Actually this question is pretty darn tough for me since a large chunk of my vintage collection is full of character by design. This Duke Snider is one of the signature posts of this blog. As is my pride and joy, my 1956 Topps Hank Aaron card that is bent and torn and has a hole punched through Hank's eye that you can see over in the sidebar in my Saul Bass inspired logo. So how can I pick out one card out of a collection chock full of Tiptons? Answer: I won't! Since there's no quality in this post I may as well go quantity. Here's a lucky 13 cards that look like they got whacked with an Ugly Stick.
Here's a T206 card of Hall of Famer Ed Walsh. Do you have a T206 Hall of Famer in your collection? It's pure luck I have this one as I bought it when I was 13 out of a pile of old junky T206 cards for a buck a pop. I had no idea who any of these people were and basically picked all the cards I though looked cool. Basically all these cards were a) stapled to an album b) left out in the sun to fade and then c) thrown into a swamp that was flooding. I didn't care, I just wanted old cards. I'd buy those for a dollar!
Don't remember the ACC designation for this one but it's an old strip card of Hall of Famer Red Faber. This was an eBay pickup if I recall correctly. The kid that first owned this card obviously did not own scissors. Rrrrrrrip! That's the most efficient way to separate strip cards!
Walter somebody here (I forgot to write down the name and left the card in my scanner) played in the Cuban league and earned himself a spot in this Cuban league set. The card is paper thin and 70 year old paper very often ends up with rips.
Here's an old Brave from the 1940 Play Ball set. It looks like Rabbit got shot by Elmer Fudd with a shotgun. I got this card in a large package from a reader many years ago. He requested I keep the Braves I wanted and give/trade away the rest. I'm still trying to get rid of all those cards.
The Babe! Greatest Ever! On a Kellogg's card! 3D! Plastic cards don't hold up well a lot of times.
While this looks like a 1933 Goudey card with red marker on the borders, it isn't. It's actually one-fourth of a 1935 Goudey 4-in-1 card. The kid who owned this card did have scissors.
More Goudey. Here's a specimen from the 1938 set. My first and thus far, still only card I have from that set. Yeah, this one looks rough. Round corners, creases everywhere, paper loss. Typical old low grade card. But see the chunk of paper missing on the cap? That happened when I got the card in the mail and accidentally got the card stuck to the team bag it was in while unpacking it. It was not the first time I'd done that and probably won't be the last.
Here's an old one! This card is from the 1886 Allen & Ginter Natives in Costume set. You might recognize the bottom design from the 2010 Allen & Ginter set. According to the auction listing when I bought it, this card and many others were actually nailed to a chest by the seller's grandmother or aunt or something. I've seen plenty of thumbtack holes in cards, not so many nail holes.
I probably showed this one off before but Pinky Hargrave with full Van Dyke and his Goudey bottom trimmed off is too good not to mention again.
Whoops, yes I did show it off before. Too bad, you'll see it again and like it.
OH GOD WHAT IS THAT HORROR. Here's another original Allen & Ginter card. Many of these cards were pasted into albums way back in the day. Not so many of them were pasted into the Necronomicon with glue produced by boiling down the corpses of unbaptized babies under the light of a full moon. Just so you know, the front is as pretty as the back is ugly.
This one might be my favorite of the bunch. Someone decided to 'blind' this umpire card by punching holes through the poor man's eyes. Unfortunely the dude MISSED. This is a super tough 1955 Bowman high series card too of course. That kid couldn't possibly have tried to blind a low number card noooo.
So on this one I was rushing and cut off the scan AND forgot to rotate the photo. Trust me, none of that would help on this one. See that pink square in the middle? That is the death mask of a stick of vintage 1952 gum. This gum refused to go gently into that good night and did the chewing gum equivalent of Chernobyl. The thing completely melted down and infused its sugary glop right into the card itself. The whole card is bumpy and crusty and stiff and utterly disgusting.
I'll bookend this post of cards in horrible condition with another T206. When I bought the Ed Walsh I got a whole mess of T206 cards from the same pile over the course of a few trips to the card shop. out of all those I got this was the lone Boston Brave or Beaneater or Rustler or whatever they were called in 1909. This was actually one of the better ones I got. No paper loss, the color is decent where it isn't all faded to hell, there's a spot of something on his cheek but it kinda looks like a Cindy Crawford mole, all in all not bad for a hundred year old card. What's that? The gigantic vertical crease going right down the center of the card? Oh yeah I kinda did that. I was scanning the card a while back, accidentally dropped the scanner lid on top of it and bent it right in two. Yep, I'm a clumsy moron! Good thing I'm not a stickler about condition, eh?