The official 1914/1915 Cracker Jack Thread

I have been working on this set for a couple of years now, the look of the set and the history of the players has really grabbed me. I did a search and couldn't find an official thread for the set so I thought i'd try and get the ball rolling.

To start things off I thought I'd mention a project that I have been working on in my spare time for years, deadballcards.com

I have a section covering the 1914 and 1915 sets with a checklist and if you click on the individual players it brings up a brief description as well as links to more information on their career and stats. I hope some CJ collectors find it useful.

I have 19 of the 1915 CJs with a mix in grades from PSA 3- PSA 8.

Latest addition was a Branch Rickey in PSA 5.
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Comments

  • 19541954 Posts: 2,761 ✭✭✭
    Love the set and wish you the very best in your quest. I would love to make a set of these someday.

    Shane
    Looking for high grade rookie cards and unopened boxes/cases
  • 1914 CJ's must be the most difficult set in existence...those cards are so thin, if you blow on them too hard they tear!

    they are awesome looking though, especially in the RED PSA FLIPS..pieces of 100 year old art is what they are! I LOVE EM!
    My 2001 PSA Pujols RC Collection 100% complete

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  • nam812nam812 Posts: 9,285 ✭✭
    This thread is worthless without pictures. image
    My 1910 Champions T218 set at 100% with a GPA of 5.01, and all 153 cards are scanned.
  • Here is my latest pickup:



    [URL=http://imageshack.us]image[/URL]
  • scans from my PC....

    image

    my favorite, MICE EATEN CORNERS due to the sugary stained paper...notice how the mice liked the UNCOLORED paper better:

    image
    My 2001 PSA Pujols RC Collection 100% complete

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  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    My favorite set of all time. I"m missing 1 for the '15 set (Jackson) and have about half of the 23 variations in '14.
    A few of my favorites:

    image
    imageimage
    imageimageimage
    imageimage

    And the album that you could send away for- these can be pretty tough
    image

    I like this one because it looks a bit like Alfred E Neuman
    image

    Cracker Jacks are the only set to picture players in Federal League uniforms
    imageimageimage

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Can't have this thread without mentioning Peter Garcia. Talk about a spectacular run of 1914 and 1915's. World class collection.
    Buying 1957 Baseball PSA 8 or higher. Especially Checklists, and Contest Cards. [email protected]
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    I agree about Peter. The first third of my set came from him when he broke up his '15 set and went after '14's.
    Same deal on Ken Harrington (wheels1313). One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
    Overall some of the best friends I've made in the hobby I've met thru the CJ registry. Dan and Kim Kneer, Peter, Barry Pnuts, Ted B, Jim B, and Ken.
    This set just seems to bring out the good guys.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Griffins:

    Didn't want to out you in case you wanted to stay in the shadows but I remembered that you had almost the whole set image thanks a ton for posting those pictures argh now I want to buy more image (as if I needed more motivation)

    Fandango:

    Thanks for adding your pics as well, very nice! The red dye must taste bad lol image
  • My one and only......sorry it's not in a PSA holder. Please don't judge image

    image
  • MorgothMorgoth Posts: 3,936 ✭✭✭
    Giffins my god you could buy a small country with what those CJ's are worth image
    Currently completing the following registry sets: Cardinal HOF's, 1961 Pittsburgh Pirates Team, 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates Team, 1980 Pittsburgh Pirates Team, Bill Mazeroski Master & Basic Sets, Roberto Clemente Master & Basic Sets, Willie Stargell Master & Basic Sets and Terry Bradshaw Basic Set
  • RipublicaninMassRipublicaninMass Posts: 10,058 ✭✭✭
    I decided to start 2 PSA pre war sets a year ago. The 1915 cracker jack and t205. I have been picking up some raw some crossover and lower graded PSA's. I decided that in ANY condition these set is worth going after. I am just 25% on the t205's and a meager 6% on my cracker jacks! There seems to be a lot of competition ever for the lower grade cj's. Storm....great idea for a thread! Nice website too!
    Picking on my username is much like picking your nose, everyone does it, but it is STILL kind of childish.
    Cu member Robb took coins in trade and never responded or sent his portion
  • Anthony....that 9(oc) Bresnahan is incredible. This is one time I'd take an (oc) over an NQ. If I saw the card on ebay I would have thought it was a counterfeit card since it is so clean. It almost looks bleached! Must have been tough finding the album as well. I don't collect the set but I do have a couple for my "type" collection and I'll tell you one thing, this is a highly competitive set and I don't see that going away anytime soon. So, it is a great choice not only for a set, but for a topic.
    Mark B.

