, 05:49 PM
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Posted By: Jay Miller

That theory would make the Collins McCarthy Ruth his "rookie" card.

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  #4  
Old 08-14-2002, 10:36 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

It is possible that the Collins McCarthy set wasn't produced until 1917 according to Beckett. They claim to have researched the players, and there is evidence that the set was most likely issued in 1917, not 1916.

Also, my M101 theory is just that, a theory. I'd love to know if anyone has any additional, or contradictory, thoughts. Thanks.

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  #5  
Old 08-14-2002, 10:46 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

You can usually differentiate the set because several players are only in one set, and most players (not all) that are in both sets have different card numbers, depending on the set. Ruth is one of the exceptions that has the same number in both series.

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  #6  
Old 08-15-2002, 11:54 AM
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Posted By: Tom Lawrie

Jay,

I still consider his Baltimore News card on the Orioles to be his rookie, despite the fact that it was a regional issue and depicts a minor league team [after all, the Baltimore News also issued the major league Baltimore Terrapins (Federal League) at the same time.] If that doesn't count, the same would have to go for minor league players in the Old Judge set, not to mention Buck Weaver Obaks, Pacific Biscuits, E100s, as well as the Joe Jackson Old Mill.

Tom

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  #7  
Old 09-18-2002, 08:59 AM
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Posted By: Richard

Hello, does anyone have more information on the year of issue for the Collins-McCarthy set?

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  #8  
Old 09-18-2002, 09:39 AM
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Posted By: Jay Miller

1916

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  #9  
Old 09-18-2002, 10:07 AM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

Ping Bodie, card # 16 in the Collins McCarthy set, lists him with Philadelphia. The ONLY year that he played with Philadelphia was 1917. There are also similar instances with other players. How could the Collins McCarthy set have been produced in 1916? The set had to be produced in 1917.

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  #10  
Old 09-18-2002, 10:09 AM
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Posted By: leon

Hey Tom,
The "rookie" debate is a never ending one. I consider a rookie card to be a major league card and a "first" card to be a minor or major league card. A minor league card, by definition, is not a rookie card....It is like defining the color gray though.....it is up to each person to decide what they are comfortable with....regards all...

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  #11  
Old 09-18-2002, 12:58 PM
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Posted By: Todd (nolemmings)

Andy, could you give more examples of players whose team designations make it appear that the sets were issued as you theorize?

As for Ping Bodie, it is interesting to note that he is part of the 1915 and 1916 Zeenuts sets as a PCL player. Since Collins-McCarthy issued those sets, one wonders whether they would have issued 2 sets in 1916 showing Bodie as both a minor and major leaguer. Does anyone know when Philadelphia acquired Bodie's rights? Maybe the CM set was issued AFTER the 1916 season. We tend to have a mind set that cards are issued in the spring, yet it seems that at least the magazine supplements/premiums were often issued in the winter, during the "hot stove league", perhaps to keep everyone's interest going. Could the cards have been issued during the winter of 1916-17, with some player trades/movements known?

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  #12  
Old 09-18-2002, 01:54 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

Todd,

I have listed all of the examples that I have at my fingertips reagarding the M101-4/5 and E135 sets. I believe that the theory that the cards were issued after the season would be very tough to prove. Where would you research when a player's rights were acquired by a certain team? And who would have time? Also, how would the card companies get photos of the players in their new uniforms after the season was over? Based on the Mordecai Brown and Ed Roush cards in the M101 series, I still believe that the M101-5 set was 1916, and the M101-4 set was 1917. And I think that the Ping Bodie card points to 1917 for the E135 set. Unfortunately, I don't think that we will ever have a definitive answer unless someone finds Sporting News / Collins McCarthy documents or advertising.

