Smithsonian serves as host for sports memorabilia night

From Doug Koztoski at Sports Collectors Digest on June 20, 2013, with mention of SABR member Frank Ceresi:

At the very least, you have likely seen some of the small late 1880s-era Old Judge cigarette baseball cards in a price guide, online or at a show. Heck, you might even own a few.

But on April 3 at a Smithsonian event in Washington, D.C., you had a chance to see some of those cards, and many others, about 12 feet in size. Even from my seat near the back of the theater, one Old Judge card made Connie Mack look like Connie Shaq. The reason? The images were part of a PowerPoint presentation for “A Collector’s Big Score: The World of Sports Memorabilia,” in a cozy theater at the museum’s S. Dillon Ripley Center.

Frank Ceresi, the night’s first speaker, presented for about one hour, using the big screen. There was not a bad seat in the house, which was nearly full with about 70 people who paid $28-$40 each to attend the event on a blustery weeknight.

Known mainly in hobby circles as a writer and appraiser, Ceresi is also the curator of the newly launched

A baseball card history overview opened up the evening. The first part of the parade of pasteboards encompassed Old Judge cards, early 20th century tobacco sets (T205, T206, Turkey Reds) and 1920s strip cards, including a 1923 Babe Ruth.

“To this day,” said Ceresi, “Ruth is still the name in collecting.”

Other vintage sets also received some coverage: 1933 Goudey Sports Kings, 1933 Goudey baseball, 1941 Play Ball and the 1952 and 1954 Topps issues, just to name a few.

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Originally published: June 20, 2013. Last Updated: June 20, 2013.