As taste develops, the breadth of appealing sets broadens. Since the priority is to collect beautiful paper and not focus on players, I simply gravitate to the sets I find most appealing, whoever it may be. Interest started with ’59 Topps baseball and has gradually become older and older, with favourite years finally resting in the 1909 to 1939 range, sport and otherwise, with the most beautiful set being the 1915 Cracker Jack series.
Not my favourite set but one of the first baseball card series ever made, and this rough example is my first venture and I think my last, I just don’t find the series interesting, despite its incredible age. Issued continuously from 1887 to 1890, the Goodwin Company’s Old Judge baseball series depicts hundreds of ballplayers from more than 40 major and minor league teams, as well as boxers and wrestlers and bear photographs from the Hall Studio in New York that were pasted onto thick cardboard.
The 1909-12 Sweet Caporal Domino Discs (PX7) baseball set is one of the most unique offerings from the Sweet Caporal Cigarette Company. This obscure offering by Sweet Caporal appeared similar to the company’s 1910-12 P2 pin set with many of the same images of the top players of the day. Each disc measures approximately 1-1/8” in diameter with a player’s portrait, name and team as well as the company name printed in the front with a red, green or blue background.
PSA Card Info: Eddie Phelps
Phelps played in the 1903 World Series and batted .231 in 26 at bats. After his tour in Brooklyn he played in the New York State League for the Albany Senators and in the Western League for the Sioux City Indians. He retired in 1915 with a .261 minor league batting average when he was 36 years old.
PSA Card Info: Frank Chance
Rare in this condition, anticipating a PSA 6, making it only one of seven 6’s. Only five 7’s and one 8 exist. Frank Leroy Chance (September 9, 1877 – September 15, 1924) was a key member of the turn-of-the-century Chicago Cubs as player manager winning four National League Championships from 1906-1910, winning two World Series titles (1907, 1908).
Hands-down, now my favourite card series of all time. The 1915 (E145-2) Cracker Jack Baseball set consists of 176 subjects, each card measuring 2-1/4″ by 3″. Printed on thinner-than-usual cardstock and inserted in boxes of the molasses-covered popcorn snack. A highly sought-after factory set was also available, by mail, in exchange for coupons. With a handful of cards in the set reaching prices in the five-figures even in very low grades, its doubtful I’ll obtain them all but will try at any opportunity. Along with the the Perring #119, another addition includes the Fritz Maisel #158.
It’s been called baseball’s best season. While Joe DiMaggio was racking up hits in 56 straight games for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams was en route to batting .406, which is the last time any big leaguer has reached the magical .400 mark in a season. Now heralded as a hobby classic, Gum Inc.’s smallest and last “Play Ball” offering features 72 cards measuring 2-1/2″ by 3-1/8″ each.
PSA Card Info: Ted Williams
This iconic card looks like it was run over by a truck, but even in this low, possibly lowest grade, it still commands a large sum. The condition of this card goes completely against my personal rules and i have mixed emotions as to why I felt I needed to jump in with my first Williams card with this particular example, but I felt I just had to have it.
I love this artwork, they look like small scenes from a comic, gorgeous colours. Gory cards, depicting burning flesh, buxom women and dogs being zapped by aliens are the brainchild of Len Brown and Woody Gelman with this 55-card set conveyed the story of ruthless Martians attacking Earth (PSA article). At one point, Topps reportedly made efforts to tone down thirteen of the most controversial cards, but after a complaint from a Connecticut district attorney, production was stopped completely.
Not a particularly special card per se, notable here simply because it is gorgeous and uber-clean, with sharp corners and absolutely no printing errors whatsoever, save for being slightly off center – a spectacular example, I’m wagering a PSA 9.
Expanding horizons beyond the usual sports suspects – my first venture into soccer with a 1966 Bergmann – a sport which continues to surprise with some really cool big ticket cards.
I love this set, and acquiring this card in raw condition and have it come back graded a PSA 9 was the first in a new series addiction. Earl Edwin Morrall (May 17, 1934 – April 25, 2014) (QB) was perhaps the greatest back up quarterback in NFL history who made the most of replacing injured starters as he won and NFL Most Valuable Player award and an NFL Championship. The 1966 Philadelphia set remains one of the most popular and valuable of their football card sets.
This card is too cool. It has a piece of the actual hardwood from that game embedded in the card.