Vintage Sports Report

This week, the Vintage Sports Report heads back to 1888 for a rather pricey, but interesting set of tobacco cards.

Well, hello again from sunny Florida, where it's sunny and in the 80's. Things are heating up here this week with the Over 40 baseball tournament in town, bringing many former big leaguers here, including Bill Lee, Gary Allenson and others that make up the Red Sox team. Yes, they have their own team here. Also next week we have the WWE Supershow and the Clyde Beatty circus in town; I guess you could say they travel in the same circles.

The Phils made a splash also, picking up Brad Lidge and dealing among others Michael Bourn. One friend I did not want to see go was Mike Costanzo. He is a life-long Phillies fan and it was a dream of his to one day play for them. Part of his wish came true when he was drafted by them. I hope he goes on to have a fulfilling career with the Astros and he could come back and haunt the Phils for years to come. He is a left-handed power hitter and has a strong arm. But as he found out, baseball is a business.

Now that I had my two cents thrown in, I guess I owe you an article, so here goes.

The 1888 Yum Yum Tabacco cards (N403) are an extremely rare series, still not known to be complete. The cards were issued by August Beck and company of Chicago and generally measure 1-3/8" x 2 ¾", but different cuts exist. They were distributed in chewing tobacco packages for Yum Yum. The Phillies in the set are Charles Buffington (valued at $6500), Jim Fogerty ($6500) and the only card ever produced of Billy Sunday – yes, the evangelist - at $12,000. Sunday was a pitcher, and not a good one. This set is full of Hall of Famers and is very pricey, but it's rare and is a treat for anyone to have any of these cards. The top cards – King Kelly and Cap Anson - are valued at $30,000.

This week, I will stop there. I was going to add another set this week but I have additional research to do on those cards; the 1888 WG1 Baseball playing cards. I'll also be starting a series on Wheaties boxes.

Any questions on this article or any others, just let me know by e-mailing me at RRSPORTS1@YAHOO.COM. And remember, you can always come visit us at Fleamasters in sunny Fort Myers, Florida now that the weather is turning cold and nasty up north.

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