Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Proof Is In The Cutting

The semi-annual offerings from Robert Edward Auctions are always two of the most anticipated hobby events of the year.  This year's recently concluded spring auction was proof of that many times over. REA offered the beginnings of  a major postwar baseball collection that has, as the pitching coaches say, breadth and depth.  Case in point, the three short printed 1951 Topps Major League All Star cards in proof form.

All three players have a Philadelphia connection.  Jim Konstanty pitched for the Phils for seven seasons and would have been referred to as a relief specialist back in the day:

Wrinkly, no?  The key to the whole set of course, is Robin Roberts, Hall of Famer and all time Phillie:

Not a Philllies player but definitely a Philly native, The Pest:

All three backs are blank:

The handcut nature of these proofs is obvious.  There's only one or two other examples known of each from what I can determine and of course the legend is that Frank Nagy, one of the first big time postwar collectors, got wind of the short prints and wrote to fellow collector and Topps consultant at the time Woody Gelman, who got him an example of each.  Since each of these three proofs are described as being from Woody's personal collection, that story seems plausible.

In any event, these were clearly never released to the public and their yanking, no doubt due to contractual wranglings with Bowman, likely killed off the larger, over-arching Baseball Candy issue the MLAS (and Connie Mack All Stars) were a part of, just like Red and Blue Backs and the Team cards. In fact, the MLAS standups only came with Blue Backs in a five cent configuration.  All of the MLAS cards are difficult but these three are impossible. Personally, I don't consider them part of the set.

As you can see from the link above, prodigious pricing prevailed!

1 comment:

Mark Hoyle said...

I would love to get my hands on the Dropo from this set. Have J.Collins and Speaker from the Connie Mack Allstars as well as the 51 Redsox team card