Category Archives: Dick Bartell

Collecting Leaf History of Baseball Cut Signatures

Although baseball cards remain the primary focus of my Phillies collection, I also try to obtain autographs of as many Phillies as possible. For what I feel are obvious reasons, certified autograph cards issued by the trading card manufacturers are the primary source of these in my collection and my preferred way of acquiring them. But, 2012 Leaf HoB Bartell030for the Phillies who haven’t been asked to sign such cards (or sign stickers to be placed on cards), I also collect baseballs and photos bearing signatures authenticated by the likes of PSA/DNA, SGC, GAI and JSA. While it isn’t an issue with baseballs, the one catch for me is that I don’t want photos or cards that picture the player with another team. Thus, I have no interest in Bruce Ruffin’s 1996 Leaf Extended Series autograph card, even though it’s the only certified autograph card ever issued for him. I also refuse to forgive Topps or Upper Deck for failing to issue a Johnny Callison Phillies autograph card before his passing; yet, they did respectively manage Callison White Sox and Yankees autograph cards — go figure.

This hard and fast rule of mine gets tested with Leaf ‘s History of Baseball cut signature cards that they issued over the past few years.

On one hand, there are no team designations on the card, so any former Phillies are potentially fair game. However, they do bear notable achievements on the card, often with a year that the accomplishment took place — such as a player’s sole All-Star Game selection. As a result, even though there isn’t a team designation I can research the player’s listed achievement(s) thus easily determining whether he was a member of the Phillies when the noteworthy event occurred. As a result, I stay away from the Leaf History of Baseball cards where the former Phillie’s achievement took place on another team.

For example, there is a 2012 Leaf History of Baseball signature cut card for Jim Kaat. If it listed his 16 Gold Glove awards as his accomplishment, I would have added it to my collection as two he won two of those awards while pitching for 2013 TriStar Kaat031the Phillies. Alas, the card only mentions that he was a three-time All-Star, and all those selection occurred before becoming a Phillie. So, this card was of no interest to me. Luckily, I found a 2013 TriStar SignaCut Baseball Honors card that used a Kaat cut autograph from a 1977 Topps card issued during his stint with the Phillies. So, I have a Kaat signature that meets my requirements after all. Interestingly, it lists his number of All-Star appearances and Gold Glove awards. Take that, Leaf.

Even with the restriction I placed upon collecting these cards, I’ve managed quite a little collection of them. Without these bland cut autographs, I wouldn’t have autographs of former All-Stars Ray Culp, Grant Jackson, and Dick Bartell. I own signatures of Whiz Kids Dick Sisler and Stan Lopata thanks to these cards, and I sincerely2012 Leaf HoB Jackson032 doubt I’d own an autograph of 1947 batting champ Harry Walker if it wasn’t for these series of Leaf cards.

The best part about them is that they are relatively cheap. If you’re patient enough, you can get most of them from anywhere between $5-$15 each (I may have payed slightly more for the Bartell card). In an ideal world, one of the major card manufacturers would have already printed proper certified autograph cards for many of the Phillie autographs that are only in my collection because of Leaf History of Baseball, but I’ll take what I can get.

1934 Diamond Matchbooks – Silver Border

Card dimensions: Approximately 1½” x 4⅛” (when unfolded)
Additional Information: Released during of the matchbook collecting craze of the ’30s. Player portrait or posed photos are printed in sepia on front, with the photo framed by a silver border. The border for the rest of the matchbook can be found in either red, green, orange or blue. The matchbooks are unnumbered, so the players are listed in alphabetical order and numbered accordingly. Because of the nature of the product, the matchbooks are effectively “blank-backed.”



Ethan Allen
Dick Bartell
Lou Chiozza
Phil Collins
Jim Elliot
Chick Fullis
Roy “Snipe” Hansen
Harvey Hendrick
Henry Oana
Wes Schulmerich (uncorrected error: last name spelled “Schulmerick”)
Jimmie Wilson

1934-36 Diamond Stars (R327)

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions:
2⅜” x 2⅞”
Additional Information: Produced by National Chicle over the course of three years, many of the cards contain variations based on the year that they were reprinted. It should be noted that based on the text of the card, the Dick Bartell 1935 green back variation is technically a Giants card. However, it is included because he is depicted as a Phillie and, aside from couple small changes in the text, the card is nearly identical to the 1934 green back version.

Topps recycled this design in its 2010 Topps National Chicle set.

Dick Bartell (1934 green back)
Dick Bartell (1935 green back)
Johnny Vergez (Phillies variation, 1935 green back)
Jimmie Wilson (1934 green back)
Jimmie Wilson (1935 green back)
Jimmie Wilson (1936 blue back)
John “Blondy” Ryan (1935 green back — only year produced)
Harvey Hendrick (1935 green back — only year produced)
Lou Chiozza (1935 green back)
Lou Chiozza (1935 blue back)
Lou Chiozza (1936 blue back)
Ethan Allen (1936 blue back — only year produced)


Featured Cards: 1979 Topps Comics #28, Pete Rose; 1935 Diamond Stars #15, Dick Bartell

Yes, the numbers in the subject line of this post and the tagline below the name of this blog you see are correct. 14,000 Phillies now has over 15,000 items. As I approached this number, I decided to make sure that the collectible receiving the honor of my denoting it as #15,000 was something special. So, I placed an online order with Cavalcade of Sports for a few graded vintage cards. I figured that when the package arrived, I would choose one from the group and post about it.

But then, Jay (owner of Cavalcade of Sports) surprised me. After I placed the order, he sent me an email saying my package was on its way that he would include a bonus or two. While I appreciate the nice touch of his throwing in a couple freebies, I truly didn’t expect much because every time a dealer has done this in the past, I’ve received something already housed in my collection. When I initially opened my package, I found a complete set of 1992 Sportflics Kellogg’s, which contains a Mike Schmidt card. Fine, but I already have the card. The pleasant surprise came wedged between the 1952 Red Man Tobacco Willie Jones and another slabbed card (which I am now unable to recall): the 1979 Topps Comics Pete Rose you see at the top of this post.

The funny thing about this particular “card” is that in 1979, I lived in an area which had this test issue product. I don’t know if I ever owned the Rose comic, but I do remember buying more than a few pieces of the gum these comics were wrapped (Bazooka-style) around. I don’t recall what tragedy befell the comics I did own, but I know I no longer had them when I entered my teen years — the time I started taking my card collection seriously.

The card that most likely would have been denoted #15,000, if fate had not intervened.

Anyway, getting this particular item was never a priority for me. In fact, I never placed it on any want lists I compiled in the past (I am working on putting together a new one, but that’s still in the early stages). So, receiving this comic was a very welcome surprise — so much so that I decided to denote it as #15,000 in the collection.

Moving forward, I will retain the name of this blog. It was created in anticipation of adding #14,000 to the collection, and I see no reason at this time to change its name just because I’ve added another 1,000 cards since then. Furthermore, I truly believe that rate of growth is truly the product of a variety of different factors that have vanished or are now quickly waning. I truly don’t believe that it will take me just under six months to add the next 1,000 cards — however, it wouldn’t surprise me if it happens more quickly than I expect it to occur. Maybe at some point down the road, I will update the name of the blog, but it won’t be till well after #16,000 gets added.