1958 Hires Root Beer Complete Set with Tabs (66)

Sold For: $6,000

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 998

Item Year: 1958

Category: Postwar Baseball Cards (1948-present)

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Complete set of sixty-six different 1958 Hires Root Beer cards, all with tabs. Hires Root Beer cards were designed to be issued one card per six-pack of Hires Root Beer. It must have been nearly impossible for kids to assemble a complete set by buying root beer, but fortunately some factory sets made it into the collecting world. This is obviously a factory set, originating from legendary early card dealer Bruce Yeko (the source for all of the hobby's high-grade Hires sets with tabs). The hobby would have no Hires Root Beer cards in high grade, let alone with tabs intact, if it were not for Bruce Yeko, who in the 1960s somehow managed to acquire a small quantity of perfect sets directly from Hires. (Note: Yeko also did this with Red Heart Dog Food, contacting them to purchase their extra cards, and was the source for virtually all surviving high-grade Red Heart Dog Food cards.) Yeko's supply of Hires sets was always small, so he charged a then eye-popping $19.95 per set, making the Hires set one of the most expensive offerings in the entire Wholesale Cards Catalog. He ran out in the 1970s. The complete set grades 33% Ex-Mt (including some Nr/Mt), 41% Ex, and 26% Vg-Ex (including a few Vg). This is a very typical grade distribution for Hires factory sets due to normal handling and their unusual tapered tab design. Keys: #10 Ashburn (Vg), 17 Doby (Vg-Ex+), 23 Reese (Ex), 25 Mays (Ex), 36 Mazeroski (Ex-Mt+), 44 Aaron (Vg+), 55 Drysdale (Ex-Mt), and 61 Snider (Vg-Ex+). This is an outstanding complete set with tabs of this popular, scarce, and very unusual regional issue. Total: 66 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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