Category Archives: Charles “Red” Dooin

Collection Report: Charles “Red” Dooin

Total cards: 91906 Fan Craze Dooin
Solo cards: 7
Multiplayer cards, Phillies only: 2
Professionally graded cards: 8
Want Listed: 0

Okay, I’ll be honest and admit that the only reason for posting this particular report is because I just recently acquired the 1906 Fan Craze Dooin card, making it the second oldest card in my collection. I have no idea if I’ll ever manage to purchase another card from this set, but I’ll gladly fork over the amount I paid for this one on eBay to get another one in similar condition.

T206 Dooin FrontThe thing I love most about this card is that it bears the photo that was colorized for his T206 White Border card. Card images were reused frequently during the 1910s and 1920s — to an extent that might even make the current regime at Topps blush* — but you rarely saw both an original photo and colorized version of it. At least, that’s true of the Phillies cards in my collection.

Anyway, for whatever reason, I own more pre-WW II Dooin cards than any other player from that era. All but one of his cards I own, his 2005 Topps Turkey Red reprint, is from that period. Interestingly, there are a few other players from that timeframe with a greater presence in my collection, when you count cards from all eras — specifically, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Cy Williams, Sherry Magee, Gavvy Cravath and Chuck Klein. Yet, for each and every one of them, it’s modern issues that they are mostly represented by. I find the dichotomy somewhat fascinating — nearly as fascinating to me is that all but three of my nine Dooin cards have appeared on this site. This is yet another area where his number exceeds that of Klein and Alexander.

I almost feel like I should do something to rectify that.

* Nah, who am I kidding. Topps excised any sense of corporate shame years ago.

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2014 Topps Turkey Red: Bringing New Meaning to “Turkey”

1995 Fleer StockerThe truly ugly baseball card sets are an assault on the senses. After gazing upon them for just a couple of minutes you can’t help but feel you need to step away and start flushing your eyes out with Visine. Amazingly, Fleer managed to do this twice in just a five-year period, with two sets — the first in 1991 and the second in 1995 — which demonstrated that ugliness can be achieved in wildly divergent set designs. Whereas the blindingly yellow borders from the ’91 issue only required sunglasses in order to gaze upon them for more than a few minutes, one needs to drop acid in order to appreciate the design used for National League East teams in the ’95 issue. At least, that’s what I assume as I refuse to ingest it myself in order to test my hypothesis, but it’s the only method I can surmise that would allow anyone to enjoy those cards.

But, at least those nightmarish sets were completely original designs. True, they were abject, mockable failures. Yet, the Fleer designers responsible for those monstrosities at least exercised their creative talents — for evil, mind you, but creative nonetheless.

You cannot say 2014 Turkey Red Brownthe same thing about 2014 Topps Turkey Red.

I’ve given Topps some grief in the past in regards to its reuse of vintage designs. But in nearly every instance, my criticisms fall into the realm of being nitpicky in a manner that I wish Topps would embrace — a great example is my discussion of what was wrong with the Darin Ruf/Tyler Cloyd Rookie Stars card in the 2013 Topps Heritage set. With the extremely notable exception of their various efforts to create a 1973-style solo Mike Schmidt card — which The Phillies Room did a wonderful job of annotating — Topps generally puts forth a decent effort to properly recreate the original design when issuing its retro sets.

This was especially true back when Topps resurrected the Turkey Red design back in 2005. I loved the set and felt they did a wonderful job of resurrecting the design. In fact, my only real complaint was that they didn’t reprint more of the cards from the2005 Topps Turkey Red Dooin iconic original set. It was awesome to a have high-quality, standard-sized reprint of the Charles “Red” Dooin card alongside the 2005 Phillies team set, but it was also depressing that it lack accompaniment by similar reprints of Sherry Magee, William “Kitty” Bransfield, Mickey Doolan, & Dode Paskert.

