Comments: In May, 2003 I purchased
a 1994 American Archives card raw on eBay. Soon thereafter I submitted
it to PSA and they graded it NM-MT. The tribute card is a placeholder
until I have the means to buy an item contemporary to Rusie's
career. I'd really like a 1895 N566 Newsboy Cabinet - just need
to set aside enough money and get lucky finding one. For a while,
I had a 1895 N300 Mayo's Cut Plug SGC 50 example that I purchased
in Aug, 2005 but sold it in 2012 to free up some cash.
UPDATE: I've found seven different N566 Newsboy Cabinet Rusie
cards from 2004 to 2013 (all auctions) and wasn't able to come
out on top in any of them. As mentioned above I owned the N300
for a while but it wasn't the card I wanted for Rusie. I just
wasn't financially able to pull the trigger on a Newsboy. Of the
N566 Rusies sold during that seven year time frame, none were
in low grade which would have made the decision to bid a little
easier. The final hammer prices were all pretty high. But, in
October 2013, a group of five different Newsboy baseball subjects
became available in the Robert Edwards Auction (Rusie, Tiernan,
Doyle, Clark and Burke). They were all technically in low grade
- exactly what I was looking for. According to the auction house,
the group was found at an estate sale in a scrapbook by an ephemera
collector and consigned to them. It appears the cards had been
stored in a humid environment for some time because they all suffered
separation of layers where, in particular, the photo layer had
started peeling away from the cardboard backing. Even the cardboard
stock was starting to separate on a few. Regardless, I was interested.
Unfortunately, I would have to buy the whole lot when all I wanted
was the Rusie. I spoke with a hobby friend who worked at REA to
learn a little more about the cards. They had been examined with
black light and loop to ensure they had not been altered, re-glued,
or restored. They all had consistent damage so it seemed to go
along with the story- there wasn't a card that stood out as being
so much nicer than the others. The fading/staining/wear was equal
across the board. I decided to place a bid. On the auction closing
night I was outbid 2/3 more times. But, my max held out and I
won the auction. I asked the auction house to reach out to the
consignor with the following questions:
1) What other items were found in the scrapbook? Other baseball-related
items? Other Newsboys? Are there any pictures of the scrapbook?
2) The cards don't appear to have corner marks from the scrapbook.
So, was the scrapbook Victorian era? Or, something put together
3) Does he know how the scrapbook ties to the estate? Was it
grandpa's from his childhood? Or, one of grandma's garage sale
finds? Do they remember seeing any other baseball stuff at the
estate sale or anything else that would make him believe the scrapbook
originates from the estate?
4) Their thoughts when they first spotted the baseball cards….
Unfortunately, we never heard back. Upon receipt, it was exciting
to open the box and handle the cards. They were all pretty frail.
Of the group, the Rusie was the most attached to the cardboard
stock (approx. 90%), but the cardboard backing exhibited the most
separation of layers. The photo was also the dullest of the five.
It had a small crease in the upper right corner but no significant
staining or pencil writing. The photo layer was smooth and even;
with good gloss. Overall, I was still very pleased. I'll be selling
the other four cards to recoup some of my investment. Hopefully,
I do well.
UPDATE: In November, 2013 I shipped off three of the Newsboys
to SGC for grading (Tiernan, Burke, and Rusie). They all came
back authentic with number grades. The Rusie received a SGC 20
rating - very pleased. I'm keeping the Rusie and have consigned
the others to auction houses hoping they do well.