1940 Play Ball "Superman Gum" Advertising on Back Collection (58)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $2,232.50
Addendum: This collection of fifty-eight 1940 Play Ball cards with advertising for Superman gum cards on the reverse has been assembled over a period of twenty-five years by a very dedicated collector. This very likely represents a complete set of these back variations, a fact which might be of great significance to anyone attempting to assemble a complete "master set" of 1940 Play Balls.
In 1940, Gum, Inc. was all set to produce and distribute its R145 "Superman" series. To help introduce its new product, a small quantity of 1940 Play Ball baseball low-number cards (#123-180) were printed with advertising for the Superman set printed along the bottom of the reverse, to help generate extra interest and excitement in the new offering. The Superman Gum advertising message on these cards had six different wording variations, all very similar to: "SUPERMAN GUM will soon be here. Thrilling! Fascinating! Colorful! Ask your dealer for Superman Gum and Adventure Picture-Story Cards." In every other way, these cross-promotional 1940 Play Ball Gum Inc. cards were identical to other production cards issued in packs. This collection of fifty-eight different represents the largest group of these fascinating and rare advertising cards we have ever seen. The gentleman who collected these took a special interest in these advertising variations, and has assembled an extraordinary collection that could serve as an extremely significant contribution to the Ultimate 1940 Play Ball Master Set. Twenty-five of the cards have been graded and encapsulated by PSA. Consists of: #123, 124 Combs (HOF, EX-MT 6), 125, 126, 127, 128 (NM 7), 129 Harris (HOF, NM 7), 130, 131 (NM-MT 8), 132 Mack (HOF, EX-MT 6), 133 Foxx (HOF EX 5), 134 Cronin (HOF, print lines, otherwise Ex-Mt), 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141 Stengel (HOF, NM 7), 142 Kelly (HOF, print lines, otherwise Ex-Mt), 143, 144 (NM 7), 145 (EX-MT 6), 146, 147 (NM 7), 148, 149, 150 (PSA NM 7), 151, 152, 153 McKechnie (HOF, 15/85 L/R, otherwise Ex), 154, 155, 156 (EX-MT 6), 157, 158 Jackson (HOF, Gd), 159, 160 (NM 7), 161, 162 (NM-MT 8), 163, 164, 165, 166, 167 Frisch (HOF, EX 5), 168 Wagner (HOF, EX 5), 169, 170 Speaker (HOF, EX 5), 171 Heilmann (HOF, EX-MT 6), 172 Bender (HOF, EX-MT 6), 173 Lajoie (HOF, EX-MT 6), 174 Evers (HOF, EX-MT 6), 175 Mathewson (HOF, EX-MT 6), 176 Manush (HOF, EX-MT 6), 177 Baker (HOF, EX-MT 6), 178 Carey (HOF, EX-MT 6), 179 Sisler (HOF, Vg), and 180 Cochrane (HOF, Vg-Ex). The condition of this group ranges from Ex to Nr/Mt-Mt (includes a few lesser), averaging Ex-Mt overall. Each of the backs is bright, clean, and flawless, which is especially important to these cards, as the clean backs allow the Superman Gum advertising to be bright, legible, and perfect. We don't know if anyone has ever put together an entire set of all 1940 Play Ball advertising cards, but this is certainly a major start. This is a beautiful and very substantial and outstanding group of 1940 Play Balls even without the Superman Gum advertising backs, including numerous high-grade Hall of Famers. Total 58 cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $2,232.50