Your Turn (BSCM Vintage Issue): What one vintage card still eludes you?

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 By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Collecting can bring out the little ironies of life — like when you buy dozens of packs and come up one card short of a set or when you visit a card show or shop and can’t find a card that costs 25 cents.

With vintage collecting, it can get even tougher as there are simply cards — not the Toppses and Bowmans of the world — that you just don’t see everyday … or every month … or every year.

One of the cards that I have a trivial interest in — that I have yet to see in-person — is a card of Floyd Olds, a former minor-league pitcher who won 101 games over nine seasons but never made it past Class-AA.

Ironies? His name, of course — he’s not related, but I looked — and he’s the only Olds to play baseball and have a card. He played for the Oakland Oaks and it’s during those years where he appeared on his only two releases in the Beckett database, a 1937-38 Zeenut card and the 1938 Oakland Oaks Signal Oil Stamps card seen above.

I’d like to own them both — for trivial reasons — but they’re just not the kind of cards you see every day. I fact, I’ve never even seen a scan of the Zeenut card.

Combined they’ll probably cost me $100, maybe more. That’s steep even to me, but I’ve never been presented with that dilemma, that choice by seeing either of them in person.

The Signal card above is from a 2010 Legendary Auctions sale of an entire album that actually was signed by several members of the team with the cards affixed to the pages. It went for $593. The Zeenut card? I’ve never even seen one for sale — though I’ll confess that I’m not also regularly scouring potential places to find it, either.

With all that said, for the upcoming Vintage Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we simply want to hear your tales of the one  vintage (pre-1980) card you simply cannot find — and why. It can be for any sport — or even non-sports.

Just tell us … What vintage card continues to elude you — and why? Did you pass one up and never see it again? Is it too rare? Or are you too picky?

We’ll select the most-interesting replies and they’ll appear in the issue. Who knows — somebody may see it and have the card for you.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. brent hart
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    1952 topps set, passed on a beauty of a set. 10 years ago.

  2. Mark
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I collect Braves. I have an extensive collection of such Braves as Chipper Jones, Dale Murphy, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and the Big Three-Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, and Eddie Mathews. I have rookies of all them (including Aaron) except one-the 1952 rookie card of Eddie Mathews. Unfortunately, this is also the last card of the high series and set of 1952 Topps, and its value is jacked up through the roof. I can’t even find a copy that looks like it was used in bicycle spokes at what I would consider a reasonable price. It continues to be the white whale of my collection. I have seen several of them at the National, but I have never been able to pull the trigger on what would be the largest purchase I ever made for a piece of cardboard for a low grade copy.

  3. kris
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    a little of the question but when i was a teenager i was offered a nice yogi berra RC for all my late 80’s cards, probably a couple thousand and i said no. ouch! that hurt . one of many bad decisions i guess. how many of those late 80’s cards do i have, well not many. i would still have that berra though

  4. Richard
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    There are many modern cards that are insanely scarce by design.
    Starting with, for me, the 2001 Donruss Signature Proof set. All of the rookie cards are #’d to 25.
    You can find lots of them out there if you just want an example as there were 200 of them making
    5000 individual cards available, but if you are just looking for one, its a pain in the butt.

    I’m still looking for the Junior Spivey. I found one once, but the guy wanted way too much for it.
    You can find most of the commons at around $10 and you can even find some notables at
    under $50 like Adam Dunn (not a real rookie, but still autographed and #’d to 25), well this guy
    wanted $50 for a Spivey who is pretty much a common and is not autographed and I just could
    not justify pulling the trigger. I’m hoping one will pop up on Ebay one day.

  5. David Johnson
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I would love to find a 1947 Tip Top #44 Virgil Trucks in mid to high grade condition. I don’t search for the card that often, but the few times I have seen it the card has been pretty beat up. Why that card? It is the earliest card of Virgil Trucks. Mr Trucks has the distinction of throwing 2 No-Hitters in the same season (yet his record that season was 5-19). He is still alive at age 95 and when he is healthy he still signs with his standard Virgil “Fire” Trucks. I just love that nickname.

  6. zotster
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always loved 3D baseball cards. In fact, the very first cards I ever collected were Kellogg’s 3D cards in the mid-70s, one per box with my morning Frosted Flakes. Many years ago I completed a complete 14-year run of the Kellogg’s sets, including the very scarce 1971 issue that I put together one card at a time over a few years.

    But one thing I’ve seen on very rare occasions but have never had the money for (and likely never will) is the Topps 1968 3D set. I’d love to own the whole set, but I’d at least like to get the Jim Lonborg card, since I’m a Red Sox fan and he’s the only Red Sox player in the set. Wouldn’t mind the Roberto Clemente card, either. Frankly, I’d enjoy any card from that set, but they’re out of my price range.

    – Paul Angilly, Windsor Locks, CT

  7. madbulldog
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve always wanted a 1985 donruss wax box card of dwight gooden gem mint.

  8. Posted February 15, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I have been trying to find the 1913 and 1914 Zeenut cards that depict my grandfather, Edward Brown Rogers, who played under the name Brown Rogers. My grandfather played in the minor leagues from 1907 to 1913, including stints with the Atlanta Crackers, San Antonio Bronchos and Los Angeles Angels. He died when my mother was 15, so obviously I never knew him. My family has no memorabilia from him, either. Thanks to some very kind PR men and baseball historians I have much documentation from his career, including photocopies of game stories. However, the only two cards he ever appeared on have eluded me. As a lifelong card collector and now a card photographer, I would love to have even a good photo of either card.

  9. J.R. Lebert
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    A PSA 1 1933 Delong Lou Gehrig. I am just too picky, and the price is usually a bit high, for me to pull the trigger.

  10. Richard Hogenson
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    1974 Topps sets. The year I was born.

  11. Mero
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    ’52 Topps Mays 8+

    Im starting to notice a trend in these answers.

  12. Adam
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    48/49 Leaf – finding a centered Feller is impossibly hard (I have a PSA7 OC) and the Paige RC is another brutal card to find.

  13. william
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    1953 Hunter’s weiner Wilmer “vinegar bend” Mizell in any kind of shape. Also a Cuban minor league card from 1950 of his. It’s fun looking for them, have been for about 20 years.

  14. Coimbre21
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    1976 Venezuelan Sticker Jackie Hernandez. His formal name, Jacinto Hernandez, actually appears on the card. He was my neighbor in Puerto Rico and fired the ball to Bob Robertson when the Pirates won the 1971 World Series. I never knew this card existed until I, saw one on ebay for $5 a few years ago and passed because of condition. I’ve never seen one since.

    I would like to have a chance to own any R308-2 Tattoo Orbit self developing cards (often developed if a kid licked the card). I have three of the smaller R308-1 but have never seen a larger R308-2.

  15. Chris
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Floyd was my Uncle, Uncle Floyd’s basement smelled like pipe tobacco and baseball !

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