The Worst Baseball Card?

The February 1993 issue of Baseball Cards featured a section called Readers’ Choice, but I’m going to have to disagree with Eric Hoffman on this one!

The 1951 Bowman #195 Paul Richards card is the only cartoon image in the 324-card set.

I’ve read that the most common theory concerning the card was that Richards wasn’t named the manager of the Sox until the Bowman cards were nearly ready to print and because Richards retired as an MLB player in 1946 (he was a player-manager with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League from 1947-49), Bowman didn’t have any recent or suitable photos of Richards to colorize, so they had one of their artists do a last-second drawing.

1938 R323 Goudey Heads-Up Complete Low Number Series Uncut Sheet of 24 Cards

This incredible 1938 R323 Goudey Heads-Up Complete Low Number Series Uncut Sheet of 24 Cards with DiMaggio, Foxx, and Feller was available in Mastro’s December 2004 catalog.

The sheet contains the set’s entire first series, numbers 241-264, inclusive, and ordered in sequence. Of the twenty-four players, nine are Hall of Famers. The sheet was described as being 14-1/4” x 11-3/8” with some corner and border faults and some visible restoration to suppress surface flaws.

The Hall of Famers include Charlier Gehringer, Ernie Lombardi, Jimmy Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Al Lopez, Bobby Doerr, Ducky Medwick, and Bob Feller.

1920s Rogers Hornsby News Service Photograph Used For His 1933 Goudey Card

Here’s the original mid-’20s news service photograph used for the 1933 Goudey #119 Rogers Hornsby card.

Hornsby’s St. Louis Cardinals uniform style pinpoints this photograph to the 1924-26 period.

The photograph is 7-3/4” x 5-5/8” and was described as having a purple Underwood & Underwood stamp on the back with an adhered slip of paper with a typewritten caption that read, “Rogers Hornsby, St. Lous Cardinals,” and a handwritten note of, “c 1925-26 uniform.”

REA sold this PSA-graded version of what they titled a “Circa 1925 Rogers Hornsby Original Charles Conlon Photograph PSA/DNA Type I – Image Used For 1933 Goudey Card!”

The REA copy sold for $11400 and included this description, “Original photo of Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby taken by noted baseball photographer Charles Conlon and used in the production of Hornsby’s 1933 R319 Goudey card #119. Encapsulated and certified as an original Type I Charles Conlon photograph by PSA/DNA. The familiar image captures Hornsby bending low in a fielding position as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Conlon’s credit stamp appears on the reverse, along with his handwritten notations that read “Rogers Hornsby St. Louis Nat.” A “Sporting News” credit stamp also appears on the reverse, as does the typewritten notation “Rogers Hornsby, slick fielder, slicker hitter.” Photos used in the production of trading cards have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is one of only a small number of vintage photos we have seen featuring a player image used in the R319 Goudey set. The photo (8.5 x 6.5 inches) has a few tiny pieces of clear tape along the border areas, a tiny edge tear, a few light surface wrinkles, and minor emulsion spots near the right border. In Very Good condition overall.”

Original Artwork For The Unproduced 1958 Topps Don Drysdale and Early Wynn Card

I ran across this incredible original artwork of Don Drysdale and Early Wynn in an April 2000 Ron Oser Enterprises auction catalog. They advertised it as an unissued original that didn’t make the cut for the 1958 Topps series.

The striking piece was described as being 4 1/2” x 6”

1958 Topps wasn’t the first set to feature multiple players on a card. 1953 Bowman Color had a Rizzuto/Martin card and a Berra/Bauer/Mantle. 1954 Topps had the O’Brien Brothers’ card. 1957 Topps had the Yankee’s Power Hitters and, my favorite, the Dodgers’ Sluggers.

Topps then included Slugger’s Supreme, World Series Batting Foes, and Rival Fence Busters in the 1958 set before expanding to 17 baseball combination cards in their gigantic 1959 release.

If you know anything else about the history of the Drysdale/Wynn card, please let me know. Oh, what could have been!

Update 1: Keith Olbermann wrote, “It’s possible. But Wynn didn’t go to the White Sox until 1958 and Drysdale didn’t make an all-star team until 1959. It’s much likelier this is from the ’59 ASG or World Series, and was rejected from the 1960 set.”

1982 Jackie Robinson First Day Cover

The USPS initiated a Black Heritage Stamp Series in 1978. On August 2, 1982, they issued one for Jackie Robinson. This advertisement, from the October 1982 Trader Speaks, is for a pair of 1st Day Covers with a B. Scott Forst stadium exclusive drawing on the left side.

There seem to be a few different 1st Day Covers for the stamp; the one advertised in Trader Speaks appears to be a little more challenging to track down but not any more expensive than the others.

Now, for the stamp specifically, it was painted by Howard Koslow, and 164,235,000 stamps were issued at a postage value of 20¢ each.

1901 Philadelphia Athletics Inaugural Season Tickets

With the Athletics moving again, I thought it was a great time to share this strip of four regular-season game tickets from the Philadelphia Athletics’ inaugural season in 1901.

This strip was offered for sale in April 2000 by Ron Oser Enterprises.

Now, 1901 wasn’t just the first season for the Athletics; it was the first for the entire American League, too!