Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXVII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/16/2011
In one of our favorite stories that is worth repeating . . .
In 1908, Vaudeville performer Jack Norworth scribbled the lyrics to “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” on a scrap of paper while riding on a train. Later, he delivered the same paper scrap lyrics to composer Albert Von Tilzer, who created a tune that is now baseball’s unofficial anthem and a part of every game. Within Norwoth’s lyrics was a slight reference to the delightful confection that had swept the nation and was a particular favorite at ball parks everywhere – Cracker Jack. From that moment on, Cracker Jack was cemented as a baseball tradition.
Capitalizing on the buttery, caramel, popcorn confection’s popularity and ties to baseball, Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein, makers of the all-American snack, launched one of the most popular and visually appealing baseball card issues of the dead ball era in 1914. The cards continued for a second season in 1915 adding 32 new cards to the previous season’s total. The 176-card issue features many of the greats of the day and is one of the most notable sets to feature Federal League teams on record. Printed on light-weight stock, the cards were prone to caramel stains and creased easily. Unlike the 1914 set the 1915 issue could be obtained by mail in return for 100 package labels.
Among the Hall of Fame greats featured by Cracker Jack was card number six of Eddie Plank. One of the game’s greatest early pitchers, Plank was responsible for 23% of the wins recorded by Connie Mack’s legendary Philadelphia A’s teams during the AL’s first two decades. After jumping to the Federal League, Plank still continued his dominance, winning 21 in 1915 at the age of 40.
The 1915 Cracker Jack Eddie Plank offered here delivers high marks for color and clarity. The card is crease-free and remarkably clean, with only the lightest hint of caramel stains. Simply put, this is a card for the ages.
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