BREAKING NEWS: Newly Discovered Tobacco Cards Hidden In Duke Chapel

Lola Simmons, an exceptional architectural and engineering student at Duke University made an interesting discovery while inside Duke Chapel – three rare tobacco cards.

After weeks of red tape, she finally received the “ok” to test a new type of structural x-ray equipment.  Although the school administrators weren’t thrilled that she would be using it inside one of their most beloved structures, she persuaded them otherwise.  According to Miss Simmons, “The chapel’s age, foundation, and material used in it’s construction made it the perfect test subject.”

Miss Simmons enjoys working alone.  She finds that its the best way to concentrate.  Her work with this particular experiment needed to be done at night in order to avoid disrupting the chapel’s daily traffic.  On October 10, she settled in for a long night of testing with the school’s newly acquired multi-million dollar device.  After a few hours, things weren’t going well.  She came to the conclusion that a move to another part of the chapel needed to be done.  The Duke Memorial Chapel she believed would work far better.  Unfortunately this part is blocked off with an iron gate.  Determined to complete her work, she macgyvered her way through the lock.

Silence was quickly erased as a thunderstorm moved in.  That first clap of thunder caused her to drop the device.  It went off taking a picture of the left wall.  Luckily the device wasn’t damaged.  Before deleting that dud, she took a look at it.  The sarcophagus housing the remains of George Washington Duke seemed to display an unusual compartment.  Judging by the picture, the compartment looked to be right behind one of the ornate carvings.  Giving the decoration a touch, she could tell it wasn’t fixed.  With a small twist, the compartment opened.  Inside was a strong smell of tobacco, and one lonesome card.  The card was of Mr. Duke.

Along with George Washington Duke, his sons James and Benjamin also have sarcophagi.  Miss Simmons noticed the same carvings on those as well.  Each ended up having a compartment holding a tobacco card.  One of James, and one of Benjamin.

All three cards look to be part of the 1887 Old Judge N172 set.  They most likely are the only examples featuring these men.  George, James, and Benjamin are each pictured sitting in a chair.  A dead stare is in their eyes, while a haunting stag head hangs on the wall.  All attempts at photographing or scanning them have failed.  Not wanting to be seen seems to be their main objective.  Each card was respectfully returned to it’s rightful grave.

The Duke family made their fortune in the cigarette and tobacco business.  Once having a monopoly over the entire industry.  Duke University is one of their largest benefactors.  In the mid-1880s, it was their idea to place cardboard advertisements inside tobacco products.  They helped start this hobby of ours, and didn’t even know it.

Shortly after my meeting with Miss Simmons, she went missing.  The last person to see her was her mother.  According to her mother, “Lola didn’t look well, and just wanted to go to sleep.  She went up to bed, and wasn’t there the next morning.  I just want my baby back.”  The police are doing everything they can.

Until now, this card from 2009 TRISTAR Obak was the only card of The Dukes.

A Look Inside The Newly Renovated World Of Little League Museum

At the conclusion of the 2012 Little League Baseball World Series, Little League began a $4.3 million renovation to the Peter J. McGovern museum.  The World Of Little League Museum has drastically improved over what it use to look like from when it originally opened in 1982.  Walking in the front door you’re immediately inside their new and much larger gift shop packed with tons of Little League items.  Pins, shirts, baseballs, golf balls, books, hats, you name it they probably have a Little League logo on it.

After watching an eight minute video about Little League, you can take yourself on a tour of the newly renovated museum.  The museum is divided up into six “innings” with each section housing items that recount Little League’s past.  Not only have many physical aspects of the museum changed, but they now have about 3x the amount of artifacts.  Many generous individuals have donated and/or loaned pieces which will stay on display.  Many pieces come directly from the family of Little League’s founder Carl Stotz.  They’ve also included a bunch of interactive computer elements that will teach you about each exhibit.

When the world comes to Williamsport next month, this newly renovated museum will be one of the major highlights to visitors.  I picked up three new pins for 2013.  That includes the new Australia jersey pin.  This is the first year that Australia will be represented at the Little League World Series.  Their pins are going to be on fire.

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Babe Ruth wore this uniform in 1934 during a barnstorming tour of Japan.  The tour of well-known Major League players fanned an interest in baseball among the Japanese people that had been growing since the sport was introduced there decades earlier.  It is one of only a few existing known uniforms that Babe Ruth wore during his playing career.  After winning the World Series in 1923, Babe Ruth visited Williamsport, PA.  During batting practice on 10/31/23, he hit the ball you see on the stand next to the uniform 500 feet, and then autographed it.

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Edward Younken pitched the first no-hitter in Little League with this ball, on August 6, 1942.  It is signed by him and by manager John Lindemuth of the Lundy Lumber team.

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Presidential signed baseballs – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, & George W. Bush

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Jimmy Carter autographed baseball

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That’s a lot of pins!

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Cy Young was a big fan of Little League and attended each World Series from 1951 until he passed away in 1955.  He wore that hat during his final visit to Williamsport.

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Nice collection of Cy Young T206 & T205 cards.

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Cy Young autographed baseball

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Hack Wilson model bat

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Little League’s first home plate was carved from rubber that it’s founder, Carl Stotz, found in his father’s basement.  The knife he used, won in a footrace at a railroad picnic when he was a boy, broke in the process.  The plate is 14 1/8″ wide, slightly smaller than the standard 17 inches.

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While turning the corner and entering the Hall Of Excellence I was a bit shocked to see this space suit.  The Hall of Excellence is dedicated to a lot of famous people that played in Little League.  One of those people is NASA astronaut Story Musgrave.  This is the suit Dr. Musgrave used to train for Skylab.  Other famous Little League players from the past include Mike Schmidt, Mike Mussina, Jim Palmer, Kyle Petty, and Tom Selleck.

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The view from the Viewing Plaza.

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Viewing Plaza

Newly Discovered Allen & Ginter Set?

I THINK NOT!!!  Every now and then I search to see if there are any scams up for sale or have been up for sale.  This afternoon I came upon this little beauty which I unfortunately didn’t find in time to report.  Looks to me like someone took a regular Jose Reyes A&G mini and gave it a haircut.  I think it looks like a postage stamp.  Somebody thought this was a real die cut insert and paid $10.51 for a card that normally would sell for only $0.99.

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