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  #1  
Old 01-10-2021, 03:02 PM
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Default Getting Started Question - Pre-War Baseball Cards

I've been collecting baseball cards for close to 40 years (a few breaks now and then) and focus on cards from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and some modern. I mostly concentrate on cards of players on the Dodgers.

I keep going back and forth on whether or not I should start collecting pre-war Dodgers/Superbas players. I'm not interested in breaking the bank for these cards, but I am very interested in getting started. I especially like the T205 cards, but enjoy a few others as well, such as the T206 set.

So my question is, what got you interested in pre war baseball cards, how many years have you been collecting them, what sets do you prefer, and do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,

BC
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2021, 03:17 PM
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I've collected Topps, Bowman et al, but was interested in Pre-War cards since I was a kid.

There is a great and wide variety of Pre-War issues-- Goudys and T206s, but also oddballs, pins, strip cards, ephemera, inserts, premiums, memorabilia. I've enjoyed the diversity. Collect anything and everything that interests you. There is no hobby rule for what you should collect.

T206 is the most popular Pre-War for a reason. I vote it as the greatest baseball card set ever made. The cards in person are awesome. The other popular sets-- T205s, 1933 Goudeys, Old Judges are also great.

Last edited by drcy; 01-10-2021 at 05:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2021, 03:29 PM
jamest206 jamest206 is offline
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Hey-I got bored this summer with politics & Covid. I also realized my step kids are just that, my step kids. So I was reading Eight Men Out. I looked up Sleepy Bill Burns, and saw that T206. I then got very interested, very fast. I was collecting high grade Cubs, decided that was too expensive, and sold those off for less than what I paid. Same with other cards I had. I realized I needed to solely focus on what I could afford, and there is no money flipping cards. I am right now collecting strictly raws, that look decent, but not overpaying. I did pick up a couple graded cards, but prefer to stay away. Cy Young Portrait is one graded at PSA 3 I have, and an Eddie Collins that I will probably trade soon. Everything else, HOFers, and Commons are raw. I go after portraits as well. That is the bulk of my collection. I have bought my best cards at best price off this site. eBay, you get guys that think they should get top dollar. My advice, be patient, it will show up. Do not deviate from what you are after. Sure, you will make some mistakes at first, but lessons learned. Guys on this site are in it for the love of the hobby, the history as well, and not making money. Set goals. Donít overpay!!!! Negotiate on price as well. Buy a reprint set off eBay, that will help organize what you are after, and the presentation of what you are going after. Buy the book, the T206 collection, so you understand what to go after, and what is overpriced. Donít get caught up in bidding wars on eBay either. Also, donít go after perfection either. Creases can look bad in a picture, but the card can look great in person. I donít mind creases at all. Read the Glory of Their Times. Watch Cobb, make friends. I promise there are guys that will bail you out of your mistakes and buy it all off of you. Everyone I have met is a really good person, and that is the main thing. I am meeting people that are great people all over the place, from all walks of life. No one has the same goal. As I told my wife, this is one hobby, one thing, where there are no price drops, or slow downs. Everyone has the means to get what they want, when they want it. The main thing is to have fun. A couple cards I gave to friends at work to give to their son and grandson. Keep the game alive, and donít forget the past either.
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2021, 03:36 PM
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Casey2296 Casey2296 is offline
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.
Pre-war collecting is best summed up by Dante in the Divine Comedy.

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here
.
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.
E98 Master set 94/120 ltb hofers.

Last edited by Casey2296; 01-11-2021 at 07:30 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2021, 04:09 PM
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I collect the Cubs prewar and modern. Cub fan since 1968 and have T207 Cubs frnts/ reverse collection, Cubs T205 front/ reverses (148/151 possible cards) S74 Cubs, T210 Jacksonville players, and my 1921 E121 Yankees/ Giants WS collection with Ruth et al. The WS collection started me in Prewar as my great gread uncle Elmer Miller played center field for the Yankees. I also have a complete type card collection of all the possible Elmer Miller cards. Now I am hooked.

My Topps Cubs have all the cards from 1951 to current in base sets and update sets featuring all cards and error variations. Takes up 3 binders but very cool. Love collecting cardboard.

Did also have a T206 Cubs collection but that one was far too easy for me to collect so I sold it at a profit along with my T205 minor leagues sets in REA last year. If it was to easy to do, then didn’t keep my interest.
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Last edited by kmac32; 01-10-2021 at 04:13 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2021, 05:02 PM
x2drich2000 x2drich2000 is offline
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I've been collecting prewar for about 15 years now. Before that it was modern growing up in the early 90's, followed by SLUs, and then a little postwar. For me, I was always drawn to getting stuff other people didn't have. I quickly found postwar (50's and 60's Topps in particular) were really common. That pushed me to buy my first T206 but after a few months, again, I came to realize I could pretty much buy any T206 on Ebay at any time if I didn't care about the back.

Eventually I started working on an E93 set and still recommend that set most of the time for those jumping into prewar. It is a smaller set (30), packed with HOFers (18 I believe), and the set finds a decent balance between being too easy and too hard. Price wise, it is also within relatively cheap to complete, though prices have increased for the key cards. HOFers though are generally in the same ballpark as their complementary T206.

