Sunday, April 19, 2009

Authentic Ink

David, over at Indian Baseball Cards, and then some posted a few days ago about a Denton Young card that he picked up on ebay. He had some questions about the origins of the cards. I volunteered to see what I could find.

Authenticated Ink (or Auth/Ink) cards are standard sized, very thick photo cards, generally commemorating the birth year of the card subject with a penny from that year. The cards have a blank back. The cards are not numbered. Card subjects are generally sports related, but do include religious, political, and other historical figures. Other sports include golf, tennis, cricket, football, boxing and racing.

Below are listed the known baseball related cards with the year of the coin included.

Denton "Cy" Young - 1867
Honus Wagner - 1874
Ty Cobb - 1886
Mike King Kelly - 1887
Walter Johnson - 1887
Dan Brouthers - 1888
Kid Nichols - 1890
Cap Anson - 1892
Abner Doubleday - 1893
George Babe Ruth - 1895
Roger Hornsby - 1896
Jack Chesbro - 1904
Leroy Satchel Paige - 1906
Cy Young (Boston) - 1908
Joshua "Josh" Gibson - 1911
Ty Cobb & Joe Jackson - 1911
Babe Ruth (Red Sox) - 1914
Jim Thorpe (NY Giants) - 1917
Stanislaw Musial - 1920
Lou Gehrig (Columbia University) - 1923
Hank Greenberg - 1930
Josh Gibson (Negro Grays) - 1931
Joe DiMaggio (San Francisco Seals) - 1932
Carl Hubbell - 1933
Dizzy Dean - 1934
Henry Hank Aaron - 1934
Pack "Bob" Gibson - 1935
Lou Gehrig (New York) - 1936
Christy Mathewson - 1936
Bob Feller (Rookie Strikeout) - 1936
Ted Williams (San Diego Padres) - 1937
Lou Gehrig (Day) - 1939
Bob Feller (Indians) - 1940
Peter "Pete" Rose - 1941
Stan Musial (Cardinals) - 1941
Ted Williams & Joe DiMaggio - 1941
Mel Ott - 1945
Duke Snider (Brooklyn) - 1950
Monte Irvin - 1952
Ernie Banks - 1953
Hank Aaron (Milwaukee) - 1954
Tommy Lasorda (Brooklyn) - 1954
Duke Snider & Roy Campanella - 1955
Mickey Mantle - 1956

A few days ago I wrote to Don Fluckinger, editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards to see what he knows about them. They are not included in my 2008 edition. I'm still waiting for his reply.

This evening I emailed the owner of pujols-sports-emporium on ebay. He's selling about 300 of the Auth/Ink cards. I haven't heard from him, but it has only been a few hours.

I'll update this post if I find out more about these cards.


  1. Awesome! Man, that is way more than I've been able to find! Nice work.

  2. This list is not complete, but I don't know of a complete one myself. I do know there is a 1945 Jackie Robinson, and a 1948 Babe Ruth (w/George Bush) that are not on your list. There are also three different designs to these cards: #1) Photo with border, no circle around penny, logo under penny; #2 Photo without border, circle around penny, no logo under penny; and #3) Photo with border, circle around penny, logo under penny. I'm trying to find out more info too. Can't find any info on the company, Authenticated Ink, that made these!

  3. There is also a Joe"shoeless"Jackson with a 1919 penny. Does anyone have any clue of the value for any of the cards??

  4. I'm looking for auth/ink football cards. Thorpe, Biletnikoff, Plunkett, any one know how I can get them?

  5. I have a ted williams 1955 canada penny baseball card from authentic ink.
    On the front of the card is a red stamp it says canadian dealer sample #5 of 5
    that tells me there only 5 of this card? It is in a graded sealed case 10 or higher grade. does any one of you know anything about these cards that just now surfaced and not showed up when i was a kid in the 70's thankd for your input.

  6. i have a 1936 wheat penny ty cobb

  7. have you found any more information. I have 4, kid nichols 1890, 1904, jack chesbro 1904, eddie plank 1906

  8. I actually like these card. I am thinking about buying some because they are neat. A few grading companies are grading them, and they look really cool slabbed in a case. Nice little pieces of Art.

  9. There is also a Honus Wagner card with 1936 wheat penny and Johannes Wagner jigsaw cut with an 1874 Indian head penny.

    1. I have both the 1936 wheat penny Wagner card and the 1874 Indian head penny jigsaw puzzle card. But I cannot find any information on when these were produced. Does anyone have information on a publication date for these cards?

  10. I have a Lou Gehrig 1936 penny insert. Also a Gerald Ford 1933 penny insert. I have Johnny Unitas 1955 1957 1958 1959 all with penny insert. Any approx value?