Major League History
1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Baseball Heros Autographed Insert # 172 / 2500
By the 1980's, baseball card companies flooded the market with cheap, over-manufactured baseball cards. The result was that supply was high and demand very low. Baseball card prices plummeted and frustrated collectors became disenchanted. This card may have saved the baseball card collecting hobby.
In 1990, Upper Deck cut a deal with Reggie to sign 2500 'Baseball Heroes" cards to be randomly inserted into their second series product. The cards were distributed in a ratio that wasn't even close to one per case. Collectors have scooped them up making them very tough to find. Today inserts, parallels, limited edition refractors and numbered autographs rule the hobby and keep collectors motivated to pull one of these rare inserts from a pack. This Reggie card led the way as the first randomly inserted autograph card making it an important piece of baseball card collecting history. - $200.
1887 N172 Old Judge Jack Clements
Goodwin & Company's Old Judge card set is one of the first and most revered baseball card sets in existence. This particular Old Judge card produced in 1887, features one of the most interesting catchers in baseball history. Jack Clements had a seventeen-year career beginning with the Philadelphia Keystones of the Union Association in 1884 and ending with the Boston Nationals in 1900. Most of his career was spent with the Philadelphia Quakers / Phillies, the team he is shown with in this card.
The power hitting catcher hit for over .300 in six different seasons, including a .394 average in 1895. He was second in the league in home runs with 17 in 1893 behind only hall of famer Ed Delahanty. He is, however, remembered more for his catching style and innovation than for his offensive abilities. Clements was the first and only left-handed catcher of any real significance in major league history. He is also credited as the first man to wear a chest protector.
This tobacco card is graded and encapsulated by Global Authentication Inc. GAI went out of business in 2009 but during their existence, they were generally considered to be one of the more reliable vintage card graders. This card is unique in that it was GAI's 1st graded example as is noted on the label.
The Type A "0" numbered card shows Clements in the 'Bat at ready nearly vertical' pose. Despite its obvious signs of heavy wear, the card maintains a pleasing vintage look. Its historical interest is enhanced by its designation as a first graded card by a now defunct card grading company. Its subject, Jack Clements, is a unique and interesting figure in baseball history. Price - $160
1927 E210 York Caramel #30 Jess Haines, PSA 1.5 - $75
1916 Famous and Barr #9 Frank "Home Run" Baker SGC 20
Considering that he never hit more than 12 home runs in any season, the nickname "Home Run" might seem like a misnomer. But in the deadball era in which Frank Baker played, home runs were few and far between. He led the league in home runs from 1911-1914 with 11, 10, 12 and 9 home runs each season respectively. He earned his now famous nickname during the 1911 World Series after homering off both Rube Marquard and Christy Matthewson in back to back games.
The 1916 Famous and Barr Clothiers baseball set is a regional release that parallels The Sporting News M101-4 and M101-5 sets. The cards are more rare than T205s or T206s. The cards were produced by Chicago-based printer Felix Mendelsohn, blank back cards were sold in sets and sheets. Mendelsohn also marketed his cards to businesses, who had their company information stamped on the card backs and then used them for promotional purposes. Eighteen different businesses had their names printed on the card backs. Blank backs sold by Mendelsohn are the most common.
In the April 6, 1916 issue of the Sporting News, and in the summer of that same year, Mendelson took out an ad in the Sporting News offering these cards.
To demonstrate the scarcity of this particular card, the current PSA population report shows only 1 graded example in existence, a total of 4 (including this one) have been graded by SGC. Price - $225.
1948 Bowman Lot (15) - nearly 1/3 of the set: #1 Elliott, #2 Blackwell, #4 Mize (RC), #9 Cooper, #12 Sain, #14 Reynolds, #15 Joost, #19 Henrich, #21 Fain, #23 Jansen, #25 McCoskey, #27 Gordon, #31 McCahan, #32 Rigney, #33 Johnson - $185
1915 Cracker Jack #71, John "Chief" Meyers, SGC 30 - $185
1922 E121 Amer. Caramel Rogers Hornsby 2B - Series of 120 - $365
^ Look for the UD diamond symbol on the back to know the card is an authentic inserted autograph. Non-autos had a circle instead of a diamond.
