1941 Gum, Inc. Play Ball Full Uncut High-Number Proof Sheet with Joe DiMaggio (#49-72)

Sold For: $60,000

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1077

Item Year: 1941

Category: 1930s to 1940s cards

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Presented is an extraordinary and, very likely, unique complete 24-card uncut proof sheet of 1941 Play Ball issued by Gum, Inc. This sheet features the third series of twenty-four cards in the set (#49-72) and is highlighted by Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Pee Wee Reese rookie, Chuck Klein, Bobby Doerr, Bill Dickey, and Lefty Gomez. This is part of an incredible three-sheet offering in this auction in which each of the three series is presented in sheet form, representing what we believe to be the only complete 1941 Play Ball set in uncut sheet form. This is a proof sheet with blank backs, and because this is a proof sheet, the colors are slightly stronger and bolder than usually seen, and the blank back has been divided into "card sections" by the card number handwritten in pencil on the back of each card. The printing of this sheet predates the printing of production quantities of the 1941 Play Ball set, and the card number notations on the back are part of the internal company proofing process, and possibly even represent the actual assigning of card numbers prior to production. This sheet was obviously used by Gum, Inc. in the production of the set to ensure that the cards were each properly numbered. The front of the sheet has an Ex-Mt appearance (with the corner cards displaying light minor corner wear). The cards display crisp images and perfect registration. The reverse of the sheet, as stated above, has production related marks. Considering the age and odd size of this sheet, it is amazing that it survived without more serious condition issues. Play Ball sheets are of a far greater rarity than Goudey and other uncut gum-card sheets of this era. It is interesting to note that Play Balls were printed in vertical 24-card sheets, as opposed to the horizontal format of Goudey sheets. This is an extremely significant, almost certainly unique, uncut proof sheet, featuring one of Joe DiMaggio's most important cards, and one of the most famous of all 1940s bubble gum cards, which would make a tremendous addition to any uncut sheet collection or companion to any 1941 Play Ball set. The sheet measures 10 x 18.75 inches, and is beautifully and very expensively framed (with double-sided Plexiglass to allow viewing of the reverse) to total dimensions of 16 x 25 inches. Opening Bid $10,000. Estimate $25,000+.

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