    Seeking primarily PSA graded pre-war "type" cards

    My PSA Registry Sets

    34 Goudey, 75 Topps Mini, Hall of Fame Complete Set, 1985 Topps Tiffany, Hall of Fame Players Complete Set
  • I've always been curious how everyone collects the set. For instance do you find most of your stuff from dealers, shows, eBay, dealer internet sites, various internet boards?

    I've used some of all of these options with mixed success. eBay seems to be the most frequent spot to find stuff but there seems to be quite a shift from actually auctioning stuff to listing it under the Buy It Now eBay store option at crazy prices and competition can be quite fierce on auction listings.

    I haven't attended a card show in years and have been curious, do find decent deals at the shows or are they more like the Buy It Now eBay auctions.

    I've also started looking at some auction houses but the 15% and up buyers premium just rubs me the wrong way although I would assume that the people bidding take it into account when they set their limits.

    One other frustration I've had in collecting this set is tracking prices, though vintagecardprices.com has certainly helped in that regard, but it still seems there can be little information on what are "fair market prices".

    Sorry for rambling a bit but I'd be interesting in hearing what others feel on these issues.
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    It seems like they have definitely dried up a bit. I started the set in '02, with about 50 of them from Peter Garcia. Via the registry and got in contact with the others I mentioned above, and we would trade or sell extras amongst ourselves, rather than putting them on ebay. A few of us also went in on large lots from Mastro and REA and split them up. And a few people that started the set bailed out and we would split those up as well.
    Wheels1313 (Ken) is probably responsible for placing more CJ's in collectors hands than anyone else. He really has a good handle on who needs what and who gets what. And there is not a more honest person out there.
    Around late '03 or early '04 the prices shot up and supply crashed down- Topps was doing a set and buying up lower grade ones to insert in packs. Since then it has been very tough finding a decent supply, and it's been more spotty. Due to factory sets of '15's being issued 7's and 8's are relatively easy, as are 2's-4's. The toughest thing is finding 5's, since that is often too nice for a card inserted into the box and too worn for a factory set.
    Another thing to beware of is cards that have been whitened. There was a high grade set that was soaked out of a book and brightened up a bit, and then graded very highly. The concern is that over time this will start breaking down the cards.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • I too just started collecting this 1915 Cracker Jack Set and I love it. I had always seen these cards but never paid much attention to them until this past National when Mastro had a bunch for their August Auction.

    I totally fell in love with their bold red color, design and started my collection shortly after. Here are some of my favorite cards!


    Andy
    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
  • Thanks for sharing Andy! Nice cards, in particular I love the Austin!

    Oh also remebered that the Old Cardboard magazine had a writeup on the CJ a bit ago Ill have to dig it the issue if anyone is interested.
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    Here's a bit of info I collected on CJ's and posted on another board a year or two ago. A lot of it came from Lipsets Encyclopedia of Baseball cards, and the rest from various other sources.