As Topps continued issuing the brand in successive years, the design was tweaked slightly from year-to-year. However, unlike the Allen & Ginter designs, each of the Turkey Red sets were still recognizably using the same design elements from the original set (Wrigley Wax has a nice montage showing the evolution of the set over the years). Whatever your feelings may have been about the alterations, there was no denying that Topps was at least trying to maintain the spirit of the original set.

Then there’s 2014 Turkey Red.2014 Turkey Red Lee

I don’t know Topps’s reason for the utterly obvious laziness demonstrated by this year’s design. Maybe it’s the result of the fact that despite its comparatively high asking price, Topps knew the limited-edition product was almost certainly going to sell out — which it did. Maybe its because they decided to “modernize” the design somewhat. Regardless of the explanation, the design feels like someone just looked at the last seven years of product and attempted to reproduce it with as little effort as possible. The nameplate is completely gone, and there’s nothing about the border that suggests it’s supposed to be a picture frame. Furthermore, the only identifier on the front is the player’s last name — no team designation or first name. In previous years, Topps used either the player’s full name or the player’s last name and team designation. Using just the last name puts the final who-gives-a-fuck appearance to a product that just looks obscenely lazy, and to me that’s worse than ugly. Lazy suggests that no one gave a crap about what the final product looked like. There’s very little creativity in lazy — especially when you are trying to create something that is incredibly reminiscent of a previous product.

2014 Turkey Red HamelsIt gets worse for us Phillies collectors, however. Much like all the fans of National League East teams in the 1995 Fleer set, we have a special, albeit much more sublime, horror lurking for us in this year’s edition of Turkey Red. Look closely at the spaces in the “P” on the caps and inside any of the loops in the “Phillies” script on the jerseys. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — that interior space is grey on the uniforms and blue/dark-grey on the caps. I can only assume that this is somehow the result of the computerized treatment designed to stylize the photos in some sort of retro, “drawn” fashion.* It doesn’t really matter, however, why it happened. The point is that it did, and once you notice it, it jumps out at you every single time. Mind you, this is not hideous in the manner of the retouching job on Roy Halladay’s 2010 Topps Heritage card, but nonetheless this type of production mistake is completely unacceptable. If there’s a silver lining to this mess, it’s that there are no Phillies autograph inserts. Completists such as myself don’t need to spend much money to assemble a master team set.

My only hope is that this marks the end of Topps’s Turkey Red sets once and for all. If this is what we have to look forward to with future releases, then I don’t want to see them. It takes a special effort to produce something as lazy as this, and I don’t want to reward Topps for it any further.

Featured cards: 1995 Fleer #405, Kevin Stocker; 2014 Topps Turkey Red #45, Domonic Brown; 2005 Topps Turkey Red #14, Charles “Red” Dooin; 2014 Topps Turkey Red #41, Cliff Lee; 2014 Topps Turkey Red #59, Cole Hamels

* Which, by the way, is also an obscene failure when you compare it to the artwork shown in the Dooin reprint.

Reaching 19,500

Featured Cards: 2007 Upper Deck #520, Zach Segovia; 1912 Hassan Triple Folders (T202), Sherry Magee & Charles Dooin — “Donlin Out at First”

Last week, the collection passed 19,500 cards. Given the amount of product that Topps & Panini will likely issue this year, reaching 20,000 by year’s end seems inevitable — even if I don’t purchase anything other than 2014 releases as they hit store shelves. Having started this blog in May 2011 in anticipation of adding card #14,000 to my collection, it’s quite mind-boggling to me that I will have expanded the collection so much in such a short period of time.

2007 Upper Deck SegoviaIt just so happens that the start of this blog coincided with a steady improvement in my finances which allowed an explosion in the size of my collection. The primary driver of this massive growth resulted from my back-filling most of the product released from 2004 through 2010. While I have never stopped collecting at any time in my life, budgetary constraints during that period forced me to be very selective in what I was adding to the collection. Of the 5,500 cards I’ve added during the past three years, I don’t know exactly what percentage comes from that seven-year period, but it’s clearly more than half. I know this because I do know how many cards issued from 2011 through the present I’ve added: 2,039. That actually overstates my keeping up with ongoing releases because when this blog started, I already had, at an absolute minimum, at least 100 cards that had already been issued in 2011.