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  #13  
Old 09-18-2002, 02:39 PM
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Posted By: Todd (nolemmings)

The Baseball Encyclopedia lists trades. Roush was traded from Newark of the Fed Lg to the Giants for cash on 12/23/1915. He was traded 7 months later to Cincinnati(with Matty) on July 20, 1916. Thus, if he is designated as being with New York (I have not seen the card to comment on his uniform), the card seemingly would have been produced and issued in that 7 month period.

Interestingly, Mordecai was re-acquired by the Cubs on February 10, 1916, along with a slew of other Chicago Whales (or would that be a pod?), again for cash. Assuming the m101-5 set was produced all at once, that would appear to narrow the production date to sometime between February and July, 1916. If we had more examples, we might confirm this or even narrow it further. Have you seen the team designations and uniforms, for example, on the m101-5s for Buck Herzog and Red Killefer (the other players involved in the Roush trade of July, 1916)?

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  #14  
Old 09-18-2002, 02:51 PM
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Posted By: Mark Macrae

I've collected & studied Bay Area baseball card issues for more than 30 years & have an article that is 95% complete (likely to be run in VCBC in the future) on the E-135 Collins McCarthy issue. While no physical advertising has been found specifically promoting this set (unlike the Zeenut / Home Run Kisses advertisements which are known) I feel that the following examples point towards this being a 1917 issue.The following players were not playing for the teams they were depicted on until 1917...#16 Ping Bodie played 206 games in 1916 (every game) for the San Francisco. He did not start playing for the A's until 1917.Captioned as an A's player.#55 Chick Gandil played 146 games for Cleveland in 1916. He played briefly with the White Sox in 1910, but not again until the 1917 season. He is captioned with the White Sox.#96 Jimmy Lavender played with the Cubs from 1912 thru 1916. He began playing for the Phillies in 1917 & his card is captioned Phillies.#194 Joe Wood played for the Red Sox from 1908-1915. In 1917 he pitched in five games for the Indians. He is captioned with the Indians.There are a number of other inconsistancies found within the series (which will be released when the article has been completed). Since baseball cards in those days were marketed from April until October, the safe money goes with this being a 1917 issue

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  #15  
Old 09-18-2002, 04:58 PM
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Posted By: Todd (nolemmings)

This has me curious. Back to Roush. If he were traded from NY to Cinci in July, 1916, shouldn't his M101-4 card show him playing for Cinci if issued in 1917? Does it?
Also, Mark Macrae states that Gandil and Lavender are designated on the teams for which they played in 1917 in the Collins-McCarthy issue. In the M101-4 set, they are captioned with their 1916 teams, Cleveland and the Cubs respctively, even though they were traded in Jan/Feb 1917, when it seems there was enough time to make the changes if in fact M101-4 was issued in 1917. So, could it be that M101-4 was some sort of "update set" in 1916?

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  #16  
Old 09-18-2002, 05:35 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

I don't think that we will ever know. Just because they knew about the team changes and had time doesn't mean that they were willing to go through the work/expense of updating all of the cards. Also, if it was the same year, why were some of the players dropped, and others added? My opinion is that the most likely scenario is that the sets were issued in consecutive years, beginning in 1916, one year before the Collins McCarthy set.

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  #17  
Old 09-18-2002, 11:00 PM
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Posted By: Paul

I have the M-101-4/5 Rousch. It lists him with NY, and shows him in a plain white uniform with a plain white cap. I don't know much about uniforms from that era, but I suspect this could be the uniform of almost any team. Rousch is Number 146 in both the "4" and "5" sets, so I don't think we can really draw any conclusions from his trade to the Reds. The Sporting News probably just reissued the same card with the same number the following year.

On another topic mentioned in this thread, I don't think the T-210 Jackson could ever be considered his rookie. The E-90-1 is older. Jackson played with the A's before going to the minors and making his appearance in the T-210 set.

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  #18  
Old 09-19-2002, 07:19 PM
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Posted By: Julie Vognar

....

