Monday, February 7, 2011

1975 SSPC Baseball Superstars #5, Jim Palmer

Ask female fans of a certain age to name their "sexiest baseball player from the 1970s" and you'd probably hear Jim Palmer, HOF-pitcher-slash-product-model for Jockey. The underwear brand promoted him on nationwide billboards and photo spreads for several years during Baltimore's most successful decade, making Palmer a well-known sex symbol. I think he came across as a racier version of contemporary NL All-Star Steve Garvey, who--in a twist on his all-American image--ended up scandalized for multiple paternity suits.

Card front

Palmer ditched his baseball cap often enough that mop-top photos like this one appear on several cards. This blog already profiled a representative league leader card (1977 O-Pee-Chee #5) and fellow collector Beardy recently pulled a similar 1/1 painting from 2010 National Chicle.

Card back

SSPC published this 42-card collection of contemporary and retired MLBers as a star-filled predecessor their 1976 630-card set and sold it by mail order through Collectors Quarterly magazine. A few of its pictured HOFers show up on unusual teams, including Ted Williams: Texas Ranger (likely taken during his turn as their manager) and Warren Spahn in a Cleveland Indians uniform, making it more attractive to team set collectors.

Value: These cards seem readily available via Internet search, but cost somewhat more than most SSPC releases at $5 - 15 for stars.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace and it'd be tough to make money selling SSPC fakes.

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