Vintage Sports Report

Dig deep in the couch cushions, because the items in this week's Vintage Sports Report are pretty pricey. Of course, finding them may be as tough as paying for them.

Hello from Florida. It's an exiting time, with the trading deadline right around the corner and we wait to see what trades will be made and how they'll affect their respective teams. After all, some of the best trades were the ones that were never made.

I have a lot to cover this week. I've come up with a few sets that are very difficult to find and are quite obscure.

Leading off is the 1889 E.R.Williams card game. It's a set of 52 playing cards packed into its own box and advertised on the Popular indoor baseball game. Each card had two players, one at the top and another at the bottom. The prices I will be giving you will be for the Phillies player, but it will also have another player with it, so prices are set accordingly. The set is valued at $24,000, with game cards (non-players) at $110.00 each. Phils in the set are Charles Buffington, Jim Fogerty, Arthur Irwin and Al Myers, all valued at $600 each.

Next is the 1921 Wool's American Made Bread. This seldom seen set appears to be locally overprinted, but the location is unknown. The cards are 1 3/8" x 2 ¼" with color drawings and are unnumbered. There is one Phillie – Casey Stengel - in the set and that card is valued at $450. The set of 10 players is valued at $6000.

Then, there's the 1888 Yum Yum Tobacco. An extremely rare series, the set was issued by August Beck of Chicago. They are 1 3/8" x 2 ¾" and issued in cigarette and chewing tobacco packages. Not all the cards have surfaced as of this writing. The set is also unpriced, since the cost is prohibitive and no one has been able to accomplish putting the entire set together. So, if you have money to burn, here is a challenge for you. The Phils in the set are Charles Buffington, Jim Fogerty and George Wood and they are all valued at a pricey $6500 each. I have seen only one of these – the Charles Buffington – and it was priced at $5000 even though it was in pretty poor condition. The highest valued card in the set is Cap Anson at $30,000.

I will stop there and let you contemplate if you want to try and get any of the Phillies from that set. This is actually the era of cards that I really enjoy pursuing. I have carried a lot of pre-1930 items and still carry a few of them, but they are harder and harder to find. These are the most desirable of all the collectibles and the only things these cards do in time is go up; never down. This is your greatest investment, not the cards of today, even though I carry them and sell them. The truly vintage cards is where the true sport is.

Till next time, feel free to send me an e-mail at with any questions or comments on this article or any past articles or ideas for future articles.

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