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  #19  
Old 09-19-2002, 07:44 PM
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Posted By: Tom Lawrie

Leon,

What do you do about players who appear on cards in mixed major-minor sets? Say T206 cards - it's a rookie if it is a major league card, and not if a minor? What about Old Judges? Rookie if it's a team now considered a major league, but first card if it's a team now considered minor league? Too inconsistent. As for Ruth, he appears in a Baltimore News set that had both Federal League Terrapins and Eastern League Orioles. Again, a mixed major-minor release. I don't care if it's a regional - so are 75% of the cards that we discuss on this board.

Plus, major-minor distinctions were not as clear in those days. I agree that DiMaggio's rookie is his 1936 WWG and not his earlier Zee Nut, but the relationship between major-minor was much more clear. In general for cards pre-1920, I think that first card is the rookie card. I consider my E100 and T212 Weavers to be rookies, and not my T207. How can it be when he already had 5 or 6 "professional" cards issued prior to that time?

I think a distinction needs to be made depending on the era in which the cards were issued. There are different dates that would make sense for a cutoff, but I think around 1918 makes sense (takes into account some of the factors that let Jack Dunn build a minor league dynasty in Baltimore, and which led him to keep Lefty Grove on the Orioles for years after the majors wanted him.)

Take care,
Tom

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  #20  
Old 09-19-2002, 08:46 PM
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Posted By: jay behrens

I find the whole 'rookie card' debate rediculous. People generally argue a point view pretty much based on a personal predjudice that means more 'value' for the cards they own.

The easiest way to break this down is, was the player listed as playing for a major league team or a minor league team.

We are all baseball fans. Consider the Rookie of the Year award. Nothing a player does in his minor league career has a bearing on his status as a rookie for the award or whether he will win the award. So why would a card showing a player as a minor leaguer be considered a rookie when he had not even attained that status as a player yet?

In mixed issue sets such as t206, if the player appears on a minor league card, then he is a minor leaguer and cannot possibly be a 'rookie'.

And yes, many knowledgable fans will argue that the pre-WW2 PCL was as good as the majors, but until MLB recognizes it as such, instead of a minor league, it cannot be considered as such.

Jay

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  #21  
Old 09-19-2002, 09:11 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

To me, it is simple. If a player is depicted on a minor league team (regardless of the set), then that card can not be a rookie card. Just my opinion.

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  #22  
Old 09-20-2002, 07:15 PM
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Posted By: Tom Lawrie

OK, let's take two old-time HOFers, Jake Beckley and Kid Nichols:

Beckley: He's pictured in several different poses in the N172 Old Judge series, all of which appear with the St. Louis Whites (Western Association minor league) caption and most also appear with the Pittsburgh major league team caption. He appears in his St. Louis Whites uniform in all of them. You're saying that the exact pose in a minor league uniform that says Pittsburgh on the bottom is a "rookie" card, while the ones that say St. Louis Whites are not? [The St. Louis Whites caption cards appeared in 1888, while the Pittsburgh caption cards appeared later in 1888, and also in 1889.] That just doesn't make sense to me, considering it's the exact same company and same photograph.

Nichols: He appears with Omaha of the Western Association in the 1889 Old Judge series. So his first professional cards in the N172 set are only "first" cards (he joined Boston the following year), while his Mayo card of 1895, 5 years after he made it to the majors, is his "rookie?"

I really think that for 19th century and early 20th century issues, we should think of "rookie" in terms of rookie professional season and not rookie major league season as defined by major league baseball 3/4 of a century later.

Just my opinion,
Tom

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  #23  
Old 09-20-2002, 07:57 PM
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Posted By: jeff s

given the reuse of photographs and images in vintage cards (especially with caramel & tobacco issues, but this applies to 19th century as well), the line for rookie/minor-league can be drawn by the distinction made on the card.

you're right that some ambiguity is introduced here, but what if the Beckley cards were from two different sets? If for instance, all OJ cards had year indicators on them, and we considered '87 OJs to be of a different set than '88 OJs, as we do with Topps cards from year to year. Then the fact that the same image was used for both would not be relevant.

