Monday, January 11, 2010

1940 Play Ball

After the success of the 1939 Play Ball set, another was issued in 1940. The set bulked up to 240 cards and upgraded the design to incorporate a banner and baseball equipment. The backs remained virtually the same, except for the copyright date.

This set included Hall of Fame and retired players, which was the main reason for the "high numbers" in the set. These cards are scarcer than any other cards in the Play Ball series and have long become sought after collectors items.

One of the many unique aspects of this set is the use of nicknames, in place of first names. This is what polarizes collectors. Some welcome the change and others would rather see the given names back.

The White Sox have 11 cards in the set.

13 - Jack Knott
14 - Rabbit McNair
126 - Jake Solters
127 - Muddy Ruel
128 - Pete Appleton
184 - Mule Haas
185 - Joe Kuhel
186 - Taft Wright
187 - Jimmy Dykes MG
225 - Joe Jackson
230 - Red Faber

This set features the last card issued of Shoeless Joe Jackson while he was still alive. It is one of the many reasons why this set has endured. The overall result may not be the best looking, especially after seventy years worth of aging, but it is well worth seeking out.

Most early forties releases are scarce, which makes this set so important. Many sets did not get produced because of the war effort. These sets show glimpses into a time which was not captured efficiently on cardboard.


Sooz said...

Do you have any of these cards?

Steve Gierman said...

Unfortunately, no, The lower numbers are pretty easy to find though.

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