    In 1914 the Cracker Jack Company of Brooklyn and Chicago began inserting baseball cards into its boxes of popcorn and peanut candy. This set (and the one that followed, in 1915) have become one of the iconic sets of the pre WW1 era, and one of the most popular baseball card sets of all time.
    The 1914 set was issued as baseball was experiencing a semblance of stability, but that would be short lived. President Taft had thrown out the first pitch a few years earlier (in 1910), giving the sport even more recognition as the National Game, and stars such as Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Shoeless Joe Jackson were either in their primes or near to it. Connie Mack’s Athletics and John McGraw’s Giants were the dominating teams of the era, and the dead ball era was in its golden age.
    However, in 1914 a new league began raiding players from the established 2 leagues. While the Federal League would only last 2 seasons, those seasons corresponded exactly with Cracker Jacks offerings, and would be the only cards ever issued picturing Federal League players in uniform. In all, 50 Federal League players are pictured.
    Comparisons between the 2 sets are natural, since in many ways they are exactly the same. Both feature a player image on a red background, with “Cracker Jack Ball Players” across the top (occasionally bleeding over into the white border) and the player’s name and team affiliation at the bottom. The ’14 set, however, contain 144 subjects, while the ’15 set adds another 32 players for a total of 176.
    ‘14’s are printed on somewhat thinner paper stock, but both sets are on lighter weight paper (rather than cardboard) than most other issues. If you flip the card over the reverse of the ‘14’s are printed right side up, while the ‘15’s are flipped. The reason for this is that an album was offered with the ‘15’s, and the thinking was that if the cards were pasted in the album the backs should be upside down, so that the card need only be lifted up at the bottom to read the bio on the back.
    Cracker Jacks have no white ink in the printing process, so that any areas in the image that are white should match the tone of the borders. This is a critical step in identifying forgeries. As there are few, if any, reprints of ‘14’s, the border matching and the upside down backs (reprints are not printed upside down) are the keys to avoid getting a fake.
    The ’14 set has an ad on the bottom reverse, stating that it is a series of 144 and either 10 million (cards 1-87) or 15 million (88-144) were issued. The ’15 set has an offer whereby a full set can be obtained via mail in for 100 coupons or 1 coupon and 25 cents. This accounts for a great number of pristine ‘15’s, while ‘14’s are often found stained and in much lower condition.
    As stated above, the ’15 set took the first 144 cards of the ’14 and added another 32 cards. However, there are a few exceptions to this. Some players were changed, a few poses were altered, and some players changed teams. Taking this into account, a “master” set of all variations would total 199 different cards, not counting the ad on the back.

    The key variations:

    #48 Harry Lord was replaced by Steve O’Neil in ’15
    #60 Rollie Zeider had 2 cards in ’14, 60 and 116, with different pictures. #60 was replaced with Oscar Dugey in ’15
    #62 Jay Cashion in ’14, Willie Mitchell in ’15
    #88 The big one. 2 players remained in both sets, but with pose changes. The most significant is Christy Mathewson. The ’14 is a pitching pose, the ’15 is a portrait. The ’14 is extremely desirable and is quickly becoming one of the most expensive cards of the era.
    #93 Derrill Pratt. Pose change, once again throwing to portrait.
    #99 Another highly desirable player change. Frank Chance was replaced by Hal Chase in ’15. In the last 3 years I’ve seen a lot less of Chance than of the Matty, but it goes for less.
    #111 Nixey Calahan replaced by Herb Moran.

    In addition, the following players cards reflected different team affiliations in ’15- 6,7,19,29,38,40,43,47,55,66,92,108,118,121,125,134

    Lastly, the ‘14 Bresnahan (#17) comes with and without the number printed on the back.

    Horizontal cards are the same in both sets (with the exception of Matty) and command a premium over the standard vertical cards. They are:
    38 (Gandil), 40 (Austin), 43 (Marquard), 44 (Tesreau), 91 (Peckinpaugh),92 (Demaree), 95 (Keating), and 96 (Becker).

    The album for the ’15 set consists of little more than an embossed tan cover over black pages. As it is not very desirable they don’t go for a premium- about $400. They were originally offered for 50 coupons or 1 coupon and 10 cents.

    Care must be taken when acquiring Cracker Jacks, as they are easily doctored. As staining is common they are prime candidates for bleaching, and this has often gone undetected by the major grading companies. Trimming is also common in raw cards.

