The return of Bob Lemke to the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the hobby “bible” that he edited for most of its 19 editions, has been announced by Dean Listle, sports publisher for Krause Publications.
Lemke began laying the groundwork for a comprehensive baseball card reference catalog and price guide the day F+W predecessor Krause Publications entered the sports card and memorabilia publishing field in 1980 with the introduction of Baseball Cards magazine on national newsstands. The price guide for major baseball card issues from 1948 through 1980 that was included in that magazine introduced the hobby to a value guide that offered both buyers and sellers real-world price data. Previously available card pricing data often quoted values well below the current market, allowing the buyers who promulgated those guides to buy cards cheaply and resell them at large profits, or, conversely cited artificially inflated values to legitimize the prices quoted on sales lists.
The stated goal of the Standard Catalog since its first edition in the mid-1980s was to provide the card collector with a reference that would allow him to identify any card that he held in his hand, and learn its true market value. The “big book” grew every year as collectors and dealers embraced the concept.
In 1998, Lemke delegated his responsibilities in periodical publishing to others and devoted full time to editing the Standard Catalog. He continued in that role until the 2007-dated edition went to press, then retired. He continued to contribute additions, corrections and enhancements to each subsequent edition while the title was under the stewardship of editor Don Fluckinger.
Effective immediately, Lemke returns to the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards as editor of the vintage major league and vintage minor league sections of the book. In that capacity, he will be responsible for maintaining and expanding the database for all baseball cards and related collectibles produced from the 1880s through 1980, and overseeing the updating of pricing data in those areas. The modern-card sections will continue to be the responsibility of the SCD/Tuff Stuff price guide staff.
“I hope to quickly re-establish the dialogue between catalog staff and collectors and dealers around the hobby that have been crucial to the success of the catalog,” Lemke said. To achieve that, I’m making it a priority to reinstate the Standard Catalog Update”columns that were a frequent feature in Sports Collectors Digest during my earlier tenure.
“Of course in this age of electronic media, I’ll also be using an on-line blog to exchange information with contributors at every level.”
Persons with information relative to the vintage sections of the Standard Catalog can contact Lemke at firstname.lastname@example.org. His online blog can be found at boblemke.blogspot.com. He can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 8, Iola, WI 54945.