1914 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson PSA 1 PR
No one would argue that one of the most sought-after museum worthy vintage baseball cards is the ever-elusive 1914 Christy Mathewson Cracker Jack card that continues to be a colossal void for even the most sophisticated enthusiasts. An excruciatingly tough card to find period, let alone one that portrays eye pleasing aesthetics, hobbyists may never come to a definitive resolution as to why the 1915 Cracker Jack set included a different Christy Mathewson "portrait" subject as opposed to the classic 1914 Cracker Jack "pitching" pose. Whatever the reason for the sudden image change, advanced enthusiasts gladly welcome this inexplicable switch made by the renowned Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein Co. The 1914 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson "sideways" pose needs no introduction to serious enthusiasts with this near-century old heirloom residing as one of the hobby's most prestigious, desirable and valuable cardboard marvels. One of the most popular pre-WWI sets is the 1914 Cracker Jack issue, with a single card distributed in each Cracker Jack box.
These cards were ultra-thin and mixed in with the sticky caramel candy popcorn, accounting for the significant condition sensitivity of any 1914 example. Adding to the excruciating task of either completing this set or obtaining the high-end Hall of Famers in stellar condition was the unavailability of obtaining the completed set via mail order, a convenient alternative for the following year's 1915 issue. This explains why most superior graded cards are 1915 Cracker Jacks, with many 1914 examples retaining the obtrusive caramel stains. With that said, presented here is a superb low- grade PSA 1 example that, save the somewhat diminutive upper left corner missing card stock, reflects solid VG aesthetics! The 1914 Matty Cracker Jack arguably suffices as his most coveted cardboard masterpiece, not only residing as Mathewson's most revered card, but one of the most hallowed baseball cards in the hobby. Mathewson's name alone commands the respect and admiration reserved for these aforementioned baseball immortals.
A 1936 charter member of baseball's Hall of Fame, winner of 30 games on four different occasions, owner of 373 lifetime wins, and the architect of 3 shutouts in the 1905 World Series against Connie Mack's Philadelphia club (what may be baseball's most astounding post season accomplishment), this New York Giants mainstay will forever be one of our National Pastime's iconic figures. Legendary manager Connie Mack summed up Mathewson's pitching prowess perfectly when after his Athletics were handcuffed by Matty's dominating "fade-away" in the 1905 World Series he so eloquently stated: "Mathewson is the greatest pitcher I ever saw. It was a pleasure watching him pitch when he wasn't pitching against you"! No wonder any eclectic artifact of the "Big Six" is highly sought after by the hobby's top cardboard enthusiasts, let alone a 1914 Cracker Jack depicting the eye pleasing attributes typically associated with a higher graded specimen.
Regarding its overall condition, the timeless Mathewson pitching motion exhibits brilliant contrast and clarity, not skipping a beat since the day this card was originally placed in a Cracker Jack box. The "Cracker Jack Ball Players" text is vividly registered in bold print over a seemingly flawless and bright red/orange background that depicts no surface issues whatsoever. Amazingly, no serious caramel stains are evident, and as previously stated, only a diminutive area of upper left corner missing stock accounts for the grade. The image is well centered "top to bottom" and does moderately favor the right edge with three of the four corners still retaining a majority of their original right-angled formations. A few stray vertical creases are situated along the upper edge, and the verso likewise reveals minimal staining and bold/vivid black typography.
Most would agree that the superb central image eye appeal emanating from this world-class offering renders the technical assessment virtually irrelevant, especially considering the daunting task of finding a visually pleasing 1914 Cracker Jack Mathewson. If you are contemplating adding one museum quality card to your collection, this jewel certainly qualifies as a grandeur selection. From a rarity and investment perspective, it stands at a pinnacle level, and a superb opportunity for an advanced enthusiast to fill the huge void in their collection with this aesthetically pleasing museum worthy masterpiece. The 1914 Cracker Jack "Mathewson is one of "Matty's" most sought after and cherished cardboard artifacts, and the paucity level of this brilliant cardboard marvel place it at an esteemed level with regard to the hobby's most coveted cardboard treasures!
MIN BID $5,000