Everyone’s Wagner is real, right? We all want to find treasure.

If I had a dollar every time I have heard this at a show…

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I know everyone wants to find treasure. I do too.
But we can get blinded by “what could be” and forget about facts.
What got me into wanting to learn more about fakes and alterations in the first place was buying a small stack of reprints at a flea market in the late 80s. I really thought I had found treasure according to the price guide values. When I figured out they were not real, I decided that I would not let that happen to me again. I learned a great deal over the years but it did happen again. Each time I have learned from it.
I have learned plenty about cards and I’m still learning. There will always be new types of fake cards and alterations coming in.
Are there still cards like T206 Wagners out there waiting to be discovered? You bet. In fact, we graded one in 2008 that literally came out from under someones bed. It had been in the family for many years.
One thing that makes such big finds special is that they are few and far between. Like the Black Swamp find, it’s a once in a lifetime find, but it was right there in an attic all those years just waiting for someone to find.
The thought of unearthing treasure can also blind us from the obvious. There are hundreds of “cards” listed on ebay stating they are reprints because ebay requires them to do so. If someone has a potential six-figure card in their hands, do they get it authenticated or do they dump it on ebay as a reprint? If a seller is savy enough to use ebay, they are generally savy enough to figure out exactly what they have. They have given the buyer all the info they need.
It’s that potential of getting rich quick that blinds some to make bad purchases.

Counterfeit Alert – 1984/85 Star Jordan

Today’s counterfeit alert is a franken-graded card. And it is one that I ask you help other collectors and take action on.

What we have today is a fake card in a fake holder.  The card is currently on eBay:

Fake card currently on auction

This is a case of someone taking a fake card, making a fake label and placing them into a fake holder. This particular holder is nothing like a real BCCG holder. If you compare the image to an authentic holder, you can see the difference in the shape. Fortunately, even our BCCG holder is very tamper resistant. This is why the crooks have to go with a completely different holder.

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The BCCG holder is similar to the BGS holder in that it has more squared corners. The corners almost come to a point, not rounded like the fake holder in the image.

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I try not to ask too much from my readers, but I ask you in this case to report this kind of item to eBay and help keep fakes off the market.

 

 

 

 

 

Signed copies now available!

1906 Fan Craze advertisement

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The Fan Craze game card sets are designated as either WG-2 or WG-3. The WG-2 designates the American league deck of cards that have a blue back. WG-3 is the National League deck. The NL cards have a red back.

Once upon a time, there was a thought that the 2 decks were issued separately and at different times. As the above ad shows, the 2 decks were issued at the same time, and you could order 1 or the other. It is interesting to note the ad mentions the player images are halftone pictures. This just means the images are made up of small black dots of different sizes. The larger the dot, the darker the image. This is the type of printing we see on other pre-war cards like  M101-4/5 Sporting News, and 1928 Fro-Joy. A type of halftone is still used on cards today, but there are 4 colors instead of just black. And today’s cards are digital halftone printing. Halftone printing in newspapers was still a relatively new process when these cards were printed. Widespread use of the technology began only the decade before these cards.

The cool thing about these cards is that they fill a gap in card issues. There was not much in the way of baseball cards between the 1895 N300 Mayos and the 1909 T206 cards. This means there are some first appearances to be found. There are also plenty of cool images to be found. The Fan Craze company obviously used images taken by the Horner Studio. The Eddie Plank and Honus Wagner, for example, have the same image as found on their T206 cards.

Now if I only had $0.39, and a time machine.

 

 

 

Signed copies now available!

 

 

 

 

 

Babe Ruth sketch card from the files

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I have been going back through old files on drives and what-not. I’ve lost some card images from years ago and I am trying to back everything up. There just seems to be a lot of files from years ago.

This image is of a Babe Ruth sketch card I did sometime around 2005. I think I started messing around with making sketch cards not long before this card was made. The T206 card is there for size reference. This was a small size sketch I was trying out. I usually don’t share old stuff like this but I had forgotten about this image and thought I would share it. Some really old sketch cards I did are just not good.

 

 

Signed copies now available!