This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 5/8/2009
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Auction closed on: 5/8/2009
In 1914, the Oakland, CA. based Texas Tommy Candy Co. issued 52 different baseball subjects in their candy packs to assist in the sales of their product. Ultra scarce and most commonly found in Northern California, these sepia-toned “Type 1” cards measure approximately 2-3/8” x 3-1/2”, and include a player biography on the reverse side (as opposed to “Type 2” issues that are blank backed). One of the most desirable “Texas Tommy’s” available is the incomparable Walter Johnson, and it is his representation on this E224 that is presented here in a SGC 10/1 holder. Currently, SGC has only encapsulated three other Texas Tommy Walter Johnsons with PSA grading only a mere two! One of baseball’s five original Hall of Famers, Walter Johnson is, arguably, the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Winner of a modern day record 417 games and owner of 110 lifetime shutouts, it staggers one to think just how many games Johnson would have won with a club that didn’t finish in the second division most of his career. He was the consummate professional, going about his business in a quiet fashion, and displaying such a powerful right arm, that it inspired his popular nickname “Big Train”. There are a handful of significantly obscure Johnson cardboard gems, but none could possibly be considered rarer than this miraculous offering. The most advanced enthusiasts scramble to collect Johnson’s most archaic cards, and this one just might be at the pinnacle of their want lists! Johnson’s mighty side-arm, virtually “sling-shot”, delivery is brilliantly captured in a fine contrasted image, depicting vivid registration. While the frame is centered towards the right of the card with a majority of the right border missing, this tends to be a standard stigma with many of the few Texas Tommy examples that still circulate throughout the hobby. While no obtrusive creases exist, there is one diagonal wrinkle near the lower left border, and the mildest, diminutive wrinkle near his thighs. The reverse side print still portrays a majority of its clarity, the corners are softly rounded, and only some abrasions and/or scuffing to the top right corner surface accounts for the technical grade. Yet, considering its strong overall aesthetics, the player represented on the card and its overall paucity, the existing copy itself far exceeds any assigned grade. All pre-WWI cards of the majestic Walter Johnson are highly sought after by any avid enthusiast. For some inexplicable reason, Johnson was excluded from almost all major candy “type” card issues, and only a handful of non-tobacco cards carry his legacy. This scarce, almost impossible to find, “E” card issue certainly ranks high on Johnson’s list of extraordinary rarities, justifying it being one of his most valuable cardboard artifacts circulating throughout the hobby. A card seldom offered depicting one of our National Pastime’s most incomparable legends merits the utmost attention. Therefore, we highly advise that any advanced hobbyist jump aboard the “Big Train” and ride this miraculous offering directly to the centerpiece of their collection.