Once again, there's no way I'm going to get to this tonight. I'll deliver the full monty tomorrow (maybe, tomorrow's schedule is looking awful too...) and in the meantime let's just say I've been drooling over this card ever since I saw it in the pre-sell checklist. And it's now mine. MINE ALL MINE!
Ha! Wednesday! That's only mostly terribly late.
So what's this here then. Why it's another of Topps' Trading Card History with absolutely no history on the back of the thing. As on many of the other cards, it only says "1941 Baseball Card" on the back, likely because rival Upper Deck used the design in an impossible to get boxtopper insert numbered to 15 copies each. That's 1500 total cards for the entire 100-card set. Meh. If they had made a seperate retail only insert with a different color ink on the back I'd still be buying Goudey blasters but oh well. Upper Deck didn't really need my money anyway. Here's a copy of the Upper Deck version that I ganked off eBay for comparison:
So what is it? It's the 1941 Double Play design. Double Play was put out by the same company who did the Play Ball set from 1939-1941. Upper Deck did a couple homage products to that set a few years ago. The 2003 set was great, the 2004 version is one of the worst trading card sets of all time. But let's save that for later. But we'll save that for later.
Double play cards are very simple. Each card has two players on the front with a blank back. The front has a large sepia colored photo for each player with the name, stats and card number underneath. The photos are a portrait or action shot, with the layout of the portrait cards being horizontal and the Action shots being vertical, like the card above. Each card has two numbers on it, one for each player. This can cause problems, as seen below:
These cards were often cut up into individual cards. This pretty much negates most of the value but hey, a vintage card is a vintage card. The set is 150 players (or 75 cards) in size and the cards numbered 101-150 are more scarce than the low series. The set has a lot of stars in it, including DiMaggio, Ted Williams and the first card of Pee Wee Reese. 1941 is a significant year for trading cards as those are the last major sets released before the war would curtail such luxuries. A lot of these cards ended up in paper drives as well which is a reason why a lot of pre war cards (especially 1941 cards) are so scarce. These cards don't have the high profile as some of its fellow 30's era gum cards and are fairly affordable. Expect to pay several hundred dollars for a Williams or DiMaggio, but an acceptable copy of a common can be found for well under 20 bucks. Tiptons like the one above are even cheaper. Wanna see some? Here's a gallery thanks to the work of Dan Austin.
This card made the cut as Card of the Week for the very same reason my first Card of the Week did. When I first saw the sell sheet for 2008 Topps I looked over the checklist, saw the Tex and Frenchy card and flipped out. I've wanted it since then and I snagged it in a lot of these History cards on the Bay. Mark and Jeff will be anchoring the lineup this year and it's neat seeing them on this old style card, like Ted Williams and Joe Cronin from the original set. Let's cross our fingers and hope they can hit like Ted and Joe this year.