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  #24  
Old 09-20-2002, 11:30 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

In my opinion, if the card is a minor league card, it is not a rookie card, period. That sounds consistant to me. You are welcome to your opinion as well, as there will never be a uniform definition that works for everyone.

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  #25  
Old 09-21-2002, 01:38 PM
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Posted By: Tom Lawrie

Jeff,

We aren't talking about different makers reusing the same image, or even of different years of production. Beckley has both St. Louis Whites and Pittsburgh 1888 cards, all with the exact same Old Judge image. Only the typeset was changed. The company itself was just updating the professional team on which Beckley appeared.

Tom

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  #26  
Old 09-21-2002, 01:56 PM
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Posted By: Jay Miller

1-First, I believe Tom is wrong on his Beckley card years. Whites cards are 1888 while Pittsburgh cards are 1889, so there is a clear year distinction.

2-Why is it important to establish whether a card is a major league rookie card? I would think that a more interesting card is the players first card. My sense is that when people started talking about "rookie" cards years ago they were referring to first card. Rookie does not have to mean Major League rookie. You can be an American Association rookie, a Western League rookie, etc.

3- I agree with my brouther-in-name Jay. People try to structure definations to suit the cards they have or believe they can get. I don't collect first or rookie cards so I can give my unbiased view. I think the Nichols rookie is his Old Judge card. I think the Wagner rookie is the Henry Reckius(sp?) card and the Cy Young rookie is his Just So card. If that implies that someone will never finish a rookie set then so be it.

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  #27  
Old 09-21-2002, 02:03 PM
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Posted By: Tom Lawrie

Andy,

All of the catalogues seem to be grasping for their own definitions of rookie as well, but I think that the premium price that often attaches to a true "rookie" card makes this more than simply an esoteric argument.

MLB defines rookie in terms of length of time on a major league roster or in number of at bats. Past a certain point (in the previous year), then a player is no longer a rookie. Applying the same reasoning to cards, there must be a point past which a major league player's cards can no longer be considered "rookie" cards, no matter how many cards were previously issued.

Look at the Nichols Mayo which I mentioned above. His "rookie" major league season was 1890, and yet the Mayo didn't come out until 1895. No way he is a rookie. And it's not his first card, either, as he had several 1889 Old Judges (one year prior to his major league debut). I just don't buy that the Mayo is a "rookie" card. Maybe we're getting hung up on terms. Perhaps the distinction should be "first card" [or "first professional card"] (minor or major) vs. "first major league card."

Tom

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  #28  
Old 09-21-2002, 02:17 PM
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Posted By: runscott

I've been reading this thread with interest, and was happy to see Jay's response - I also could care less what anyone else considers a rookie card to be. For instance, I was thrilled to death to find the oldest known "card" with a photo of Willie Keeler (since sold to Jay). He's playing with a minor league team, and it's a team photo. Is it his rookie card? Who gives a hoot - I certainly don't. But it IS the oldest known card with a picture of him on it, and that's why I still wince when I look at my reproduction of it that has to suffice from now to eternity. But let's be reasonable - if Jay has a loose definition of rookie, and is working on a pre-1900 HOF'er rookie set, would he rather have the Bingos cabinet with Keeler, or a "real" Keeler rookie card that meets all the requirements set up by the card gods? Personally, I would stick with the cabinet and not even begin a search for a "real" one.

Or what if you have an Allegheny "rookie" of a HOF'er? Good, stick with it - why look for the "real" one? But if you don't have the unique Allegheny rookie, blow it off and fine the mass-produced one and be happy. ...and it goes on and on - the Mordecai Brown minor league team cabinet, etc.

Life was so much easier in the '70s when all you had to deal with was Topps (thank goodness no bread or weiner company decided to create a Nolan Ryan card in '68!)

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  #29  
Old 09-21-2002, 02:23 PM
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Posted By: Tom L.

