Thursday, September 30, 2010

1972 TCMA 1928 Tharp's Baseball Reprint #5, Gabby Hartnett

In the early 1970s, TCMA produced a unique range of direct-to-collector sets that covered big stars and little-known obscurities. I believe they acquired a sizable photo and card collection spanning baseball's prewar era and created more diverse sets as earlier printings sold. shows sixteen issues for 1972 alone.
  1. 1972 TCMA 1887 Allen & Ginter N28 Reprints
  2. 1972 TCMA 1888 Allen & Ginter N29 Reprints
  3. 1972 TCMA 1888 Allen & Ginter N29 Reprints - Promos
  4. 1972 TCMA 1909 Philadelphia Caramel E95 Reprints
  5. 1972 TCMA 1914 Cracker Jack E145 Reprints
  6. 1972 TCMA 1922 American Caramel E121 Reprints
  7. 1972 TCMA 1928 Tharp's Ice Cream F50 Reprints
  8. 1972 TCMA 1933 Delong (R333) Reprints
  9. 1972 TCMA 1936 Goudey R322 Reprints
  10. 1972 TCMA 1936 Goudey Wide Pen Reprints
  11. 1972 TCMA 1941 St. Louis Browns W753 Reprints
  12. 1972 TCMA Cedar Rapids Cardinals
  13. 1972 TCMA Sample Sheets
  14. 1972 TCMA The 1930's
  15. 1972 TCMA The Yawkey Boston Red Sox
  16. 1972-73 TCMA 1940 Sporting Life Team Composites

I look at their Tharp's F50 reprints today, whose original issue was interesting in its own right. Catalogs applied F50 to a handful of sets with identical checklists and different promotional backs that include Pennsylvania ice cream makers Tharp's, Yuengling's, and Harrington's. My 1928 set profile covers its particulars.

Forgive this 1972 reprint for looking like a modern photocopy. The haziness around Mr. Hartnett's head isn't bad work on TCMA's part, as 1928 originals already looked that way. Some collectors, including me, shy away from such ugly ducklings, at least ungraded versions, because they're so easy to fake.

While multiple advertisers fit into that "F50" listing, TCMA limited its 1972 reprints to these Tharp Ice Cream backs.

TCMA sold sets direct to collectors, so I bet many remain complete. Others were broken up for sale as singles to HOF or type collectors like me.

Value: While hard to find, individual commons should run less than $10 and I bought this #5 for about that much on eBay a few years ago. Original F50 Ruth cards cost thousands, so his reprints from this set would run higher.

Fakes / reprints: Pretty sure no one reprinted these reprints, since faking the original F50s would be far more lucrative.

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