January 2010 Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Proudly offered in this lot is what may very well be the single finest example of Tris Speaker's enchanting 1915 Cracker Jack issue in the hobby. Recently graded SGC 96 MINT 9, the offered prize of the "Famous Popcorn Confection" is the first and only example in its pinnacle class at SGC and reports just three competitors on record with none higher at PSA. GEM MINT right corners join marginally inferior MINT+ left corners between equally incisive MINT+ to GEM MINT edges around a near perfectly centered depiction of, arguably, the greatest centerfielder of all time. The image itself is as precise as could possibly be imagined and borders on the pristine, save for two microscopic pin pricks of print at the bottom of Tristram's pinstriped sleeve and some even finer black print dust, hardly even perceptible to the naked eye, evident elsewhere. If not for these insignificant and entirely unobtrusive marks, as well as some even less invasive spots of toning along the obverse left and extreme back bottom borders, this crystal-fine Cracker Jack would stand a legitimate chance as ranking as the first GEM MINT 10 copy in existence (and just the 6th ever 1915 Cracker Jack GEM from both PSA and SGC combined). Like the player itself, it's truly that remarkable! Speaker is one of only two men in MLB history to poke 50 doubles and swipe 50 bases in a single season; Craig Biggio is the other. Speaker's 792 career doubles, however, rank 1st all-time, his 3,514 hits rank 5th, his .345 career batting average 6th, his 222 triples 6th, his 2,154 runs 11th, and his .428 OBP 12th. These numbers, in addition to his defensive prowess in the field--his 449 assists are also #1 all-time--make him, in the minds of many historians, the greatest centerfielder ever, and we don't disagree! Why, then, does he look so dejected on his 1915 Cracker Jack card? According to the Boston brass, his paltry .338 batting average in 1914 and even less impressive .322 mark in 1915 were all they needed to cut his salary from $15,000 to $9,000 after the 1915 World Series. Speaker angrily rejected the offer and was promptly dealt to Cleveland, where he led all of baseball with a .386 mark in 1916 and would top .350 as a batter in six of his next ten seasons as Cleveland's player-manager after that. Although strikeout records weren't kept for the first six seasons of his career, the man fanned just 220 total times in 10,195 career at-bats! Shame on you J.J. Lannin, Boston President! Just do your town and your team a favor and never deal that Babe Ruth kid like you did our special "Spoke."
Click on a thumbnail above to display a larger image below
Hold down the mouse button and slide side to side to see more thumbnails(if available).
Click above for larger image.