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An Unbelievable Life-Thomas Sopwith


Helmar “Daredevil” series Thomas Sopwith

London Historians’ Blog is a wonderful place to spend an hour. Here’s what they say about Mr. Sopwith:

“As a small contribution to #RAF100, I’d like to remember in particular a man who – while never in the RAF himself – did build tens of thousands of their warplanes. Boy, did he build them. That man was Sir Thomas Sopwith (1888 – 1989). Remembered mainly for the aeroplane that bore his name – the Camel – Sopwith also gave us many other famous fighter planes, including the Hurricane, the Hawker Hunter and, believe it or not, he was also involved in the Sea Harrier, some 60 years after World War One. In other words, he was building aircraft from barely ten years after the Wright brothers up to a model which is still in use by the US Marines today, over a century of in-service fighter planes. You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that Sopwith himself lived to be 101. “

It also turns out that Mr. Sopwith was a great hockey goalie and even played for the 1910 Great Britain National Hockey Team that won the gold medal in the first European Championships. Maybe it would be fun to make a hockey card of him.

Give London Historians’ Blog a read sometime soon. Best, Charles


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Abner Doubleday, Blues


Visit our website here. And don’t forget our Tuesday night auctions here!

Something Different


I have a number of 19th century images of Native Americans and Western personalities that we’ve colorized but not published yet. Originally the idea was to do small cabinets but I’m thinking of doing this instead. 6″ x 9″ and the finished piece would be a two-color linocut with the colorized photo printed on specialized paper.

Oklahoma land rush; linocut with colorized photo.

One of a Kind: Frank Navin Helmar Cabinet #19


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Last April 27 (2011) I auctioned off this Frank Navin cabinet card. Navin was, of course, owner of the Tigers for some time and the stadium was long named for him. He was quite a guy-as a young man in law school (Cooley College of Law, here in Detroit) he paid for his tuition by working in a casino as a croupier. From that humble start began a career that would make him a wealthy and respected man. The cabinet itself was an experiment, something I love doing. While I expect to eventually make a different cabinet card of Navin, this is the only one that will be made like this. It sold for $14.27.

The Top 15 Sought After Hand-Made Baseball Cards


Here they are, listed by the highest auction prices realized over the past twelve months. It is nice to see that these top cards are spread over the several different series that we’ve been working on.

Rank      Amount      Series                                 Card #      Player Name

1           $315.00       R319                                  49               Ruth, Babe

2           $305.00       R319                                  93              Cobb, Ty

3           $302.00       Helmar Die-Cut                14              Clarke, JJ; Young, Cy; Bradley, Bill; Joss, Addie;

Easterly, Ted; Flick, Elmer;

4            $294.00       Helmar Imperial Cabinet 11             Jackson, Joe

5            $286.69       R319                                  49            Ruth, Babe

6            $281.56      E145                                    2             Ruth, Babe

7            $277.00      R319                                   94            Lloyd, Pop

8           $274.00       R319                                  117           Mantle, Mickey

9           $265.00       R321-Helmar                      2             Jackson; Williams; Risberg; McMullen;

10        $257.52        Imperial                              18            Wagner, Honus

11        $246.02       E145-Helmar                       2             Ruth, Babe

12       $244.27       E145-Helmar                       1             Wood, Joe

13       $237.50       Helmar Imperial Cabinet     17          Ruth, Babe

14      $236.46        T206-Helmar                        10         Cobb, Ty; Wagner, Honus;

15      $235.50        R319                                    129        Mantle, Mickey

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Deacon White, 1873: .392, 327 Hits & 206 Runs Batted In? On Only 1 Home Run?


Ok, so I’m being a bit provocative. But only a little. Not many of today’s fans have ever heard of the name Deacon White, but his fame was proclaimed far and wide among the nineteenth century’s rooters. Not only was he one of the absolute best players in the game for a full twenty years but he also tended to play on championship quality teams.

But about that 1873 season. Deacon was the star catcher for Boston that year, a year they ran away with the league championship. Their 46-13 record left a strong Philadelphia team (36-17) in the dust. Deacon played in all the team games, compiling his .392 average. Still, he placed just third in the average rankings, edged out by Cap Anson (.398) and far behind teammate Ross Barnes (.431). When it came to runs batted in, though, no one came even close to his 77. If you extrapolate his numbers over today’s 161 game schedule, Deacon would have compiled huge numbers–327 hits and 206 runs batted in. Normally we think of a big run producer as a long ball hitter, but Deacon had just one home run that year. It is really quite amazing.

The Pharaoh’s Choice Imperial Cabinet shown below depicts Deacon on the 1887 Wolverines, another of his championship teams.The image is recessed into the framing. It is being auctioned this week on eBay. I hope that you enjoy it!

 

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