Lot # 328: 1914 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson High-Number SGC 3 VG

Category: 1900-1920

Starting Bid: $30,000.00

Bids: 30 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring 2024 Rarities Auction",
which ran from 4/11/2024 9:00 AM to
5/4/2024 7:00 PM

(LOT 328)
1914 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson High-Number SGC 3 VG

ICONIC MATTY!!! Memory Lane is proud to present this outstanding SGC 3 VG 1914 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson marvel, one of a meager six SGC examples at this obscure plateau with only four specimens graded higher! SGC's census report lists only 27 total encapsulated copies, a sheer testament to this high-numbered subject's bona fide scarcity. Iconic to say the least, one of the most sought-after museum-worthy vintage baseball cards is the ever-elusive 1914 Christy Mathewson E145-1 Cracker Jack subject that remains a colossal void in even the most sophisticated gatherings. An excruciatingly tough card to find in any grade, let alone a splendid VG example boasting 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.

A seemingly timeless conundrum, 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, with this 110-year-old heirloom residing as one of the hobby's most prestigious, desirable and valuable cardboard marvels. Proudly standing alongside the exalted T206 "Monster Set" as one of the two most renowned pre-WWI compilations is the 1914 Cracker Jack issue, with a single card distributed in each Cracker Jack box. Exhibiting ultra-thin cardboard stock and mixed in with the sticky caramel candy popcorn, '14 Cracker Jacks exhibit extreme condition sensitivity. 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 a majority of the superiorly graded Cracker Jacks are 1915 issues, with many 1914 examples revealing obtrusive caramel stains.

The 1914 Matty Cracker Jack arguably suffices as his most coveted cardboard masterpiece, as well as being one of the most hallowed baseball cards on the planet. Mathewson's sanctified name commands the respect and admiration reserved for baseball's greatest 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 three shutouts in the 1905 World Series against Connie Mack's Philadelphia club (arguably sufficing as baseball's most astounding post-season accomplishment), this New York Giants mainstay will forever stand as one of our National Pastime's iconic figures. Legendary manager Connie Mack perfectly summed up Mathewson's pitching prowess when, after his Athletics were handcuffed by Matty's dominating "fadeaway" in the 1905 Fall Classic, 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 of Christy's eclectic artifacts are highly coveted by the hobby's top cardboard enthusiasts, let alone a 1914 Cracker Jack boasting the seldom encountered SGC 3 assessment. Issued during the twilight of the Christian Gentleman's career, the 1914 campaign would see Matty post 24 wins, the 12th consecutive year of posting 20+ wins, and the final time this standout right-handed twirler would achieve double-digit victories. Mathewson would ultimately retire after the 1916 season, forever etching his name in baseball immortality.

Regarding its condition, the timeless Mathewson pitching pose 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 an imposing red/orange background that effectively complements the classic Mathewson pitching image. Somewhat light caramel stains are evident along several borders and the flipside, none of which are obtrusive. Even corner wear consistent with the grade, general surface wear, some faint wrinkles, and a diminutive area of surface scuffing along the frame's lower green edge (beneath Matty's two cleats) are the only notable surface blemishes. The image portrays fine top-to-bottom centering, slightly compromised by a modest favoritism towards the left edge. Most would agree that the superb central image aesthetics emanating from this world-class offering are equivalent to most VG-EX vintage cards, yet the momentous SGC 3 assessment coupled with the visually pleasing aesthetics more than qualify this 1914 Cracker Jack Mathewson as one of the hobby's pinnacle keepsakes. Its unparalleled standing is justified by two similar examples, both selling for $138,000 several months apart (an SGC 3 in December 2020 and a PSA 2.5 in February 2021), with a PSA 5 fetching a staggering $312,000 in January 2022. If you are contemplating adding one museum-quality card to your collection, this remarkable masterpiece certainly qualifies as a grand selection. From a rarity and investment perspective, it stands at a pinnacle level and is a superb opportunity for an advanced enthusiast to finally fill that huge void in their collection. The 1914 Cracker Jack Mathewson is one of Matty's most sought-after and cherished artifacts, and the paucity level of this revered VG memento substantiates the notion of riding this Big Six candy treat right into the heart of your collection!

MIN BID $30,000

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