Skip to main content

Jefferson Burdick - American Card Catalog

 

Jefferson Burdick is regarded as the father of baseball card collecting. His entire collection of over 300,000 items dating from the 1860s to 1963 were donated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A major part of his gift is one of the largest collections of baseball cards now held by any public institution. In the process, Burdick devised a cataloging system and published the American Card Catalog. The "bible" is still the most important reference guide to collecting baseball and all types of cards.

Burdick (1900–1963) suffered from severe arthritis so bad that, according to Sean Kirst, author of  "The Ashes of Lou Gehrig and Other Baseball Essays" Burdick couldn't open his mouth wide enough to put in a ball of hard candy, and that he often struggled to lift his arms off of a table. Kirst writes that Burdick "...had no direct survivors. That may explain Burdick's decision, late in life, against selling his collection. Burdick chose instead to leave a gift for all his descendants. They include anyone who ever kept a card-filled shoebox in the closet, anyone who knows the sheer joy of filling out a baseball checklist. Burdick died in obscurity, with millions of heirs."

Jefferson Burdick was from Syracuse, N.Y. where he worked as a parts assembler for Crouse-Hinds. 


2010 Tri Star mini, card #23.

In 1960 Burdick wrote that a card collection is "a magic carpet that takes you away from work-a-day cares to havens of relaxing quietude where you can relive the pleasures and adventures of a past day—brought to life in vivid picture and prose."

How true that is

The America Card Catalog first edition was in 1939, with revised editions appearing through 1960.

Nostalgia Press, Inc., copyright 1967, reprinted 1988.

By the way, the copy shown above lists the famous T206 Honus Wagner card 368 for $50.00. My how things have changed...


1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats - Famous Reprints T-206, #NNO.

According to Wikipedia, the 2007 auction of the "Gretzky T206 Wagner" card (Piedmont cigarette, PSA 8 Near Mint-Mint) sold for $2.8 million (equivalent to $3.5 million in 2019)!

Stay well!

CinciCuse Bill


Comments

  1. Damn - RIP Joe Morgan. Big Red Machine legend gone at 77.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've read about this guy a few times now, and am always amazed. He truly must've been a remarkable person, and would've been absolutely fascinating to talk to.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mordecai (Three Fingers) Brown

  After overcoming a serious childhood injury, Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown went on to become one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. He won 239 games over 14 seasons in the majors, and his career ERA, 2.06, is sixth-best all-time. Played for the Reds in 1913 with an 11-12 record and a 2.91 ERA. 2004 National Baseball Hall of Fame Postcard. 1982 Dover Publications Reprints National League, T206, NNO. 2011 Monarch Corona Centennial Reprint Series #13. 1977 Dover Publications Classic Baseball Cards Reprints, #32. 1916 Sporting News (M101-5) Reprint #23. 1990 Interpretive Marketing Baseball Wit #89. 1987 TCMA 1907 Chicago Cubs, #2-1907. 1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats, NNO. 1982 Cramer Baseball Legends Series 3, #71. 1980-87 SSPC HOF Baseball Immortals #56. 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats #11. 1992 The Sporting News Conlon Collection #55.  Thanks for visiting. CinciCuse Bill

Retired Numbers - Oakland Athletics

  Continuing with my posts on retired numbers, below are card scans of former MLBers whose numbers have been retired by the Oakland Athletics to forever be revered. No. 9 Reggie Jackson 2013 Topps Commemorative Patch Card #RCP-7 No. 24 Rickey Henderson 1991 Bowman #692. There are so many great, great Henderson cards that I had a hard time picking out just one for this post. Well the '91 Bowman really stood out to me. No. 27 Catfish Hunter 1976 Laughlin #7. As noted here , Hunter is one of only 6 players ever that went directly from HIGH SCHOOL to the major leagues and NEVER played in the minor leagues. No. 34 Rollie Fingers 1976 Hostess #104. No. 42     Jackie Robinson 1980-1987 SSPC HoF #89. I love how Oakland's green and gold colors stand out in the border of this card. No. 43 Dennis Eckersley 2014 Panini HoF Induction Class of 2004 Autograph #78. Who do you think will be the next former Oakland A to have their uniform number to be retired? Vida Blue? Dave Stewart?

Syracuse Area Inventors!

  One of the things I like to do to pass time is click on the players featured on the opening page of Baseball-Reference . Frank Corridon was featured recently, and when I opened up his page I noticed that he had died and was buried in Syracuse, NY, so I looked closer and learned that he may be the inventor of the spitball . According to Baseball-Reference (B-R Bullpen), a "letter from pitcher (and later umpire) George Hildebrand indicates that Hildebrand was with the Providence Grays in 1902 and learned about the spitball from Corridon. He and Corridon experimented together as to the best amount of wetness. At the time, such a pitch was not illegal. When Hildebrand came to the majors, he taught it to others, who in turn taught it to others, and the rest is history." Corridon won 70 games in six big league seasons (1904-1910). In the early 1920s, the Corridon family moved to Syracuse where Frank worked and coached the Central High School baseball team. Corridon died in Syracu