But not all of the remaining 3,400+ cards come from the ’00s. The final driver of this growth was related to my decision in 2004 to drastically cutback on my purchase of new product. In addition to that change in how I collected, I needed to sell a significant amount of the vintage portion of my collection — in particular, cards predating Topps’s standardization of card sizes in 1957. I replaced most of those cards with reprints and tried to make do with them, but they just T202 Magee-Dooin478weren’t the same. However, the same financial freedom that allowed me to pick up so much of the material from 2004-2010 also allowed me to start rebuilding the pre-1957 portion of my collection. Sadly, that is still very much a work in progress, and I’m starting to believe that I will never again own a few of the complete team sets that formerly resided in my collection. However, I will persevere — over the past few years I’ve gotten lucky and obtained some great pre-WW II cards at surprisingly low prices, and it’s certainly possible that similar fortunate pickups are in my future.

Looking forward to #20,000, I’m certain that I’m going to want to pickup something special once I’m in sight of that milestone. What that card might be is still very uncertain. I know I’d like for it to be a notable pre-WW II card or an extremely short-printed modern insert, but when the time comes, it may very well be something a simple as a common 2014 — especially if it comes as part of a complete Phillies team set of the newest release.

1909-1911 T206 White Border

T206 Doolin FrontT206 Doolin Back

Manufacturer: American Tobacco Company
Card Dimensions: Approximately 1716” x 2⅝”
Additional Information/14,000 Phillies Commentary: Almost certainly the most famous and the most important of the 20th century tobacco issues. Thanks to the wide array of different backs, there are 146 confirmed different total variations of the 13 basic Phillies cards in the T206 set. Thankfully, modern collectors have a wonderful resource tool, T206Resource.com, for learning about the history of the set, seeing samples of all the different backs, and getting a breakdown of all the variations and levels of scarcity. The cards are not numbered; although both Beckett and SCD employ the same numbering system, which assigns numbers after listing all the players in alphabetical order by last name, they differ in how they handle what appear to be errors rather than variations. This results in slightly differing checklists. For example, Beckett assigns the “Magie” portrait error its own card number while SCD assigns it the same number as the corrected version, appending the numbers with (a) and (b) designations to denote error and corrected card. The SCD system is used in the checklist below.

For the purposes of this checklist, it should be noted that with the exception of the “Magie” error, the “Piedmont 350” and “Sweet Caporal 350, 30” backs are the two only backs with which all the Phillies cards appear. Interestingly, the “Magie” error is only available with the “Piedmont 150” back, which makes sense once you understand the history of the set. In order to more concisely list all the possible variations, each possible T206 back (other than the “Piedmont 350” and “Sweet Caporal 350, 30”) is listed after the primary checklist and is followed by just the assigned numbers of the cards that possess that back. These lists would not have been possible without the help of T206Resource.com. Furthermore, only the confirmed cards as of January 9, 2013 are listed here. The lists will be revised accordingly when confirmations of other player/back combinations take place.

Finally, Topps has recycled the T206 designs on numerous occasions. Most notably, the 2002, 2009, & 2010 Topps 206 sets (the 2002 set includes reprints of the “Magie” error and the corrected version of the card), as well as for its 2010/2011 eTopps T206 Tribute cards. Topps also used it as part of its 2008 Topps Trading Card History inserts, but no Phillies appeared with the design.

