Welcome to my new blog. This is my first post covering the first half of the 20th Century. This blog will bleed into the mid-'50s through the end of the Bowman era, where my '20th Century Topps Baseball' blog will pick up. I decided to start this blog due to the increasing number of Pre-Topps original/reprint cards I've been acquiring over the past few years. Within the past month, I've acquired reprint sets for 1933 Goudey, 1922 American Caramel, and 1915 Cracker Jack. I understand that some people really despise reprints, but with average set values of about $50,000, this blog is going to have to feature quite a few reprints.
So why do I collect reprints anyway? Well, as I've mentioned in previous posts, baseball card collecting is an educational effort for me. I didn't start watching baseball games until 1987, but the sport has historically values its past. That is something that tends to stand out from other sports. It's not unreasonable for a player to last over 20 years in the game. Participants can be young and old, tall or short, skinny or extra large like Babe Ruth. The 4 cards depicted in this post would have book values of $8K, $4K, $5K, and $5K each if they were originals. I don't even dream about ever owning original copies of any of them, but is that any reason to disregard the 1933 Goudey set?
I never even allowed myself to THINK about owning the most common of the commons in this set until recently. Now, I have four originals coming in mail--Wow!. So why do I collect reprints for vintage sets anyway? Well for starters, they serve as a type of stepping stone into beginning an original collection. Basically, I have the card whether it's original or not. There's not need to run out and spend $5,000 on an original Babe Ruth card because I've got this reprint to hold me over.
So what was Babe Ruth doing in 1933 anyway? Well, it was his 20th year playing in the majors. He hit 34 homeruns that year, which was good enough for 2nd in the league next to Jimmie Foxx. At the age of 38 years old, that's not too bad for 1933. Ruth would hit only 28 more homeruns over the next two seasons to finish off his career. He also led the league with 114 Walks. This was also the year of MLB's first All-Star game, which was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Ruth hit a 2-run homer to score half of the A.L.'s runs to beat the N.L. 4-2.
My favorite of Babe Ruth's 4 different '33G cards is also his lowest valued: #144. It depicts Ruth finishing off a legendary swing. I'm not sure if he's standing on the pitcher's mound or what. The back of his card states that Ruth is 39 years old in 1933, which must be an error if was born in 1895. The previous card #53 above states that he was born in 1894. Which is it? Modern sites list his birthday on 2/6/1895. In fact, Ruth has a 100th birthday card in the 1995 Topps set.