Thursday, January 20, 2011

1949 Smack-A-Roo Baseball #5, Scoring an uncaught throw

I've always been intrigued by the fluid nature of baseball's scoring. More than 90 percent of on-field plays are easily identified as hits, Ks, or fielding outs. Ghastly errors also stand out and make fans like me feel a little better about our limited skills. At the borderline between "clear hit" and "awful play" lives the official scorer...and controversy.

Card front (blank back)

Let's say this happened in a Yankee game. Who would YOU give the "no catch" error to, MVP candidate Robinson Cano or HOFer Derek Jeter?

Smack-A-Roo candy used an interesting package design and this numbered card's actually a back panel for the product itself, like 1970s Hostess snack cake boxes. The three perforated edges held it together and kids got to its candy by pulling on the "smooth" side.

Front of sealed box

Back of sealed box

Tearing apart a box to get at its contents means very few Smack-A-Roo panels survived initial purchase, let alone into the modern age. (More kids also would've saved real players over Q-and-A about scoring decisions.) They're unusual cards and little-known within the hobby.

Value: values VG commons about $35, but I found this panel on eBay for $20.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the market and it'd be tough to fake the weird shape.

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