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The Post War Cards Newsletter #15
👋 Welcome to the latest issue of The Post War Cards Newsletter, the newsletter that celebrates #TheHobby.
🗓️ Every other week, I share unique content about vintage sports cards, hobby & sports history, and industry activity with collectors.
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⚾️ Lonnie Smith World Series Trivia
The World Series wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and a great conversation came up around Lonnie Smith in the flurry of posts on Twitter about the Phillies and Astros.
You probably wouldn't be surprised if I told you that Yogi Berra has the record for playing in the most World Series games with 75. If I said Lonnie Smith was in the Top 40 with 32 World Series games played, you’d probably ask, “really?” And if I pointed out that he is the only player to be a part of three different World Series-winning teams within a single decade (six years, actually), you’d probably ask who finds these obscure records and achievements.
Smith’s 32 World Series games happened over five series with four different teams. He won the 1980 World Series with Philadelphia, won the 1982 World Series with St. Louis, won the 1985 World Series with Kansas City, and lost the 1991 and 1992 World Series with Atlanta.
Smith finished his 17-season MLB career with a .288 batting average, 1488 hits, 98 home runs, and 909 runs scored, to go with 370 stolen bases. In the postseason, he played 63 games with a .278 batting average, 28 runs scored, and 17 runs batted in. He’s also known for overcoming bouts of cocaine abuse.
If you want Smith’s rookie card, it’s the 1979 Topps Phillies Prospects card #722. The last PSA 10 sold for $21 back in December 2019 (pop 29 in the grade).
✍️ Great Hobby Writing
Pre-War Cards: Topsy Hartsel and T206 Print Defect Foreshadowing
The Collective Mind: Well, At Least Dusty Won
Sports Collectors Daily: Mint Condition: Key Elements in Building a Big Hobby Business
Night Owl Cards: Pocketing a few more
When Topps had Balls: Unissued Proof Spotlight: 1971 Marve Staehle
Sports Collectors Digest: Before the AFL-NFL merger, Fleer took on sports card giant Topps to create a new pro football set
Collectors Dashboard: 1955 Baseball Rookie Face-Off: Koufax vs. Clemente
Pre-War Cards: eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee Predictably a Mixed Bag
Crocodile Sports Cards: 1993-94 UD McDonald's NHL All Stars
🏀 A Floating Head
Do you see it?
This isn’t an error because Upper Deck never issued a corrected version. But you can see that the designers forgot to airbrush the defender’s head out of the card the way they did his body by replicating fans seated further up in the stands between Wright’s legs. And is it just me, or do the fans on the right side of the card looks slightly off, too?
Airbrushing wasn’t uncommon in vintage set development. Whether because of an off-season (or in-season) trade, an “appendage,” or for unknown reasons like on the 1974 OPC Don Cherry card, the card companies were often caught making last-minute changes. But you would have thought, by 1993, they would have had better quality control or access to more photographs that didn’t require airbrushing.
🏈 Bronko Nagurski’s Dixie Premium
Bronko Nagurski was a Canadian-born NFL player who won three titles with the Chicago Bears. He was a 4x First-Team All-Pro and wrapped up his career with 2778 rushing yards and 25 rushing TDs over nine seasons which earned him a place as an inaugural inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. Nagurski also had a successful wrestling career between 1933 and 1960.
On the collecting side, Nagurski’s 8’’ x 10’’ 1938 Dixie Lids Premium is one of the most gorgeous “cards” ever made.
The entire Dixie Premium set has gorgeous artwork and color while being pretty rare too. However, they aren’t that expensive, probably because of their unyieldingly large size. Heritage Auctions sold a Vg example of Nagruski’s card for $186 in January 2022, and while there is a raw example for sale on eBay right now for $1200, one appears to have sold there for $71 in October 2022. For more info, check out the Pre-War Cards write-up on the 1937-38 Dixie Lids and Premiums.
🗞️ In the News
The Philadelphia Inquirer: A secret vault in Delaware contains Kobe Bryant’s sneakers, a rare Pikachu card, and more
St. Louis Dispatch: A tale of two collectibles stores: old school vs. new school
Sports Collectors Daily: Youthful Optimism: $5,000 LeBron Rookie Card Investment in 2003 About to Pay Big Dividends
🏅 On the PostWarCards Blog
November 14th, 20022: 5 Great Early Career Frank Thomas Baseball Cards
November 21th, 20022: 5 Hockey Wrappers Manufacturers Probably Wouldn’t Use Today
November 22th, 20022: What’s the Deal with the 1968 Jack in the Box San Diego Rockets Short Prints?
⭐️ 1984 Fleer Super Special Stars
Don’t you love it when two cards come together?