08 December 2010

Walkin' In A Winnie Wonderland

     An eclectic trio of Winfield goodies showed up today, spoils of the almighty eBay. The first was yet another silk cachet/first day cover/postmarked envelope with a picture on it, this time, Colorano's contribution commemorating Dave Winfield's 3000th hit on September 16, 1993.

     This is another that I didn't even know existed until I happened to catch the auction. I am still hunting for the Gateway version, but  I suspect the combination of lack of awareness/interest in silk cachets in general, and the somewhat suspect autograph on the front are what won me this beauty for just $0.99 + $2.50 S&H, but even for a potentially defaced silk cachet, I'm not complaining. It adds yet another piece of color and distinction to my otherwise card-heavy Dave Winfield collection.

     Lending more weight to the current card quotient are these two magazine inserts.  I picked these up in one of those auction lots that makes a player collector groan.  Already having one of the cards (the Cartwright's card from 1993), but only just learning about the second (the Pocket Pages card from 1991) because of the auction, I'm now the proud owner of 124 copies of that Cartwright's card and 6 copies of the Pocket Pages card.

     The top card is from Cartwright's Journal of Baseball Collectibles (which would later be broadened to "Sports Collectibles"). The bottom was from another magazine called Pocket Pages. I was an avid and active collector in the early 1990s and I'd never heard of either of these publications. At the moment, you can find a few highly priced ($20-$40) issues of Pocket Pages on eBay, and you can read a bit about the cards on my new favorite blog, Uncataloged Baseball Cards.

I also found an article on the Baltimore Sun's website mentioning the magazine back in 1995:
Collectors find out about card shows in lots of places -- magazines, newspapers, fliers at shows and word of mouth.

When Merrye Atkinson got hooked on autograph collecting, she knew there had to be a better way to find out where the players she wanted would be.

"It was hard keeping track," says the veteran magazine worker. "I thought, 'Maybe this should be a magazine.' "

Three years ago, she started Pocket Pages, a monthly magazine devoted to show listings. At first it covered only California shows; now it is national.

Atkinson, the publisher, says the format has remained the same: show listings, an alphabetical listing of athletes and the shows they'll be doing, hobby news, news on freebies and six trading cards. An issue focusing on POGs included bottle tops instead of cards. In keeping with collectibility, each issue is printed with two covers. Subscribers can opt to receive both.
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun, January 15, 1995|By Ruth Sadler

     Long story short, I've got a TON of these Cartwright's Winfield cards available for trade (or free with SASE), and a handful of the Pocket Pages cards left over for any needy Winfield collectors.

     It seems in the early 1990s, everyone and their brother (and sister and uncle and landlord and dentist) thought there was a market for just one more sports collectible magazine. And in that climate, if you were going to publish a sports collectible magazine, how could you not include some "promotional" cards to "help sell the magazine"? Most of these magazines claimed whatever exception from licensing laws that other journalistic outlets such as newspapers and regular magazines employed to be able to publish photos of MLB properties without having to pay for the privilege. At some point, it became obvious that these magazines were selling baseball cards in a magazine-wrapper and Major League Baseball put a stop to the free-for-all.

     JS Sports Cards Plus and Memorabilia has several of these various magazines for sale on their site. You can have a look here for some cover shots of several of the various publications:

Cartwright Journal of Baseball Collectibles

Diamond Sports Memorabilia

Allan Kaye's Sports Cards

Legends Sports Memorabilia  (This is the only one I know of that printed a Winfield card I'm still missing.)

      Also publishing cards with their magazines around the same time were the more mainstream Baseball Cards Magazine, SCD's Price Guide Magazine, Topps Magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids and Tuff Stuff.  Of the lot, only Sports Illustrated for Kids, which is a magazine about sports, written for kids, not a sports card magazine, is still issuing cards with each issue some 20 years later.  Considering I remember when they began publishing that back in 1989 or so, I was surprised to learn they're still going (and actually just paid for a subscription for it with some Delta Sky Miles points that were about to expire).