1933 Orbit Tattoo R305, Mickey Cochrane, SGC 50 - $225
1913 T200 Fatima Cigarettes Pittsburgh Nationals
The Fatima Cigarette team series of 1913 was the first insert card promotion to exclusively feature teams over individual players. The end result is the 16-card series of real photo cards the American Card Catalog designated "T200." By using traditional photography, the developing process was not as
1928 Yuengling's Ice Cream #17 Carl Mays, SGC Authentic - $85
1922 Neilson's Chocolate Heinie Groh, Type II - $35
1922 E121 Amer. Caramel Harry Heilmann - Series of 120, EX - $185.
1952 Red Man Tobacco Cards - Bob Feller, Pee Wee Reese, Nellie Fox, Ralph Kiner and Sal Maglie with tabs
Produced from 1952 thru 1955. In an era when Bowman and Topps were fighting it out to see who would have card supremacy, Red Man snuck under the radar and produced one of the more colorful baseball card sets of the 1950's. When Red Man decided that they wanted to add baseball cards to their tobacco pack product, they did their homework well and, to give their cards instant credibility, they turned to a source that was the expert and guru in the baseball field at the time. J.G. Taylor Spink was picked to select the cards that would be produced in each set. Spink was the publisher and editor of The Sporting News, which many considered the baseball bible of that era and he carried the nickname "Mr. Baseball".
The tab at the bottom was an important part of the card then as it is now for value. Simply put, cards with tabs today are worth more than the cards without a tab. The tab was used as part of a promotion to obtain a cap of one's favorite major league team. One would purchase a pack of Red Man Tobacco for the price of 20 cents per pack wrapped in clear plastic.
The promotion was to turn in 50 cutoff tabs and mail them in for the cap of your choice. In other words, you had to spend ten dollars on Red Man Tobacco to get enough tabs for the cap. The cards have a redemption expiration date of March 31, 1953 on the backs. The cap was a felt cap and on the inside it would say "Red Mans Baseball Cap". The 1952 Red Man Tobacco set was the first tobacco issue released since the early teen years, and is considered the most difficult set of the four to collect with tabs intact. As you might imagine, a large majority of these cards are found today with the bottom tab cut off.
Among this lot of 5 are some of the best players of the day. Included are Bob Feller, Pee Wee Reese, Nellie Fox, Ralph Kiner and Sal Maglie. The Feller card has multiple light creases. No creases on the other cards. Minor to moderate corner to each and light surface spots. Each card has the difficult to find tab at bottom. Price - $225.
automatic as we are accustomed to today meaning cards can have photo quality ranging from poor to un-improvable. In addition to image quality, fragile photo paper that is easily creased has made this edition one of the most condition sensitive issues of all-time. Offered is a nice example of the Pittsburgh Nationals. The Pirates team that year features Hall of Famers Fred Clarke, Max Carey and of course the great Honus Wagner. This card has the common photo cracking, areas of blurriness, and spotting / foxing on the paper on the back. About Good condition.
Price - $295
1933 George C. Miller Frank Lefty O'Doul, PSA Authentic
Someone should make a movie about the life of Lefty O'Doul. His story is too interesting to capture in detail in this short space. A two time NL batting champion including a .398 average in 1929, a World Series champion, and his lifetime .349 batting average places him as the 4th best of all time! But perhaps his greatest accomplishments in baseball came after his playing days. O'Doul was instrumental in spreading baseball to Japan before and after WWII. Japan's Tokyo Giants were named by him in connection with his longtime association with the NY Giants. He is so well respected and such an iconic baseball figure in Japan that he was named to the Japanese baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Now about this card, ask any serious baseball card collector to name their top 10 most rare, valuable and attractive vintage card sets and most will include the 1933 George C. Miller. They feature original artwork (my personal favorite - the descending sunset on the distant horizon). They were a regional issue in Boston only which makes them rare to begin with but what makes them even moreso is the fact that kids could collect a set of the 32 cards and then send them back to George C. Miller & Co for their choice of premiums (baseball, mitt or ticket to any AL or NL game). Many of the cards are found today with holes punched in them which marked them as redeemed. This particular card has some condition issues but no holes. A difficult find in any condition. $225.
1948 Kelloggs Pep Baseball Set (5) - the 42 mult-sport and entertainer card set contains 5 baseball players. These are those five - $75
1922 E121 Amer. Caramel Carl Mays - Series of 120, G - SOLD
Click the images to enlarge.
1914 Fatima Cigarettes, T222, Jack Barry - $100
1934 Batter-Up #21 Arky Vaughn (Vaughan) - $45
1929 Kashin Publications, R316, Charles "Red" Ruffing - $65