1973 Topps Juan Marichal Orginal Artwork

Ron Oser Enterprises offered this framed and matted piece in April 2000, featuring the original “artwork” (more like a photograph) used for Juan Marichal’s 1973 Topps card, an example card, and Marichal’s autograph.

They described the original artwork as being 3 1/4” x 5”, and the total framed and matted piece as being 10” x 12”

Here’s an example of a PSA 9-graded 1973 Topps #480 Marichal card; there are no 10s in PSA’s Pop Report. You’ve gotta love 1973 Topps photography…

The Original Image Used for Lou Gehrig’s 1933 Goudey Cards

When Mastro Auctions sold the following Lou Gehrig new-service photograph in May 2008, they described it as being from the 1930s.

They described it as a 6-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ photo of the Yankee great in pinstripes with a look of “fierce determination” and described the card as the model for cards #’s 92 and 160 in the vaunted 1933 Goudey set; here are a pair of examples from Robert Edward Auctions.

Mastro Auctions wrote that the image was in EX condition with good image clarity and contrast. They mentioned, but didn’t show, that the reverse had handwritten editorial notations accompanying a copyright stamp for the esteemed Underwood & Underwood photography studio.

I found some more information from Heritage Auctions’ sale of the following Gehrig Original Photo.

They titled the lot a “1927 Lou Gehrig Original Photograph by Charles Conlon” and wrote that it’s a “Splendid and important image from Gehrig’s 1927 MVP and championship season was used for the Iron Horse’s 1933 Goudey cards #92 and #160. Taken by legendary baseball photographer Charles Conlon for Underwood & Underwood. Measures 7×9.” It sold for $60k in May 2017.

The image dating to 1927 doesn’t mean the Mastro copy isn’t from the 1930s; I believe Underwood & Underwood operated through the 1940s and likely reproduced many of their images. But please let me know if this is an incorrect assumption.

During the auction, Heritage provided this update: “Please note that this is a photo that came directly from the Underwood & Underwood archives and therefore has the original embossed “Do Not Remove, File Copy” raised blindstamp, which can be seen on the front of the photo in two locations.”

1939-66 Exhibit Supply Company Archive Of Original Baseball Photos

This lot of 342 Exhibit Supply Company photos is a genuine piece of hobby history. It was originally purchased at the time of ESCO’s liquidation in 1979 upon the owner’s retirement. Mastro offered it in their April 2003 Sports Premier Catalog Auction.

I can’t get a clean scan of the lot’s description because the catalog is so thick, so I’ve re-typed it:

Presented is the absolutely unique hoard of 342 original photographs and artist’s proof pieces that were used to construct Exhibit Supply Company’s baseball-themed arcade cards from 1939 to 1966. The importance of these images cannot be overstated. They were the foundations for some of the hobby’s most cherished collectibles, and every illustration is a one-of-a-kind origin item behind the production of an industry favorite. The long span of years covered allows a flight of fancy through the game from its early 20th Century Hall of Famers to the more recent superstars we watched in action during the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is an unbelievably compelling assembly of material! Many of the stars are presented in multiple poses (since they appeared in more than one Exhibit set) and the array of talent included is simply incredible. The original images for the much sought-after Exhibit “team” cards are here also. A tiny sampling of the players represented, mentioning just a fraction of the stars included, reveals: Hank Aaron, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Evers, “Jimmy” Foxx, Frankie Frisch, Lou Gehrig, Henry Greenberg, Carl Hubbell, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Christy Mathewson, Willie Mays, Joe Medwick, Mel Ott, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Tris Speaker, Joe Tinker, Rube Waddell, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams (including ‘number 9 showing’), Cy Young, 1949 Yankees, 1950 Yankees, 1951 Yankees and many, many others. (Only space constraints prevent the listing of dozens more from this mind-boggling roster of baseball giants.) These photographs are b/w glossies of 8” x 10” or smaller dimensions, or have been fashing as “paste-up” grafted likenesses. Almost all have artist’s or editor’s working specification notes attached. A number of the images are actual “wire photos,” with news service attributions stamped on the reverse sides, and most of them display an enhanced definition of appearance that made them suitable for quality reproduction on cards. Overall condition is EX to EX/MT. This breathtaking archive was purchased at the time of Exhibit Supply Company’s liquidation in 1979 (upon the owner’s retirement), and has been preserved in full, intact form. An LOA, from the industry veteran who obtained the items directly from Exhibit Supply Company, accompanies. This amazing assembly includes an unbelievable wealth of key rarities and stars, and offers phenomenal “break” value!

The minimum bid was $2,500. If anyone knows the final price, let me know in the comments.

George Woodruff’s Ted Williams Portrait Used For Topps And Fleer Cards

Here’s George Woodruff’s portrait of Ted Williams that Fleer used as the photo on the box and wrapper of their 1959 set!

Mastro sold the 8” x 10” portrait in July 1998.

And yes, Topps used the same picture on the Splendid Splinter’s 1954 (#250), 1955, and 1956 Topps cards.

In terms of dating the photo, Memory Lane Inc. sold a Type 1 example for $1,501.20 in October 2017 and estimated the issue date right after Williams’ return from his final 1953 Korean War stint.

Original Photo Archive Used To Create The 1950 Bowman Baseball Set

In December 2005, Mastro auctioned off the original photo archive used to create the 1950 Bowman baseball set. Most pictures were described as 7-1/2” x 10”, with a few smaller and odd sizes, mainly in EX/MT condition.

The lot comprised 252 photos representing 251 of the set’s 252 cards. Al Kozar (card 15) was missing, but a photo of Phil Marchildon (Philadelphia Athletics) was included. Marchildon was bumped from card number 140 for Pete Suder.

When I first shared the photo on Twitter, Keith Olbermann replied with the following photo and wrote, “Here’s the other shoe. I got this about 15 years ago: it’s a painting clearly designed for the 1950 Bowman set – except the team the guy is on, is Buffalo of the International League. And the player is…the bumped #140 Phil Marchildon. The assumption was Bowman had prepared some kind of IL set to match its 1949 PCL effort. Now I doubt it – though I wonder why they prepared Marchildon in a minor league uniform (albeit an accurate one). Surely if he’d made the set he would’ve been shown with the A’s.”