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Old 09-25-2004, 03:06 PM
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Default Who's Who in Card Collecting

Posted By: Chuck Ross

In the context of another thread a few weeks ago, someone mentioned the publication Who's Who in Card Collecting. I recently picked up a copy on eBay. The book, published in 1970, is fascinating reading. It may be that many board members have a copy, but if not you should keep an eye out for it. There are hundreds of short bios of collectors of that time with their collecting interests, number of cards and approximate value for their collections. Included are such luminaries as William Mastro, aged 17, who already had 25,000 cards that he valued at $2500 (including a complete 1941 Playball set, 100 P-2 buttons and 23 cards from N135 Talk of the Diamond). Mastro also has an ad in the back in which he offers to help young collectors who need at least 200 cards from 1959-1967 by offering them large lots at 2 cents a card.

There are many collectors in here who have 500 or more T206 cards and value their collections at $1500 or less.

The most amazing (and painful, if true) thing I've read in the book so far is about 1952 Topps baseball, which I will just quote. It is included in the bio for a Raymond Billbrough of Flushing, Michigan:

" Ray sheds some light on why the 1952 Topps #311 to 407 cards are so hard to get: 'I wasn't collecting at the time, but was working in a sporting goods store. The low end of our baseball gloves were purchased from the Ken-Well Sporting Goods Company of Utica, New York. In each box with the gloves came 5 or 6 of these high-numbered cards. Well, I deprived 500 kids of these cards (had 2,750 of them), sorted through them, kept a complete run of 311 to 407 and BURNED the rest. How do you sleep five years later when you start collecting?"

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