[48]
[104]
[133]
[134]
[135]
[136]

[224]
[252]
[287]a
[287]b
[288]
[319]
[320]
[478]

William “Kitty” Bransfield
Harry Coveleski
Charles “Red” Dooin
Mickey Doolan (Batting pose)
Mickey Doolan (Fielding pose)
Mickey Doolin (Portrait pose; uncorrected error: last name should be spelled “Doolan”)
Fred Jacklitsch
Otto Knabe
Sherry Magie (Portrait pose, error: last name spelled incorrectly)
Sheery Magee (Portrait pose, corrected)
Sherry Magee (“With Bat” pose)
George McQuillan (“Ball in Hand” pose)
George McQuillan (“With Bat” pose)
John Titus

American Beauty 350 FrameT206 Magee Front
135, 252, 478

American Beauty 350 No Frame
134, 288, 320

American Beauty 460
320

Broad Leaf 350
135, 252, 478

Broad Leaf 460
134

Carolina Brights
478

Cycle 350
135, 252, 478

Cycle 460T206 Knabe Front
134, 288, 320

Drum 350
134, 252, 288, 320, 478

El Principe De Gales
104, 133, 134, 136, 287(b), 288, 319, 320, 478

Hindu Brown
48, 287(b), 319

Hindu Red
134, 288

Lennox Black
288, 320

Lennox Brown
320

Old MillT206 Jacklitsch Front
104, 134, 136, 224, 288, 319, 320, 478

Polar Bear
134, 288, 320, 478

Piedmont 150
48, 104, 133, 136, 224, 287(a), 287(b), 319

Piedmont 460, 25
134, 288, 320, 134, 288, 320

Sovereign 150
48, 104, 133, 136, 224, 287(b), 319

Sovereign 350 Apple Green
134, 288, 320

Sovereign 350 Forest Green
133, 135, 224, 252, 478

Sweet Caporal 150, 25 &T206 Dooin Front
Sweet Caporal 150, 30

(Checklist the same for both backs)
48, 104, 133, 136, 224, 287(b), 319

Sweet Caporal 150, 649
48, 319

Sweet Caporal 350, 25
48, 104, 134, 135, 136, 224, 252, 287(b), 288, 320, 478

Sweet Caporal 460, 25
288

Sweet Caporal 460, 42
134, 288

Sweet Caporal 460, 42 Over Print
134, 288, 320

Tolstoi
134, 135, 252, 288, 320

Uzit
320

Card #15,772: 1909-11 American Caramel Red Dooin

Featured Card: 1909-1911 American Caramel (no #), Charles “Red” Dooin

Every once in a while, the eBay gods smile upon me and I’m able to add a graded pre-WW I card to my collection at a price I can afford. The Dooin card shown here is one of those instances. Yes, the corners are heavily rounded, it’s stained on both sides, there’s a crease that threatens to break the upper left-hand corner off of the card, and there’s some light paper loss on the bottom border. However, the card is intact, and apart from the crease does not actually bear any significant damage. In other words, it looks pretty good for a card graded in “Fair” condition.

What made it even better was that I got it for under $25 — that includes the shipping and handling. The 1909-1911 American Caramel E90-1 set is one where you can realistic expect to spend a minimum of $75 for a non-graded example in “VG” condition. Far more often than not, sellers will set the minimum bid higher than that. With that in mind, I feel as though I was incredibly to snag this card for the price I paid.

I know a lot of collectors like to liberate cards from graded-slabs, but I’m not one of them. For odd-sized vintage cards in low-grade condition, to me they seem like the perfect storage vehicle. Yes, their size and bulk creates some storage issues. However, for a card like the Dooin one shown here, the case may very well be helping the card maintain its structural integrity*. I don’t know how weak the card is along that crease on the upper left-hand corner, and I have no desire to find out. Even if the card is mostly intact along the crease, transferring it to a different style of holder involves the potentially of accidentally damaging it further.  In the end, even though I cannot touch the card itself, I can still easily view both sides and safely handle it without any worries. To me, it’s a win-win situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of reasons to maintain a love-hate relationship with the grading services. However, in a situation like this — where I bought this particular card without inspecting it personally — I’m certainly more thankful for their presence than not.

