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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Actual Trading Card History - I actually figured this one out

Remember what I said last time about Insta-Post? This card is a Brave and an obscure design that I sort of recognise but don't remember exactly what it is. So yeah, Insta-Post applies even though this card was released last week and I didn't go to the shop to pick it up until today. This is card TCH44 a "1908 Baseball Card" of former Brave Andruw Jones.

Pretty funky looking card eh? So what is this sucker? Extensive research (ie. look it up in the SCD) tells me this is the design of a Rose Company postcard. The Rose Company was a major manufacturer of novelty postcards at the time and had a variety of subjects. Baseball was a popular subject for postcards in the early 1900's and the ones from Rose Co. were one of the more elaborate and distinctive designs. The card's elaborate design was embossed on the card and a high quality studio portrait was affixed to it instead of being printed directly on the card. There are about 200 subjects in the set including major and minor leaguers and a few rare "do it yourself" cards have also surfaced. The big cards include Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson and Walter "Big Train" Johnson. These cards can sell for $5,000 and up, but even low grade common cards can go for several hundred. Team collectors like Blue Heaven and myself will have to admire these from afar unless a bargain pops up out of the blue. The cards don't show up for sale that often either. There has been exactly one on eBay in the past month or so. If you like the design, but can't swallow the expense, Perez-Steele galleries included the design as part of their Masterworks collection. There are ten Rose style cards in the set including a Warren Spahn that I really need to get my hands on.

Topps did a good job on this design although the card I received is oddly miscut. It adds an air of authenticity to the vintage style card though so I won't complain. this is the last Brave in the set as far as I can tell from the checklist. Maybe Topps will continue the set to Updates and Highlights and make it an even 100 card set?

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