    SMR lists #32 in the ’15 set (Three Finger Brown) as being a very difficult card, which has no evidence to back up that claim. If any card can be considered tougher than others it would probably be Alexander. Jack Barry is also very tough to find well centered, and Frank Owen can be tricky as well. While '15 high numbers are listed in price guides as being worth more, I didn't find them any tougher to acquire. On the other hand, the cards from #110- about 130 were a lot tougher, for no good reason.

    A 5 card ad panel was made, but has only been seen to exist in pieces.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Great post Griffins and thanks for sharing that!

    I was wondering if anyone could list the variations on names etc... And also have you seen price premiums on one over the other?
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    Not sure of your question- the variations on name. Do you mean exactly what team names are listed on any cards that are different in '15 than '14? The player variations in '14 (Lord, Callahan, etc) do go for a bit more than other players of the same stature, due to the cards being sought by those wishing to complete a combined master set.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Hmm, sorry I wasn't more clear. I'm pretty sure that some players have their name spelled differently on some of the cards. For instance, I believe #135 William Killifer has a name spelling variation i.e. Kilefer.
  • Anthony,

    Thank you for your information on the set. I have been slowly working on a 1915 CJ with the 1914 variations. I am trying to build a mid-grade set. Here is my 1914 CJ Chance. I think this card is very underrated. It is tough to find, features a HOF and there is no 1915 card of him.

    image
  • Nice card packman!
  • ahhh..a T206 thread and now a CJ thread. Now i am complete.

    Been working on the '15 CJ set for a half year now. Slow and steady is how i describe it. I'll throw up some scans of my favorite cards so far when i get home tonight. But, thanks for starting the thread!
  • RipublicaninMassRipublicaninMass Posts: 10,058 ✭✭✭
    thanks to majordanby and ebay I just bought a lower grade BVG form him last week! He must be upgradin!
    Picking on my username is much like picking your nose, everyone does it, but it is STILL kind of childish.
    Cu member Robb took coins in trade and never responded or sent his portion
  • Here is a link to the Old Cardboard Magazine issue that covers the CJS:

    Old Cardboard #9
  • Stormsurge

    Thanks for the Old Cardboard Issue #9 book information. I just went to their website and purchased one for my Cracker Jack collection.


    Always Looking to buy 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    Goodwin has a lot of high grade CJ's in his latest auction.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • RipublicaninMassRipublicaninMass Posts: 10,058 ✭✭✭
    saw some nice 1914's today, show will be there tomorrow as well, Lajoie PSA 1, Chick Gandel PSA 5, few others too
    Picking on my username is much like picking your nose, everyone does it, but it is STILL kind of childish.
    Cu member Robb took coins in trade and never responded or sent his portion
  • Anthony

    I saw those 1915 CJ's over at the Goodwin Auction. The Wagner PSA 8 looks simply awesome.

    Take care,
    Andy


    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
  • is this Wagner real...it look suspicious to me.....

    havent heard of this auction house either.....

    thoughts auction link
    My 2001 PSA Pujols RC Collection 100% complete

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  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    Why does it look suspicious? The colors are correct, the type looks fine, it's a '14 that are rarely, if ever, reprinted, and the back is correct.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Thanks for bringing the auction to my attention - several cards I would love to add to my collection!
  • Does anyone actually own the Joe Jackson card from this set? Pics?
    -- Ryan Bell
  • I think that is the only card Griffins is missing.
  • DID YOU WIN THAT WAGNER?

    still looks suspicious to me....WHY WOULDNT THEY HAVE HAD IT GRADED?????

    dont like the print dots on it....looks too thick for 1914 stock....

    maybe im just paranoid...

    there feedback is downright awful!
    My 2001 PSA Pujols RC Collection 100% complete

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  • << <i>DID YOU WIN THAT WAGNER? >>



    Not I.
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I think that is the only card Griffins is missing. >>



    Yup, holding out for a 6. Maybe next year.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭


    << <i>For instance, I believe #135 William Killifer has a name spelling variation i.e. Kilefer. >>



    Not that I've ever seen identified. All variations have to do with either a pose change, player change (from '14 to '15, not within the same set) or team affiliation.
    The only variation I've ever heard of within one years set is the Bresnahan in '14 with and without the number. Topps replicated this variation in the '04 set with ARod.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Anyone ever dealt with the seller Ososoon on feebay? He has been listing some decent looking raw CJs on there but when I asked him about his return policy he said all sales are final - no refunds even if PSA says its trimmed... and he doesn't take PayPal, nothing evil there but it does kill a way to file a complaint.
  • GriffinsGriffins Posts: 5,981 ✭✭✭
    never dealt with or even heard of him, but based on his return policy I'd stay away.

