Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1925 Maple Crispette Baseball (V117) #5, Lee Fohl

Gulf Coast residents, especially those near New Orleans, have a word for getting a little extra when you buy something: lagniappe. It's the 13th donut in your baker's dozen, special sauce on a po' boy sandwich, or extra "dipping sugar" from Cafe du Monde--and, let me tell you, Cafe du Monde adds plenty of bonus sugar.

1925 Maple Crispette #5, Lee Fohl (Red Sox manager)

Louisiana isn't the only French-speaking region with something extra. Back in the mid-1920s, Montreal candy maker Maple Crispette produced this baseball set, complete with lagniappe. Those patient enough to collect all 30 cards could exchange it for 1 of 3 sweet baseball goodies: an American Legion baseball, "high class" bat, or Scholastic Model glove. (Yesssssss.)

Card back

According to the offer text, kids could send in a mixture of cards from the 1925 baseball or 1924-1925 hockey set, shown below.
1924-25 Maple Crispette hockey

Unfortunately for buyers then and now, the candy maker printed a tiny number of #15 Casey Stengel. This kept 1920s kids from redeeming full sets and 21st century collectors from finding all 30 cards. (Hockey #15 Cleghorn is just as rare, so you're stuck trying to complete the set either way.) Folks don't even consider Stengel part of the "complete" set, as only 1 example's known to survive.

Most price guides date this set to 1923, but Crispette expert Eric Eichelkraut places it at 1925. I agree, given the parallel offer with their hockey set, which itself came out in late 1924.

UPDATE: Robert Edward Auctions sold a hockey near-set in 2012 that includes more info about that companion issue.

Value: Mr. Fohl cost me $90, about right for a low-grade common. EX (and above) cards run a good deal more.

Fakes / reprints: While not a well-known set, it does contain a Babe Ruth card and other players profitable to fake. Be very cautious and know your dealer when buying the big-money cards.


Anonymous said...

where are the hockey maple crispette listed, they dont appear in the 2009 beckett hockey price guide.

Matthew Glidden said...

Google turned up this checklist on the VintageCardPrices site.

1924 V130 Maple Crispette Hockey