Friday, March 18, 2011

Card Spotlight: 3-18-11

1927 W560 - Willie Kamm

The White Sox (for the most part) were really nothing to write home about from the mid-twenties until the early fifties. Sure, there are hundreds of thousands of stories from those years, but as far as anyone who was not a fan of the team, the White Sox were the equivalent of today's Washington Nationals. They had their moments and had a few stars, but nobody seriously thought the Pale Hose had a shot at winning it all. This is one of the many reasons why White Sox cards from this period are difficult to find.

White Sox players would sneak in, here or there, but unless the checklist had a wealth of cards in it, chances are the White Sox would be shut out. The Yankees were in the midst of their glory years, so much of the focus remained on them and other winners of multiple World Series.

In the twenties, the White Sox were a team without much direction. The banishment of eight players, and the suspension of another, took a heavy toll on the team. They got progressively worse as each season passed. There were great players on those teams, but since they consistently landed near or at the bottom of the AL, not a lot of those players were featured on cards. It's always a treat to run across a Sox player in a smaller set in this period. In a medium dominated by Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb and a few select others, it is a revelation to run across stars of the Chicago South Side.

It was with great fascination that I discovered this strip card of Willie Kamm on eBay. It's priced well out of my comfort zone, but I can still enjoy the image of the card. I'm amazed on how popular baseball players of playing card designs were back then. There have been quite a few modern sets of playing cards with MLB players, but none have captured the same level of interest as these did in the twenties. I'm assuming they were popular, since I see different sets pop up all the time. It's not uncommon for these cards to appear with color variations or even card suit variations.

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