    Always looking for Topps Salesman Samples, pre '51 unopened packs, E90-2, E91a, N690 Kalamazoo Bats, and T204 Square Frame Ramly's

  • Wow, it's looking like is going to be a great holiday season with all of the 1915 Cracker Jack's that are up for auction over at Goodwin, Memory Lane, and Mastro Auctions. The cards over at Mastro's are simply incredible... What a find of 1915 Cracker Jack PSA 9's and 10's.

    Now it's time for me to get busy with all of these CJ's!


    Happy Thanksgiving to all!


    Andy
    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
  • RipublicaninMassRipublicaninMass Posts: 10,058 ✭✭✭


    << <i>never dealt with or even heard of him, but based on his return policy I'd stay away. >>



    Maybe I am growing up! FINALLY!!! No paypal no returns BYE BYE no matter how nice they look! Some are originals though, can fake those stains!

    Mastro OMG!! Were some of those for sale earlier this year (psa 8's) ?

    image
    Picking on my username is much like picking your nose, everyone does it, but it is STILL kind of childish.
    Cu member Robb took coins in trade and never responded or sent his portion
  • I love these cards. I started collecting them last year and had 6 of 176 (1915) in PSA 2-5 range but quickly realized I can't afford this set even in low grade. I may go back and pick up some of the Federal Leagers some day. Hats off to you guys who collect these.
    image
  • Wow that is the first ten I've ever seen in a CJ thanks for sharing!

    Happy Turkey Day all image
  • RipublicaninMass

    It looks like all of those Cracker Jack's over at Mastro Auctions have been graded recently. The auction also says, it was from a new find.

    If anyone wants to team-up with me and split any of the 7 or 8 card lots, please let me know as there are some cards that I am interested in.

    Andy
    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!


  • << <i>Wow, it's looking like is going to be a great holiday season with all of the 1915 Cracker Jack's that are up for auction over at Goodwin, Memory Lane, and Mastro Auctions. The cards over at Mastro's are simply incredible... What a find of 1915 Cracker Jack PSA 9's and 10's.

    Now it's time for me to get busy with all of these CJ's!


    Happy Thanksgiving to all!


    Andy >>



    thats the problem i have with the 1915...there are soo many new top condition cards being found every month it seems...doesnt seem right for those cards to be in such good condition...who knows when the next find of these will show up that will double the highend population....you DONT find this with the 1914's...
    My 2001 PSA Pujols RC Collection 100% complete

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  • Well Fan, I gotta agree with you, but the prices reflects that too. 1914's are much more expensive even in lower grade. I think one of the major auction houses listed a tons of psa 8 1915's a few months ago. I am wondering if they were the same cards
    Picking on my username is much like picking your nose, everyone does it, but it is STILL kind of childish.
    Cu member Robb took coins in trade and never responded or sent his portion
  • I have to admit that sometimes the really high end 1915 CJs seem almost to nice image
  • RipublicaninMass:

    All of the cards at the current Mastro Auctions are different than the ones that were up for sale this past August. I won some of those cards and non of these were there.

    Fandango:

    I also do agree with you that the 1914's are much tougher to find but I like collecting my cards in the highest quality that each set allows. If I was to collect the 1914 set in PSA 6 (which is the lowest standard that I like my cards to be in) it would probably take me the rest of my life to put the set together if I'm lucky.

    The 1915 set has a much higher population in PSA 7 and 8's at a more affordable price so this appeals much more to me than discourage me.

    Take care and enjoy the cards!

    Andy
    Always looking for 1915 Cracker Jack in PSA 7's & 8's!
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