I've since gone a bit off the rails and keep trying to build sets that are nearly impossible.
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Current Wantlist:
E93 - Cobb
E92 Nadja - Bescher, Bridwell, Cobb, Donovan, Doolan, Doyle (with bat), , Kleinow, Lobert, Mathewson, Miller (fielding), Tinker, Wagner (throwing), Zimmerman
W554 - Anyone with any red backstamp, Fonseca, Klein, Rommel
E/T Young Backrun - Need E90-1, E92 black Crofts Candy, E92 Dockman, T216 (all versions)
E92 Red Crofts - Anyone especially Barry, Shean, and Evers
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2021, 05:49 PM
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Great information and answers. I appreciate you all taking time to provided your responses.

Thank you,
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2021, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamest206 View Post
Hey-I got bored this summer with politics & Covid. I also realized my step kids are just that, my step kids. So I was reading Eight Men Out. I looked up Sleepy Bill Burns, and saw that T206. I then got very interested, very fast. I was collecting high grade Cubs, decided that was too expensive, and sold those off for less than what I paid. Same with other cards I had. I realized I needed to solely focus on what I could afford, and there is no money flipping cards. I am right now collecting strictly raws, that look decent, but not overpaying. I did pick up a couple graded cards, but prefer to stay away. Cy Young Portrait is one graded at PSA 3 I have, and an Eddie Collins that I will probably trade soon. Everything else, HOFers, and Commons are raw. I go after portraits as well. That is the bulk of my collection. I have bought my best cards at best price off this site. eBay, you get guys that think they should get top dollar. My advice, be patient, it will show up. Do not deviate from what you are after. Sure, you will make some mistakes at first, but lessons learned. Guys on this site are in it for the love of the hobby, the history as well, and not making money. Set goals. Donít overpay!!!! Negotiate on price as well. Buy a reprint set off eBay, that will help organize what you are after, and the presentation of what you are going after. Buy the book, the T206 collection, so you understand what to go after, and what is overpriced. Donít get caught up in bidding wars on eBay either. Also, donít go after perfection either. Creases can look bad in a picture, but the card can look great in person. I donít mind creases at all. Read the Glory of Their Times. Watch Cobb, make friends. I promise there are guys that will bail you out of your mistakes and buy it all off of you. Everyone I have met is a really good person, and that is the main thing. I am meeting people that are great people all over the place, from all walks of life. No one has the same goal. As I told my wife, this is one hobby, one thing, where there are no price drops, or slow downs. Everyone has the means to get what they want, when they want it. The main thing is to have fun. A couple cards I gave to friends at work to give to their son and grandson. Keep the game alive, and donít forget the past either.
Fantastic advice. I read Glory of Their Times and have watch Cobb. Both are outstanding. I have the T206 Collection book on my to do list.

Thanks,

BC
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2021, 06:02 PM
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I was finishing up a Topps set run when a dealer I bought a lot from got collection of high grade t206s. I bought a Mathewson and Speaker and I was soon hooked and working on the set. I wouldn't consider a team collection complete without t206s. You should also look at 1941 Play Ball, Pee Wee Reese RC, and 1933 Goudey. Those team sets shouldn't cost you that much.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2021, 11:57 AM
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I like the Exhibits cards. 47-66 set gives you a nice mix of pre-war and modern 60's. A little of both worlds. There are also some nice smaller sets like the salutation series from the 30's & 40's, and the two stat back series from the 50's & 60's. These cards will not wow you with colors and flair, but the photos are cool and especially if you look and see the same photos on other issues and on some cabinets also, tying in some history about the cards also.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2021, 12:48 PM
hcv123 hcv123 is offline
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Default My now almost 14 year old son

got me started when he was about 9! I had been a Roberto Clemente collector since I was about 13. I decided to start post war Pirate team sets as a way to teach and get my 2 sons involved. After going to a bunch of shows and getting some nice 1950's Pirates cards, my son says to me - "Dad, why aren't we collecting any of those Tobacco cards - they are really cool!"

So we added Pirates team sets from the following sets to our list:

T205
T206
T207

1914 Cracker Jack
1915 Cracker Jack

1933 Goudey

Have also picked up some odds and ends form other sets.
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2021, 03:34 PM
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I've never been a set collector or builder, but an assortment of singles collector. The different ways people collect reflect how their brains work and their personalities. I've been a variety and assortment type of person.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2021, 03:45 PM
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Default I focus on Not Cards

I have a few cards, but mostly I have photos and memorabilia. I started collecting vintage when I saw my modern collection declining in value. I thought it was a waste of money to pay $100, just to have the card be valued at $50 five years later. I'd rather put my limited resources into something that'll at least be the same price down the road.

I have noticed that my pre-war preference centers on the 1930s. While I mainly collect the Cincinnati Reds, sometimes I diversify. I have a small Dizzy Dean collection (pins, auto). I have a small Gehrig collection (Louisville Slugger mag, 33 Goudey, LS advertisement). And I have a growing Dimaggio collection (photos, magazines, LS ads).

