Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Standard Catalog Update #1 -- Back on Board

After a three-year hiatus, I have returned to the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, at least on a part-time basis.

Effective immediately, I will be resuming responsibility for the "big book's" vintage major league and vintage minor league sections. Between May, 2006, when I "retired" as the book's full-time editor, and today, the job of maintaining and enhancing the vintage sections has been ably handled by Don Fluckinger.

My job with the SCBC will be in these primary areas of responsibility, in about this order of priority:
  • Co-ordinate the updating of pricing data that appears in the book. This will involve working with knowledgeable hobby collectors and dealers to solicit and co-ordinate input in their areas of expertise. I will also be doing my own market data analysis. The goal here is the same as it was when I compiled the first Standard Catalog data base back in 1980: to publish real-world pricing to assist the book's users in making informed buy-sell decisions.
  • Update all existing listings when new information, checklist additions, corrections, variations, etc., surface in the marketplace.
  • Create new listings when previously uncataloged sets are discovered. It still happens regularly as information becomes more readily available in this age of electronic communications.

Besides the additions to the print edition SCBC, I'll be enhancing the data base from which the book is drawn in preparation for possible future releases in the form of DVDs or other media that are better suited to the non-mainstream niches of vintage card/memorabilia collecting than an ink-on-paper presentation.

One of the best parts of my day-to-day involvement with the Standard Catalog during my 1980-2006 tenure as editor was the interaction with collectors. By facilitating the dissemination of the information they were so generously willing to share, we were able to provide a truly "standard" reference catalog that would allow even the most recent newcomer to identify any card he might hold in his hand, and to find a pretty good idea of what it is worth.

Through the contributions of collectors at all levels of interest and expertise we were able to maintain a lively dialogue in the form of "Standard Catalog Update" columns that ran regularly in Sports Collectors Digest. We're going to resurrect that forum on this blog as well as in the pages of SCD. Watch this space for news of discoveries, long-buried information about cards and their issuers and market analysis that is too hot to wait for the annual book to appear.

It is my fervent wish that all readers of this blog become participants in this dialogue, whether by submitting new information, or asking questions that will spark discussions here. Please feel free to use the "comments" section of any blog entry.

To contact me directly, I can be reached by e-mail at You can reach me by mail at P.O. Box 8, Iola, WI 54945. Please understand that this is strictly an evenings and weekends job for me, so be patient if I don't get back to you in a day or two.

While my official duties are limited to the cards and related collectibles issued between the 1880s and 1980, your input on modern issues is equally welcome, and I will make sure it gets to the proper catalog staffer.

Thanks, in advance, for your participation.

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