Jay,

I don't actually own any of the Beckley Old Judge cards, but per the World Tobacco Card Index (or whatever it is called), Beckley has Fa and Fb 1888 variant St. Louis Whites, as well as Fb Pittsburgh cards (e.g. Catch, hands held out neck high; 25-3c).

Tom

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  #30  
Old 09-21-2002, 02:30 PM
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Posted By: leon

Hey Jay,
I will have to respectfully disagree on this one. When was the last time you heard someone call a minor league player a rookie? Oh yeah ....John Smith made it to the AA team of Charlotte....it's his rookie season? NO, I don't think so.....rookie refers to a major league experience....heck, if you want to open it up to your own interpretation of "rookie" then I guess Pee Wee's in little league could be it ....unless they had Tee Ball ....then he would have been a rookie at 5 years old....kind of like our conversation of Four Base Hits HOF's for sale when you defined "several" to me as 2 (of which one with clipped corners you said was better than my solid vg).......well, I guess if YOU want it to be.....regards all....

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  #31  
Old 09-21-2002, 02:38 PM
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Posted By: Andy Baran

Tom,

I think that we are getting caught up in the fact that every player must have a "Rookie" card. I believe that many players, Nichols included, don't have a true "Rookie" card because there were no cards produced early enough in their ML career to qualify. I do not deny that his Old Judge is his first card, just not a true "Rookie" card.

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  #32  
Old 09-21-2002, 06:13 PM
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Posted By: Jay Miller

1-Tom: You are right. I see that one of the Beckley-Pittsburgh poses was issued in 1888 and 1889. Since he came to Pittsburgh part way through the 1888 season that makes sense. My humble apologies.

2-Leon: I think you are dead wrong. I would suggest that you crack open a dictionary once in a while and you might see that rookie means novice and has nothing to do with major leagues. You don't think that in the 1880s that a first year player in the American Association was any less of a rookie than a first year player in the National League? They were both novices, or rookies, at that level. Also, as to Four Base Hits, if what you refer to is the number of EX+ or better HOFers there is Ward (NrMT), Welch (EX+), and Clarkson (MT with tiny, and I mean tiny, corner clips). The other Kelly is in very nice shape but has a pencil mark at the bottom. Given today's grading system that might grade higher with a qualifier.

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  #33  
Old 09-21-2002, 06:35 PM
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Posted By: Jay Miller

Leon--Don't get me wrong. I love the Kelly Four Base Hits. It is a great card. Just don't put it on too high a pedestal. Just to compare remember that there are twice as many Four Base Hits Kellys as there are Kalamazoo Bats Ewings; the only Ewing is NrMT+; and Ewing was a better player.

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  #34  
Old 09-21-2002, 06:53 PM
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Posted By: jeff s

just because Beckley cards were issued with two different team names in 1888 doesn't mean that the minor league card has to be a rookie -- obviously, the Pitt. card was issued later, kind of (speaking anachronistically) like traded sets these days. The demarcation was probably not as clear, but vagueness does not make a minor-league card a major-league rookie.

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  #35  
Old 09-21-2002, 08:35 PM
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Posted By: Tom Lawrie

Jeff,

Hi. Neither Jay Miller nor I collect "rookie" cards the way Andy Baran does, so our own definitions are probably not as clearly delineated as Andy's. I know that Andy defines "rookies" not only in terms of year, but also whether there were cards issued of other players, etc. (which would exclude the Reccius Wagner in his book - and I agree). But I think the point that both Jay and I were making is that for vintage cards (especially 19th century), normally the first professional card (minor or major league) of a player is the most significant from a hobby and from a pricing perspective, as opposed to an artificial "rookie card" definition which really doesn't apply to a lot of players. Nichols is an obvious example of this, as discussed above.

Who cares? I do as a collector just because a lot of times dealers or sellers will try to jack up the price or interest in a card by claiming that something is a "rookie" and thus should command a premium price.

