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1915 E145 Cracker Jack Near-Complete Set (149 of 176)
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $17,625
The 1915 Cracker Jacks are universally regarded as one of the most classic and highly regarded baseball-card sets ever produced. Issued one card per box, the entire set of 176 cards could also be ordered by mail in exchange for 100 coupons, or 1 coupon plus 25 cents. Offered are 149 different of the 176 cards in the set, representing a near-complete set of this important issue. Missing just twenty-seven cards for completion (#30 Cobb, 57 Johnson, 68 Wagner, 88 Mathewson, 103 Jackson, all of which are offered as separate lots in this auction, and also #39 Gandil, 50, 63, 70 Clarke, 74, 78, 86, 94 Cicotte, 97, 114, 120, 127, 136 Maranville, 140, 147, 149, 150, 158, 164, 165, 167 Griffith, and 176). This near-set is a childhood collection of our consignor’s father, and they have been carefully stored by the family since 1915. The set ranges from Vg to Vg-Ex, with approximately equal representation at each grade level. A few exceptions are only Good, and a few grade better than Vg-Ex as well. There are virtually no creases in the entire collection. Cards have been downgraded almost exclusively due to corner wear. This is a very bright and fresh-looking group of cards. We have selected twenty-seven key cards to be encapsulated and graded by SGC. Highlights: #2 Frank Baker (VG/EX 50), 3 Joe Tinker (VG/EX 50), 6 Eddie Plank (VG/EX 50), 7 Eddie Collins (VG/EX 50), 12 Connie Mack (GOOD 30), 14 Sam Crawford (VG/EX 50), 17 Roger Bresnahan (EX 60), 18 Johnny Evers (VG/EX 50), 19 Chief Bender (VG/EX 50), 22 Joe Wood (GOOD 30), 23 Charles Comiskey (VG 40), 32 Mordecai Brown (VG/EX 50), 35 Harry Hooper (VG/EX 50), 36 Ed Walsh (VG/EX 50), 37 G.C. Alexander (VG 40), 43 Rube Marquard (VG/EX 50), 52 Zach Wheat (VG/EX 50), 61 Ray Schalk (VG/EX 50), 65 Tris Speaker (EX 60), 66 Nap Lajoie (VG/EX 50), 69 John McGraw (VG 40), 73 Max Carey (VG/EX 50), 75 Miller Huggins (EX 60), 77 Hugh Jennings (VG/EX 50), 99 Hal Chase (VG/EX 50), 133 Branch Rickey (VG 40), and 161 Roush (VG/EX 50).
Cracker Jacks have always been a favorite with us and with all collectors. Perhaps no other baseball-card set elicits a more positive emotional reaction than the Cracker Jack Ball Players cards issued in 1914 and 1915. These are what vintage cards are supposed to look like! And who is not familiar with the brand name of Cracker Jacks? In the entire world of collectibles, few products better epitomize classic Americana, or are more naturally a focus of serious collecting interest, than Cracker Jack. People have been collecting prizes associated with Cracker Jack since they were first introduced in the 1890s. The brand, its wholesomeness, and its association with premiums packaged one per box is part of our culture, a collective memory of a simpler time that will forever be ingrained in the popular consciousness of America. Anytime we get a call with Cracker Jacks, it is exciting, but it was all the more exciting when we got a call from the gentleman who owned this very substantial collection (154 different cards in total) that had been carefully saved personally by his father in 1915. In 1975 he checked on the value of the collection, bringing them to a local card store, and found that at the time they had a value of approximately $1,300. Fortunately, he was not looking to sell them at that time (good move!) but was just curious about their value. Thirty-five years later and now retired from a very successful career in law enforcement, he decided its finally time to sell the family card collection.
Over the years, we have had other collections of Cracker Jacks, including many ultra high grade key cards that in some cases have sold for literally tens of thousands of dollars each. But there just seemed to be something special to us about this collection. Maybe it’s the fact that it was the childhood collection of our consignor’s father, and they have been so carefully stored by the same family since 1915. Maybe it’s the fact that the cards are so bright and fresh and clean, yet have wear from handling that makes their technical grades modest, and which therefore makes the cards so much more affordable than untouched Mint examples. Maybe it’s the fact that we know the provenance of the collection and we know that nothing has ever been done to improve their condition. It’s probably all of these things. Plus the fact that we are particularly fond of all things associated with Cracker Jack! The one thing we’re sure of is that it struck us that this true original-owner Cracker Jack collection is really what collecting is all about. We thought collectors would enjoy reading about the background of this special collection. As noted, a few cards are offered separately (Jackson, Wagner, Johnson, Mathewson, and Cobb); otherwise this lot represents the entire collection exactly as it has been carefully stored by the same family since 1915.
A rarely offered and relatively affordable medium-grade near-complete set of one of card collecting's most classic issues. The equivalent SMR value for just the twenty-seven SGC graded cards (not including the 122 ungraded cards) is $4,613. Total: 149 cards. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $17,625
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