At the turn of the 20th century, only the wealthy and privileged had access to a safety deposit box at banking institutions. In fact, most did not even have money deposited at a bank. They didn’t trust the banks and felt more secure with their money under the mattress.
The Old Judge Baseball Cards issued between 1887-1890 were some of the first mainstream baseball cards created. These cards depict pictures of hundreds of ballplayers pasted onto thick cardboard. The small black and white cardboard relics are widely collected today, but hard to find. Plastic sleeves and cases didn’t exist in the late 1800s. The most popular way to secure baseball cards was to glue them into a scrapbook so they wouldn’t fall out.
The idea of baseball cards being found in a scrapbook isn’t all that rare. Cards are found from time to time in old books as well. I have seen books with false bottoms or a hollowed out inside where a baseball card can be stored. Spring and summer are times when many of these cards are unearthed as the weather breaks and garage sale season gets underway.
Being involved with vintage baseball card and sports memorabilia for nearly 20 years, I know there are still old baseball cards buried in attics. If you have any old sports collectibles buried in an attic, please call me. You could be the subject of my next featured column.