* I always like it when I can make sci-fi references when writing about baseball cards.

The Parallel Dilemma, Part 1

Featured cards: 1984 Ralston Purina #22, Mike Schmidt; 1984 Topps Cereal Series #4, Pete Rose; 1911 Polar Bear T205, William E. Bransfield; 1911 Sweet Caporal T205 Chas. S. Dooin; 1916 M101-4 Black Back #40, Gavvy Cravath

After completing my post yesterday and reading a post inspired in part by it on The Phillies Room, I realized that there was a lot more I wanted to say about collecting and the decisions I made in terms of what constitutes a complete collection. The fact is that even team collectors can differ on what the term “comprehensive collection” actually means. The obvious meaning is literal: one of everything. However, I believe that very few, if any, individuals possess the resources to actually assemble such a collection for any team, and this has been true for long before the advent of parallel cards as we’ve come to know, understand and possibly even despise them.

Before the term “parallel card” even existed, I subconsciously understood what they were and immediately developed an apathy toward them. In the spring/summer of 1984, Topps produced a 33-card set for Ralston Purina, and I attempted to collect them all. However, in the process of doing so, I discovered that Topps essentially reused the set to create the Topps Cereal Series. Rather than track down both sets, I was happy to merge the cards from the two sets together in an effort to create a single set. It didn’t matter to me that they were technically different sets; the photos, numbering and basic design were the same — to me, they were the same set. My attitude continued when Topps introduced its Tiffany set and reprinted its entire base set for Nestle — they barely registered on my radar, and to this day, I have never owned a single card for either of those sets. They are utterly superfluous to me.

Although parallels as we’ve come to call them have only existed for roughly 20 years, they’ve actually been around for a century. The original parallel cards are the tobacco issues from 100 years ago. All the talk about differing Piedmont, Old Mill, Polar Bear, Sweet Caporal and Tolstoi (just to name a few of the brands to issue T205, T206 and T207 cards) backs only minimizes the fact that these are all essentially the same card — the only difference is the color of the ink on the back and the name of the tobacco brand. Even though no one refers to them as parallels, that doesn’t change the fact they are.

  

  

But, the American Tobacco Company wasn’t the only perpetrator issuing parallels before they became a staple of baseball cards. According to the Sports Collector Digest 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, no less than eight different variants on the M101-4 and M101-5 sets exist. For this, we can thank the original manufacturer, Felix Mendelsohn of Chicago. By originally creating the set as a blank-backed issue, alternate versions of the set could be reprinted with advertising on the back for the company that wanted to distribute it. That’s exactly what Famous and Barr Clothiers, Gimbels, H. Weil Baking Co., Holmes to Homes Milk-Made Bread, Morehouse Baking Co., The Sporting News, The Standard Biscuit Co. and Ware’s did. Same pictures, same front design, same checklist… only difference is the back. Sounds like parallels to me too.

Here’s the thing: even when I was working at building what I deemed the most comprehensive Phillies collection possible, I had no interest in getting every single variant of a particular card. If I acquired just one of card of a Phillie in the T206 set, it didn’t matter to me what brand was on the back. Mind you, my attitude changed with recent parallel issues. Because I wanted to the team sets to look as uniform as possible, I very rarely purchased parallels. Yes, some did filter their way into the collection, but when it came to displaying team sets, the shinier, gaudier parallels always played second fiddle to their basic brethren. Did this make my collection less comprehensive? I guess that depends on whether or not the person asking the question feels that you need to acquire as many parallels as possible for the sake of completeness.

There have been some exceptions to the rule, however, but in nearly every case the exceptions are notable for very good reasons. I’ll cover a few of those in my next post.

Quick non sequitur: I’m actually a multi-faceted geek, so adding a title that sounds like the name of a Star Trek episode (you pick your favorite series) to a post about baseball cards actually amuses more far more than it really should.