Wednesday, February 10, 2010

1973 Johnny Pro Orioles Baseball #5, Brooks Robinson (fielding)

This is the largest of my "punch-out" type cards, measuring about 4" x 6". Johnny Pro Enterprises of Baltimore published a total of 28 cards in this Oriole-only set, numbered by player uniform. The set count includes alternate poses for Jim Palmer (wind-up and follow-through), Bobby Grich (fielding and batting), and Brooks Robinson (fielding and batting).

Collectors punch out the upper-right tab as a base for the player pose. I've only seen full cards for sale, so assume that's most of what remains in the market.

Card front (blank back)

Many years ago, I sent Mr. Robinson this letter with an autograph request and a few questions. As I recall, it was back in my hands less than two weeks later, pretty quick for a HOFer! Very fittingly, he wore #5, which the Orioles retired when Brooks hung 'em up in 1977.

(Click through for full-size scan)

Value: Nice condition HOFers Robinson and Palmer sell for $10 to $20 and "commons" cost a few dollars. (Johnny Pro also published a set of Phillies cards in 1974, which includes an early Mike Schmidt.)

Fakes / Reprints: I haven't seen any reprints of the Johnny Pro sets. It'd be hard to reprint this kind of die-cut card and probably isn't worth the money to try.

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