Three years before his death, the "Father of Card Collecting" writes to fellow pioneer Buck Barker and mentions other notable collectors Knapp, Van Brakle, Orem, Corson, Cooper and Hendricks. Perhaps the best line in the text is this: "Nobody has a monopoly in this game. Even the newest beginner may pick up stuff the old timers have never heard of." The missive is dated 9/15/60 and appears on a sheet of Burdick's personal stationery (8-1/2 x 11", EX) with the "8-9" signature, "Jeff." Auction LOA from JSA. A larger excerpt is available on our website.
"Had a dandy visit with 2 of the general collectors up there: Bill Knapp and Don Van Brakle...They are a bit off the beaten track and so have but few visitors...He mentioned that Carter stopped there a few years ago and Bray also was there once. Both these fellows have collections much smaller than mine, of course, but it is amazing how many things they have that I have never seen. Nobody has a monopoly in this game. Even the newest beginner may pick up stuff the old timers have never heard of...Topps Gum gets a lot of publicity in a big article in current Esquire which deals with the 'wars' among the gum companies over baseball rights and contracts for cards. I don't know whether or not it is of any real benefit to the company...Thanks for blue card. Nice set. Keep a record of all such things. You're the new issue and additions specialist."