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1939 Play Ball "Free Sample" Card Collection (40)
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $2,643.75
In 1939, Gum, Inc. was all set to produce and distribute baseball cards. To introduce its new product, the very first baseball card set issued by Gum, Inc., a small quantity of low-number cards (#1-115) were overprinted with advertising for the set, and distributed as “Free Samples” (as noted on reverse) to help generate interest and excitement in the new offering. The red advertising message is printed horizontally directly over the standard text of the reverse, and reads in full: "FREE SAMPLE CARD. GET YOUR PICTURES OF LEADING BASEBALL PLAYERS. THREE PICTURE CARDS PACKED IN EACH PACKAGE OF "PLAY BALL AMERICA" BUBBLE GUM. AT YOUR CANDY STORE 1 CENT." In every other way these advertising cards were identical to the production cards issued in packs. These were promotional cards provided to retailers strictly for the purpose of giving away. We don’t see many of these rare advertising cards in the hobby today, but it must have been very exciting for youngsters to be given a free sample of this new issue in 1939. This collection of forty different represents the largest group of these fascinating and rare advertising cards we have ever offered. Includes: #5, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39 Ferrell (HOF), 47, 48 Gomez (HOF), 49, 51 Ott (HOF), 58, 59, 64, 67, 71, 75, 76, 79, 84, 87, 90, 95, 96, 97, 100, 107, 108, 110, 111, and 115. The condition of this group ranges from Vg to Ex-Mt, averaging Vg-Ex/Ex overall. Each of the backs are bright, clean and flawless, which is especially important to these cards, as the clean backs allow the red advertising overprint to be bright, legible and perfect. We don't know if anyone has ever put together an entire set of all 115 1939 Play Ball advertising cards, but this is certainly a major start. This is a significant grouping for collectors of vintage baseball-card advertising related items and prewar gum cards. Total 40 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $2,643.75
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