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1888 "Scrapps" St. Louis Browns Complete Set (9)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $2,900.00
Complete set of 1888 St. Louis "Scrapps." Beautifully assembled complete nine-card set of this very colorful, popular, and unusual die-cut issue which for years has been known as "Scrapps Tobacco." This set features nine players from the American Association's legendary St. Louis Brownie Champs. All have glue stains and scrapbook paper residue on their reverses, which is almost always the case with this issue, otherwise an extremely clean and attractive group in overall Vg-Ex condition. Highlighted by Hall of Famer Charles Comiskey, this is one of the few full-color baseball issues from before 1900 and of the most unusual and striking of all early baseball card sets. Extremely rare to find in a complete set. An 1888 Detroit Wolverines companion set of nine cards was also issued. The St. Louis Browns and the Detroit Wolverines were the two Championship teams of 1888.
This seems an appropriate time to clear up a long-standing, obscure hobby mystery relating to the identification of this issue as "Scrapps Tobacco." This identification first appeared in The Sports Collectors Bible (1975). The fact is, there is no tobacco brand by the name of "Scrapps." The responsibility for this erroneous attribution, we must admit, falls squarely on the shoulders of Robert Edward Auctions' President Robert Lifson. "Back in 1974, when I was working on The Sports Collectors Bible, editor Bert Sugar called me up and wanted me to clarify the name of this issue. I wasn't sure what this set should be called, so I called up Dr. Lawrence Kurzrok and asked him. Kurzrok was one of the great old-time collectors who was a contemporary of Jefferson Burdick. In a very quick fact-checking conversation, he told me they were 'Scrapps,' and assuming this was a tobacco issue, I misinterpreted him and thought that he meant 'Scrapps Tobacco.' What he really meant was that these cards were a series designed to be glued in scrapbooks. In the 1880s, assembling scrapbooks with various card issues of the day was a very popular pastime. Many sets featuring many different subjects were made specifically for this purpose. Satisfied I had the correct answer, I reported back that this set should officially be catalogued 'Scrapps Tobacco,' and that is how they have been referred to by most collectors ever since. Over the years some collectors have noticed that they never seemed to run across any other reference anywhere to the elusive 'Scrapps Tobacco' brand, suggesting that somewhere, somehow, an error was made. Well, there was. While I must admit I've been a little amused at how this error has taken on a life of its own over the years, I'm glad I have an appropriate forum to shed light on how it came to be. I don't think I renamed any other sets, but maybe I should check before going on the record on that!" Total 9 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $2,900.00
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