1914 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson SGC 3 VG
Presented here is a glorious example of one of vintage-card collecting's most coveted treasures; Christy Mathewson’s card #144 from the 1914 Cracker Jack series. Graded VG 3 by SGC, it’s condition rating has been surpassed by only four other examples according to SGC’s population report.
The Cracker Jack baseball card series of 1914 and 1915 are among the most iconic baseball cards ever produced. Accurate player depictions replicated from photographic images set against a brilliant red background is the hallmark of the series. Their timeless design and ideal player selection have made the issue a favorite among collectors since the earliest beginnings of the hobby of card collecting. Their folkloric appeal is further enhanced by their association and distribution with the caramel-coated popcorn treat whose popularity and association with our National Pastime has endured for more than a century. In 1914, cards from the series could only be obtained as inserted "surprises", one per every box of Cracker Jack. As a result, most of the Cracker Jack cards retrieved from boxes in 1914 were already affected by some degree of staining even prior to being subjected to handling by sticky-fingered children. The same one per box distribution method was employed in 1915, however, a newly established redemption offer for a complete set gave ambitious sweet-toothed kids the opportunity to get a complete series of 176 pristine cards that never had to be subjected to contact with the product.
Mathewson’s 1914 representation is one of the rarest and most desirable of all Cracker Jack cards. While most players appearing in both the 1914 and 1915 issue are represented by the same image, Matty appears in a captivating horizontal pitching pose in the 1914 series, while a more standard portrait pose was adopted for the 1915 set. Presenting superb eye appeal that exceeds the vast majority of its peers, the offered example demonstrates flawless registration, bold color, and moderate wear to the corners. Two creases are visible (more so from the reverse) along the top and in the lower right portion of the card. Most significantly, both sides of the card are clean with minimal caramel staining present. This is quite simply a superior example of one of the hobby’s most classic and significant prewar cards featuring one of baseball’s most prolific and admired figures.