Earlier than that, I primarily focus on Tris Speaker, who is still considered an undervalued HOF by just about everyone on Net54.

There are so many options outside of just card collecting for this era, and plenty of them are affordable for collectors on a budget. The Louisville Slugger FAMOUS SLUGGERS magazine is a nice small publication that honors the Batting Crown winners. It is 1/4 the size of Baseball Magazine, and you can pick these up for $20 - $50. Baseball magazine publications, and their full page inserts of players are also fun additions. There is a group of collectors on this site that focus on the magazine premiums.

If you pick up some of these magazines, magazine premiums, photos, and memorabilia, and then pair them with a card or two, you can make a really nice display that stands out.
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Barry Larkin, Joey Votto, Tris Speaker, 1930-45 Cincinnati Reds, T206 Cincinnati
Successful deals with: Banksfan14, Brianp-beme, Bumpus Jones, Dacubfan (x5), Dstrawberryfan39, Ed_Hutchinson, Fballguy, fusorcruiser (x2), GoCalBears, Gorditadog, Luke, MikeKam, Moosedog, Nineunder71, Powdered H20, PSU, Ronniehatesjazz, Roarfrom34, Sebie43, Seven, and Wondo
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:35 PM
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My advice, buy this card. It is a Brooklyn player and in my opinion one of the most beautiful of all T206. You can acquire a nice example of it for a reasonable price, and not need to worry about losing money on it if you decide that T206 are not for you.
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Current Want List:


CAMNITZ HAH BACK RUN PROJECT:

T206 Camnitz (HAH) AB 460 / SC Fact 25 and OP / EPDG (Upgrade Needed)


T206 Magee Portrait
T206 Walsh
T206 Joss Portrait
T206 Red Cobb
T206 Shag
T206 E Collins
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey2296 View Post
.

Pre-war collecting is best summed up by Dante in the Divine Comedy.



Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

.
I missed this the first time! Hahahaha so true!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
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Barry Larkin, Joey Votto, Tris Speaker, 1930-45 Cincinnati Reds, T206 Cincinnati
Successful deals with: Banksfan14, Brianp-beme, Bumpus Jones, Dacubfan (x5), Dstrawberryfan39, Ed_Hutchinson, Fballguy, fusorcruiser (x2), GoCalBears, Gorditadog, Luke, MikeKam, Moosedog, Nineunder71, Powdered H20, PSU, Ronniehatesjazz, Roarfrom34, Sebie43, Seven, and Wondo
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2021, 09:24 PM
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I love pre-war (WWI) cards because are they are so much more than cards- they are Americana. Almost all cards were advertising pieces, for tobacco, or candy, or bread, or alcohol, or cocoa drinks (e92 crofts cocoa). That was their real purpose, and the advertisements are a glimpse into our history and culture. There are a ton of ways to collect. My guess is you will try many different projects before you decide on something firm, and even then your eyes will wander.

Here are some of my favorite advertisements (the crofts cocoa is my favorite).
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2021, 09:51 PM
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Ryan, I share your passion for the advertising backs on pre-WWII cards. These 2 are my favorites:
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File Type: jpg Lou Gertenrich - Judge - back.jpg (19.2 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg T3 Wajo - ad back - back.jpg (77.8 KB, 220 views)
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Seeking very scarce/rare cards for my Sam Rice master collection, e.g., E210-2, W504, & Queen City Cigar. Also T216 Kotton "NGO" card of Hugh Jennings. Also 1917 Merchants Bakery of WaJo.
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2021, 10:04 PM
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I appreciate all of these replies. They definitely have helped me focus on how I may collect.

Keep them coming.

Thank you,

BC
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2021, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueCrew View Post
I appreciate all of these replies. They definitely have helped me focus on how I may collect.

Keep them coming.

Thank you,

BC
I would say the main thing is collect what YOU enjoy. Then no matter what it's all good. And if you purchase correctly the values will usually go up or hold steady. Plus you get to fondle a great collection of mini masterpieces.

I have only seen 1 of these I like more than this one and that is a toss up in itself.

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  #20  
Old 01-12-2021, 12:07 PM
Orioles1954 Orioles1954 is offline
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I've learned so much from www.oldcardboard.com

They have pictures, checklists, issue information and so much more. I'm sure Leon won't mind me giving them a plug.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2021, 02:42 PM
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BlueCrew BlueCrew is offline
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Thanks to all who replied. Iím excited to get started with leaning more about and purchasing prewar cards.

Thanks!

BC
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  #22  
Old 01-14-2021, 04:09 PM
jamest206 jamest206 is offline
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Still waiting for my Collins, Tinker, Joss, Weimer, and Devlin to come in All portraits
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  #23  
Old Yesterday, 05:34 AM
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Lonnie Nagel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey2296 View Post
.
Pre-war collecting is best summed up by Dante in the Divine Comedy.

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here
.
Here's the thing - If you hang out on these boards long enough - you're gonna end up at T206 and then you are doomed......

Resistance is Futile (they are the Borg)
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