Sunday, November 23, 2008

1941 Double Play Baseball #5, Linus Frey

This interesting set from Gum, Inc. (also the producers of Play Ball) pictures two teammates on each card. Simple demographics and performance info (i.e., "batted .266") fill out the details and make for a very minimal appearance. At two each, 75 pieces of cardboard total 150 players, including a variety of well-known and forgotten players. See the complete checklist for all of the card combos.

Card front (blank back)

Mr. Frey's teammate, (and #6) Johnny Vander Meer, went missing at some point, making this card perfectly suitable for this type collection. Most of the pictures look like Linus, vertical portraits with decent lighting. A few (mostly in the middle of the set) capture them at distance or in action, including a nice double batting shot of Ted Williams and Joe Cronin.

Though some show up as "individual" cards (probably thanks to kids from the 40s), most modern collectors go for intact Double Plays. They're not particularly hard to find, but anything pre-war and in decent shape commands high prices these days. I had the good fortune to score a complete set that'd been trimmed into pairs (and later reassembled using tape) for $300 last year on eBay.

The composition quality varies quite a bit, so look for a nice pair of photos if you want a type card of your own. #77/78 shows one of the better choices; Bob Feller always takes a good picture and his fellow Indian Joe Krakauskas looked happy to be paired with him, even if he couldn't crack the Cleveland rotation itself.

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