But back to Beckley. Is the 1888 Pittsburgh card a rookie because it says Pittsburgh? Or does he have to be pictured on Pittsburgh for it to actually count (remember that the uniform is still the Whites.)? And if so, what is his "rookie?" A 1902 Sporting Life Cabinet? A 1903 E103? I just think that the term "rookie" and the premium that the term brings should be restricted to post-1920 cards, maybe even post-1930 when sets were issued much more regularly. Before that, "first card" or "first professional card" is probably a better term.

And if none of that sways you, and you still think of rookie in terms of major league rookie, then you probably have to define a point past which a player can no longer be considered a rookie. Maybe use the major league definition, whereby a player can't have accumulated more than 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days on any major league roster in any previous season before September 1st. So if a player's first "major league" card comes out after that, then it wouldn't be a rookie, but only a "first major league card."

Just my opinion,
Tom

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  #36  
Old 09-21-2002, 08:49 PM
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Default M101 Sporting News Issues - New Twist

Posted By: Julie Vognar

was so prized because the pose is gorgeous, the man is gorgeous, the backdrop is gorgeous, and the lettering is gorgeous. And he was much loved by his contemporaries--as indeed was Ewing.

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Old 09-21-2002, 09:42 PM
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Default M101 Sporting News Issues - New Twist

Posted By: Jay Miller

Julie-Certainly the Kelly pose is classic, much like the Whitney with dog Old Judge pose. I'll take your word on Kelly's looks and I certainly agree that he was popular with both his peers and the fans. However, the question remains as to how great a player he really was. Was he better than Ewing? Knowledgeable people who saw both play rank Ewing above Kelly. Where does Kelly rank amongst 19th century stars? That might be a good discussion question.

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Old 09-21-2002, 11:36 PM
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Default M101 Sporting News Issues - New Twist

Posted By: B Hodes

Jay-
When they had HOF elections in the 1930's these two went head to head and Ewing won. In fact, Kelly didn't get voted in until after a few other 19th century greats including: Anson and Radborne.

Nonetheless, there is no definative answer who was "better" between Ewing and King Kelly anymore than there can be a definitive finding that Barry Bonds is better than Willis Mays (although Barry's case seems to get stronger everyday).
With respect to the realtive merits of various 19th century players there are very serious discussions ongoing at this site:

http://www.baseballprimer.com/hom

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Old 09-22-2002, 12:49 AM
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Default M101 Sporting News Issues - New Twist

Posted By: Paul

I've been watching this rookie card debate for awhile, and I now fall squarely into the "who cares" category. If you like collecting the very first card of a player, major or minor leagues, then do so, regardless of whether other people think these are true "rookie cards." If you like to collect the first major league card of a player, and don't care about minor league cards, that's great too. And if you want to collect cards that are exactly from a player's first major league season (this would exclude the 1960 Yaz, for example), then you can do that too. Best of all, these are all well defined categories that are almost always beyond debate. (I'm sure someone out there will find an exception).

Yes, there are dealers out there who will raise the price of a card if they can find any excuse to call it a "rookie card." So, the designation "rookie card" can carry some value. But it probably doesn't matter much with vintage cards. I doubt many readers of this board would be persuaded to choose a Zeenut DiMaggio over a WorldWide DiMaggio (or vice versa) just because a dealer arbitrarily chose to label one a rookie card, but not the other. The primary forces driving the price of vintage cards are supply and demand, not arbitrary labels. If most collectors think a player's first minor league card is more desireable than his first major league card, the prices generally will reflect that. And if other collectors don't have the same preference as you, you should be happy. They'll be driving up the price of cards you don't care about.

Just my opinion.

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Old 09-22-2002, 09:47 AM
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Default M101 Sporting News Issues - New Twist

Posted By: leon

I just wrote about a 30 minute response and erased it. This would be like arguing with MW (nothing personal MW, I actually thought you were very nice at the National). I will just say this.. "Jay, I could pick apart your stories/theories" very easily ......best regards

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