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Old 04-12-2018, 05:09 AM
rico43 rico43 is offline
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Default Brace photo discussion

Hello to all:

My name is David Jenkins, a retired sportswriter and collector since 1966. I have run the gamut from Topps completist to historian to obsessed with Topps Vault archives and George Brace Collection.
I conducted the original interview with Jeffrey Kelch, CEO of Digital Archive, last May. I, like you, have heard nothing about the hundreds of thousands of images going to the MLB teams since. I would like to contact him again, as he was very cordial, but I do not have an official platform to conduct one.
That may or may not change, but the reason I wanted to put this thread out there about the Braces, is that a dealer has made available several of the so-called "white whales" from the 60s and 70s that have been almost universally accepted as being unavailable or impossible to find.

Here are Rick James (67 Cubs) and Rich Barry (69 Phillies)

Attachment 312275

I have acquired nearly a dozen that seem to be similarly scarce and am close to getting others. My question is this: are these really so scarce that I have tapped a mother lode, and does this board wish me to share them? It seems clear that the Brace family has no claim over them or their usage, and right are pretty close to being in the public domain as that the digital downloads are what seem to offered to the MLB teams, not original negative (many of which are in an unknown status). My hope is to share some of these images, in hopes others have their own "whales" to share.

Last edited by rico43; 04-12-2018 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:19 AM
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Leon Leon is offline
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Very interesting, David. Welcome to our forum. As you well know the question about all collectibles is "what is the demand" even more than "how many are there?" IF there are only 2 of a certain picture it isn't as important as if there are at least 3 buyers. On the card side that is the way it is and I am sure it's that way with pictures/photos too. Good luck with everything!!
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:04 AM
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Snapolit1 Snapolit1 is offline
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Interesting indeed.

As Leon said, there is a huge difference in the collecting world between scarcity and value. I’ve had some cards over the years that were 1 of 5 graded and I couldn’t sell them for $250. Just wasn’t the demand for some reason. A good example is the Goudey Premium cards. All HOF players and cool to look at but never seems to be much demand for them. Same thing with photos. Some players and photos are coveted and others just get a shrug of the shoulders.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 04-12-2018 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:24 PM
rico43 rico43 is offline
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To be clear, I am not worried about value; I have been chagrined at the prices that some dealer sell even non-autographed photos. I am building Master Sets in the 60s and 70s and basically want to acquire a serviceable image of a player with each MLB team with whom he played. The Braces I have acquired reflect that.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:41 PM
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thecatspajamas thecatspajamas is offline
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Hi David, I really like your approach and laud your obsession! It actually sounds very much like George Brace himself, albeit a somewhat different methodology. I'd be interested to see what other white whales you happened upon as well. While I have been drawn away from "image collecting" somewhat in recent years, I have dabbled a bit, and find that I enjoy locating the obscurities nearly as much as the HOFers. While not as financially rewarding (usually), filling those voids of visual knowledge, or occasionally putting a piece back in the hands of an appreciative family member is always enjoyable.

If you have not already, you might touch base with Net54 member tnfoto and consider adding higher-res images to SABR's pictorial archive of baseball players. I haven't touched base with him in a while, and it looks like he hasn't posted here in even longer, but he can point you in the right direction. There is a dedicated group of image collectors such as yourself who are working on various side projects similar to your own, and who I'm sure would appreciate the opportunity to share resources.

As for the Burke/Brace collection itself, I haven't heard anything of the remainder of it since that particular auction you mentioned. There were a large number of pieces sold from the archive prior to the auction, but those were mostly the HOFers and stars. I would love it if the remaining images were ever made available again for the sake of historians, but knowing from experience the time and/or expense involved in scanning film, I wonder if the buyer ever followed through on that endeavor. If none of the MLB teams bit on his offer to cut a deal for their respective chunks of the archive, all that film containing the original images of long-lost/little-known players may still be languishing in storage somewhere.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:47 PM
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Picking up a Brace photo of Billy Pierce has been an objective of mine for a long time.
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Player Collections: Billy Pierce, Charles Bender, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Elston Howard, Mike Cuellar Always looking for unique Billy Pierce items
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