Thursday, August 26, 2010

1976 Shakey's Baseball Immortals #5, Honus Wagner

Seattle pizza chain Shakey's produced this set over a 3-year period, 1976 to 1978. It included every current HOFer, numbered by order of induction, so Wagner got #5 as a member of Cooperstown's 1st class.

Card front

I lived in Seattle for 20 years and ate at Shakey's many times as a youngster. This set stirred memories of overheated pepperoni and steak fries, two staple ingredients from their all-you-can-eat pizza bar. *BURP*

Card back

This card back packed in a lot of info and still left space for a corporate logo. Note Wagner's spirited nickname, "The Flying Dutchman," a moniker that plays off the ghost ship (a legend better-known in his time) to salute his base-running skills.

According to, Honus's career stats differ from this 1976 version in every listed category. He somehow "lost" 10 hits, perhaps from better research into Wagner's 19th-century career with the Louisville Colonels. At least they got those cradle and grave dates right!

Value: Oddball set or not, Wagner commands higher prices than most old-school players. This card cost $8 on eBay, which feels a little high, but not unconscionable.

Fakes / reprints: I doubt that fakes of such a low-profile set would be worth printing.

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